Meet the upstart team

4 August 2017

Written by: Jessica Coates

Another semester is under way and we're welcoming a new editorial team.

Julienne Carey, Editor

Julienne is completing a Bachelor of Media and Communication after almost acquiring her Bachelor of Media Studies at La Trobe before moving overseas. She has worked as a senior communications specialist in not-for-profit organisations around the world, including 12 years in Thailand and Vietnam with UNICEF, UNESCO and Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. An accredited mediator, Julienne is currently consulting for development organisations in Australia, freelance editing, and writing speeches. She is co-editing upstart and looking forward to increasing the site’s visibility with some rocking and relevant stories from this semester’s fabulous upstart team.


Jessica Coates, Editor

Jess is in her final year of a Bachelor of Media and Communications (Journalism) at La Trobe University. She moved to Melbourne from the Albury-Wodonga region to pursue journalism studies.  Jess is passionate about the world around her and has a keen interest in all things politics. In February 2017, Jess completed an internship with The Border Mail. Outside of university, Jess enjoys swimming, music, the Sydney Swans and drinking copious amounts of tea. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter @JessCoates4



Chiefs of Staff


Aseel Sammak

Aseel Sammak is a fifth year bachelor of laws/ Bachelor of Arts major in journalism student. She is the co-founder and co-editor in chief of Podium Magazine. Aseel is an active community member and is the vice-president of a youth organisation named Famsy Victoria. Previously, Aseel was elected into the role of Education Vice-President at the Latrobe Student Union and served as the Vice President of the Islamic Society for three years. Aseel hosted a radio show in 2016 named TAKAZ on SYN radio station. She also has been the art and graphics director for Rabelais Magazine for 2016. She is passionate about social justice, cultural diversity, women’s rights and equal representation.  Aseel is very excited to be part of the upstart team and cannot wait to engage and tell the untold stories.  Follow her on Twitter @aseelsammak


Tim Thorpe

Timothy Thorpe is a third-year Bachelor of Arts (Communications Major) student with a background in information technology (IT). Upon completing a Diploma of IT at Victoria University in 2014, Timothy was eager to merge the skills he developed with his passion for writing and further his studies. In his spare time, Timothy is the founder, editor and publicist of his own brand, The Local Frequency (TLF), a blog dedicated to the sumptuous sounds the city of Melbourne has to offer. With hip-hop as the focal point, all things associated with the genre are explored to reveal the incredible and under-appreciated culture in Melbourne.



Jed Lanyon

Jed is a third-year Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sport Journalism) student at La Trobe University. He is passionate about sports, including football, basketball and mixed martial arts. Jed is a presenter on the weekly Sportdot podcast where he discusses and debates news in the world of sport, and also contributes to the Fox Media Academy. Jed aspires to write and cover UFC once he finishes his degree. You can follow him on Twitter: @JedLanyon




Jess Jones

Jessica is currently completing her third year of a bachelor of media and communication specialising in journalism. She writes for Society19 and loves music, animals, v8 supercars, reading and caffeine. Jessica is incredibly pleased to be working as a Chief of Staff for Upstart this semester and has loved gaining experience across all forms of media throughout her degree. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @JessPowell10 and Jessica.Santangelo.Powell respectively.



Rhiann McNally 

Rhiann graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts having co-majored in Journalism and Media. She then began working as a freelance journalist, and a content specialist at a digital marketing agency. While working as a content specialist she wrote for top brands and firms and gained practical skills in SEO, research and content strategy. She is currently studying a Graduate Diploma of Communication (Journalism Innovation). She’s a self-described film buff, TV connoisseur, and internet enthusiast with an interest in the politics, culture, feminism and the media industry. You can find her on Twitter at @rhiannmcnally or see her portfolio at


Staff Writers


Andrew Hadley

Andrew has recently moved from Adelaide to Melbourne to study a Master of Communication (Public Relations) at La Trobe University. After completing a Bachelor Degree of Journalism/Arts (Creative Writing) at the University of South Australia he went on to work at the Adelaide-based music/pop culture website Rip It Up, which has since shut down. Andrew has a passion for the arts, especially music, and has interviewed bands including The Smith Street Band, Neon Indian and Mogwai. He also has a passion for travel, and went on a semester exchange to Northern Arizona University during his undergraduate degree. You can follow him on Twitter @Andy_Handley


Brittany Basco

Bri is in her final year of completing a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) at La Trobe University as an exchange student from Louisiana State University. She is studying to be an art therapist. Bri loves traveling, writing music, blogging, doing acrobatic yoga, and well, pretty much everything. She has written and photographed for Legacy Magazine, Dig Magazine, and freelances regularly. She is co-founder of an international project known as Creative Mirror, a national champion weightlifter, and dreams of working for National Geographic. You can follow her Instagram here: Brithephotographer.


Christian Janev

Christian is a fourth year student studying a double degree of Law and Media at La Trobe University. He has an interest in the rapid change of fair use in the media and the rights of people using and reusing media to educate, entertain and express. Among other things, he has created short films, podcasts and started a YouTube channel. Christian is excited to dive into online editing and writing. He hopes to gain further experience and to learn about the various ways information is communicated to consumers. You can follow him on Twitter @christianjanev



Claire Morley

Claire Morley is a Melbourne dwelling journalist, who is finally on the cusp of finishing her Bachelor of Media and Communications. With her finger firmly pressed upon the raging pulse of Australia’s music industry and arts scene, she often fills the pages of Beat Magazine, and less frequently appears on her own blog called Vanity Claire. She likes dogs and fries, dislikes the patriarchy, and sleeps on a silk pillowcase. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMorley_ or find her hiding in a bathroom somewhere.



Christopher Chrysostomou 

Christopher is a third-year Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sport Journalism) student at La Trobe University. Christopher is a lover of all things sport, namely AFL, EPL, NBA and WWE. Christopher’s journalistic experience includes writing for 1116 SEN, AFL Europe and the Northern Football League and his own blog Sportdot. Christopher can also be heard weekly on The Sportdot Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter: @MrCdotC



Daniel Freeman

Daniel Freeman is a third-year Bachelor of Media and Communication (Sports Journalism) student at La Trobe University. He has a keen passion for all things sport, namely AFL and NBA. You can check out his writing on the sports blog, Sportdot, and he can be heard on the Sportdot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter: @dlfree3.




Fraser Stewart

Fraser is a third-year Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sport Journalism) student at La Trobe University. Fraser has written for various media outlets such as Outisde90 and The Roar with a mix of football (soccer) and rugby union articles. Fraser is currently doing an internship with Super Rugby franchise The Melbourne Rebels, where he has written match reports for home games, feature stories for the match day program and hard news stories for the Rebels website. Fraser has a very keen interest in rugby union and one day hopes to be a rugby union journalist. Fraser is also part of a podcast called The Almost Hopefuls where he and two other class mates talk about unusual sports. You can follow Fraser on Twitter: @F_Stewart95


Freja Johansen

Freja is a third-year bachelor of Communication and Media at Aalborg University, Copenhagen. She’s a diving loving Dane who loves anything underwater related. She thrives in the times of the digital natives, and speaks fluent SoMe. Freja runs on coffee, and would describe herself as a creative soul, who strives to produce personal and current content. In Copenhagen, Freja worked as a web assistant at a computer magazine, where she gained experience in writing for a website and creating social media content. She’s looking forward to join the team at upstart where she’s hoping to develop her journalistic skills. Her dream is to one day work as an underwater videographer. You can follow Freja on twitter: @frejaloof


Jacob Manzie

Jacob Manzie is a third-year Media and Communication (Sports Journalism) student at Latrobe University. Jacob is from Essendon, in the northwest of Victoria and loves all things sport. Some of his journalistic experience comes from writing for local football publications in Melbourne which involves interviewing, writing feature articles and reviews and previews for games over the season. You can follow Jacob’s journey on twitter @jacob_manzie



James Oruba

James is a final-year journalism student at La Trobe University. His interests include Football, music with guitars in it, and investigating how Kepler Bradley never won a Brownlow Medal. Upon the completion of his degree, James aims to further involve himself in the journalism industry and travel overseas. Throughout his time at Upstart, he aims to further develop his skills as a writer. You can follow him and his musings on life through twitter here @jamesoruba95.



Jessica Neale

Jessica is a third year Bachelor of Media and Communications student, with a Journalism major and Social Media minor. She has a passion for overseas travel, cramming as many trips into each year as her busy lifestyle and her bank account allows. Jessica also has a keen interest in music and art and enjoys attending music and art events and festivals around Victoria. During the football season she spends her weekends officiating as an umpire for AFL Victoria. Through writing for upstart, Jessica hopes to gain valuable experience to take with her in the future, where she hopes to combine her interests in writing and video production in a broadcast journalism role. You can follow Jessica on Twitter at @_jessneale


Jarryd Barca

Jarryd Barca is a third-year Media and Communication (Sport Journalism) student at La Trobe University. Jarryd is from the Northern suburbs of Victoria and has a keen eye for sports, particularly the AFL. Jarryd currently writes for Footy Prophet and is completing his internship at the Northern Football League, where he writes match reports and interviews coaches from around the league. You can follow him on Twitter: @j96barca




Jiordan Tolli

Jiordan is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University. She has a keen interest in crime, culture, lifestyle and international relations and loves to indulge in a wholesome, interesting and honest story. Outside university, she expresses her creativity through music, acting and art and almost always finds herself diving deeper into yet another bowl of edamame. While working for upstart, Jiordan is looking forward to learning more about the industry and developing new journalistic skills. You can follow her life quest on Twitter: @JiordanT



Jordyn Hoekstra

Jordyn is a second-year Bachelor of Media and Communications (Journalism) student at La Trobe University. Hailing from Geelong, she is wildly passionate about the Geelong Cats, live music, trampoline parks, social issues and Melbourne’s café scene. Apart from writing for Upstart, she is currently a staff writer for The Real Songwriters of Melbourne and is interested in helping local musicians break into the industry. When she’s not studying or writing, you can generally find her on Twitter at @jordynwrites.


Monique Quercio

Monique is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism (Sport) student at La Trobe University. Her three favourite ‘F’ words are footy, food and fashion, all things she enjoys. Monique is passionate about her footy team, Collingwood, despite the fact that they haven’t made the finals for a while. When she’s not studying, Monique can be found watching fashion and beauty videos on YouTube, or cooking vegetarian and vegan friendly alternatives of her favourite meals. You can follow her on Twitter @monlouise96



Sam Martin

Sam Martin is a third-year Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sport Journalism) student. He has a strong interest in all things sports, health, music and lifestyle. Outside of uni, he enjoys talking rubbish with his mates and following his Bombers in the footy (but don’t hold that against him). Sam is thoroughly looking forward to his role as a staff writer for Upstart. You can follow his interests and general nonsense on Twitter: @SammyyMartin5