2022 Judges panel

A warm welcome to our incredible industry judging panel for the 2022 Awards season

Tanya Castellino Life's Little Celebrations Bio Image

Mary Ronis

Founder and Creator of
Mary Ronis Events

Mary is a coffee addict, magazine hoarder, embracer of the ridiculous, and a genuine lover of life.

She is also perfectionist, meticulous organiser and known for her attention to detail. However, the most significant factor that drives her and her work is her love for people & her deep desire of creating joy. 

Mary’s contributions to the industry include being an ambassador for Life’s Little Celebrations for the last three years, a guest speaker at conferences and online seminars, and she has been invited to speak at international forums.

Tanya Castellino Life's Little Celebrations Bio Image

Tanya Castellino

Life’s Little Celebrations

Over the last 10 years she launched the Celebrate Conference for kids event vendors in Australia, bringing together our industry along with amazing speakers. She has also founded the Celebrate Society membership, providing support, promotion and networking for vendors in our industry!

She is the founder of ‘Celebrating Little Ones’ magazine along with the well known Life’s Little Celebrations blog and directory where she showcases members of ‘The Celebrate Society’. She has grown her instagram following at to 115K + followers and developed an amazing industry community.

Her business has been featured in publications such as Donna Hay Magazine and Practical Parenting Magazine.

She is a mother of 4 and lives in Sydney and previously worked in Human Resource Management and Secondary Teaching before becoming a mum.

Caroline Hutchison Events Fantastic Bio Image

Caroline Hutchison

General Manager
Events Fantastic

She is currently leading the vibrant and creative team as the General Manager of Events Fantastic Australia, Backdrops Fantastic, Modular Backdrops Australia, and Light Up Letters.

Caroline brings with her over twelve years’ experience, having started her career in the Corporate Event world organising all aspects of conferences, awards, and company events.

Caroline is an active member of the event industry and believes in giving back to the community and industry through volunteering, sponsorship and raising the bar of excellence within the industry.

Caroline is the Vice President of Women In Tourism, and is actively involved in and a member of Meetings & Events Australia, Business Chicks, Gold Coast Tourism, and Burleigh Business Women.

Emily Jabour The Party Bebe Blog

Steve Thompson

CEO and founder

After failing year 10, mainly due to suffering from dyslexia, Steve has been involved in the Branding industry for nearly 40yrs. Over the course of his career he has worked with numerous International Organisations including CadburyCoca Cola and Streets Ice Cream.

While assisting Telecom to rebrand to Telstra in the early 1990s, Steve realised there was a gap in Australia in the emerging vehicle branding market, and in 1994 he established the first of his many companies Transcal Pty Ltd under a house in an outer suburb of Melbourne. 
Successfully hiring and mentoring staff over the past 25yrs has created opportunities for both Steve, and his employees, to share in the successes of the business while ensuring stable financial futures for all due to performance-based rewards.
Steve’s entrepreneurial skills have also involved creating companies in the fields of corporate interior design, lingerie, and international business activities in India, where he spent 50% of his time in the 10yrs prior to the pandemic. 

A keen photographer, he has also recently completed writing his 1st novel based on the true story of one of Australia’s 1st interracial families.

Kyla Daniels Cakes by Kyla Bio Image

Dean Salakas

Chief Party Dude
The Party People 

Dean has worked in the party industry since the age of 4 where he would put sand in bags for his parents to make balloon weights for the family business.

Dean serves on the advisory board of the Online Retail Summit and Etail Australia conferences, as well as an advisor to retail tech businesses.

The Party People is a proud member of PEBA (pro environment balloon alliance), a founding member of BASA (Balloon Artists and Supplies Association Australia) and founding member of QBN (Qualatex Balloon Network).

The Party People is Australia’s largest physical store with over 20,000 party products all in one location. The Party People is a highly decorated awards winner having been recognised by the Australia Retail Association, and National Retail Association awards, as well as the inaugural winner of the 2021 Partyware Supplier Of The Year Award.

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Julia Rose

Rockstar Florist and Owner
Flowers by Julia Rose

Julia is known for creating branding images for growers and internationally recognized brands, including billboards, large-scale media campaigns, social media and red carpet events; including designing a floral gown for the red carpet at the Film and TV awards.

Her list of achievements spans incredible industry and creative sectors with her most recent achievement a personal invitation to display at the Chelsea Flower Show. Appointed Creative Director and Arts Curator for the Main Beach Spring Flower Festival, she has Conducted Demonstrations and Workshops throughout Australia, Japan, Indonesia, and the USA.

Julia’s work sees her create Fresh floral fashion pieces on roaming Models for VIP parties & celebrity events, and exhibiting on the main stage with a demonstration at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

She has designed promotional imagery for the Australian Flower Festival 2017 & World Flower Summit 2018, with Media installs and drives for Botanical Bazaar – Gold Coast Garden expo and the Ekka – Royal Brisbane Show 2017-18. 

A Judge in the National ‘Rockstar’ Florist Competition Australia; the Prize for the competition to spend a day with her and create an Avante Garde piece.

Her designs feature in worldwide campaigns, as well as national and international fashion magazines in
over 80 countries. Julia has designed countless Cover images for print and online publications.

You will have seen her floral design work on Channel 7s wedding series. Plus feature designs for international television shows with 10 and 9.

She is the Curator for the Brisbane Arcade’s inaugural Spring Flower Show. And when she’s not designing or creating she writes for the Australian Floral Industry Magazine, several Queensland wedding magazines, and Tesselaars.

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Rachel Leonhardt

Secrets of the Ordinary

Rachel is known for her energy and expertise in turning utter chaos into a workable calm. Known to inspire and empower people to create events that ignite empathy from within, she will inspire you to create events that you are proud of.
Her experience in the industry is widely varied from theatre and live event stage
management, across property broadcasting, event planning and coordination to coaching
and training in these areas.
Rachel was born in Brisbane, Queensland and practically raised in the theatre world with both parents also being engaged in the industry. It was just normal family life. This
allowed Rachel’s imagination to flourish and as she grew her want to bring childhood emotions to life for everyone to experience is what drew her back from the
corporate world to where she is now.

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Sharon Begley

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Renu Wasal

CEO and founder

Community work has been the essence of her family life growing up. And since graduating she has worked in multiple countries and industries such as Pharmaceuticals, and Health and Technology. No matter where she is and what she has done her purpose has been to drive a positive change in people’s lives. 
As a parent to two beautiful children Renu realised the importance of good education. She feels every child deserves the opportunity to be educated and have all resources available to them no matter where they live. Renu’s vision is to make this intention a reality through GoLove. 
Shelley Sykes Favour Lane Party Bio Image

Alexandra (Alex) Bull

Founder and Director of
Ruby Rabbit

Coming from a background in professional event planning in the Sydney entertainment and hospitality industry, Alex has now been hand curating modern party goods that inspire on-trend themes and bringing celebrations to life for the professional party maker and DIY party lover for almost a decade. She works closely with some of the top stylists and planners in Australia building relationships with like minded industry professionals.

With a Business Degree plus her event management and customer service background Alex established Ruby Rabbit when she knew she needed to balance career and motherhood.  

Based in Sydney and delivering Australia wide Ruby Rabbit offers the most gorgeous collection of party goods guaranteed to make your celebration amazing.

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Marios Joseph

Eventis Weddings & Events

Designing, planning and styling parties and events is what Marios does best along with a carefully curated collection of on trend hireable props and decor.
Before starting an events business Marios spent a good part of his career within the Hospitality and Events industry from operations, to sales and marketing working for some of Sydney’s renowned luxury hotels and events spaces.
At EVENTIS Weddings & Events, the team understands that a successful and stylish event creates memories that matter. Whether it be weddings, birthday celebrations, christenings and other private events or an elegant and intimate soiree to a bold and luxurious affair, your event will make a statement to your guests.

“We pride ourselves on traditional customer service values, going above and beyond in exceeding our clients’ expectations.” Marios

Kirsty Chapman-Smith Discount Party Supplies

Pelin is a mother of two, and prior to starting a family she spent 11 years working in function management across hotels in Perth which followed her early career life in Real Estate.

After planning tons of events for family and friends Pelin decided to start her own business in the party industry. Since starting her business she has been featured in Confetti Fair, and Life’s Little Celebrations magazines and has been a Rising Star of the Year finalist in 2021. Picture Perfect Planning was also recognised in the top 10 Party Stylist of the Year finalists in their first year of business.

Having since expanded from event styling by purchasing a second business, Perth High Chair Hire, in her second year of business Pelin has been going from strength to strength serving her clients. 

With a love of coordinating and creating her own concepts, thinking creatively and outside the box for creating those memorable moments Pelin likes to bring her unique and personalised service and ideas to each clients event. 

Pelin takes the greatest satisfaction in seeing clients happy and excited! And her favourite part of the job is the reviews she receives from her clients.

“Creating beautiful memories is what I love to do…” Pelin

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Nicole Jeffrey

Kids Pamper Parties

Nicole’s career foundation was set originally in the graphic design space, coupling that with 6 years in the events industry, and a background as a professional makeup artist Nicole saw an opportunity to create a unique business idea and several years ago launced Kids Pamper Parties. 
Now leading a large team of makeup artists, and beauticians within the kids entertainment space, she has been acknowledged by both her local business awards, and the best of beauty awards.
With an invitation to join The Sydney Royal Easter Show she has since adapted the business model to become a stand partner at this annual event.
Kids Pamper Parties provide pamper services to their clients across a large part of NSW.
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