To be fair, she’s not really a blow-in. She’s been in Australia for over 18 years now, having travelled pretty extensively around the world prior to that. Among many exciting trips, she has explored the beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, experienced the energy of Tokyo, and skiied the European alps. But her most memorable trip was hiking through the Indian Himalayas and being curfewed onto a boat on Lake Shrinigar in Kashmir during a war. She’ll tell you that story over a beer.
Her working career has been equally eventful. Over the decades Jo has tried her hand at youth work, dog walking, graphic design and account management. Her current role as our operational overseer seems to be her happy place and Jo enjoys her days dealing with all the various teams within the agency.
The recent FIFA Women’s World Cup reignited her passion for soccer (ahem, football) and she attended every game Brisbane hosted. While her playing days are sadly behind her she’s keen to manage a community team of little superstars—so let her know if your kid’s team needs her expertise.
Bruce Springsteen is another big love. She’s seen The Boss play seven times—the first time on her 16th birthday at Wembley Stadium—unsurprisingly a favourite lifetime memory. Bruce was a big part of her extensive record collection, which she had to sacrifice many years ago due to limited housing space. However, she was thrilled at her somewhat recent 50th birthday party when her partner Megan bought her a new record player and organised all her friends to each get her a record album. All together now … aaawwwwww.
Like many at NWO, Jo is a real dog person. She loves sharing her Redcliffe house with Megan and two dogs, Kippy and Baxter. Ocean swims and walks along the beach with the dogs are great ways for this English girl to live her best Aussie life.
The best kinds of careers are the ones that morph and grow in the pursuit of passion, and passion is a common thread through Bec’s journey.
She studied psychology and economics in her Bachelor of Arts. Although she ended up leaving both fields behind, they each taught her valuable lessons that no doubt still aid her today. After her degree, she pursued a diploma in graphic design and tried her hand as a designer for a while.
In the end, commercial design wasn’t for her, but she transferred those skills to outputs that are considerably more fun: drawing and painting her muse—Kitty, her gorgeous black cat.
While Kitty can have a typically feline, disagreeable nature, this behaviour only makes her gentle moments sweeter—and Bec love her more.
Bec loves animals so much that their appearances in any commercial will always persuade her—a touch of innocence she’s maintained despite an illustrious career in the cut-throat advertising world.
Speaking of her invaluable experience, some of Bec’s favourite accounts include a start-up gin brand called Warner Edwards—an opportunity for branded storytelling that took on a distinctive visual identity—and chewing gum giant Wrigley.
Wrigley was responsible for weekly trips to Munich out of London, her home for 13 years. She ended up in the UK after an impulsive overnight decision to move there from Australia, planning to stay for a year or two. Bec snagged a job right when she was down to her last £100 and ready to call it quits—and so she stayed long enough to become a British citizen.
The UK wasn’t her first great adventure overseas, though. Bec spent four years of her childhood on a cattle ranch in Ghana, West Africa. She attended an international school where her mum taught grade 2, and the family lived there through two political coups—and were lucky to make it out alive.
Aside from the instability that came with living somewhere so politically charged, Bec loved being exposed to such a variety of cultures within one community. Since, Bec has always loved to see more of the world and its many cultures through walking tours, drinking in the rich history of foreign cities.
From a fearless youth dreaming of being a ballerina, collecting a rainbow of karate belts, learning to belly dance, singing in an acapella group, teaching aerobics and racing cars, Bec has a grown into a (mostly) sensible adult with a collection of wonderful stories.
Now, she’s a cornerstone of our agency and carefully, responsibly stewards projects along the twisting roads from brief to go-live. (Not an easy feat: ask anyone in the agency.) But she’s maintained her youthful curiosity and joy—which we can all attest to, as she greets us all with a warm smile and fun anecdote each morning.
They say still waters run deep. Never has that been truer than with Andrew, our long-serving head of design. He gives off the impression of being quiet and unassuming, but there’s a lot going on under that calm demeanour. As a self-confessed fan-boy of James Bond, it’s perhaps no coincidence that he never seems to be shaken nor stirred despite being a man of action.
Andrew’s tenure at New Word Order is among the longest in the agency. He credits his durability to the workplace dynamism—new clients, fresh challenges and ever-changing types of work. Andrew has a real love for branding, UI design and typography, and this has kept his passion firing for over a decade at NWO.
Mind you, he does appear to stick at things with real commitment. Andrew has been playing hockey for 35 straight years with the same club. He plays in the masters division while coaching his boys in juniors. But wait for it—his dad is still playing hockey as well so there are three generations of McGuckins running around on the field!
He actually loves all sport and has tried his hand at most, and is one of those annoying fit-freaks who loves a run to clear his mind. But as someone who freely admits to mixing his admiration for 007 with a love of rom-coms, that mind may need clearing more than most.
Outside of work, sport and exercise, he somehow finds time to play family man. A new baby girl arrived in late 2022 to join the brood of older boys, so it’s been a happy return to nappies and bottles for Andrew and wife Ali. Maybe it’s time to recreate their favourite ever family holiday—three weeks in a caravan exploring Queensland.
The Griswolds would have nothing on a McGuckin family vacation.
We suppose his design education did something right, because his craziest of ideas are often the ones with the best results. Or maybe it’s because his Capricorn sun means he’s always right. You can’t argue with that logic.
Either way, Mike resurfaced from design college in his early twenties with an itch for adventure outside of smalltown BrisVegas. Thus began his London chapter, where 12 months turned into 12 years (or maybe Mike just got confused… shapes and colours are his realm of expertise, not numbers).
He arrived in London with a backpack and a girlfriend, and came back to Brisbane with a wife and two daughters. Between them, Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, Mike has many influential female role models in his life.
Except for during that dark chapter in Paris (home of many vault-locked memories he won’t share with the class), Mike has had a beard as long as he’s been an artist. Very simple maths leads us to believe the beard is actually the source of his creative powers.
Stroking it while staring into the distance tends to ignite his lightbulb moments. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to extend to his sketching ability. But when you make a career out of facial hair powers, you have to accept the limitations. As well as the wall of shame your agency might craft from a collage of your worst drawings. That’s life.
But what Mike lacks in pen-to-paper artistry, he makes up for in decoration.
He’s known to brighten the office—and his co-workers’ days—with his penchant for loud ‘dad’ shirts. He has one for every single day of the year.
Some of the highlights of Mike’s career include launching the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in the UK, seeing his work on the big screens at V Festival and making Starbucks sirens kiss in the name of pride.
Mike has a very happy-go-lucky, ‘why not?’ approach to creativity. He reckons when you only draw from what you know, it’s much harder to elevate the work and take it in new directions. In other words, ‘safe’ often equals ‘boring’.
It’s great advice. But it’s ironic being told not to play it safe by the guy who has 56 browser tabs open on Google right now. Just saying.
Mike goes above and beyond to achieve his goal to ‘keep it weird’, and NWO is all the better for it—both in our work and our office vibes.
Why does she say she accomplishes nothing when she appears to be one of the all-time great multi-taskers?
Well, she has started a thousand things in her life and never completed any of them. Piano, cello, netball, volleyball, basketball, writing novels, writing poetry, acting, dancing, acrobatics, choir—all have been tried, failed and given up forever.
It’s just as well because, as someone who has more job titles than Scott Morrison in a pandemic, we need her in the office. We’re not sure what’s on her business card but she acts as our junior copywriter, production coordinator, chief proofreader, project manager, office manager and social club vice-president.
Bree may be our youngest employee but her list of accomplishments belies her years. She’s already watched all 412 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, which she feels should entitle her to an honorary medical degree. She’s also memorised every single lyric of every Taylor Swift song. That particular obsession runs to attending three of her concerts (and counting) and two tattoos referencing her music (and counting). Oh yes: and she just finished her under-graduate degree in business at QUT.
Her cooking skills are non-existent, but luckily Bree lives the inner-city life, so a poke bowl or dumpling shop is never too far away. There’s also the occasional Macca’s feed after hitting the Valley nightclubs—whose menu she can recite by heart, thanks to her teen years spent in the Drive Thru trenches.
If you can’t find her in the office, just follow the sound of someone talking about the latest Netflix series. Then just give her a job to do and watch her get to it … well, straight after she’s finished listening to TayTay’s latest release. The girl has priorities, you know.
Liam was born and raised in Brisbane but escaped the oppressive heat to live in London and Hong Kong (and then found it again in Guam) for seven years.
Now back in his hometown, he carries with him the secrets of a journey well-travelled—from paying his way through uni as a roadie for ska band The Furious Turtles, to winning Australian and international advertising and production copywriting awards throughout his career.
We’re sure we can thank his time on the road—it's classified but imaginably riddled with life-altering stories—for the effortless creativity he brings day to day. Second to that, maybe also his time at industry-renowned AWARD School.
Speaking of formative experiences, Liam’s gruff exterior was carefully constructed back in his boarding school days, when he was an easy target as the only soft city kid among a sea of tough country kids.
He quickly discovered that no amount of skiing holidays or golfing hole-in-ones (current tally: zero from 50,000 attempts) could win the respect of teenage bogans. A lesson in humility for Liam, perhaps—we’ve all been there at some point.
Despite his otherwise bourgeois-sounding life where the (golfing) green is grassier, Liam actually knows all about the importance of sacrifice.
After all, he cooks his famous garlic prawns every year for his family Christmas (and last year for the NWO Christmas) despite his drastic, ironic and tragic crustacean allergy. When he defeats the prawns, they defeat him right back.
You can actually cook the dish yourself following his not-so-secret recipe here. It’s delicious—you can’t take Liam’s word for it, of course, but you can take ours.
He has cooking all locked down, but he’ll be the first to tell you cleaning isn’t his area of expertise. We can’t have everything. No reason to fret, though—isn’t that what kids are for? And he’s got four of them, so he’s very good at delegating.
A of couple residents in his household live it lush and chore-free, though: his 50kg Irish Wolfhound, Luna, and his 8kg Cavoodle, Rusty. In fact, they’ve delegated to Liam the chore of walking them every morning.
Those gorgeous dogs are part of what we love about Liam, along with his dry sense of humour, his endless creative expertise and his penchant for telling a good story—whether it’s through an ad script, or just a weekend anecdote.
She makes a splash in the NWO studio, but the real party starts when Kimi gets home.
With a glass of natural wine in hand, she relaxes to the sweet symphony of her sewing machine and the Real Housewives of wherever. She’ll proudly tell you she’s seen every episode.
In her heart, she’s a rich housewife. But in her clever brain, she’s an ambitious, talented entrepreneur.
As a side hustle, she sews and sells custom leather bags, purses and earrings. She stocks them at Forge Forward in Fortitude Valley and the Home of the Arts in the Gold Coast (so go check ‘em out).
The biz was even featured in Frankie Magazine—who absolutely frothed over her two-toned, gold snake tote bag.
The next enterprise ambition on Kimi’s list is a doggy day-care. She lives and breathes for animals of all kinds.
She says could fall in love with an earthworm, although she’d probably feed it to her budgies if they asked her to. Kimi is loyal to Patsy and Tina before anything else.
Named after Patsy Cline and Tina Arena, her babies represent just a smidge of Kimi’s music taste, which she describes as ‘dad music’.
To stick with the household theme, Kimi’s partner Levi decided to pursue a career as a drummer, composer and music mix engineer. Sometimes he sings backup to Kimi’s karaoke rendition of Private Dancer.
Kimi’s custom illustration is one of the things that make our work really special. She’s an amazing problem solver and collaborator, and her favourite part of the job is illustrating video storyboards that our animators bring to life.
Rather than ‘designer’, Kimi’s most well-known around the office as ‘Lady President of the Social Committee’. She makes sure we have cake and sparkling wine on birthdays, takeout lunch on Fridays and the trendiest Christmas venue booked by September every year.
NWO’s social scene would truly be lost without Kimi.
There’s so much more to Marnie than just her role at NWO.
To start with, Marnie’s our personal photographer for many of our staff headshots. It’s an equal trade because we let her put her four years of art school to good use—never mind that she already does that with her side hustle photography business.
Actually, there are many ways art school shaped her into the artist she is today. It taught her that there’s art in absolutely everything. It’s where she discovered wine. And for her Honours project, she explored how the innocence of childlike expression unlocks free creativity—a sentiment that inspired her ‘teenage’ rap band, Origami Girls. Their music video for hit single 'Rapp' is one of our all-time favourites.
But two-and-a-half years ago, Alma took over the role of childlike expression—and he’s got it down pat. Marnie says her toddler runs her world and is the centre of her purpose. As far as bosses go, he’s a pretty cute one.
If Alma is Marnie’s boss, Mark is her partner in crime. It was love at first sight when they rocked up to their first date eight years ago and discovered they both owned convertibles. The adventurous pair climbed more than 4km above sea level on Manaslu for Marnie’s 30th—just the next step up from her 18th birthday skydiving trip.
Of all the musical talent we have rocking here at NWO, Marnie’s probably takes the cake.
It all started with a pair of drumsticks, dreams of an all-girl band and a healthy crush on Zac Hanson. In high school, Marnie fantasised about opening for Zac on tour before riding off into the moonlight with him.
But the reality was a little less dreamy and a whole lot louder: a decade spent playing for an improvised noise band in warehouses and DIY festivals. And improvised noise was only the beginning of her music career.
Now, Marnie’s checked off all the genres: from emo and garage to bubble gum rock. In the spare time she can’t possibly have, she’s captured every era of her music over the past decade through her video production business, Bare Pictures.
Beyond the creative vision we see in her music videos, Marnie has extensive experience producing TVCs for big biz dogs like the NRL, Samsung and Australian Ballet.
Marnie’s blue-sky ideas and energetic enthusiasm for our projects challenge the rest of us to do and be better—and we just love her for it.
It’s clear to us that William was custom-built for his role as account manager (business growth), but there’s a lot more to him than WIP reports and BD timelines.
Like his first love: music.
From building music festival sets for global icons like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande—good mates of his, apparently—to running his own music biz where he managed local artists, William is what we would call ‘the artsy type’.
But despite his natural talents on guitar and piano, rumour has it he can’t even read sheet music. Didn’t bode well for the paperwork. Maybe that’s why he swapped his Yamaha keyboard for a wireless Apple one.
And so, music’s loss became advertising’s gain.
William’s young looks belie a wealth of industry experience. While he co-ran a creative agency, he stocked his blazer sleeves with some tricks that have majorly delighted us at NWO.
In return for choccy treats during our fortnightly client services meeting, William uses his top-notch strategy brain to challenge our discovery process and contribute invaluable insight into our projects.
He won’t compromise on meeting his clients’ deadlines—the guy is dedicated, what can we say? But we hear he’s actually pretty flexible on the balance beam, thanks to years of gymnastics training.
His impressive sense of balance comes in handy every now and then when he’s across the globe shredding the ski slopes (his happy place, if the cheesy photographed grins are any indication).
When he started with us, we immediately got him on the tools. And by the tools, we obviously mean the coffee machine. Lately, we’ve been lost without an office barista, so he couldn’t have joined us at a better time.
Strategy and marketing have always come naturally to Greg. He is both fluent in ‘marketing speak’ and impressively able to communicate with non-marketing natives. But there’s much more to uncover beyond his business acumen.
Greg’s our resident Kiwi, bringing with him stories of the beautiful Aotearoa landscape and all the silly adrenaline pursuits that come with it—like his (potentially mid-life crisis-inspired) 50th birthday skydiving adventure.
The thrill seeking continued beyond New Zealand. His move to Australia was bracketed by swims with whale sharks in Mexico, shivery fishing in the Arctic Circle and months of backpacking through the Middle East. Although, he hasn’t yet made his way to India, which is rich with his family history—but it’s on the bucket list.
Greg’s family is his world. While Greg is a natural leader in the workplace, he’s married to a Leo (his wife Jo), who was destined to wear the proverbial pants in their household. He’s immensely proud of his son, Daniel, who inherited Greg’s football stardom and carries the torch since Greg’s body decided his glory days are long over. Greg is now coach to Daniel, to cope with his retirement from playing football and tennis. His golf glory days are still alive and well.
Greg is a fan of many thought-provoking quotes, such as: “hope is not a strategy”, “good is the enemy of great” and “hot chips taste better when they belong to someone else”. His seagull tendencies make lunch with Greg a high-stakes experience.
A big believer that humour can lighten even the most challenging of situations, Greg is always earning laughs around the office—making him a perfect addition to the team.
Tim joined the NWO team last year and since then we have unearthed a plethora of interesting snippets about the life of Tim. Now it’s time to share that with the outside world.
For example, although born in Brisbane, Tim grew up on the island of Borneo in Malaysia before moving back to Brisbane at age 16 and attending boarding school. Sorry, but all boarding school stories remain classified.
With that cultural background, Tim is fortunate enough to speak three languages—English, Bahasa Melayu and Hakka, a Chinese dialect. Actually, he speaks a few Chinese dialects so calling Tim trilingual might actually be selling him short.
When he was younger, he was quite the tennis player and travelled extensively around south-east Asia for tournaments. Luckily for Rafa and Roger, he decided to swap the racquet for a MacBook and pursued his career in advertising.
Regrets, he’s had a few. Like being a guinea pig in clinical trials in exchange for a few bucks. Or the free tattoo of a hotel safe code he got as a dare. Many expensive laser sessions later, it turns out it wasn’t a ‘free’ tattoo at all.
He has been on road trips around Iceland in winter, adds salt to Coke, is a mad Manchester United fan and a former cover band lead singer. He really rocks it on karaoke nights.
Despite all these interesting tidbits, Tim is most well-known for his sneaker collection, admitting to ownership of more than 100 pairs. But we suspect the number is way higher. Rarely a week goes by at NWO HQ without a couple of shoe-box-sized deliveries arriving for Mr Kho.
Tim is happily married (well, he’s happy at least) and can sniff a good lunch from five desks away. As his clients will attest, Tim is full of energy and curiosity and that makes him a great member of the NWO family.