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Team AWESOME

Jenny Simpson

CEO/Artistic Director

Jenny joined AWESOME in 2007, bringing to the role extensive experience as a business manager, festival director, performer and teacher. Jenny has previously held several board positions including Treasurer of Canberra Arts Marketing, President of KULCHA, Multicultural Arts WA and board member for the Chamber of Arts and Culture. Jenny is currently the Musical Director of Mosman Park based choir, the Mighty Camelot. At AWESOME Jenny combines her passion for presenting high quality and innovative arts with community cultural development and working with regional communities.

Nadia Bischof

Festival Admin and Artist Logistics Manager

Nadia started out as an AWESOME Festival volunteer before officially joining the team in 2016. Nadia graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Event, Sport and Recreation Management, and has a strong background in special events. She currently has the busy job of arranging flights and accommodation for AWESOME artists, overseeing the volunteering program and booking in school excursions to the festival. Nadia is a pasta enthusiast who loves travelling and watching cheesy rom-coms.

Brianna Wotzko

Education Manager

Brianna joined team AWESOME in 2015 and loves to explore the limitless potential of creativity! Brianna studied Professional Writing and Publishing and Literary Cultural Studies at Curtin University and has an Associate Diploma in Drama and Performance with the Australian Music Examination Board which qualifies her as a Speech and Drama Teacher. Brianna has a strong background in Arts Management and Education having worked at various schools and festivals in Perth. Brianna oversees the Education program at AWESOME managing creative challenge and compiling resources for schools. In her spare time she enjoys learning unusual information on the internet and watching dark and twisty TV shows and movies.

Miranda Maciver

Operations Manager

Miranda joined Team AWESOME in 2013 and is passionate about contemporary art and its ability to change the way we think about the world. Miranda graduated from Curtin University with an undergraduate degree in Cultural Heritage Studies and an honours year in Anthropology. In 2018 she completed a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact through the University of Western Australia with support from AWESOME’s Principal Partner BHP. Miranda’s background includes curation, education and events and has worked is various arts and not for profit positions in Perth. During her time at AWESOME she has worked across festival and community development roles. On the weekend you can find her browsing op shops around Perth and eating breaded products.

Kayla Newland

Marketing and Communications Officer

Kayla joined team AWESOME in 2021 as Marketing and Communications Officer. Before joining team AWESOME Kayla worked at Telethon Kids Institute and Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation across Communications, Marketing and Events. Passionate about the arts but somewhat lacking in creative abilities, joining AWESOME allows Kayla to join her skills and Bachelor of Media and Communications with her love of all things artistic. On the weekend you can usually find Kayla with her nose in a book or out exploring the beautiful state of WA finding a new food spot.

Georgia Landre-Ord

Associate Producer

A long-time audience member and supporter of AWESOME, Georgia has officially joined the team as Associate Producer in 2021. Prior to joining team AWESOME Georgia has been working within Arts Festivals across Programming and Production departments, as well as working as a Stage Manager for Theatre and occasionally dabbling in the film world. Georgia is a graduate of The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) majoring in Stage and Production management, and the WA Screen Academy majoring in Producing. Georgia will be working as the Robin to Operations Manager Miranda’s Batman for this festival, with a special interest in the Literature program. Georgia is passionate about travelling, especially if it means she gets to meet more dogs and swim in every sea. With the current travel restrictions, on weekend’s you will find Georgia travelling through the world of literature and music or travelling via horseback up in the hills.

Andrea Browning

Community Arts Admin Officer

Andrea joined team AWESOME in 2021 as an intern and has since transitioned into our education department as Community Arts Admin Officer. Andrea came to us in her final semester of studying a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management at WAAPA. Andrea has been a passionate visual-artist and performer from the age of 9 years old. Andrea’s background includes working on an independent fringe production, an independent film, 2 years in children’s party entertainment and professional illustration. In her spare time, you can find Andrea reading, drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, watching movies, playing video games or whatever hobby she has decided to pick up that week!

Amanda Scoble

Accounts Manager

Amanda became a member of the AWESOME Team in 2017. After many years in sport and corporate accounting, she decided to change it up and spent a couple of years behind the scenes with The State Theatre Centre of WA. Needless to say, she fell in love with the arts industry and hasn’t looked back. Whilst Amanda does love a great spreadsheet or a shiny new calculator, she also loves to put a smile on people’s faces and is never short of a pun or a bad mum joke!

James Savage

Production Manager

James has worked in the arts industry for many years and has worked his way up to production manager to the stars! In recent years he has been production manager at the Fairbridge Festival, Joondalup Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival in addition to touring the world over with Australian comedy act Frank Woodley and his show ‘Possessed.’ James looks forward to coming back and working on the AWESOME festival in the second half of the year.

Board

Professor Jonathan Carapetis

Patron of AWESOME Arts Australia Ltd. & Director of the Telethon Kids Institute

Jonathan is a paediatrician, researcher and Director of Telethon Kids Institute. He has been a patron of AWESOME Arts since 2015. This combination of skill and experience allows him to blend his passion for improving the health and wellbeing amongst disadvantaged kids with his interests in the arts. During university, Jonathan was a frequent visitor to Africa where his father lived. It was in Tanzania where he saw first-hand the challenges facing many local families. Their struggle with poverty and major health crises such as HIV, malaria, pneumonia and malnutrition fuelled him through his studies and had a major influence on his future career path. In his dim dark past, he miss-spent many years as an amateur thespian, and wonders to this day whether he should have followed his mates into professional acting. He watched them go on to become famous with Working Dog Productions, while he continued with intensive study to become a doctor… Sigh… Jonathan and his family continue to be strong supporters of the arts as well as health focused organisations who advocate for social justice and equity.

Liz Chester

Chair

Elizabeth is an experienced communications professional who loves to work with others to inspire, challenge and bring about positive change.

Since the start of this millennium, she has worked with the very clever researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute to make sure that the results of their amazing work is communicated to those who can use it – to improve healthcare, change policies and attract vital funding.

During that time, she’s also kept her hand in as a television producer and journalist with 7 News and loves training and mentoring people in all aspects of media.
She’s been a TV and radio presenter, had a short stint in Theatre in Education, and is an enthusiastic, but not particularly talented musician. Liz believes that every child should have the joy and proven benefits of the arts — that’s why she is delighted to join the Awesome Arts Board.

Derry Simpson

 

Derry is a highly intuitive, well credentialed and award-winning brand and communications strategist with a passion for interactive, transformative ideas. Currently a Director at 303LOWE, Derry has over 15 years in the media and marketing industry. As an expert in behaviour change, Derry has worked with numerous not-for-profit organisations over the years, both as a Board member and in a consultant capacity, assisting them to transform their brands and succeed in today’s cluttered environment. A Mum of three little ones and an advocate for building the creative capital in Western Australia, Derry was thrilled to be appointed to the AWESOME Board. She is excited about the wonderful opportunity that it presents for her to put her skills to good use in an area she is passionate about.

Danielle Benda

 

Danielle Benda grew up on a farm in a small community with a passion for amateur theatre. Her first stage appearances as a primary school kid were as a dancing fairy or naughty elf in the annual pantomime. An avid reader, her passion for theatre was reignited at university where she was heavily involved in the dramatic society before finally abandoning any ideas of a career in the arts for a cadetship at The West Australian and a future in journalism. In addition to The West, her career has encompassed stints at ABC Radio, Curtin University, Scoop Magazine and five years as an adviser in the office of Premier Colin Barnett. Along the way she has done a great deal of arts writing, many theatre reviews and book reviews. She worked for the Perth International Arts Festival for two years, running the Perth Writers Festival. She is now Content Director at ABC Radio and continues to pursue her interests in theatre, visual arts and literature.

 

Daniel Smith

 

Daniel is founder and executive director of CGM Communications, one of Western Australia’s leading strategic communications firms, specialising in community, government and media relations.

As a trusted advisor to people at the most senior levels of government and industry, Daniel brings exceptional networks to the AWESOME Board. Daniel’s previous Board experience in the community arts and events sector also benefits AWESOME.

Daniel loves to do music and craft with his two young daughters. He is President of his local school’s P&C.

Daniel is excited to be a part of the AWESOME Board at a time of well-earned opportunity for the organisation.

Ellie Quinti

 

Ellie is an adaptable, creative and highly experienced marketer, having worked in senior roles across many high-profile brands, including Vicinity Centres, 303 MullenLowe, IKEA, Bankwest, Red Rooster and Peters & Brownes. Currently employed by JLL, Ellie leads Customer Strategy on the Perron Group account and has a passion for human centric thinking and using it to help develop places, spaces and experiences that enrich people’s lives.

Ellie supports the belief that that exposure to the arts helps kids develop imagination, curiosity and problem-solving skills and is thrilled to be part of the Awesome Board to support the excellent work they do in helping children access and engage with the arts.

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