Meet the team


David Weston, CEO ۲ʿ

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

Sharing a good meal with good friends over a good bottle of wine or two – and if it’s in an exotic location, even better!

Favourite movie

It’s corny I know, but I can never resist watching Moonstruck, with Cher and Nicholas Cage.  A blast from the 80s.

Favourite song or piece of music

It changes all the time, but this year’s highlight was a collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Richard Tognetti and composer, didgeridoo player and vocalist William Barton performing their arrangement of the slow movement from Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Ruhevoll, at a concert to celebrate the ACO moving to their forever home at Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay. It was extraordinary.

Favourite book

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan.

Your dream travel destination

At the moment, Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast…

Direct: 02 8117 9590 | :david.weston@appco.com.au

Megan Haggan, digital editor

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – Disappointing the green owl. My efforts to learn German (and brush up my rusty French) are enthusiastic but erratic and so I often make Duo cry.

2 – Pottering around markets, fairs and fetes.

3 – Being obsessed with 70s homewares and other vintage (which often ties in neatly to #2).

Favourite movie

The Ostalgie film Good Bye, Lenin! Honourable mention goes to Back to the Future.

Favourite song or piece of music

Varies frequently, though at any given time odds are it’ll be disco. This week it’s Diana Ross’ Upside Down, possibly due to the recent Stranger Things binge.

Favourite book

Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow.

Your dream travel destination

NYC, Lisbon or Berlin. 

Mobile: 0422 399 858 | Email: megan.haggan@appco.com.au

Nicole Samuels, business operations manager

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – It is the simple pleasures I look forward to. Most weekends I enjoy a stroll (not a power walk) solo or with friends along the Noosa coastal track returning via Tanglewood Forest. I love Noosa Bay and then immersing myself in the tranquillity of the forest. 

2 – Close second is pottering in my garden after returning from Yandina markets with a basket full of local produce.

3 – Thirdly having friends and family over for an alfresco meal early evening before sunset.

Favourite movie

 Love Actually makes me laugh and cry year after year.

Favourite song or piece of music

The Mamas & the Papas – California Dreamin

Favourite book

Any Ordinary Day Leigh Sales

Dream travel destination

A sabbatical in Sicily and the Italian Riviera for the summer – of course, anyone is welcome to pop in!

T: 02 8117 9521 | Email: nicole.samuels@appco.com.au

Jan Decomps, communications manager

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

My perfect weekend would capture the three things:

1 – A morning yoga session or a walk in nature with my dog.

2 – A film at the cinema.

3 – Some live music and dinner at a small venue somewhere in Sydney.

Favourite movie

Too hard to pick one so today I’ll plump for French film Little White Lies (Les Petits Mouchoirs). A group of lifelong friends and their families meet every year at a holiday home on the stunning west coast of France – but this year there’s more drama and mayhem than usual, and one of the group is absent due to a motorbike accident. Brilliant cast and all the feels.

Favourite song or piece of music

Uncertain Smile by The The.

Favourite book

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton.

Dream travel destination

A year-long stay in French surf town Biarritz, on the south-western tip of France, with regular trips into the Pyrenees and over the Spanish border to San Sebastian, please.

T: 02 8117 9522 | Email: jan.decomps@appco.com.au

Fiona Duke, business development manager

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – Exercising.

2 – Spending time in nature with my family.

3 – Eating good food.

Favourite movie

I don’t really have a favourite, but I love action movies so let’s say one I saw recently: Top Gun 2.

Favourite song or piece of music

Anything by Norah Jones; I love her voice.

Favourite book

Say Nothing by Patrick Madden Keefe.

Your dream travel destination

South America – for the adventure, the culture, the food, the nature and the music.

T: 02 8117 9520 | Email: Fiona.duke@appco.com.au

Debra Gardner, client service officer

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – Gardening

2 – Bikram yoga.

3 – Whale watching usually off Sydney Harbour or down the South Coast near Ulladulla.

Favourite movie

The Shawshank Redemption or The Blind Side.

Favourite song or piece of music

What a question! I love it all. If I can’t face cleaning the house, the music goes on loud and proud and I’m bopping and mopping in no time.

Favourite book

I’m biased: my favourite book is The Last Chrysanthemum by Ron Thomas who just happens to be my Dad. He is on a retirement journey with seven books published to date. It’s based on the incredible story of a Japanese business friend who just happened to share his story with Dad one night. I love historical fiction as I learn a bit along the way.  The human spirit is amazing!

Your dream travel destination

Santorini or Italy: Feasting while nestled in the cliffs at a restaurant or café, looking out across the water appeals.

Direct: 02 8117 9510 | Email: debra.gardner@appco.com.au

Chris Brooker, editor

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – Drinking craft beer.
2 – Drinking craft gin.
3 – Playing Pickleball.

Favourite movie

The adolescent in me wants to say Animal House… but I’m going for The Wicker Man. You can’t beat crazy 70’s folk horror.

Favourite song or piece of music

Where do I begin? Anything from: The White Stripes, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Scott Walker, early Black Sabbath, Can, Funkadelic, Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Depeche Mode, Pixies, Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, The Donnas, early Fairport Convention. I’m currently loving The Pierces, who I strongly recommend to anyone who likes slightly Weillian folk pop. And, as a bit of a guilty pleasure – Treehouse by Sofi Tukker.

If anyone is interested, I can send them my list of ‘100 under-the-radar acts you should listen to’ if you want to try the likes of Trees, Nico, Bardo Pond, Margo Guryan, Linda Perhacs, George Brigman, DR Hooker, Horace Andy, Wicked Lady, New Kingdom, The Icarus Line, Huun-Hur-Tu, Jobriath, White Noise, Ferdinando & Howell, Stan Hubbs etc. 

Favourite book

A Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, The Name of the Rose. The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather for some non-fiction variety. For music fans, I’d recommend Bob Stanley’s Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop.

Your dream travel destination

At the moment a combined Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Easter Island jaunt is top of the holiday destination bucket list.

Direct: 02 8117 9540 | Email: chris.brooker@appco.com.au

Sheshtyn Paola, senior journalist & clinical writer

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – I love walking outdoors soaking up nature and sunshine – and particularly being near the ocean at any possible opportunity.

2 – Spending time doing anything with hubby, whether that’s going on adventures, chatting over a nice meal, or just chilling at home playing dorky board games.

3 – I really enjoy cooking and making meals from scratch (and then eating the results!)

Favourite movie

Spirited Away, and The Lord of the Rings. Yes, I know that’s really four movies ? but who can resist watching those brave little hobbits risk life and limb to save the world? I cry every time…

Favourite song or piece of music

The Lark Ascending, by Ralph Vaughan Williams – pure beauty.

Favourite book

Fave novels are probably Wide Sargasso Sea and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Your dream travel destination

A trip to Europe would be nice – like many people, we had one planned but it was delayed due to COVID-19 and other life happenings. Or going back to beautiful Japan!

Direct: 02 8117 9542 | :sheshtyn.paola@appco.com.au

Mike Mata, sales consultant

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – Watching my children play their various sports.

2 – Going to the pub with friends.

3 – Travelling with my family.

Favourite movie

The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Favourite song or piece of music

So difficult. Favourite song: Shazam! – Spiderbait.  Favourite album: Led Zeppelin II.

Favourite book

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. Not because of the content (though funny and original). More for the memories of first love, rebellion and fact that walking around with a book that looked like a cigarette pack made me look cool at the time.

Your dream travel destination

To watch the finals at Roland Garros, then eat our way through France for two weeks before making Opening Day at Wimbledon.

T: 02 8117 9525 | Email: mike.mata@appco.com.au

Tracy Duff, production coordinator

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – Cuddle with the cats and dogs (kids won’t cuddle any more).

2 – Mid-morning yum cha.

3 – Hanging by the pool for a relaxing day.

Favourite movie

Designing Woman with Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall. Very stylish 50s rom com – love the outfits!

Favourite song or piece of music

90s R&B Apple Essentials Playlist when out for a run. Any music from Louis Prima. Upbeat and happy songs to play loud when I’m home alone. Fight for Your Mind album by Ben Harper when I’m feeling moody.

Favourite book

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Love to reread it at least once a year.

Your dream travel destination

A trip that included Vietnam and New Zealand would be a beautiful scenic overload.

Direct: 02 8117 9590 | Email: tracy.duff@appco.com.au

Eben Hale, web developer

Three things you enjoy doing outside of work

1 – Playing guitar / listening to music.

2 – Playing video games with my son.

3 – Cooking a meal for loved ones.

Favourite movie

This is Spinal Tap.

Favourite song or piece of music

Drivin’ South – Jimi Hendrix. There are three different versions of this instrumental song on the double album “BBC Sessions” and listening to all three you hear the song has a basic structure but the guitar work is largely improvised. Jimi nails the version that is track 17 on disc two.

Favourite book

High Fidelity – Nick Hornby.

Your dream travel destination

Yosemite National Park / Grand Canyon.

:eben@bmweb.com.au