Rod Ainsworth is a creative producer, writer, director and arts manager based in Bundaberg in regional Queensland. Rod works with Bundaberg Regional Council as Manager, Arts and Cultural Services overseeing the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, two regional galleries, the Regional Arts Development Fund and community arts and cultural development projects. His roles at Council have included responsibility for strategy, business planning, budgeting and financial management, policy, HR and marketing. Rod’s focus has always been on the development of new work, especially in, of and with regional communities. This is the heartbeat of our industry and is the work that actively generates our collective futures.
Brenden Borellini is the Ambassador and Artist in Residence at Crossroad Arts where he has been performing for close to a decade. He has collaborated on various projects as an actor, workshop facilitator, photographer and researcher. As Crossroad Arts’ Ambassador and Artist in Residence, he has also travelled to Japan and the United States where he exhibited his 2D and 3D photographic works.
Brenden was born profoundly deaf and lost his sight at the age of 9. He successfully pursued his education at the Special Education Unit for the visually impaired students at Cavendish Road High School in Brisbane and he became the first deafblind student to integrate into the community.
He then went on to study Sociology at the University of Queensland. He received the prestigious Young Australian of the Year Award for his achievements. Most recently Brenden performed in the first stage of development of Breathe In as part of An Unconventional Tour. He also accepted the David Bow Memorial Award from the Port of Mackay Rotary Club for Outstanding Community Service and held a solo exhibition Dancing with Ansel at a local cafe based on his photographic research trip to the United States. Additionally, his short film When Brenden met Hiroe has screened in international festivals. Brenden also co-facilitated workshops for Crossroad Arts’ C.R.U.S.H theatre making intensive alongside La Boite Theatre Company, Dancenorth and choreographer Dean Walsh. He delivered a Masterclass in 3D photography at Arts Ablaze conference/festival and participated in the Artsynergy event in regional Queensland. Brenden believes that it is very important for artists with disability to have access to opportunities that develop their artistic works to showcase their stories to the whole world.
Dr Lynne Bradley has worked as a leader in the arts and education sectors for the past 30 years. Lynne is currently the Artistic Director of the Horizon Festival on the Sunshine Coast, where she is deeply committed to engagement with the local arts sector, and artist and audience development. Prior to this Lynne designed and ran the Performing Arts Masters program at USC, which championed artist mental health & wellbeing. Lynne’s speciality areas as a director include large-scale physical and visual theatre, as well as immersive, site-specific, and transcultural work.
Hillary has worked for over twenty years in the Australian arts and cultural sector. She has a number of post graduate qualifications including a Masters in Arts Management and has worked across four different states in Australia in myriad roles and has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. Hillary has worked for small not for profit organisations, larger companies, festivals and with independent artists producing their own work. Hillary is a lateral, strategic and creative leader who is committed to the Australian arts and cultural sector. As a leader she is dedicated to innovation, creativity, ingenuity and authenticity. Currently, Hillary is the Executive Director/Co-CEO of Dancenorth, one of Australia’s leading contemporary dance companies. She is a curious, engaged, passionate and dedicated individual.
Emma-June is a vibrant, driven creative producer and theatre director passionate about the creation of accessible and inclusive live performance work.
After graduating from NIDA’s music theatre program in 2006, Emma-June spent several years performing across theatre, cabaret and corporate sectors. In 2012, she graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) and turned her focus to producing and project coordination. She has worked for a number of leading arts organisations including Queensland Music Festival, QPAC, Artslink, James Morrison Academy of Music and HOTA, Home of the Arts.
She is an alumnus of the City of Gold Coast’s Navigate professional development program, which saw her take her first steps as an emerging director focused on the creation of accessible music theatre. Her directoral credits include The Greatest Showman Sing-along Experience (HOTA), That Vagina Play (QUT) and as Associate Director, Wicked (Matt Ward Entertainment).
In 2019 she joined with the Aha Ensemble to act as Creative Producer for their season of the new work Explain Normal at Metro Arts. This relationship continues into their next project, a collaboration with Phluxus2 Dance Collective, currently in creative development.
Wesley Enoch is the current Artistic Director at the Sydney Festival. Wesley has written and directed iconic Indigenous productions The 7 Stages of Grieving, Black Medea and The Story of The Miracles at Cookie’s Table. He has directed productions of The Sapphires, Black Diggers, I am Eora, The Man from Mukinupin, Yibiyung, Parramatta Girls, and Black Cockatoo.
Kate Fell is the Program Director at Brisbane Festival.
Prior to this, Kate was the Executive Producer, Public Engagement and Learning, at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).
From 2012-2018, Kate was the Strategic Initiatives Manager for Circa. This role saw Kate lead Circa’s extensive national touring and partnerships and manage arTour, Queensland's regional performing arts touring service. During this time, Circa was contracted as the Creative Lead for Festival 2018, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games arts festival, and Kate was the Co-Creative Director.
Stephen Foster has had over 25 years’ experience working in the Australian performing arts industry across a multitude of roles in touring, events and venue management. Stephen’s current role is the Manager of Cultural Services for Cairns Regional Council. Managing the regions extensive arts and cultural portfolio inclusive of the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC), Tanks Arts Centre, Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns Festival and the Cairns Gallery Precinct development project.
From an initial career in music performance and management, John has gone on to roles in financial, project and logistical management for a variety of government, non-profit and private entities.
His career went full circle back to the arts and arts management when in 2006 he was appointed Operations Manager of Sydney Symphony, responsible for the Orchestra's logistical and production management, as well as their intrastate, interstate and international touring program.
A stint as General Manager of Sydney's State Theatre followed, before a move to Brisbane to become General Manager of the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific).
In November 2011, John became Executive Producer - Venue Utilisation at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, responsible for maximising commercial opportunities and the utilisation of the four theatre venues and other ancillary spaces.
John then moved back to his hometown of Adelaide from 2014 to 2017 in the role of Executive Producer - Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Commercial Ventures. Held annually in June, Adelaide Cabaret Festival is the biggest of its kind in the world. He also had oversight of Adelaide Festival Centre's commercial ventures – leveraging relationships with agents and commercial producers nationally and internationally.
In late 2017, John returned to Queensland Performing Arts Centre in the role of Director - Programming. He now oversees the Centre's annual program of shows and other presentations working with a team of producers and the venue hire team to maximise utilisation and present a rich and balanced program in the Centre's theatres and ancillary spaces.
John also serves on the Board of the South Australian Circus School (Cirkidz), and now splits his time between Brisbane for his job and the family home in Adelaide where his wife and daughter live.
Associate Professor Bree Hadley is author of The Routledge Handbook of Disability Arts Culture and Media (2019, with Donna McDonald), Disability, Public Space Performance & Spectatorship: Unconscious Performers (Palgrave 2014), and dozens of chapters, articles and commentaries on disability arts. In her recent practice-based research, she has been investigating interest in ‘creative integration’ of sign language, captioning, and audio description into performing and visual arts works – for example, in the Vis-Ability collaboration with Dr Janice Rieger (QUT Art Museum http://www.artmuseum.qut.edu.au/whats-on/2019/vis-ability.php). Her performance text, The Excentric Fixations Project, will appear in At the Intersection of Disability and Drama: A Critical Anthology of New Plays in September 2020 (McFarlane https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/at-the-intersection-of-disability-and-drama/). Prior to joining QUT in 2007, Hadley worked as a writer, dramaturg, director, arts facilitator, and administrator for independent theatre companies, and for the Glen Eira City Council.
John is of Saibai Island (Torres Strait) and English descent and has always had a passion for story. He is a writer, director and producer across screen and stage and is the Creative Director of BROWN CABS.
In theatre, John wrote and produced the highly acclaimed and sold out season of HEART IS A WASTELAND (Brown Cabs / Malthouse Theatre). The work is currently being developed for touring in collaboration with Ilbijerri Theatre and directed by Rachael Maza. John co-wrote 2020 Sydney Festival hit BLACK TIES with the work selling out in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland. John is currently writing THE RETURN for Malthouse Theatre. He is currently commissioned to co-write MUDSKIPPER (Brown Cabs / Queensland Theatre) collaborating with Walter Waia. John directed A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN (Brown Cabs / Orana Arts) for 2019 Yirramboi Indigenous Arts Festival (Melbourne). John produced MY LOVERS BONES (Brown Cabs / Footscray Arts Centre) for 2014 Melbourne Festival.
Since 2005, Simon has been Artistic Director / CEO of Australia’s largest regionally-based theatre company, Merrigong Theatre Company in Wollongong, managing Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and the Wollongong Town Hall. He has worked in a range of arts industry positions over the last 20 years, including as Marketing Manager of Queensland Theatre Company and Executive Officer of Ausdance (NSW). Simon is currently Vice President of Performing Arts Connections (PAC) Australia, a member of the Theatre Board of Create NSW, and serves on several Helpmann Awards panels. Under his leadership, Merrigong has built a reputation for its commitment to artist development, and for producing, presenting and touring exciting new contemporary theatre.
Pauline Lampton is a descendant from the clans and nations of Tweed River-Bundjalung and Mununjali-Yugembeh and a descendant from the Wiangumban tribe of North Tanna Island, Vanuatu.
Pauline is an alumni of NAISDA and has since worked with many Indigenous and non-Indigenous choreographers and independent artists within Australia for a little over 25 years.
Through her work, Pauline has established a methodology, process and approach that is both culturally safe and engages the performing arts as a powerful platform which can bring healing to the voiceless and can both inform and be used as an action toward reconciliation.
Her arts practice is driven by both past and current First Nations affairs.
Pauline presents work by way of verbatim dance theatre, sharing elders’ experiences of being stolen from their families, being kidnapped from their islands, being a part of the Native Police and enforcing massacres of Australia’s Indigenous peoples. Where she can, Pauline connects elders and community leaders with our youth.
“Having the wisp of our language embedded in a song and as we intertwine our elders’ voices with the reckoning of our bodies, we know that through our works, our youth will Walk Proud and Stand Strong”. Pauline Lampton 2020
Founding Member and Artistic Director/CEO of JUTE Theatre Company, a multi-award winning regional company based in Cairns. Suellen is an actor and director and has extensive experience in the development and direction of new Australian plays.
Suellen was a key player in gaining $2.7m in capital works funding from State Government in 2001 and was integrally involved in the design and development of the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Cairns and consulted on the $2m rehearsal studio development at the Centre.
Suellen has served on many boards and industry development groups including the Queensland Chamber of Arts and Culture. Suellen has served on the board of Diversity Arts Australia; the Theatre Board of the Australia Council for the Arts 2009-2012 and was a Trustee of the Board of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust 2001-2007. Suellen has served on numerous funding assessment panels and was an Adjunct Lecturer at JCU, Cairns Campus 2008 - 2012.
Suellen is committed to the growth of high quality professional theatre practice in the regions.
Nadine is an Executive Producer at Queensland Performing Arts Centre and a Board Member of the Aboriginal Art Company.
Nadine was formerly the Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts Company from 2001 to 2004. Previously, Nadine has been a Director on the Boards of the Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Government’s Premier’s Indigenous Advisory Board and Q150 Advisory Committee, and the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts. Nadine was a Senior Producer with Major Brisbane Festivals in 2010 and was the Manager of the kuril dhagun at State Library of Queensland from 2006 – 2015, and Creative Producer for the Commonwealth Games Arts and Cultural Festival 2018.
Dead Puppet Society is an Australian based production house and design company with international reach. They create deeply imaginative visual theatre, public art and sculpture, combining old school craftsmanship with cutting edge technology. DPS are best known for their Productions LASER BEAK MAN (with Brisbane Festival, La Boite and PowerArts), THE WIDER EARTH (with Queensland Theatre, Trish Wadley Productions and Glass Half Full Productions), ARGUS (with Brisbane Powerhouse) and THE HARBINGER (with La Boite and Critical Stages), as well as Activations including MEGAFAUNA, HIVE MIND and PELICANS. The company has been nominated for 6x Helpmann Awards and an Olivier Award.
Paul Osuch is the Founder of Anywhere Festival, performances anywhere but a theatre. In just two years, the festival was named as one of the “Top Nine International Festivals You Must See”. Paul was been invited to the U.S., U.K and Italy to advice on council cultural policies and implementation of performance and as Festival Director has presented 711 productions seen by over 600,000 people. Paul holds a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology and completed the Playwrights Studio at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts. He completed the Australia Council for the Arts 2012 Emerging Leadership Development Program and was selected for the inaugural cohort of the NIDA MfA in Cultural Leadership. He was Artistic Director of Borderline Defamation Productions for several years, producing and directing the world premiere of many new works, All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, which has since been adapted into a feature length film and was nominated for an AFI award. Paul is passionate about developing frameworks to assist emerging producers as well as engaging audiences and business with performance. He has created and marketed major productions from the Soho Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre in London and been responsible for the rebranding of Rose Bruford College of Theatre in London. Paul has always been focused on making ideas a reality that make a difference. In 2015 Paul was selected as a Queensland Government Cultural Champion.
As President of Moranbah Arts Council, I have an infinite love of all things theatre but have found myself learning and embracing all other mediums of the arts.
Moranbah Arts started in 1974 with a bunch of eager miners and their wives. Today we are a vibrant community group that brings arts and culture to Moranbah. We have upgraded an old youth centre into an entertainment centre that offers dance, art workshops and theatre programs and we also host other not-for-profit organisations to assist their fundraising efforts. Our main focus in the last couple of years has been upgrading our centre but we are ready to start using it to its full capacity.
Karen has performed extensively in Australia the United Kingdom, Malaysia and the USA. She has performed solo and with indelabilityarts Theatre Company at various locations including the Brisbane Powerhouse, LA Boite Theatre, QTC, RPAC and in the Anywhere Theatre Festival and The Adelaide Fringe Festival, where this year her show Wilbur the Optical Whale won two awards. Her cabaret Chameleon has also played at the Adelaide Fringe and Butterfly Club in Melbourne. Karen has published two children’s books and MC’ed various events around Brisbane. She has also toured regional Queensland with indelabilityarts.
Michelle has enjoyed a career that has spanned over 30 years in the arts. Michelle was appointed Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre in 2013 and has created major works for the company for presentation in festivals both nationally and internationally. Intimate Space received a Ruby Award for Arts Innovation and Enterprise, an Adelaide Critics Award for Best Professional Group and nominations for a Helpmann Award (in both 2017 and 2018) and Ruby nominations for Best New Work and Best Touring Work. Michelle celebrates diversity in all elements of her work.
In 2020 Michelle was the recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts Dance Award.
Alison is the Arts & Cultural Officer for Blackall-Tambo Regional Council where she manages the Grassland Art Gallery in Tambo and Council's Regional Arts Development Fund.
The Gallery is a key cultural component of the region, Alison works closely with the local community to present a diverse range of exhibitions to showcase the local, regional and touring works and encourage engagement with the arts.
BTRC has a vibrant RADF program and were amongst the first Councils to use their program to support a Touring Performance program for the region. As part of the Western Touring Circuit, BTRC brings a range of performance art to this remote region each year and encourages participation with the community.
Currently the Programming Director at the Queensland Music Festival, Katrina Torenbeek has forged a 25 year career in the Performing Arts Sector as an Executive/Creative Producer and Arts Manager. She has been an Executive Producer and Manager for a number of Queensland’s signature arts festivals and events, including QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane Festival, Brisbane Cabaret Festival and Bangalow Music Festival (for Southern Cross Soloists). She co-managed the Australia Council Initiative MAPS for Artists for Metro Arts and has worked closely with the Arts Education sector for many years managing Drama Queensland and Drama Australia concurrently. She was selected in the 2020 cohort of the Australia Council’s Arts Leaders Program.
Suzan has worked as a performer, producer, and manager in the performing arts industry for more than 30 years.
With a background as a professional dancer and choreographer, Suzan has toured the state extensively and is passionate about providing communities, regardless of their location, with access to high-quality and inspirational arts experiences.
Suzan is currently the Executive Officer of Stage Queensland, the peak body for professional performing arts centres in Queensland. Suzan is responsible for the delivery of the organisation’s strategic vision and its day-to-day operations. Her work involves high-level advocacy for the venue sector and delivery of a range of member services including Stage Queensland’s annual conference program which provides crucial professional development and information exchange opportunities for live performance staff across Queensland. Most recently, Suzan co-authored the COVID Safe Industry Plan for Live Performance Venues / Theatres in 2020 to enable Queensland’s venues to re-open during COVID-19 government-imposed restrictions.
Toni Wills is the Regional Creative Producer of Anywhere Festival. She joined the Anywhere team in 2017 to co-ordinate the establishment and delivery of the inaugural Sunshine Coast and Noosa regional program.
She is also a playwright, dramaturg, workshop facilitator and independent producer. She holds a Masters in Creative Arts and a Bachelor of Arts/Law. With over fifteen years working in the design and delivery of creative and education projects across the legal, community and Arts sectors, she now focuses on storytelling, production and developing opportunities for regional artists.