Kristin Alford is the founding director of Bridge8, helping organisations and individuals to discover new utilising foresight and strategy frameworks. Prior to establishing Bridge8, Kristin developed a broad career in engineering, human resources and product development across sectors including mining, R&D, aviation, agriculture and nanotechnology. Kristin holds a PhD in process engineering and a Masters of Management in Strategic Foresight. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation. She was recently a member of the Australian Government’s Expert Forum on Enabling Technologies and served on the board of the Australian Network for Art and Technology from 2007-2012. She is the licensee and organiser of TEDxAdelaide.
Robyn Archer AO
Robyn Archer AO is a singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate of the arts. She is currently Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra (2013), Artistic Director of The Light in Winter, (which she created for Federation Square, Melbourne). Her selected speeches are published under the title Detritus (UWA Press). She is patron of numerous arts organisations and has received many prestigious arts awards. She is an Officer of the Order of Australia, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), Officer of the Crown (Belgium) and holds honorary doctorates from Flinders University (SA), and the Universities of Sydney and Canberra.
See more at the depArcher lounge.
Jude Anderson has created contemporary performances for collaborative performance and interdisciplinary practice in regional and international settings for the past 25 years. Works she has created and co-created have been commissioned by festivals in Victoria and South Australia and some of Europe’s most renowned festivals including Avignon, Nyon and Charleroi. Jude has created, directed and taught in close collaboration with communities in Chile, U.S.A., France, Italy, Belguim and Switzerland, and has directed with renowned French companies – Groupe Merci and 26,000 Couverts. Her works have won major European festival prizes and are the subject of a retrospective in 2012/13. Jude founded Punctum – an artist led Live Arts organisation based in central Victoria in 2004 and this year was invited to be the Australian producer of contemporary and participatory performance at Mons for its European Cultural Capital 2015 program. Jude is a board member of Regional Arts Victoria, and a peer panel member with Arts Victoria and the Australia Council.
Stephen is just completing a year-long contract as Program Manager for The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund. From July, 2013 he takes up the full time position of Creative Producer for the Arts Centre Melbourne’s Asian Performing Arts Program. He is currently a producer of the feature film The Boy Castaways (dir. Michael Kantor) premiering in October 2013, and curator and producer of The School of Life Secular Sermon Series. He was Executive Producer of Malthouse Theatre from 2004 to 2011. Previous positions include: Artistic Associate, Sydney Theatre Company; General Manager, Queensland Theatre Company; General Manager, Chamber Made Opera, and; Administrator, Handspan Theatre. Stephen is a board member of Chunky Move and a Trustee of the Victorian Actors’ Benevolent Fund. In 2006 Stephen completed the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He is currently Chair of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council.
Wendy Blacklock has produced the work of Australian independent artists for over 30 years. She joined the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust in 1981 and established the Australian Content Department. Performing Lines followed in 1990. Significant projects include the tour of Robert Merritt’s The Cake Man in 1982 – the first time an Australian Indigenous production was presented at a World Theatre Festival; and the commissioning of Jack Davis’ No Sugar. Under the direction of Wendy, Performing Lines has produced and toured the work of William Yang, Kate Champion, Tanja Liedtke, Marrugeku, Wesley Enoch, Chrissie Parrott, Tom Holloway, the Chooky Dancers and Nigel Jamieson, to name a few. Most recently, Wendy produced I am Eora for the 2013 Sydney Festival. Wendy retired from Performing Lines in 2011 but continues to work in a consulting role. She is a board member of both Arts on Tour and Terrapin Puppet Theatre.
Candy Bowers is a Nida-trained actor, writer and lyricist. In 2008 Candy won the British Council’s Realise Your Dream Award. In 2009 she won the Melbourne Fringe Best Performance Award and was nominated for a Philip Parson’s Playwright Award for Who’s That Chik An autobiographical piece that weaves her mother’s story of migration from Apartheid South Africa, with her own experiences of racial inequality in Australia. Since then Candy has created two works for children, another standup show Australian Booty and is currently in development for an adaptation of Twelfth Night with QTC. In 2013 she joined with her sister and key musical collaborator Busty Beatz to form Black Honey Company; a partnership aimed at producing high standard original work with artists of colour.
Geordie Brookman is the current Artistic Director of State Theatre Company of South Australia. Since graduating from Flinders University Drama Centre in 2001 Geordie has directed work around Australia, the UK and Asia. He has directed for companies including State Theatre Company of South Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Griffin, Malthouse, Queensland Theatre Company, Brink, Hothouse, nowyesnow and Fresh Track. His work has appeared in festivals including the Adelaide Festival, Come Out Festival and Daegu International Musicals Festival. His productions have won or been nominated for Helpmann, Greenroom, Sydney Critics Circle, Adelaide Critics Circle and Curtain Call awards. In 2010 he was a recipient of the British Council Realise Your Dream Award which allowed him to embark upon a three month study of UK national theatre models.
Rob Brookman is a leading Australian theatre producer, festival director, cultural programmer and arts administrator. He has held key positions in a number of the Australasia’s foremost festivals and performing arts organisations including the Adelaide Festival (Administrator, Associate Director, Artistic Director), Adelaide Festival Centre (Programming Director, Producer, Artistic Director), National Festival of Australian Theatre (Artistic Director), New Zealand International Festival of Arts (Artistic Director), Arts Projects Australia (Founding Co-Director) and Sydney Theatre Company (General Manager). In 1992 he co-founded Australia’s leading world music festival WOMADelaide and remained as Artistic Director and/or Artistic Advisor until 2007. Rob joined State Theatre Company SA in March 2012.
Mary Anne Butler
Mary Anne Butler is a playwright who trained as an actor at the Victorian College of the Arts. She won the 2012 NT Literary Award for screenwriting with her feature screenplay Hopetown, and the 2010 Darwin Festival Playscript Award for her stage play Dragons. Mary Anne’s play Highway of Lost Hearts premiered to a sold out Darwin Festival season in 2012, recently receiving Playing Australia funding for a three month tour in 2014. Her next two plays, The Sound of Waiting and Broken are currently in development. Mary Anne holds a Masters in Philosophy [Creative Writing] from UQ, and a Masters in Arts Education.
Leticia Cáceres is currently Associate Director of Melbourne Theatre Company for which she had directed Constellations, Helicopter and Random (nominated for three Green Room Awards). She has also directed for Blevoir St. (The Dark Room, nominated for seven Sydney Theatre Awards), Queensland Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, La Boite Theatre, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Arts Centre, Brisbane Powerhouse. She’s the co-founder of nationally acclaimed RealTV. Their seminal work Hoods won a Matilda Award (2009) for Best Independent Production and received a Helpmann nomination (2008). Hoods was presented at ASSITEJ World Congress (2007) and toured to Austria and Italy (2010). Her previous professional appointments include Associate Director for Queensland Theatre Company and Artistic Director of Tantrum Youth Theatre.
Kate Cherry is the Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company. Since 2008 she has directed numerous plays and co-productions for the Company, including Signs of Life, The White Divers of Broome, Rising Water, Boundary Street and The Year of Magical Thinking. Under Kate’s leadership, Black Swan created the Rio Tinto Black Swan Commissions commissioning program and developed programs supporting emerging artists and playwrights.
Kate Cherry was Associate Director at Melbourne Theatre Company between 1999-2005, an Artistic Associate at Playbox, a New York Drama League Directing Fellow, and is an inaugural member of Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab. She has worked extensively as a freelance director in Australia and the USA. Kate has acted as Professor of Directing at University of California, and at Colorado College. She received her MFA from UCLA and a B.A. in English Literature from Bard College. She has received the Gielgud Award for Best Emerging Director of the Classics in the US, and numerous other awards for her direction in the US. She was also nominated for a Helpmann and a Green Room Award for Life After George. Most recently, she directed Madame Butterfly for New Zealand Opera, receiving outstanding reviews and resulting in a sell-out season.
Visit www.bsstc.com.au for more information.
Nga Chu, known to everyone as Nahji or misschu, is a restaurateur and caterer who has created a business that truly fuses a deeply personal life story and inter-generational commitment to Vietnamese food with a fun and highly professional service approach. Born in Luang Prahbang, Laos, in 1970, Nahji and her family escaped the Pathet Laos Regime in 1975. They sustained themselves on the meager living conditions afforded by the various Thai refugee camps they inhabited over a four year period before the Chu family’s number came up and the Australian government made them one of the first Vietnamese/Laotian refugees to settle in Australia. Nahji’s rich Vietnamese heritage is the basis for the misschu menu, she is known as the Queen of the rice paper rolls and a real force to be reckoned with in the traditional, fresh, Vietnamese food and catering market.
Karla Conway is a NIDA Directing graduate and current Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Theatre. An experienced director/dramaturg, diverse credits include 4:48 Psychosis, The Producers (WA Premiere), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Gale Edwards’ assistant on Jerry Springer – The Opera (Sydney Opera House), Women of Troy, Retrieval (NLA), 35°South (NGA) and Australian Premieres of Product (Ravenhill) & Cockroach (Holcroft), which earned multiple award nominations & a national tour. In 2011, Karla was selected to represent Australia at ASSITEJ International Directors Seminar (Germany). She is currently working as a dramaturg at The Street, director/dramaturg on new Australian works by award winning playwrights, Angela Betzien & Lachlan Philpott and is collaborating with Action Transport Theatre, UK on the development of a new international work.
Kelly Copper – Nature Theater of Oklahoma
Nature Theater of Oklahoma is an award-winning New York art and performance group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. Since Poetics: a ballet brut, our first dance piece created as an ensemble, Nature Theater of Oklahoma has been devoted to making the work we don’t know how to make, putting ourselves in impossible situations, and working from out of our own ignorance and unease. We strive to create an unsettling live situation that demands total presence from everyone in the room. We use the readymade material around us, found space, overheard speech, and observed gesture, and through extreme formal manipulation, and superhuman effort, we affect in our work a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live.
Pavol Liska – Nature Theater of Oklahoma
“Personnel is being hired for the Theater in Oklahoma! The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma is calling you! It’s calling you today only! If you miss this opportunity, there will never be another! Anyone thinking of his future, your place is with us! All welcome! Anyone who wants to be an artist, step forward! We are the theater that has a place for everyone, everyone in his place! If you decide to join us, we congratulate you here and now! But hurry, be sure not to miss the midnight deadline! We shut down at midnight, never to reopen! Accursed be anyone who doesn’t believe us!”
— Franz Kafka, Amerika
Bec Dean is a curator and writer and a deadly serious, sober karaoke singer. Joining Performance Space as Associate Director in 2007 she became Co-Director with Jeff Khan in 2012. Previously she held curatorial positions at the Australian Centre for Photography (2005-2007) and at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2002-2005). Her interests include interdisciplinary and participatory practices, performance, site-specificity, photomedia and art/science collaborations. Recent projects include SEXES, co-curated with Deborah Kelly and Jeff Khan, Local Positioning Systems at MCA, with Jeff Khan (2012), Awfully Wonderful: Science Fiction in Contemporary Art with Lizzie Muller (2011). Her writing on art and other things has been published for 15 years. She is currently co-editing an issue of Artlink on gender with Joanna Mendelssohn.
Isaac Drandic (Noongar/Croatian) has been working in the theatre industry for 15 years. He is a father, actor, writer and has recently come into directing. Hailing from Perth Isaac is now based in Melbourne where he works in the role of associate director at Ilbijerri Theatre Company. Recently he co directed Archie Roach’s national concert tour Into The Bloodstream and is currently developing Coranderrk (which he will direct) an Ilbijerri and Belvoir co production as part of Belvoir’s 2013 season. He is a member of the Malthouse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee, a Victorian Indigenous Performing Awards (VIPA) panellist, an Accelerate program participant and a recipient of the Uncle Jack Charles Award.
Wesley Enoch is originally from Stradbroke Island (Minjeribah) and is a proud Noonuccal Nuugi man. He is the current Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company and a renowned director and writer for the stage. Wesley’s written body of work includes; THE 7 STAGES OF GRIEVING (co-written with Deborah Mailman), LITTLE WHITE DRESS, A LIFE OF GRACE AND PIETY, BLACK MEDEA, THE SUNSHINE CLUB, GRACE and THE STORY OF THE MIRACLE AT COOKIES TABLE, for which he won Patrick White Playwright’s Award (2005) and was shortlisted for both the New South Wales and Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. In addition to his work at QTC, his directing credits include productions for Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Playbox Theatre, Company B, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Black Swan State Theatre Company and the Sydney Festival. www.queenslandtheatre.com.au
Peter Evans is Bell Shakespeare’s Co-Artistic Director with John Bell. For Bell Shakespeare Peter has directed Phèdre, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, The Tempest, and Intimate Letters with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He worked as Associate Director with the Company in 2005. Peter was Associate Director at Melbourne Theatre Company from 2007 to 2010. He has also directed for Sydney Theatre Company, New Zealand’s Court Theatre, Queensland Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Theatre Jamb, Theatre Adami, and the Studio Company at Belvoir St Theatre.
As a freelance theatre designer-maker in Canberra, Imogen Keen has had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of productions with many theatre and music professionals and emerging artists. From 2009 to 2012 she was resident designer at The Street Theatre. In 2009 and 2011 she received Canberra Critics Circle Awards for Theatre Design and in 2011 received an MEAA Peer Acknowledgement Award. Her designs for sets, installations, costumes and puppets are informed by a close involvement with the making process and an experimental approach to media. Recent design projects include Shortis and Simpson’s “Prime Time”, The Street Theatre’s “Albert Herring”, “To Silence” and “M.P.” and Jigsaw Theatre’s “Pearl Versus The World”.
Liz Lea is the Artistic Director of Liz Lea & Co and Canberra Dance Theatre and Associate Director at QL2 Dance. Specialising in cross cultural and historically based dance works she presented her critically acclaimed 120 Birds inspired by Anna Pavlova in 2012. In May 2013 she premieres InFlight inspired by the early Aviators and Australian wildlife. She is currently Choreographer in Residence at CSIRO Discovery and is Director of DANscienCE, a dance and science symposium held in Canberra for National Science Week, August 2013. She is also working on a solo for Indigenous dance artist Tammi Gissell. Liz has worked internationally for 20 years with commissions from the Royal Opera House, Mavin Khoo, KZN Dancelink, South Africa, Maya Dance Theatre, Singapore and Darpana, India.
Nakkiah Lui grew up in Dhurag community in Western Sydney. She was a resident in Australian Theatre for Young People’s Fresh Ink Playwright Residency in 2010 and a playwright for the show ‘Tell It Like It Isn’t’ 2011. Nakkiah is an Associate Playwright in residence at Belvoir. In 2012, she was the first recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council and was the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award. She is currently commissioned by Belvoir to write two new plays ‘Koorioke’ and ‘Kill the Messenger’. She is also under commission from Blacktown City Council for a new work called ‘Lullaby’. Nakkiah is an Emerging Cultural Leader at Griffin Theatre for 2013. She will be in residence to create a new work of Live Art with City of Campbelltown Council. Nakkiah has also had on works ‘I Should Have Told You Before We Made Love (That I’m Black)’ You Are Here Festival, ‘Stho Sthexy’ MKA Melbourne, ‘Jackie Jacki Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death’ Bondi Feast, Tamarama Rock Surfers. She is making her dramaturg debut for the Sisters Grimm production ‘Sovereign Wife’ at Melbourne Theatre Company this year.
Matthew Lutton is an Australian theatre and opera director. He is currently an Artistic Associate of Malthouse Theatre and from 2002 to 2012 was the Artistic Director of the Perth theatre company ThinIce. From 2008 to 2011 Matthew was a member of the Theatre Board for the Australia Council for the Arts. Recent directing credits at Malthouse Theatre include: Dance of Death, Pompeii LA, On the Misconception of Oedipus, Die Winterreise (with ThinIce), The Trial (with STC/ ThinIce) and Tartuffe. He has also directed for Opera Australia and West Australian Opera, Bavarian State Opera and the Munich Opera Festival, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir and Griffin Theatre Company. Later in 2013 Matthew directs The Bloody Chamber at Malthouse Theatre and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman for New Zealand Opera.
Lockie McDonald works across a range of sectors to manage change. The focus of his work is to help communities and businesses be better at what they do in the areas of: leadership and organisational development, creative solutions and facilitation. Originally trained as a registered nurse Lockie was a founding member of what is now Australia’s largest contemporary circus company, Rock N Roll Circus now Circa. He is a graduate from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing. Lockie is currently a Director on the Board of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
See more at www.fullsky.com.au
Lenore Manderson is internationally renowned as a medical anthropologist, social historian and public health researcher and educator. She has played a lead role in training in Australia, Asia and Africa, and has conducted research extensively in inequality, social exclusion and marginality, gender and sexuality in Australia and internationally. Her most recent book is Surface Tensions.
Read more here: lenoremanderson.com/about
David Milroy was the first Artistic Director of Yirra Yaakin Aboriginal Theatre and in 2002 received a Myer Award for his contribution to the development of Indigenous theatre. David was a guest Director of the American Playwrights Conference in 2002 and has attended the Australian National Playwrights Conference on a number of occasions as a writer and Director. David received the 2004 Patrick White Award and the 2005 Equity Guild Award for his play Windmill Baby and a Deadly Award for his music in Windmill Baby. David was also a finalist in the Helpmann Awards and received two Equity Guild Awards in 2011 or his play Waltzing the Wilarra. David is currently writing his new play Crowbones and Carnivores and is chairperson of the Palyku Native Title Working Party in the East Pilbara.
Kyle Morrison has been a fan, an advocate and artist in the WA theatre industry for 20 years. Working for such theatre companies as Black Swan (Waiting for Godot 1993), Deckchair (King for this place 1999, Jimmy and Pat Meet The Queen 2000 & Wonderlands 2007), Barking Gecko (Amys Monster 2000 & Own Worst Enemy 2001) and Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre (King Hit 1999, Booyi Koora Koora 1999, Djill Djitt 2000, Inside Out 2001, One Day in 67 2004, Warloo 2005, In The Nyitting Time 2006 Muttacar Sorry Business 2001-2005). Kyle is currently the Artistic Director of Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company.
Eva Grace Mullaley
Eva Grace Mullaley is a Yamaji woman from the mid-west region of Western Australia. She grew up in NSW and moved to Perth in 2022. Eva graduated from WAAPA in 2003 and went on to perform with Yirra Yaakin, Black Swan and several student film projects. In 2005, she lectured the Aboriginal theatre students on scriptwriting then dramaturged and directed the collaborated piece Black Tracks. Eva assisted David Milory during Windmill Baby createie development (Yirra Yaakin) and was stage manager for its first season. Eva went on to direct many small productions and managed the tours of several dance troupes overseas beore returning to Perth to assistant direct and direct theatre, predominantly with Yirra Yaakini and WAAPA. Eva completed her Advanced Dilpoma in Statement Management (WAAPA) in 2012, directed Good Lovin for a Pilbara tour and co-directed Crowbones and and Carnivores, by David Milroy with Aboriginal theatre graduates. In 2013, Eva accepted an Artistic Associate position at Yirra Yaakin which comprises producing and managing the NAIDOC season at the Blue Room, coordinating and managing a high schools tours through the goldfields and establishing Indigenous connections and recording stories in the Mid West.
Jodee Mundy is performer, director and creative producer. Her art spans physical, visual and sensory theatre, short film, community cultural development, live art and puppetry. Bilingual in Auslan and English, Jodee is the only one who hears in her family who are all Deaf. Her work connects with a wide cross section of people investigating what is inclusive, exclusive and the gaps in between. She is currently creatively producing, ‘A Deafblind Cabaret Dinner in the Dark’ working with two Deafblind artists, ‘Pigeonhole’ where she lives in a tiny apartment and ‘When Claude Met Roxy- The Erotic Finger Puppet Show’. She trained at the Ecole De Mime Corporeal Dramatique, at the VCA and is a company member of Snuff Puppets, Strange Fruit and Polyglot Theatre.
Caitlin Newton-Broad is a performance maker, with 20 years practice collaborating with diverse communities. She is currently the co-Artistic Director/CEO at Shopfront Youth Arts in partnership with UK visual artist Howard Matthew. Caitlin studied in Ecuador, trained as a theatre director at The Victorian College of the Arts and has worked as director, dramaturg, tertiary teacher, project manager and writer in Australia and internationally. Work history includes Artistic Director of PACT, a contemporary arts & development space for young people, Project Manager for UK interdisciplinary pioneers, Blast Theory, Associate Director of Performance Space and a development worker for UK Creative Partnerships arts-in-education program, dedicated to innovative arts and cultural access for all young people.
Patrick Nolan has worked as a director in theatre and opera for over twenty years. In that time he has created numerous new Australian productions that have been performed in major festivals, opera houses, theatres, showgrounds, city streets and car parks. He’s had the privilege to work with highly skilled actors, performers, dancers, horses, opera singers from across the globe and a hundred children dressed as the animals on Noah’s ark. His productions have been nominated for numerous Helpmann Awards and on a couple of occasions they have taken home the prize. As a theatre maker he is driven by a process in which an artist explores the extreme of their capacity to find a way of expressing an idea, a feeling, a sound, that leads the audience to a place of inquiry and wonder and perhaps, understanding. He was appointed Artistic Director of Legs On The Wall in April 2009.
Maria Tri Sulistyani or Ria, as she is known, is the founder and co-artistic director of Papermoon Puppet Theatre. Graduating in Communication Studies from the Social Politics Faculty of Gadjah Mada University, Ria chose to found Papermoon as the answer of her passion of performing arts, visual arts and art education.
“Puppetry is an awesome medium for me to communicate with people. It’s unpredictable, full with surprise, and actually could trap the audience to the situation that they never imagine.”
Being the Asian Cultural Council Grantee 2009-2010 and stay in New York City for 6 months, staying in the middle of farm land for a month in South Korea, making art installation in ex-red light district in Yokohama-Japan for 2 months, performing in New Delhi-India, doing collaborating works with students in Singapore for several times, doing workshops at Papua, Sumatera and several towns in Java, and just got back for 1 month tour in United States in 5 states and 7 cities, made her love to Yogyakarta -the city where she lives now- blossoms bigger and bigger. And she will tell you why, at ATF 2013.
Pauline Peel works with organisations across sectors to create positive partnerships and develop creative, practical solutions to complex issues and challenges. Pauline has worked in the private, public, community and cultural sectors across Australia and internationally. Flagship cultural projects that she has led include the establishment of the Brisbane Powerhouse whilst she was at Brisbane City Council. She was a founding member of the Street Arts Community Theatre Company in Queensland and has been a member of the Board of the Australia Council. Pauline is currently working with people in the areas of social housing, government, cultural, Indigenous and international development.
For more information go to: paulinepeelconsulting.com
David Pledger is an intermedia artist working within and between the performing, visual and media arts in Australia, Asia and Europe. His documentaries, media art, live performances, installations and interactive artworks have been presented in various locations including theatres, galleries, museums, a car-park, a stables, a cattleyard, a suburban house, a film studio and at the Australian Institute of Sport. He has gained wide acclaim for building new artworks that combine movement, video, sound and special effects into an organic system. From his initial practice, live performance, he has developed an extensive cross-disciplinary dramaturgy in which the central platform is engaging with artists across artforms and experts from social, scientific and academic fields. He tends to build works of scale and on an international level.
Arts journalist and communication strategist Martin Portus has held leading roles managing communications for the Australia Council for the Arts, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Parramatta City Council, Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the National Museum of Australia. Martin was also political and policy adviser to three Lord Mayors of Parramatta. He began his career as a NIDA-trained actor, has prolific experience as an arts journalist and theatre critic, and for eleven years was a senior arts broadcaster with ABC Radio National. Martin is also a board member of the arts advocacy organisation, Currency House.
Nat Randall is a performing artist working across live art, queer performance and video. As a solo artist and a core and founding member of Team MESS, she makes work that experiments with new art forms and interdisciplinary practices. She has presented work at Duckie, UK; Latitude Festival, UK; Next Wave Festival, Melbourne; Performance Space, Sydney and Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney, amongst others. Nat graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong in 2008. In 2012 Nat was supported by Australia Council’s ArtStart Grant and Jump Mentorship Initiative and undertook a placement with UK queer arts company Duckie. In December this year Nat will be presenting her first solo exhibition at Canberra Contemporary Art Space.
Catherine is a graduate of the Victorian College of Arts in Directing. Her main body of work over the past 20 years has been creating, performing and directing in puppetry and visual theatre. Catherine is an award winning Canberra Theatre maker and is currently engaged by Jigsaw Theatre Company as a Member of their Artistic Directorate. Catherine was a member of the puppetry and visual Company Skylark for 8 years as a performer and director in both adult and children’s shows. With Skylark Catherine toured nationally and internationally. Apart from her specialisation in puppetry, Catherine has created theatre projects, museum theatre and site specific work for all of the National Cultural Institutions and Canberra’s theatre company’s and producing houses.
David Sefton, currently Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival, began his career as a publisher, music journalist and promoter based in his home town of Liverpool. In 1993 he founded the annual Meltdown Festival at London’s Royal Festival Hall, now credited with re-writing the rules by putting musicians in charge of programming. The last decade he spent heading the nine-month long arts festival, UCLA Live, in Los Angeles, an annual international theatre festival alongside a program of music, dance and spoken word. David is also the recipient of awards including the Chevalier des Artes et Lettres, presented by the French President in May 2010, Time Out’s award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts (twice) and the LA Weekly Outstanding Contribution to Theatre Award.
Imogene Shields is Creative Director at Youth Arts Queensland; the state’s social profit organisation that supports young people and the youth arts industry. Her experience in the youth arts industry stems from four years’ experience at Young People and the Arts Australia (YPAA) as General Manager, and formerly as Communications Officer. Imogene recently joined the YPAA Board. Imogene has a broad scope of experience in commercial and not-for-profit organisations: managing creative organisations, projects, conferences, events and festivals; delivering membership services, running advocacy initiatives; controlling finances, operations and logistics; marketing and communications, and more. Imogene is deeply passionate about the youth arts industry, and she has strong networks with the industry interstate and internationally.
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director, Noel Staunton was educated in lreland and the UK, graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Noel’s career spans time at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Australia. As an Executive Producer for Baz Lurhmann, Noel oversaw the Moulin Rouge premieres in Cannes, New York and Sydney, and La Boheme on Broadway. Noel also spearheaded the largest single arts project ever staged in Australia – the $15m sell-out production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle for State Opera of South Australia. Other ground-breaking productions followed including The Orpheus Project (US) and Sydney Harbour Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebrations. In 2007 Noel moved to Sydney Dance Company, occupying a dual creative and executive role, heading north in 2010 to lead Brisbane Festival.
Emma Webb is a creative producer with particular interest in performance, projects and collaborations that are socially engaged, context-specific, provocative and investigative. She is currently Creative Producer at Vitalstatistix, Port Adelaide, a company producing performance, live art, residencies and community-based projects. Each year, she co-curates national artist hothouse Adhocracy. Emma has worked with the Adelaide Fringe, Kurruru Youth Performing Arts, the Port Festival, KneeHigh, Arts Access, Community Arts Network, as well as producing a range of independent projects, over the past decade.