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Our 2024 Judges

With a judging panel including academics, business executives, entrepreneurs and innovators, the REB Awards is peer-reviewed recognition of your capabilities in real estate and passion for driving the industry forward.

Andrew Phanartzis
Andrew Phanartzis
Property Association

Andrew Phanartzis is currently the Director of Property Association, a consultancy firm for residential developers in Australia. The company offers a suite of services including, acquisition, planning, creative, sales and property management.

Andrew is extremely motivated, knowledgeable, loyal and reliable. He prides himself in exceeding expectations, adding dollar value to clients and sets the bar high. He believes the property market is dynamic and constantly evolves his strategic approach to enhance its effectiveness.

Andrew’s exposure to large residential developments, master planned communities and house and land subdivisions has provided a wealth of experience with some of the largest developers in Australia.

Andrew is a licenced real estate agent, holds a BA in Human Resource Management & English from the University of NSW and has completed PS146 Financial Planning qualifications.

Brett Spencer
Brett Spencer
Docuscan Australia

Brett is a second-generation mortgage stalwart, having been actively involved in the Mortgage & Finance industry for over 30 years after starting his career working at the family-owned lender Interstar (now Advantedge). He then went onto to run the Stargate Group where he pioneered outsourced mortgage processing services by creating the first BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) operation for Mortgage Brokers and was instrumental in introducing the first Mortgage Broker CRM Systems in the early 2000’s, used by over 5000 mortgage brokers prior to its acquisition by then ASX listed Rubik Financial Limited (RFL).
Instead of moving off into the sunset, Brett set about using AI to build industry leading platforms for Brokers, Lenders and Real Estate Professionals using his vast experience to bring Drag & Drop Data Capture solutions to facilitate digital customer acquisitions.
He also serves as the current Board member of the FBAA to give back to the industry that has given him so much, to support a team that he respects and to help shape a better industry for all of its participants. He is passionate about meeting people and hearing their stories, but most passionate about helping them achieve their goals.

Fiona Blayney
Fiona Blayney
Founder and CEO,
Real Plus

Fiona Blayney is CEO and Founder of the highly successful consultancy, training, recruitment and outsourced services business Real+. Over sixteen years she has developed a reputation for being one of the best business strategy, talent and growth specialists around.

Fiona’s energetic and motivational presence has ensured popularity at industry events. Regularly acting as MC, performing keynote presentations; and facilitating workshops and panels across Australia, NZ, and abroad. Together with TRET she also delivers the annual ARPM conference.

Widely known for her no holds barred approach, Fiona believes her role as an Industry Thought Leader is to push boundaries, challenge the status quo and in general “break stuff” with veterans and start-ups alike.

Jason Back
Jason Back
Broker Essentials

Jason is the Director of Broker Essentials and is Australia’s leading Mortgage Broker Mentor and sort after media commentator. In 2016 Jason foundered Broker Essentials and launched a training program for brokers after years of inquiries into the best practices and habits of a high-performance business.
Jason was named 2021 Mentor of the Year at The Adviser Better Business awards, 2021, APAC Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 - Financial Services, ABA 2020 Mentor of the year, and AMA 2020 Service provider of the year. He was the Managing Director of The Australian Lending & Investment Centre (ALIC) and has been instrumental in taking ALIC to the forefront of the mortgage brokering industry. In 2014,15,16 and 2017 ALIC was voted the top independent brokerage of the year by Mortgage Professional Australia, Australia’s best brokerage in 2014 & 15 at the Australian Mortgage Awards and MFAA in 2016 and 2018.

Jason has over 30 years’ experience in the finance sector, having worked in senior sales, distribution and management roles for ANZ and having provided financial advice and services on behalf of financial planning, equity trading platforms, private banking, lending and retail distribution brands.

More details can be found on LinkedIn and at Broker Essentials

Jess Densley
Jess Densley
Jess Densley Real Estate Coach

Jess Densley is the founder of the Elite Agency Success System, a leading real estate consultancy group working with business owners and sales people to achieve peak performance in their business worldwide.
He has previously been a high performing real estate agent ranked in the top 2% of agents in Australia, inside the countries largest franchise group operating from a regional market place. Jess also has been a leading business owner who operated an awarding winning real estate business that was crowned the number one regional business a record 4 times across Victoria & Tasmania.
As well as being a leading sales coach, Jess also has credentials as an accredited level one (ICG) human behaviour coach working with corporate organisations on unlocking potential in their individuals and teams.

Joshua Firth
Joshua Firth
Managing Director,
The dubs

Josh has a career spanning over 30 years helping finance brands build their audience with content that people want to watch, read and share.
Originally a finance journalist by trade with News Corp, he’s worked across Australia, Asia and the UK with giants in media, big banks and the world’s biggest internet company, Google.

In 1996 Josh co-founded financial content marketing agency The Dubs and has since been helping Australia’s finance brands create engaging content that makes them stand out. Working with big brands like Westpac, CBA, ANZ, BT Financial, TAL, and Citi, Josh has led the agency to create content that helps clients grows brand credibility, audience engagement and scale across global markets.

Melanie Hoole
Melanie Hoole
Digital Marketing Strategist,

Melanie Hoole specialises in social media marketing; helping real estate professionals perfect their personal brand, build a first-class digital profile, and implement inbound marketing activities to attract home sellers and find more listings. If you’re looking for digital marketing or social media help, but are unsure where to start, contact Melanie at or read her #digithoole insights at

Neville Hurst
Neville Hurst
Senior lecturer,
RMIT University

Neville Hurst is a senior lecturer in property studies at RMIT University, Victoria, Australia. Originally trained as an electrical engineer he has worked extensively in industry and for the last 33 years in the property sector as a practitioner and academic. Prior to joining education Neville owned and operated his own real estate agency for many years selling and managing properties on behalf of clients. A significant part of this business was a business brokerage run in partnership with his business partner. Academically Neville’s research interest focuses on real estate industry practices, valuation practices, housing markets and in particular energy efficient housing. Currently undertaking his Phd, Neville is investigating real estate agent attitudes and engagement with sustainable housing and is working with peak industry bodies to create greater awareness of the importance of energy efficient housing for a sustainable future.

Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch
National Client Relationship Manager,

Peter Lynch is a leader in Professional Indemnity Insurance in the real estate, valuation and management right industry sectors.

He boasts over 30 years’ experience with Aon Risk Solutions and as the Client Manager is responsible for developing new business within the real estate sector including the identification of business opportunities with franchise groups and other stakeholders.

He took a significant role in providing advice and support to introduce a Real Estate specific indemnity insurance scheme and is responsible for the highly successful REIQ/REINT schemes which he coordinated with the assistance of industry, lawyers, underwriters and claims staff.

Peter has a strong interest in promoting safe and quality business practices in real estate and has been a regular contributor to course materials, presentations and editorial submissions. He has been called upon to be a guest speaker at training forums for the REIQ, REIA, REINT, REIWA and various franchise groups.

Peter also provides individual Risk Management training to a number of his Franchise Group clients.

Rex Afrasiabi
Rex Afrasiabi
Principal Lawyer,
M A Legal

Rex is a principal and the founder of M A Legal. Rex started M A Legal with an immense drive to help his clients achieve success within the framework of the law.

Rex has an extensive legal background holding roles as General Manager and Legal Counsel for a large manufacturing distribution company, Senior Solicitor acting for members of the BRW 1000 Entrepreneurs List as well as legal counsel for government bodies and charitable organisations.

He is known for his business acumen and ability to guide clients not only through complex commercial litigation and business negotiation but in their strategic growth and planning needs. He has played a pivotal role not only in start-ups but in existing large enterprises with his clients comprising real estate moguls and business leaders.

Rex brings a unique and fresh perspective to legal challenges in business and commerce as he himself engages in significant property development ventures, sits on a number of boards as well as is a founding director of the charity, Build 4 Kids Inc.

Rex develops and extremely strong rapport with his clients and is driven to achieve the best possible outcomes for them and in return has built a significant and loyal following. He is an extremely passionate individual who does not do anything in half measures; it takes one look at his collection of motor and boxing memorabilia to know that he will fight for his clients. His lovely demeanour aside, he is fierce and fearless in all his pursuits.

Rex is a family man having welcomed his daughter into the world in 2017 and has an ambitious list of pursuits outside of work not limited to snowboarding, racing cars and motorbikes, boxing, weight training, enjoying a good wine and espresso martini, and travelling.

Alison Morgan
Alison Morgan
Director ,

Alison Morgan is a specialist online Business Coach based in Sydney, working 1:1 with Business Owners and Brands to create tailored Marketing and Business solutions.

Alison launched Relauncher 11+ years ago. During this time she has mentored over 500 clients 1:1 to set up, grow or evolve their businesses.

Alison’s Mindfulbiz Podcast is designed to help Small Business Owners with tips and insights. Search for Mindfulbiz Podcast on Apple / Spotify / Amazon Music and you’ll find it!

Alison is also founder of Sticky Studio; a boutique branding, website, packaging and marketing solutions studio. The studio specialises in creating brands that stick.

In addition, Alison is a respected Influencer and Content Creator.

Vasili Hadzellis
Vasili Hadzellis
Head Consultant | Trainer | Coach,
Core Property Management Consulting Australia

Vasili Hadzellis is an award-winning business coach and consultant who made an impact on the world of real estate at 17 years old. In a gutsy move, he left his lucrative career with one of Australia’s largest Real Estate Corporations to start his own business and fulfil his passion for making a difference in the industry he loves.

As Core Property Management Consulting Australia, Vasili helps hundreds of real estate agents Australia-wide get passionate about Property Management and business growth.

Known for his unlimited energy and enthusiasm, Vasili is a sought-after keynote speaker and advisor who shares his expertise and insights at major real estate conferences, mastermind groups and is regularly featured as a columnist for Residential Property Manager Magazine.

With an ever-growing list of accolades and awards, he has personally designed and implemented new processes, procedures, innovative systems and technology for a multitude of real estate companies and achieved impressive market share results.

One of his standout achievements includes building a rent roll organically from zero to 1000 for one of Sydney’s top real estate agencies in only 3 short years.

Since then, he has gone on to kick-start growth for many agencies using the same innovative strategies.

Committed to lifting the benchmark in property management services, Vasili is on a personal mission to revolutionize the experience owners and tenants receive within the Real Estate industry and educate professionals on delivering superior service.

Clients and customers rave about his “infectious” energy and the ability to “eazify” the complex – making property management and business strategy easy to understand and implement.

A truly motivating, inspiring and ‘genuine’ professional, Vasili takes the commitment of “delivering excellence” to a whole new level and is unwavering in his dedication to help others achieve their dreams, goals and sky-high ambitions.

Kevin Turner
Kevin Turner
Real Estate Talk

Prior to commencing a real estate career, Kevin worked in radio as an
announcer, salesperson, promotions manager and was General Manager
of various radio stations in Queensland and New South Wales.
He commenced his real estate career in 1988 with George Hadgelias at
Ray White Paddington. While selling real estate, he was ranked as the
top salesperson in Queensland and remained in the Top 10 Salespeople
in the state until 1991 when he commenced with a major real estate
franchisor as a sales trainer, business development associate and was
appointed State CEO in 1992.
Kevin has operated a number of real estate offices as a business owner
and was General Manager of several real estate offices in Christchurch,
New Zealand between 1996 and 1999 with a sales force of 120 people.
Returning to Australia in 2000, he combined his business, radio and real
estate careers to create real estate and small business programs on
Brisbane Talk Station 4BC, 2UE in Sydney, Sky Television and various
regional radio stations around Australia.
The consumer based real estate show is now produced weekly as a
podcast - Realty Talk
With his various radio and internet shows, he regularly talks to and
interviews leading property commentators and property investors which
has enabled him to become one of Australasia’s leading real estate
discussion and interview facilitators.
In 2021 he merged his production company with Realty Media Group
which owns and operates Kevin heads the content arm
of the business responsible for producing a suite of property-related

Leanne Pilkington
Leanne Pilkington
Chief Executive Officer and Director ,
Laing + Simmons

Leanne Pilkington is Chief Executive Officer and Director of boutique real estate network Laing+Simmons. She is the Immediate Past President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, and the Deputy President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia. She is also a Trustee on the REISuper Board.

She is one of only a handful of women leading franchise organisations across the country. Addressing gender imbalance, empowering women agents, developing a Male Champions for Change program suitable for small business and leading the push towards industry-wide professionalism are all key passions for Leanne.

Over the course of her career, Leanne has pioneered many industry firsts. She established the Real Women in Real Estate (RWIRE) networking group, which is now an international initiative, and introduced counselling and employee assistance programs for Laing+Simmons team members. She has consistently served on industry bodies and championed the growth of professionalism in the industry at large.

Her 40 years of experience covers the full spectrum of real estate services: residential sales, property management, retail management, commercial leasing, property development and franchise management.

Leanne is a Licensed Real Estate Agent, completed her Ass. Dip. Valuation at UTS and a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the Sydney Graduate School of Management.

She has been a finalist in both the Telstra and Optus Business Women awards, and has won the AREA Award for Most Influential Woman in Property. She was awarded the REB Industry Thought Leader of the Year Award in 2017, 2020 and 2022, was a finalist in 2018 and 2019, and was the REB Association Professional of the Year in 2019.

Additionally, Leanne was awarded the REB Womens Community Program Award in 2019 (for RWIRE) and the overall REB Excellence Award 2019. She was also recognised in The Sydney Power 100, The Daily Telegraph’s list of Sydney’s most influential people.

Doug Mathlin
Doug Mathlin
Director ,
FrontRunner Consulting Group

Doug is Director of FrontRunner Consulting Group and has worked in the mortgage and finance industry as for over 25 years in various roles with a major focus on sales, sales leadership and relationship management. He currently provides consulting services to help build high-performing teams in Business Development with lenders and aggregators. While focusing on improving individual and team performance, he uses multiple resources that can assist with performance beyond work.

Hayley Mitchell
Hayley Mitchell
Managing Director & Trainer ,
Mitchell Property Training

Hayley Mitchell started in Real Estate in 1999 and has built a successful career working in all facets of Property Management including owning her own businesses. A fully licenced Estate Agent, Hayley has won numerous awards and accolades including REIV Property Manager of the year twice and was also named one of Elite Agents Top 50 Industry influencers in 2017, 2018 & 2019. She is passionate about improving the standards in the Industry and shares her knowledge with others through her training and Events Company – MitchellPT. This business provides training that is Innovative, relative, and useful.