About Creative Women's Circle

Creative Women's Circle (CWC) is a national association designed to support, champion and connect women working in creative industries and running their own businesses. We hold events, publish blogs, and maintain a Member database to inspire and engage with other creative women in the community and foster collaborative connections. CWC events are held throughout the year at various locations around Australia.

 Designer Shannon Lamden speaks at one of the early CWC speaker events in 2009.

Designer Shannon Lamden speaks at one of the early CWC speaker events in 2009.

History of CWC

In late 2004, designer Dearne Mills brought together a small group of women working in creative industries and establishing small businesses, in order to share information, inspiration and ideas. Gatherings were held every few months  and attendees enjoyed hearing the experiences of many Melbourne-based creative women.

In early 2009, Tess McCabe (a regular CWC attendee) took over the organising of Creative Women's Circle events, expanding its membership and online presence, and began publishing books for and about creative Australian women.  In 2015, Tess changed CWC's business structure to become a national incorporated association (non-profit), steered by a Board based in Melbourne.

 Artist Miranda Skoczek is guest speaker at an event in 2014.

Artist Miranda Skoczek is guest speaker at an event in 2014.

What we do now

Creative Women's Circle aims to support, champion and connect creative women all over Australia.

We hold events with guest speakers and panellists
We hold several events around Australia each year featuring a guest speakers and/or opportunities to connect with other creative women. Our events are friendly and informal, and always entertaining and inspiring.

We blog on a variety of topics relevant to creative women and creative business
Our blog is authored by a group of talented creative women from all around Australia, and features interviews, business advice, book reviews and creativity tips. 

We have a searchable database of women in creative businesses
The Circle Database aims to champion and promote the work of women from around Australia to the world and encourage collaboration and celebration of female creative talent. CWC Members have exclusive rights to publish a page in the database.

We connect and support our Members
We have a members-only Facebook group where CWC Members can discuss their own creative businesses and get advice from like-minded women.  We also host regular facilitated CWC Morning Teas where Members can seek support and advice in an informal setting. 


Our Board

Tess McCabe
Designer/publisher | CWC President

Tess has over a dozen years experience in graphic design, specialising in identity, print and publishing. She founded Creative Minds and independently produces publications and resources for creatives, including the popular Conversations with Creative Women series.  Tess began coordinating Creative Women's Circle in 2009, and incorporated CWC to become a national non-profit association in 2015. She is also co-host of The New Normal Podcast. 
Website | Instagram | Podcast


Emma Clark Gratton
Writer | CWC Treasurer

Emma has a  background in journalism and interior design. These days,  she switches between working in the furniture-making business she runs with her husband, writing for ArtsHub, chatting with creative mums as co-host of The New Normal podcast, and writing snazzy copy for freelance clients. Emma is the mother of two young boys who enjoy painting with yogurt, emergency vehicles and 'helping' in the workshop.
Website | Podcast | Instagram


Phoebe Miller
Publicist | Head of Content

Phoebe’s professional background covers experience marketing and communications for the corporate, arts, and not-for-profit sectors. She also ran her own creative side project, designing and making accessories under the moniker Simply Phoebe. 
Instagram | LinkedIn


Julie Mazur Tribe
Publishing consultant | Blog Editor

Julie is founder and principal of Brooklyn Book Studio, an editorial advisory firm that helps creative authors get published. Prior to this, Julie spent more than 15 years at trade publishing houses in New York and has acquired and developed more than 100 nonfiction books. Her expertise is helping talented people turn their stories and passions into compelling, commercial books. Formerly based in Brooklyn, Julie now works with authors on both sides of the world from the sunny shores of Sydney.
Website  | Instagram

Martina Gemmola
Photographer | CWC Vice President

As a Freelance photographer, Martina is constantly inspired by the creative community behind this great city. When she is not shooting gorgeous spaces or spirited people, she is poring over design publications and dreaming of what’s next. At times wearing many hats, she has a background in production and project management, keen barista skills and a serious passion for anything food and travel related. 
Website | Instagram


Annette Wagner
Designer/artist/marketer | Events Manager

Annette Wagner is a designer, marketer, creative consultant, collaborator, artist and writer. Trained as a designer, she studied further and moved into advertising and marketing. She has over 15 years of diverse experience designing, developing and delivering branding solutions, tailoring national and international marketing campaigns. Her business, True North Studio, is a multidisciplinary practice combining her experience and passion for creativity.
Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Samantha Jayaweera
Publication & UX Designer | Communications Manager

Sam is a graphic designer specialising in print layout design and typesetting in the trade publishing industry. She holds a degree in Multimedia (Media Studies) with further post-grad studies in Graphic Communication and undergone further study in User Experience Design with the idea of expanding into the prolific digital content industry. She also enjoys hand-based craft hobbies such as quilting, screen printing and textile design.
Website | Instagram



Yasmin Naghavi
Lawyer | CWC Secretary

Yasmin  practises in creative industries law at Media Arts Lawyers. There she represents world-class design studios, agencies, illustrators, streaming services, writers, craftspeople, digital influencers, content creators, and photographers. Holding both a Juris Doctor (hons) and an MBA, Yasmin combines experience with deeply entrenched expertise, industry insight, and a passion for the creative sector.
Website | Facebook


Yvonne Meng
Architect | Events Manager

Yvonne Meng is an Melbourne architect, and founder of the design practice Circle Studio Architects. She also teaches at Monash University and is a current PhD candidate. Prior to establishing her own studio, Yvonne worked for several design-led firms in Victoria. Her career then led her to the City of Melbourne where she was Project Architect for a variety of public buildings across a range of different scales. With a unique background in both the private and public sectors, Yvonne’s approach is collaborative and believes that great architecture is centred around those who use it. 
Website | Twitter


Zanin Lawrence-Politis
Artist | Communications Manager

Zanin’s background in Marketing for the performing arts; film and entertainment industries in some of Melbourne’s favoured destinations has seen her launch many brands and events that are now part of our city’s playground. While running her own business dedicated to Australia’s indie fashion and accessories talent, she discovered her childhood heart’s beat – to make art. Always intrigued by what is unsaid, she sees the canvas as a place for the unspoken to dance.
Website | Instagram