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Hi, we're
Culture Hero


Once upon a time...


It all started with play.


After years of coaching clients and leaders, our Founder, Dara, realised that there was something missing in many professionals' lives - a sense of wonder, adventure and curiosity that we have as kids, but slowly lose as we grow up. 

So she decided to put together a summer camp for adults, Camp Kidinyou (check out the article in The Age), that was designed to help grown-ups unleash their inner kid. The idea just didn't get legs. The camp idea failed.

Instead of being discouraged, Dara repurposed the camp idea to be a place for professionals to unleash their inner creative. AHA! That worked.

And so Project Play was born in 2016. Three years later, Dara was ready to evolve the business into something more. She discovered the KaosPilot Methodology and brought on a team to help her realise her dreams of making work a better place. 

In 2019, she launched Culture Hero.

Now, as a team, we leverage our years of experience in the creative industries and intersect it with learning and development, coaching and facilitation - driving real impact and outcomes for organisations

We love creativity and play so much, it drives every aspect of what we do. 

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Dara Simkin
Founder &
Chief Play Officer 

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Dara is Culture Hero's founder and a true play pioneer. Her unique energy and enthusiasm for making this world a more playful place enables her to create safe, supportive and engaging learning environments for groups large and small. Dara is an accredited Executive Coach and has helped to unlock creative confidences across four continents for thousands of professionals — giving them space to follow their joy. Her mission is to bridge the gap between work and play making room for greater purpose and impact.

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Merrilee McCoy
Learning Designer

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A natural-born connector, Merrilee McCoy loves bringing that human touch to designing and facilitating learning spaces for organisations. She’s become known for her passionate, playful nature and her keen ability to bring diverse groups together through confidence, humour, and empathy. Merrilee’s wholly inclusive vibe brings out the best in others, allowing them to build the skill sets and mindsets needed to thrive in uncertainty. 

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Anne Pensalfini
Learning Designer


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Based in Brisbane, Anne is a facilitator of human transformation and learning. Using play and empathy to unlock deeper levels of trust, she develops cohesion in teams and connection between diverse individuals. Professional experience in Theatre, Improvisation and Early Childhood Education have given her a unique skillset.  Ten years of training in Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication gives Anne a nuanced sense of empathetic and reflective listening, and the ability to understand both complex group dynamics and individual needs. 

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Danny Ginsberg

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Danny is a passionate people  professional with a strong eye for organisational needs and workforce competencies. He has 20+ years of  experience in the corporate world with organisations like IKEA, Bunning's and SpecSavers. Danny is constantly acknowledged for his innovation and creative solutions for L+D, winning several industry awards over the last few years. In his personal life, he's directed more than 20 musical theatre productions and has been dabbling in the theatre world for decades. 

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