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FOUNDER and advocate

A strategist and storyteller on a quest to do more, better

I'm a storyteller with a background in teaching English literature, a communications strategist with extensive experience of rebranding, and a change specialist who has shaped education design projects for underserved communities. Underneath it all is the kid who was always in trouble for talking too much, shouting out answers, and demanding to know 'but why?'. I'm still asking 'why' today - but now I'm working with purpose-led people to rewrite the answers when we can see that they simply aren't good enough.

Vision and values

The brand storyteller invested in change

No BS, no shady sh*t

I’ve always been a dobber when I see injustice, so I pledge to always do good business with you (and to help you uphold your integrity as a business owner and professional in every brand and marketing move you make). 

Along with a bloody good bunch of marketers from around the globe, I’ve signed up to the principles of The Ethical Move.

I’ve also created my own un-marketing manifesto, inspired by the most successful and meaningful projects I’ve worked on:

My Un-Marketing Manifesto

  1. Story drives sales
  2. Risks override rules
  3. Courage over conformity
  4. Collaboration over competition
  5. Start from the end to find your beginning
  6. Build on the borrowed and preserve your sanity
  7. Be selective don’t saturate
  8. Cultivate community not client lists
  9.  Generosity generates greatness
  10. Use the online world to get people gathering offline
Michelle's Backstory

Once upon a time

A story framework in action

The Beginning

I wrote books as a kid and dreamed of being a writer ‘when I grew up’. I helped my Dad in his work as a youth leader and was full of ideas for changing the world.

I found myself a small fish in a bloody big pond when I moved to the city for a journalism degree. It was the first knock to my confidence. A sociology subject made me doubt my intentions further. As a journalist, I risked becoming part of a world that used language to disempower, divide and dispossess.

I switched to a teaching degree, graduated, and taught history and English lit to teens. I spent my days immersed in the writing of other people.

The Middle

I moved to London and was continually drawn to roles where I worked with people who were leaving their mark on the world: writers, artists, architects, and philosophers. 

I ran networking events for children’s book writers and wrote design briefs for visionary new school buildings. I co-curated an Australian-New Zealand literature festival, drafted a novel and scored an agent.

With each new position, I reinvented myself and brought in fresh ideas from previous experiences. I developed resilience and got used to facing uncertainty with a brave face (and a little anxiety on the inside!).

But I was always juggling storytelling with full-time work. I could never commit to immersing myself in writing, or following my real dream to be a leader who inspired purposeful change for others.

The Conflict

When I returned to Australia after 12 years abroad, I began to find my voice. First a marketing role with a school, then a university and a design college. I was writing at last, building communities, and transforming businesses through rebranding.

Yet, something was missing. I was leaving out a piece of myself in each role. I longed to make a bigger impact.  

When I lost my job just after COVID hit in 2020, I sensed an opportunity. Everyone’s world was unstable. We were all ‘at-risk’. I had nothing to lose. It was time to be brave, and finally chase my dream. 

The End (but really, the new beginning)

When I launched my own business, I finally found my place. Although it has evolved since those early days, The Storytelling Business has always existed to help female business owners and marketing managers start a new chapter.

Now, I get to write words almost every day. Sometimes they’re stories for me, but mostly they’re for my community and my clients, who haven’t found the time, confidence or voice to tell their stories in the way they deserve to be told.

For too long, women have been silenced, sidelined and made to stay small. Today, we’re speaking out, creating our own systems, and reinventing the norms that define our business world and our society. 

It’s our time to reclaim our voice and change the world!

Qualifications and programs

The smarts

Learning and giving

Education

Degree
Birkbeck, University of London Arts Management
DEGREE
Deakin University, Melbourne Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies
DEGREE
Q.U.T, Brisbane Bachelor of Education (English & History)
COURSE
Australian Writers' Centre Copywriting Essentials

Pro Bono

CURRENT
VCA Access (Victorian College of the Arts) Committee Member - Marketing & Comms Lead

Mentoring

CURRENT
One Roof and PropelHer Official business mentor for members
CURRENT
Monash University - Internship Program Mentoring young women in Arts & Communications degrees
For entrepreneurs and biz owners

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