Our Team

The world of Sassi Sam couldn’t exist without the huge efforts of our team. Whether they are attending ad-hoc events, book launches, beauty launches, fashion shows, red carpet interviews, movie reviews, book reviews, or whatever comes our way, the team approach everything with gusto and I’m incredibly grateful for all their hard work, and support.

 Sam Winter Creator
  Sam Winter is an online entrepreneur who launched Sassi Sam back in 2006. A lover of all things fun and girly, Sam’s biggest passions are an holistic approach to life with a strong focus on good health and wellbeing. Keeping life as positive as possible – some days are harder than others to do that – life is Sassi and fun.
Sassi Editor
Sassi is your fun and unashamedly girly online virtual friend, created by Sam Winter seven years ago. She is a self-proclaimed shopaholic who loves fashion, beauty and pop culture. Sassi provides you with an escape into a visual pink paradise where you can see the world of fashion, beauty and pop culture through rose-coloured glasses. She’s passionate about bringing sunshine and lollipops to everyone’s day, whether it’s through pretty pictures, girlie gifts, a smile, kind words or something that has a profound impact on her immediate environment.

At The Movies

 Allison Garoza
Film has been a major part of Allison’s life. As a freelance writer and videographer (and an incurable traveler) she has worked on documentaries for lion research projects in Kenya, filmed for corporations and museums in Chicago, and braved the trials of wedding videography across the states. Having survived that, she now enjoys the much calmer job of writing in sunny Australia. With a keen interest in current movies, she loves reviewing new releases, and getting the behind the scenes scoop for Sassi Sam viewers. Ironically, her love for the camera does not extend to being in front of one, so we could only manage a picture by distracting her with a pony.
 Brigitte Trenear
Brigitte is intrigued by why people do the things that they do, and she has a keen interest in social issues. Currently working on her first novel, Finding Serenity, a story about whether the grass actually is greener on the other side; she has a background in social science and welfare work and has studied film and creative writing. Movies and books have added to her experience of life for as long as she can remember, and she enjoys sharing her views with Sassi Sam. Sitting in a theatre, inhaling the warm scent of fresh popcorn is one of her favourite things to do. That wonderful moment when everything else fades into oblivion and it’s just her and the story.
 Brooke Simmons
  Having graduated from Macquarie University with a BA (Comm.) degree, Brooke quickly moved into consultancy work with some of Sydney’s most successful houses. Brooke has managed campaigns, launches, stunts and critical media coordination for trusted, innovative clients. It came as no surprise when Brooke decided to launch her own consultancy. Based on the Central Coast, Pursuit Communications works on the principle that both large and small clients need the same kind of attention. Pursuit has attracted and managed a wide range of clients since its launch in 2009 – and covers a multitude of industries and services.
 Monique Kinerson
Monique Kinerson, passionate about films from a very young age, majored in Theatre in Education at University which involved film and media production.  Her taste in films ranges from Aliens to Zoolander with everything in between and she always enjoys the cinematic experience.  Having interviewed many famous film actors, she aims to keep broadening her horizon always learning more about the process, the inspiration and the wonder of movie magic.
 Paige Katherine
  After a brief dalliance with a career on the silver screen (by which we mean she was an extra for a day in a small Australian film and had all footage she appeared in end up on the cutting room floor) Paige resolved to live her life by the well known truth; those who can’t do, review. Paige studied Journalism and Screen Studies at university before embarking in a career in marketing and freelance copy. She likes pretentious foreign films but also has perhaps too soft a spot for bad eighties teen flicks. Don’t bother asking what her favourite movie is; the answer will change ten times over the course of the conversation.


Birgit Willadsen
Birgit – known as B to everyone but her grandmother – loves to read every genre of fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of vampire erotica. She finds it impossible to leave a bookstore or wine shop with just one new purchase and can be found most weekends on her balcony enjoying the two together. She is overly opinionated and very excited to be able to share those opinions with Sassi Sam readers and on her own blog Style from the Suburban Intellect. Even if they don’t flow at times, she is thrilled to be able to spend more of her life with words. Birgit’s favourite authors are Walter Moers, Jane Austen and Jasper Fforde.  You can follow me at my blog http://suburbanintellect.blogspot.com.au/ and on twitter @birgit_w
 Bronte Baskin
Bronte Baskin’s life mission is to read her way through a bookshop. Easy gullible, she’s a fan of the ‘Staff Recommends’ and always walks out of the store with more than what she planned for. Her ideal occupation would be to publish stories from around the world. Until her degree is over, for now Bronte is content to turn any conversation onto books and politely demand people read whatever she has just finished.
 Diane Sexton
Diane is an avid reader of all kinds of books, and will never turn down a book judged on its cover alone. Having the chance to read as many books as she can, and then have the fun of writing a review and sharing it with everyone, has been one of Diane’s lifelong dreams and so she has been thrilled to be a part of Sassi Sam’s website team. You might see Diane as she reads on public transport in Sydney, or as she catches up on a book sitting in a cafe somewhere, she’ll be the one taking notes for the review. Diane’s favourite books are too many to list here, but a small selection that she would take to a desert island might include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne.
 Georgie Carroll
Georgie is 18 and has been head-over-heels in love with reading for as long as she can remember. She’s currently finishing year twelve, and will hopefully begin an Arts Degree majoring in English next year. Georgie devours all genres, but holds a special place in her heart for YA novels. She’s a hardcore Potterhead (and is not ashamed of being a Slytherin), but her favourite author is John Green, and though choosing is hard, her favourite book is The Fault In Our Stars. While most of her friends are falling in love with real boys, Georgie’s specialty is falling in love with fictional characters. Especially those named Augustus Waters. Georgie blogs at www.frangipaniprincess.com, especially when she’s avoiding studying.
 Melinda Dias
  Melinda is a mother to two, fiance to one and half of the duo behind Shop Me Chic.  When she isn’t chasing after her two little boys or writing essays, she is keeping the local cafe in business with her coffee addiction, watching ‘Khloe & Lamar’ and indulging in a little too much online shopping.
 Nikki Griffin
Nikki Griffin is a 32 year old, freelance writer, editor, and self confessed bookworm. She has a background in sociology, a passion for travel and a small but manageable internet shopping addiction. She is currently living on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and daughter after living Abroad, and is thrilled to be back in Australia. Most days she can be found crawling around on the floor alongside her 2 year old, with a folded up tea towel stuffed into the back of her jeans, pretending to be a dinosaur.
 Rashida Tayabali
A lover of books from a young age, Rashida prefers to curl up on her sofa in the company of her book’s characters instead of watching TV or going out. Currently moonlighting as a freelance writer and mother to a one+ year old energetic toddler, she is living the ‘dream’ free from corporate struggles. Her ideal job would be working in a bookshop and borrowing all the latest books for free. She loves to travel, likes churches and refuses to go anywhere near a camping site – not enough light to read. A sucker for a love story in books and on-screen, she’s sobbed her way through movies at the cinemas much to the amusement of her male friends. You can follow Rashida’s journey as a new parent on her blog here and follow Rashida on twitter @rashidatayabali as she debates the eternal question of whether ‘to tweet or not to tweet’.
Tamsin Peters
Tamsin_Peters Tamsin is 19, although she doesn’t remember being any older than 8, and she’s always loved reading so much that she’d even sing each line as she read it when she was younger. She’s currently doing an Arts degree, hoping to major in Music and Psychology with a minor in Literature. When it comes down to it, fantasy books are her favourite and she has read Leanne Hall’s “This is Shyness” 7 times in 3 years, but don’t get her started on her favourite series because she will be telling you for hours. When she can find a spare moment in her days full of uni, being lazy and reading, Tamsin sings songs (sometimes even her own) over at www.facebook.com/tamsinlucymusic.
 Tina Gamble
Tina Gamble couldn’t imagine a life without music and books. She loves discovering new material, whether it’s a song to plug into the car as she road trips with friends down the coast or a book best read when curled up on the couch. Being a part of the Sassi Sam team allows her to delve deeper into her favourite book genre: young adult. If someone asked her why she loved reading YA she’d say: it’s a major point in time when life changes—when the world becomes real and anything seems possible. It’s first love and fights with friends, it’s learning independence and saying goodbye to a past, but most of all it’s moving forward and finding a way to deal with the many highs and lows that are bound to follow; young adult leads readers on a journey… and it’s only just the beginning.

Guest Editors

 Bronny Lane
AskBronny, formed in 2006, is Bronny’s fashion website created to demystify fashion for women in a safe, fun, interactive, online environment through advice, education and information. Bronny aims to create well dressed, confident women reflecting their true selves.
 Clare Todhunter
Clare is a journalism graduate who wears far too much glitter and has a seriously unhealthy addiction to social media. She’s a total sucker for romance novels, glossy mags and marketing gimmicks and always has her purple iPod handy. When she’s not shopping or stalking fashion blogs, she announces the news on air at Radio Metro on the Gold Coast (105.7FM). Clare blogs about her personal style, travel experiences, hot fashion finds and general headlines here. You can also follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @claretodhunter.
Emily Cantrill McGrorey
  Since I can remember I’ve always be drawn to pop culture – music, dance, fashion, photography, films – I love it all! And seeing as this is the place where we’re supposed to get to know each other I can also reveal (sad, but true) that I have an unnatural obsession with the E-channel and an embarrassingly high retention for celebrity-related information. I know far too much about the likes of Britney Spears and Beyoncé and since we’re sharing, I’ll also admit to squealing out loud when I saw Kim Kardashian in person. Apart from my addiction to pop culture and my dear affection for writing and reading I also love keeping fit, travelling, cooking and hanging our with my friends and family. I graduated from UNSW in 2003 with a BA Media & Communications majoring in English and New Media Technologies. Living in Sydney, I’m currently studying Creative Writing at UTS while working on a fictional novel and working a day job in mar-comms. You can visit my blog site here.
 Jenna Zampa
I’m a 25-year-old writer and book addict from Sydney, Australia. I love fiction of all shapes and sizes – so whether it’s young adult, classic literature or anything in between, you’ll find me with my nose stuck in it. You can see more of my book reviews and other word-nerdy fun at bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com.
 Liana Lorenzato
  Liana has over a decade of experience in marketing and communications within the lifestyle, beauty, luxury and design/interiors industries. Liana has worked with some of Australia’s most well recognized and iconic brands including Akira Isogawa, Alex Perry and many others. Liana’s unique career has seen her work for the best and brightest talent in the country. Liana focuses on public relations, brand and marketing strategy, working within realistic budgets and high expectations, providing flawless execution and measurable results for your investment. Her reputation for servicing her clients and providing concrete results has ensured LSQUAREDINK is in high demand.
 Maddison Hawkins
When she’s not tending her caffeine addiction or buying owl-shaped décor, Maddi juggles studying law and journalism at Bond University. Between studying and hitting the trails for runs, Maddi enjoys spending her weekends discovering the best coffee shops the Gold Coast has to offer.  Since she was young she wanted to write, dabbling in every genre available. These days she aspires to be the most glamorous court reporter around.


David Petranker
  A semi-pro fashion photographer/freelance photographer based in Sydney who also specialises in Film/Music/Film Noir and Major Events. David Petranker runs a photography business called Man in the Mirror Photography and a mascot business called Hammerhead Entertainment.
Melissa Hobbs

Melissa Hobbs has recently completed an Advanced Diploma in Photography and passed with Distinction. Her dream of being a professional photographer has been realised!She has experience in a variety of different photographic genres including portrait, wedding, commercial, fashion and landscape photography. She also enjoys photographing for editorials and events.

Her work has been published in books, newspapers, postcards and calendars. She has also had a solo exhibition for a series of photos she took in NYC. You will also find her work on a number of different blogs and websites. She recently did a series of photographs for Project Runway contestant Matcho Suba’s up coming collection.Melissa’s love of photography shows in her work. She loves to capture the emotion of the moment.