Combating Burnout in the Design Industry | Melbourne Design Week

Combating Burnout in the Design Industry | Melbourne Design Week

An engaging forum discussing health, well-being, workplace culture, productivity and psychological health within the design industry.


About this Event

Melbourne Design Week is Australia’s leading annual international design event. It responds to the appetite and need for meaningful opportunities to experience, communicate and think about design. In 2020 Melbourne Design Week asks participants to respond to the central question ‘How can design shape life?’

In an industry traditionally known for burnout; are we practicing what we preach? Are we creating spaces in our own studios that promote and encourage wellness? We’re here to identify the small steps in the larger idea that shaping our workforce, ultimately shapes the cities we live in.

Join us for a timely conversation lead by Melissa Marsden, Founder + Director of COMUNiTI, with a panel of experts crossing the fields of workplace well being and mental health and the translation of these into the people and culture of the design industry.


Melissa is a leading expert in creating high performing work environments. With over 20 years experience working at the intersection of design and performance, she redefines workspaces to support effective, efficient and engaged teams who are the heart of every high performance business.

As Founder and Director of COMUNiTI, she works with CEOs, CFO’s and the leaders of People & Culture. Together they reimagine their work environments, create possibilities to bring their brand story to life and enable their teams to perform at their best. As a commercially focused team, COMUNiTI work with you to unlock the intelligence already within your business ecosystem to create high performance work spaces tailored to your needs. A space that tells your organisations story has a powerful message, beyond words, that compels individual behaviours to align with organisational values.

Melissa seeks inspiration and inspires others to embrace opportunities to make a difference. As a passionate advocate for parents returning from parental leave, she believes in ensuring everyone feels valuable, viable and visible, throughout this important time

Join Melissa for an immersive and lively conversation with an exceptional panel –


– Mental Health, Wellbeing and Performance.

Dr Adrian Medhurst is an organisational psychologist and co-founder of wellbeing-performance profiling and analytics company. He dedicates himself to bringing out the best of people and organisations through a synchronised focus on high performance and wellbeing, bringing the science and data to back it up.


– People + Culture, Workplace Trends and Evolution

Kathryn Bonning leads the People & Culture team nationally at Architectus, tasked with supporting a collaborative, safe and respectful workplace. She develops and executes the people strategy that underpins the group’s objective to become an employer of choice in the architecture and design industry by 2021.


– Ergonomics Professional + Workplace Health Advisor

Sara is a human-centred design strategist. She is the managing director of an Asia-Pacific consultancy practice, Viva! Health at Work (cognitive, physical, and organisational analysis per human factors & ergonomics design in industrial and office settings, including workplace wellbeing programs). She is a certified professional ergonomist (one of fewer than 85 in Australia).

Our goal is for this to event to be a conversation in itself. We want questions asked, thoughts shared and theories pushed. Sparking change through information sharing and guiding you to any change decisions you need to make.

This event is part of Melbourne Design Week 2020, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.


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