Our story

Assemble is a property development and community management company focused on delivering affordable housing projects where good design, community, and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

Assemble also publishes Assemble Papers, an online and biannual print publication exploring small footprint living across art, design, architecture, urbanism, the environment, and financial matters.

We pooled our skills in 2010, spurred to action by the increasing absence of well-designed housing in our much-loved city, Melbourne. We believe small footprint living is not a compromise – through good design, a vertical life is an enriching, engaging and socially responsible one.

The launch of the Assemble Model marks a new chapter for Assemble as we go deeper into building the culture of living closer together in Melbourne and beyond.

People

We’re a tight-knit multi-disciplinary team with combined experience spanning property, construction, finance, architecture, community management, publishing, communications, art and public programming.
Abbie Freestone
Head of Community

Abbie is the Head of Community at Assemble and has a background in urbanism and architectural communications. She is committed to uncovering new ways of thinking about cities. A pole vaulter in a former life, she’s forever chasing views from high places and after living in California and Oregon has a love for mountains (and mimosas).
Kris Daff
Managing Director

Kris is the Managing Director of Assemble and is also Managing Director of Make Ventures, a property development and investment company. Originally trained as an engineer, Kris is an experienced property professional and, on the weekends, he can be found cycling around the bay – or swimming in it with his family.
Matt Ablethorpe
Development Director

Matt is the Development Director of Assemble and Co-director of Make Ventures, a property development and investment company. He is an experienced real estate executive, and more importantly – a gifted birthday cake baker for his two daughters. Matt’s experience includes asset, development and funds management across a range of sectors.
Emma Telfer
Director of Culture & Strategy

Emma is our Director of Culture & Strategy. A passionate urbanist and cultural leader, Emma recently joined Assemble after five years at the helm of Open House Melbourne, a public architecture organisation that works to improve design literacy and appreciation for the value of good design in the built environment. Now a proud Melburnian - however, Jacinda Ardern and the flightless bird will always represent home.
Ben Keck
Strategy Director

Ben is the Strategy Director of Assemble and Co-director of Fieldwork, an architecture practice. His background is in finance, property and law. Spending time living in Berlin while at university originally sparked Ben’s interest in small footprint living. He is a keen soccer player and an advocate of the siesta.
Joachim (Quino) Holland
Design Director

Quino is Design Director of Assemble and Co-director of Fieldwork, an architecture practice. Quino is a keen gardener and cyclist who is most happy in the great outdoors or contemplating brutalist architecture (what a nerd! - ed.). Isambard Kingdom Brunel is an enduring hero.
Sarah Matzouranis
Financial Coach

Sarah takes a holistic approach to her financial coaching and is a strong believer that good money management is essential for our overall wellbeing.
Dan Moore
Head of Operations

Caitlin Shannon
Communications Coordinator

Caitlin is an experienced visual storyteller, with a background in communications and a passion for art direction. Happiest with a camera in hand, Caitlin enjoys filming as a fly-on-the-wall and at every opportunity; can be found buzzing around Melbourne’s old theatres, geeking-out on films.
Robyn Lukstin
Development Manager

Robyn’s experience lies in statutory and strategic planning, working on a wide range of projects during her career across both the public and private sectors. She has the proven ability to provide practical, actionable responses to complex questions. When she’s not fine-tuning her Spanish language skills – Robyn shares her hidden talent as a disc jockey with her friends.
Alex Kennedy
Investment Manager

A Chartered Accountant with over 10 years’ experience in the property industry, Alex’s expertise lie in site acquisition, development feasibility, disposal and investment management. In his spare time, Alex likes to go to the park with his wife and pugalier pup – Yoda.
Elissa Loh-Brown
Development Manager

A practicing architect for over 10 years, Elissa’s passion for the built environment emerged from her design background, her interest in community engagement and innovative design solutions. With a love for the outdoors, in her spare time Elissa can be found hiking through some of Victoria’s beautiful forest reserves.
Sam Crone
Senior Development Manager

Sam is the Senior Development Manager of Make and Assemble, drawing upon 15 years of experience in the delivery of exemplar high density development projects throughout Melbourne. Sam covers the full development cycle from project inception to completion. He is kept busy by his three young children as well as partaking in all manner of sports.
Tim Schaefer
Project Manager

As Project Manager at Assemble, Tim oversees the delivery of projects from tender through construction to handover. He is an experienced construction professional with a career spanning 12 years delivering high-end homes, multi-residential developments, commercial and retail spaces. In his spare time, Tim loves water and snow skiing and playing golf.
Sally Male
Marketing Manager

With an honours degree in multimedia design and a background in property branding, Sally brings a complementary set of skills to the marketing team. Weekend activities include knitting, photography, films and spending time with her family.
James Mirtschin
Development Analyst

As a Development Analyst, James draws from his experience in real estate advisory and valuation to effectively evaluate all project opportunities, new and existing. Recently returning from 3 years of living and working in New York City, James enjoys escaping to the beach or to his family’s farm in south-west Victoria.
Alannah Manuk
Planner

Alannah is a qualified planner with experience in strategic and statutory planning. Her expertise includes assessing complex planning permits, facilitating community workshops and providing research assistance. In her spare time, Alannah can be found exploring the sites of Melbourne as she recently moved from Perth, Western Australia.
Cat McGauran
Assistant Editor - Assemble Papers

Cat is an experienced communicator with a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast media industry, as well as print and podcasting. Cat’s work and travel adventures have taken her from the jungles of Borneo to the alps of Europe. In her spare time, Cat can be found playing the fiddle.