Our People

  • Collective in Training

  • Sub 30 Collective

    • Amarachi Okorom

      Amarachi Okorom

      Amarachi Okorom is a Nigerian-born Igbo actress and spoken word poet. She grew up in Auckland, New Zealand until moving to Melbourne in 2013, where she studied and graduated with a Bachelor of Technology. She spent most of her time pre-COVID working at the Wyndham City Libraries and being involved in Wyndham Edge sessions.  

      Amarachi currently works with WEYA as a Support Artist and a member of our Leading Edge Ensemble. She is also a Writer in Residence with Lonely Company, developing a play about identity and pre-colonial Nigeria, and was featured in the Queen Victoria Women Centre’s Home Truths series. Outside of her commitments she is usually practicing and perfecting her spoken word skills and writing stories. 

    • Betiel Beyin

      Betiel Beyin

      Betiel is an Eritrean Creative based in Melbourne Victoria, who started writing and performing in her late teens, acting in her high-school plays. Betiel joined Western Edge Youth Arts in early 2018. She co-wrote and performed in two productions, which led Betiel to earn a residency with Phoenix Youth Centre in 2018. She has also been mentored by comic, actor and writer Candy Bowers.

      Betiel is a second-year film student at RMIT University, who recently created her first short film The Rise And Fall Of Bobby Maz which got into the Swamp Cinema Festival. Betiel is a creative who floats through multiple areas in the digital/theatre space, from being a runner on set to a production assist, performer, writer and film student.

    • Leigh Lule

      Leigh Lule

      Leigh is a Melbourne based actress, musician and aspiring documentarian. Her earliest memories of performing include forcing her parents to listen to pitchy renditions of Disney classics, whilst smashing the keys of a small Casio piano. To this day, it is no different, but she would like to think her artistry has improved.

      Leigh joined WEYA’s Wyndham Edge in 2018, and played the lead role in the ensemble’s original piece ‘TIG; a recontextualised version of the ancient Greek tragedy, Antigone. She now works for WEYA as a Support Artist at Manor Lakes College and hopes to continue creating theatrical work that focuses on fostering environmental, political and socio-economic change.

    • Michael Logo

      Michael Logo

      Michael Logo is a film and stage actor with diverse experience. He first became interested in acting when he was roped into a short film project as part of an after school program in 2007. Eli the Invincible, in which Michael stared alongside his younger brother Elijah, was an award winning short film featured on SBS, about a young wrestling fan trying to make sense of the racial violence surrounding him. Michael went on to work on several other short films, including Hiders (2013), and Burning of the Mekong (2016), before being cast as Tank in the feature film Is This The Real World in 2015.

      Michael’s training includes a year with Verve Studios culminating in a season of With You, Alone in 2014.

      Michael became involved in Western Edge Youth Arts in 2016 and played the role of Private Detective Fatu in TEK as part of the Phoenix Edge ensemble. Born in Auckland, raised in Broadmeadows, and proud of his Samoan cultural heritage, Michael worked on the script for Hamlet (2016), translating sections of this inter-cultural retelling of the classic text into Samoan language. Since then he has performed in Stand Out (2017) and Lele, Butterfly (2018), and has also worked as a Support Artist for WEYA at St Albans Edge and Victoria University Secondary College.

    • Yaw Dadzie

      Yaw Dadzie

      Yaw Faso is a musician, actor and writer based in Naarm/Melbourne. Drawing on his Ghanaian heritage, and early exposure to African and Caribbean music, Yaw weaves together elements of pop, afro fusion, funk and dancehall to create his trademark flow, which earned him an honorary nomination for Best Reggae and Dancehall Act at the Music Victoria Awards in 2018 and 2019. Yaw has performed at Let Them Eat Cake (with Machinedrum), I Love Dancehall and Strawberry fields, and has supported local and international artists such as Kranium, Nasty C, Konshens, Eddy Kenzo, Jose Chameleone, Big Zeeks, Baker Boy and JessB. As an actor, Yaw has performed at Malthouse Theatre (Iago, 2015 and Caliban, 2016) and Arts Centre Melbourne (AMKA, 2017). He is an experienced and sought-after community arts facilitator, working with Western Edge Youth Arts as a Support Artist across their school and community programs, and with cohealth Arts Generator as a collaborator on trans-disciplinary participatory arts projects. 

    • Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi colour headshot

      Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi

      Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi colour headshot

      Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi

      Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi is an actor, director and graduate of Brave Studios and Youthworx Media. He has performed in feature films, short films, in a web series and in theatre. He played the leading role in feature film, Found in a Dream (2017). Ras-Samuel is also known for his popular music video in which he performed traditional Ethiopian dances, that had 4.5 million hits.

      In 2018, Ras-Samuel  created Jebena Genie (2018), an online web series adapted from the Disney classic, Aladdin, in which he plays the genie who grants wishes by performing traditional Ethiopian dances. He also worked with WEYA as a choreographer for St Albans Edge’s performance, Grace for Race, and co-produced a web series with Penny Harpham, I Can’t Even (working title).

      Currently, Ras-Samuel works as a Support Artist for WEYA, where he helps facilitate the Footscray Edge ensemble. He is also producing films in partnership with Youthworx. Ras-Samuel hopes to diversify Australia’s artistic landscape, by inspiring the next generation who might not see many culturally diverse actors like him on stage.

  • Lead Artists

    • One Sixth

      One Sixth

      Australian born, Namibian raised rapper, vocalist, producer, songwriter, workshop facilitator, curator, director, actor, model and performing artist Aaron Stephanus aka 1/6 has been honing his craft since 2005. As a well established member of the local music scene, he has travelled extensively around Australia with numerous groups and bands, including The Public Opinion Afro OrchestraBlack Jesus Experience (BJX), the now defunct hip hop band Illzilla and The Four Aces (Mata and Must, Flu) amongst others, while also performing solo material at various festivals and venues countrywide. He was the first recipient of the Hilltop Hoods grant initiative when it went national in 2010 and has been releasing solo material since that same year. His debut album Electronic Mail was released in 2012 with local Hip Hop label Pang Productions and was warmly received, leading to support slots on national tours with Urthboy and Jimblah (Elefant Traks) and the Alliance Tour alongside Nelson Dialect, Maundz, Social Change and more. In 2016 he released an EP produced by Phil Gektor (Crate Cartel) titled Hemicrania, a conceptual piece addressing mental health issues, and Outbox, a 6 track E.P recorded over 7 days featuring interludes that were literally recorded by phone through each featured producer’s voicemail. Stay Nice, 2nd Thought, Royalz, Sensible J (REMI), RBD and ⅙ served as producers. His efforts extend past his own endeavours, as he has been working with community organisations such as Multicultural Arts Victoria, running the “Heard Instinct” hip hop program in conjunction with Shingo’s Cafe in Shepparton in 2019 and the “All Pasts Lead To Now” festival in 2020 (partly disrupted by COVID), “The Learn” Hip Hop literacy program run through the Fitzroy Library with Fitzroy Learning Network in 2017Yarra Youth Services and various schools around Victoria facilitating writing and performing workshops with youth eager to develop their own practice in the field of music composition and song-writing. 2021 saw a return to releasing solo music alongside producer The Silent Titan for a two track E.P Nunc Est Bibendum/Dreams which was released digitally via Low Key Source. The single Nunc Est Bibendum was launched as an immersive video launch and live performance, curated by One Sixth and featuring the video work of Raphael Recht and photographer and movement director Deepasheni Thirumoothy and exhibited at B-SIDE Gallery, Melbourne in between lockdowns that halted all live events.

    • Didem Caia

      Lead Artist

      Didem Caia

      Lead Artist

      Didem is a Writer, theatremaker and academic working across theatre, essays, fiction and poetry. Her plays have been produced with many companies nationally and been featured in writer’s festivals locally as well as internationally. Didem has received artist grants through the Australia Council, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and the Copyright Agency. Her essays on writing, have been published in literary journals and by ausplays.org and Currency House Press. Didem is a current PhD candidate at RMIT University.  

    • Chanella Macri

      Lead Artist

      Chanella Macri

      Lead Artist

      Chanella is aactor, writer and theatre-maker from the Blue Mountains, Sydney. She is a second-generation Samoan-Italian immigrant whose practice centers on body, family, loss and the intersection of cultural identity and gender. 

      Graduating from the VCA in 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Practice, the Patricia Kennedy Award and as Valedictorian of the University of Melbourne VCA and MCM. In 2019 she received two Green Room Award nominations for Performer and Ensemble in Independent Theatre (Moral Panic). 

      Theatre credits include; Still Haven’t Found What I’m Cooking For (dir. Hannah Fallowfield), Australian Realness (dir. Janice Muller) for Malthouse Theatre, Whale (dir. Katrina Cornwell) for Darebin Speakeasy, Truly Madly Britney (dir. Hannah Fallowfield) for Theatre Works, Moral Panic (dir. Bridget Balodis), Red Stitch’s Suddenly Last Summer (dir. Stephen Nicolazzo), La Mama’s Crazy Brave (dir. Melanie Beddie), Speak of the Devil (self-devised) for Melbourne Fringe 2017 and Adelaide Fringe 2018, La Mama’s Woman with a Tomahawk (dir. Iris Gaillard). 

       In 2019 she co-directed WEYA’s The Watching and wrote, You May Not Rest Now There Are Monsters Nearby (She is Vigilante, dir. Bridget Balodis and Krystalla Pearce) which won a 2020 Green Room Award for Independent Theatre Performer (Lucy Ansell). 

       Chanella is a member of New Working Group and Red Stitch Actors’ Ensemble. 

    • Rexson Pelman

      Lead Artist

      Rexson Pelman

      Lead Artist

      Rexson Pelman is a performer, sound designer, facilitator, rapper, music producer and wrestler, as well as a full-time labourer and father of five. He is a Lead Artist and Sound Designer for WEYA where his work has been incredibly diverse.  In 2012 he worked on the Chronicles project, culminating in travelling to the remote Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community in Western Australia to create performance with young people. As a member of the Edge Ensemble, Rexson has performed in Fate (FCAC, 2013), Fate 2.0 (Arts Centre, 2014), Scheherazade (FCAC, 2014), Iago (Malthouse 2015) and Caliban (Malthouse 2016). He has performed in countless productions for WEYA since first joining as a participant at fourteen years of age, worked as a Support Artist with WEYA for St Albans Edge, Geelong Edge and Footscray Edge and is now a Sound Designer, Composer and Lead Artist for the company.

      Rexson has worked as a sound designer, engineer and performer for a number of other arts organisations and events, including Backbone Youth Arts QLD, Uprising Theatre, Playback West, Platform Youth Theatre and Metonnoia Theatre.

    • Natalie Lucic

      Natalie Lucic

      Natalie is an actress and an education facilitator who hails from Werribee, Victoria. Natalie has always always enjoyed performing and being in the spotlight from a young age. She started acting professionally at age 15 with Moving Theatre, where she performed in various shows including a season at La Mama Courthouse Theatre.

      In 2013, she attended film acting school at ITM studios. In 2014, Natalie joined the Western Edge Youth Arts’ Edge Ensemble, where she co-created and performed in Iago (2015), Caliban (2016) and Caliban Tour (2018). As a Support Artist with WEYA, she has worked at seven schools and at Phoenix Edge, North Geelong Edge, Geelong Edge and Wyndham Edge. In 2019, she will continue as a Support Artists at Wyndham Edge while she works full-time.

       

  • Support Artist

    • Amarachi Okorom

      Amarachi Okorom

      Amarachi Okorom is a Nigerian-born Igbo actress and spoken word poet. She grew up in Auckland, New Zealand until moving to Melbourne in 2013, where she studied and graduated with a Bachelor of Technology. She spent most of her time pre-COVID working at the Wyndham City Libraries and being involved in Wyndham Edge sessions.  

      Amarachi currently works with WEYA as a Support Artist and a member of our Leading Edge Ensemble. She is also a Writer in Residence with Lonely Company, developing a play about identity and pre-colonial Nigeria, and was featured in the Queen Victoria Women Centre’s Home Truths series. Outside of her commitments she is usually practicing and perfecting her spoken word skills and writing stories. 

    • Sarah Iman

      Sarah Iman

      Sarah is a writer, woman and lover of people. She is a believer in the transformative powers of art and its ability to deeply connect us all. Her work is inspired by stories that capture the human experience, particularly with a social and political undertone. School is where she discovered and fell in love with literature and drama. From a young age, writing was an instrument for Sarah to transmute her experiences growing up into self-healing. The young writer has always found a deep connection to the arts and people, and hopes to continue championing others in their own journeys to sharing their stories

    • Rashidi Edward

      Rashidi Edward

      Rashidi Edward is a Congolese born actor based in Melbourne. He graduated from Adelaide College of the Arts in 2016, and made his professional theatre debut in 2017 with The State Theatre Company of South Australia. As a member of their Ensemble, he appeared in four of the company’s productions including A Doll’s House and Macbeth in 2017 and Sense & Sensibility and In The Club in 2018. Other theatre credits includes Lines (Theatre Republic) Allope (Adelaide Festival) Season at Sarsaparilla, Mother Courage & Her Childrens, Richard II, and Earthquake In London. Physical theatre credits include: Hamlet Machine and Best To Go Unseen (Ac Arts). He’s also appeared in several films and television including RABBIT (film/Netflix) ABC iview series ‘F**king Adelaide’, ‘Akoni’, ‘Displaced’, ‘Speed’, ‘Run Away Moon’, ‘My Life is Murder’ and Stan’s ‘PREACHER’ and upcoming projects including feature film 2067. 

    • Damian Seddon

      Damian Seddon

      Damian is a hip hop dancer with a style that leans towards contemporary dance. Residing in Reservoir, Damian has worked as a dance tutor since the age of 17. As a performer Damian has danced in Outer Urban Projects’ Major Work, VESSEL, and is regular workshop instructor for Dance Alliance. In 2017, Damian was chosen from a large pool of auditionees to become cast member for Sir Matthew Bourne’s adaptation Lord Of The Flies at State Theatre, Art Centre Melbourne (2017). Damian is also Associate Artist in Outer Urban Projects’ Hume Studios project for Creative Suburbs 2019. Damian has also independently secured a scholarship to attend the Buildabeast camp in Los Angeles, U.S.A – a convention and workshop geared to commercial dance industry. 

    • Betiel Beyin

      Betiel Beyin

      Betiel is an Eritrean Creative based in Melbourne Victoria, who started writing and performing in her late teens, acting in her high-school plays. Betiel joined Western Edge Youth Arts in early 2018. She co-wrote and performed in two productions, which led Betiel to earn a residency with Phoenix Youth Centre in 2018. She has also been mentored by comic, actor and writer Candy Bowers.

      Betiel is a second-year film student at RMIT University, who recently created her first short film The Rise And Fall Of Bobby Maz which got into the Swamp Cinema Festival. Betiel is a creative who floats through multiple areas in the digital/theatre space, from being a runner on set to a production assist, performer, writer and film student.

    • Leigh Lule

      Leigh Lule

      Leigh is a Melbourne based actress, musician and aspiring documentarian. Her earliest memories of performing include forcing her parents to listen to pitchy renditions of Disney classics, whilst smashing the keys of a small Casio piano. To this day, it is no different, but she would like to think her artistry has improved.

      Leigh joined WEYA’s Wyndham Edge in 2018, and played the lead role in the ensemble’s original piece ‘TIG; a recontextualised version of the ancient Greek tragedy, Antigone. She now works for WEYA as a Support Artist at Manor Lakes College and hopes to continue creating theatrical work that focuses on fostering environmental, political and socio-economic change.

    • Michael Logo

      Michael Logo

      Michael Logo is a film and stage actor with diverse experience. He first became interested in acting when he was roped into a short film project as part of an after school program in 2007. Eli the Invincible, in which Michael stared alongside his younger brother Elijah, was an award winning short film featured on SBS, about a young wrestling fan trying to make sense of the racial violence surrounding him. Michael went on to work on several other short films, including Hiders (2013), and Burning of the Mekong (2016), before being cast as Tank in the feature film Is This The Real World in 2015.

      Michael’s training includes a year with Verve Studios culminating in a season of With You, Alone in 2014.

      Michael became involved in Western Edge Youth Arts in 2016 and played the role of Private Detective Fatu in TEK as part of the Phoenix Edge ensemble. Born in Auckland, raised in Broadmeadows, and proud of his Samoan cultural heritage, Michael worked on the script for Hamlet (2016), translating sections of this inter-cultural retelling of the classic text into Samoan language. Since then he has performed in Stand Out (2017) and Lele, Butterfly (2018), and has also worked as a Support Artist for WEYA at St Albans Edge and Victoria University Secondary College.

    • Yaw Dadzie

      Yaw Dadzie

      Yaw Faso is a musician, actor and writer based in Naarm/Melbourne. Drawing on his Ghanaian heritage, and early exposure to African and Caribbean music, Yaw weaves together elements of pop, afro fusion, funk and dancehall to create his trademark flow, which earned him an honorary nomination for Best Reggae and Dancehall Act at the Music Victoria Awards in 2018 and 2019. Yaw has performed at Let Them Eat Cake (with Machinedrum), I Love Dancehall and Strawberry fields, and has supported local and international artists such as Kranium, Nasty C, Konshens, Eddy Kenzo, Jose Chameleone, Big Zeeks, Baker Boy and JessB. As an actor, Yaw has performed at Malthouse Theatre (Iago, 2015 and Caliban, 2016) and Arts Centre Melbourne (AMKA, 2017). He is an experienced and sought-after community arts facilitator, working with Western Edge Youth Arts as a Support Artist across their school and community programs, and with cohealth Arts Generator as a collaborator on trans-disciplinary participatory arts projects. 

  • Core Team

    • Lucy Pitt, General Manager

      Lucy Pitt, General Manager

    • Robert Young, co-Artistic Director

      Robert Young, co-Artistic Director

      Robert Young, co-Artistic Director

      Robert Young, co-Artistic Director

      Robert Young is a Gunnai, Waradjurie, Yorta Yorta, Gunditjumara man who’s has been creating art, murals and sculptures throughout Melbourne for the past 7 years. He has strong connection within his community, and is very passionate about keeping his culture, and working towards creating a space that acknowledges his people and the important role of hearing and seeing Victorian Aboriginal Art throughout Melbourne on its walls, in its buildings, on its stages and on our screens.
      Robert has worked with PUMA and the AFL as one of the first Indigenous artists to design sportswear. He’s also worked with Cricket Australia and the Australian Open, and has been commissioned for major public artworks across Victoria including Charcoal Lane’s iconic Fitzroy mural.
      In 2021 Robert was a contestant on Chanel 10’s reality series Making It and is a seasoned public speaker and coach. His creative vison for all is projects and works are focused on celebrating and acknowledging his cultural heritage but how does he empower, inform and encourage people to connect to his culture and community. And is very passionate about passing it on to the next generation and how he inspires them to step into their destiny and sovereignty.
    • Reis Low, Operations Coordinator

      Reis Low, Operations Coordinator

      Reis Low, Operations Coordinator

      Reis Low, Operations Coordinator

      Reis Low (they/them) is an arts manager and maker with a background in theatre and dance. Previous credits include producing Infinite Affection by Luke Macaronas, stage managing Hydra by Double Water Sign, choreographing for Low Frequency by Sodi Murphy-Shrives, and interning at La Mama. When not at Western Edge, they can be found production managing Wit Incorporated’s Dear Mama, There’s Something Maybe I Should Tell You…, being a Union House Theatre (UHT) Peer Mentor, developing new work with Dirty Laundry Collective, or catching up with loved ones and art in Singapore and Malaysia. Come chat with Reis about your quietest ideas and wildest dreams over a cup of tea.

    • Caitlin Stanway, Marketing Manager

      Caitlin Stanway, Marketing Manager

      Caitlin Stanway, Marketing Manager

      Caitlin Stanway, Marketing Manager

    • Kim Williamson, Development Manager

      Kim Williamson, Development Manager

      Kim Suree Williamson is a Thai-Australian arts worker and grant writer, with a varied background in the music industry, business, marketing, international development and disaster management.

      Kim is passionate about working with artists from diverse backgrounds. She has an extensive track record of supporting creatives to excel at their practice, through grant writing, creative strategy, sustainable business practice and artist development.

      She runs the Digikillaz record label, is an alumni of the Seed Fund artist management workshops and participated in the inaugural AIR Women In Music Program. She is the co-founder of Melbourne independent creative agency Melbourne Minute, which champions local independent musicians and collectives

    • Penny Harpham, Executive Director

      Penny Harpham, Executive Director

      co-Artistic Director/CEO
      Penny Harpham, Executive Director

      Penny Harpham, Executive Director

      co-Artistic Director/CEO

      Penny is the Executive Director of Western Edge, where she was previously the company Co-Artistic Director and Associate Director.

      She has an extensive body of work as a freelance director, actor, and youth arts facilitator, and also co-founded and is co-Artistic Director of the independent theatre company, She Said Theatre. She Said Theatre is committed to the inclusion and promotion of women and other underrepresented artists and since 2012 they have created and produced forty seasons across Australia and New Zealand of seven new works.

      She has won a Green Room award (The Stream/The Boat/The Shore/ The Bridge); received a Barbara Manning Scholarship for Excellence and the Global Atelier Scholarship for Overseas Travel from the VCA; an Ian Potter Travel Grant; was selected to partake in Playwriting Australia’s inagural Director’s Studio, Melbourne Festival’s Director’s Lab and Melbourne Theatre Company’s Women in Theatre program; is a current recipient of the Betty Amsden Foundation Scholarship and directed the highly acclaimed production of HART through She Said Theatre which was nominated for a Green Room award and won multiple Melbourne Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, New Zealand Fringe and Blue Room (WA) awards.

      Her passion for new writing, experimental performance and community development has taken her throughout Australia, Berlin, Seoul, the UK and New Zealand with companies and venues such as Footscray Community Arts, The Bowery Theatre, Wyndham Cultural Centre, the Substation, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Hothouse Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Red Stitch Actors Ensemble, Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival, the Seymour Centre, BATS (Wellington), Mullae Arts Space (Seoul), Platoon Kunsthalle (Berlin) and regional theatres and remote make-shift venues.

      She hold a Bachelor of Arts (University of Queensland) and Graduate Diplomas in Arts Management (University of Melbourne) and Directing for Performance (Victoria College of the Arts).

    • John Marc Desengano, co-Artistic Director

      John Marc Desengano, co-Artistic Director

      Lead Artist
      John Marc Desengano, co-Artistic Director

      John Marc Desengano, co-Artistic Director

      Lead Artist

      John Marc Desengano is a Filipino-Australian actor, theatre-maker and educator based in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

      Upon graduating from The University of Ballarat, Arts Academy acting course in 2008, John Marc performed for a Theatre in Education Company called Brainstorm Productions taking thought provoking shows to primary and high schools all over Australia.

      His five years with Brainstorm Productions fostered a respect and appreciation for young people which spurred him to enrol in the Masters of Primary Teaching course at the University of Melbourne. Graduating in 2015, John Marc works as a Casual Relief Teacher in various primary schools all over Melbourne.

      John Marc’s passion for working with young people has led him to working with leading Youth Theatre companies WEYA and St. Martin’s Youth Theatre as a teaching and lead artist. John Marc is also a happy member of Polyglot Theatre, performing in installations such as Paper Planet and Boats. His experience as an educator has seen him develop and lead education and drama workshops for the Malthouse and various Secondary schools around Melbourne. In 2022, he will also teach for the VCA and Federation University.

      As an actor, John Marc’s stage credits include; The Yellow Wave, Love Bird, The Bachelor S17 E05, Survival, Enlightenment, Just A Boy Standing in Front of a Girl, A Midnight Visit, and many more. He also performed in The Dead Twin, written by Chi Vu, at the Georgetown Festival in Malaysia. His television credits include; Rush, Back in Very Small Business, Playing for Keeps, Lie With Me, and others.

      John Marc is a proud company member of Impro Melbourne and Soothplayers: Completely Improvised Shakespeare.

  • Board

    • Jock Jeffries

      Chair

      Jock Jeffries

      Chair

      Jock Jeffries was appointed treasurer on 12 December 2016, and then Chair in April 2019. Jock is an experienced Managing Director, CEO, CFO and CIO, who has for over 40 years managed growth and transformation in privately held small to medium sized enterprises. He is a member of CPA Australia, holds an MBA from Deakin University and has a passion for text-based theatre.

    • Irena Baric

      Deputy Chair

      Irena Baric

      Deputy Chair

      Irena arrived to Australia in her teenage years due to the civil war in former Yugoslavia. She has spent all her youth living in the Melbourne western suburbs.

      With over 10 years’ experience in the non-for-profit sector in a community setting environment, Irena’s area of expertise has been delivering humanitarian government funded programs that have positive impact to emerging communities.

      She also has experience in case management, property management and the housing sector to meet clientele basic human needs.

      Irena has experienced and witnessed the positive impact of community engagement programs and thrives to see youth being empowered, bring out their potential and guided through new concepts of independence to be active and engaged members of Australian society.

    • Mario Agostinoni

      Treasurer

      Mario Agostinoni

      Treasurer

      Mario was the Finance Manager at Malthouse Theatre for 20 years, starting when the company was the Playbox. Mario was a theatre maker in Italy before arriving in Melbourne. He brings a wealth of experience as a board member, having also sat on the Board at Arena Theatre Company and Polyglot.

    • Sherry-Rose Bih Watts

      Sherry-Rose Bih Watts

      SherryRose is a young African Australian of Cameroonian descent currently studying a Bachelor of International Relations at La Trobe University. She has a keen interest in migrant affairs, politics, women’s empowerment and diversity and representation in media and leadership. She is the founder of the social enterprise, WomanGirl, and an associate with Foundation for Young Australians, YLab.

    • Piper Huynh

      Piper Huynh

      Piper Huynh is a Melbourne-based theatre-maker driven by untold stories. She has worked extensively with Western Edge Youth Arts for over 10 years devising in their ground breaking projects such as Chronicles: Searching for Songlines, Beagle Bay Chronicles, Iago and Caliban. Piper comes with a breadth of experience in community engagement, accessibility and inclusive practices, facilitation, independent theatre and stage/production management. She is a graduate of the Footscray Community Arts’ Emerging Cultural Leaders Program and the Vietnamese Community of Australia’s Dual Identity Leadership Program. Piper currently works as the Office Manager at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

    • Kiera Moloney

      Kiera Moloney

      Kiera is a specialised philanthropic consultant with a strong focus on governance and strategy. She has experience in supporting family foundations, not-for-profits, and corporate philanthropy. Kiera previously held positions at The Myer Family Company and Mutual Trust, providing strategic philanthropy advisory to high net worth families. She is currently a grants manager, facilitating funding of more than $3m per year to support Victorians. Kiera lives in the West and she is passionate about how structured giving can provide benefit to our community and address the structural disadvantages experienced by our young people.

    • Vanessa O’Neill

      Vanessa O’Neill

      Vanessa trained as an actor at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier and at the Drama Centre in London. Vanessa has worked for a range of theatre companies including The Australian Shakespeare Company, La Mama, Shakespeare by The Sea, Harlos Theatre Company, Sydney Art Theatre, and Bell Shakespeare. From 2001 – 2004 she toured her one-woman-show Happy With Half Your Life across Australia, the UK and Europe, with the assistance of The Australia Council for the Arts. Vanessa has toured schools throughout Australia with a solo show of Shakespeare’s Women. In 2013, Vanessa took part in the International Actors Fellowship at Shakespeare’s Globe. In 2015-16 her show In Search of Owen Roe was on at La Mama and was selected for the 2016 VCE Drama Playlist. It also toured with Regional Arts Victoria. Vanessa is currently the Manager, Schools Engagement at Arts Centre Melbourne.

    • Vincent Shin

      Vincent Shin

      Vincent was born in Seoul, South Korea and has lived in Melbourne most of his life. He is a senior lawyer employed by Westjustice Community Legal Centre and based at Tarneit Senior College as a school lawyer providing students with onsite legal advice in an Australian first. Vincent worked as a carer in residential care homes for young people removed by child protection for many years and is very passionate about working with young people, particularly those from disadvantaged, marginalised and racialized backgrounds. Vincent is a practicing lawyer and was admitted as an Australian Lawyer in 2014.