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Get to know our new comms and design guru

Nina Davis smiling on the viewing deck of Telstra Tower, with Lake Burley Griffin in the background

One of our recent recruits, Nina Davis, brings her graphic design, digital communications, and event management skills to the Sustineo team. As Consultant (Communications and Design), Nina has joined our project management team to help ensure our research outputs are on brand and presented in visually engaging ways. She recently sat down with Sustineo’s Ellis Mackenzie to chat about how she ended up at Sustineo and what she gets up to outside of work.

What drew you to Sustineo?

It was an opportunity a bit different to anything I’d done before – less focus on pure graphic design, with scope to expand my project management skills and continue to grow in the communications space, which is something I’ve enjoyed over the last few years. The tight-knit team was another drawcard – I prefer working in smaller, dynamic teams. Plus, I was drawn to the type of work Sustineo does, in terms of striving for social and humanitarian improvements in the communities they work with.

What skills and expertise are you bringing to Sustineo?

I’m a graphic designer by trade, with experience in general communications, and some project and event management. I’ve done a lot of work managing social media and WordPress websites, including producing visual and written content, as well as formatting research reports and designing infographics for communicating to different audience types. I’ve also become adept at designing and executing Zoom webinar series, thanks to COVID-19 travel restrictions. But graphic design is still my bread and butter – and I hope to use these skills to help Sustineo communicate the great research work they do to their various audiences and stakeholders.

What do you hope to achieve during your time at Sustineo?

I’m keen to learn more about Australia’s Pacific neighbours. I’m hesitant to admit that my geography is quite poor, and although I have a pretty good awareness of news, current affairs, and politics within Australia, it more or less stops there. I’d like to learn about the countries that Sustineo works with, what’s important to them, and how we might be able to help or support them.

What has been your biggest learning experience from your career so far?

Something that comes to mind is the range of skills learned or refined by working through a pandemic, like effective contingency planning, risk management, managing expectations, and running webinar-based events. COVID-19 has certainly provided a lesson in patience and being adaptive.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I’ve been doing pottery since I was about 9 years old. I have a great little studio in the back half of my parents’ garage that my dad and I built together a few years ago, with a pottery wheel, glazing supplies, and a large 3-phase kiln outside. I like making functional ware, like table and cooking ware.

Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

Craft! I love pottery, knitting, painting, lettering, weaving, stitching, drawing, calligraphy – any kind of creative activity that keeps my hands and mind busy, and the dining table messy!

On a more serious note, I’m also passionate about climate action, managing and minimising food waste, and just minimising my footprint on this planet in general. I’ve been referred to as a ‘waste warrior’ and I must say, I do like challenging my friends, family, and colleagues to make small changes to their lifestyles and think about the impacts that our decisions have on the planet.

What was the last book you read?

Shamefully, it was a while ago, but I think the most recent books were Just My Type: a book about fonts by Simon Garfield and The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair. I highly recommend both of these for anyone interested in trivia-like titbits, even if you’re not from a design background!

Sustineo acknowledges the Traditional owners and Custodians of this country and our Ancestors and Elders, both past, present and into the future. We also acknowledge the importance of our connections with land, sea, community and cultures.