From left: Chris Donnelly, Shane Colquhoun, Gita Bezard, Philippa Maughan, Libby Klysz, Ilene Aveling (former board member). Absentees: Tanya Payne, Dr Renee Newman, Dr Vanessa Rauland. Image: Jessica Wyld
Key Skills + Experience – Arts Education / Arts Industry / Artist
Board member since 2010, Chair since 2013
Libby is known for her extensive work in arts education and improvisational theatre. She has worked as a performer, teacher, producer and consultant for a wide variety of companies over the past decade, such as Black Swan State Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and of course The Blue Room Theatre. Libby has worked with too many schools to mention, and is a writer of curriculum and arts education resources. She was a founding cast member of and continues to perform in Cut Snake Comedy’s cult-hit improv comedy show The Big HOO-HAA! (now in its eleventh year). Libby champions West Australian performing arts at every opportunity.
Key Skills + Expertise – Arts Administration / Regional Touring
Board member since 2012, Deputy Chair since 2013
Philippa is manager of Performing Arts Touring at Country Arts WA having joined the organisation in 2007. She is responsible for national and state touring and tour funding programs, the strategic direction of the touring program, as well as for sourcing funding and reporting to funding bodies. Prior to returning to study and achieving a Bachelor of Arts (Performance Studies) at Curtin University in WA, Philippa worked extensively in corporate administration.
Key Skills + Experience – Finance / Accounting
Board member + Treasurer since 2010
Tanya has worked in finance at various firms for over 20 years while completing a Bachelor of Business (double major in Accounting and Management) at Edith Cowan University. She has held board positions with various other not-for-profit organizations including the Finance Committee of The Centre for Cerebral Palsy and Duncraig Senior High School, and sat on the Perth Theatre Company board for six years.Tanya’s insight into financial management and dealing with government comes from 12 years with Marketforce, a leading WA advertising agency, and having recently joined Volunteer Task Force, a government funded community organization assisting the frail, aged and disabled.
Key Skills + Expertise: Technical / Production Management
Board member + Secretary since 2015
Chris started his theatre career a little backwards, starting with several years of intensive national and international touring. He then moved back to Perth and began working hard and fast with the independent and professional scene. Chris currently works as a freelance lighting designer for companies like Black Swan State Theatre Company, Renegade Theatre Company, Country Arts WA, theMOXYcollective, SpoonTree Productions, Performing Lines WA and many more. He has won a bunch of awards, some of them quite fancy! He is committed to creating and touring innovative, beautiful and exciting theatre, dance and performance art.
Key Skills + Expertise – Arts Industry / Arts Management / Government
Board member since 2014
Following a career as a professional dancer overseas and in Australia, Shane Colquhoun’s arts management career has included positions within government and in the arts sector including General Manager roles with Western Australia’s Deckchair Theatre (1987-89), West Australian Ballet (1992-96) and most recently Black Swan State Theatre Company (2009-14).
From 2000-09, he worked at the WA Department of Culture and the Arts in a range of senior roles, including Director Arts Funding and Development and extended periods as Acting Executive Director of the Development & Strategy Directorate. For 16 months in the lead up to the 2005 State General Election, Shane was seconded to the Minister for Culture and the Arts as Policy Advisor. Shane established himself as a freelance arts manager in 1996 consulting and working with a range of Western Australian arts organisations. He was the National President of the Australian Dance Council – Ausdance until 2006 and in 2014, established his own arts management consultancy in Perth. He is also a Board member of Country Arts WA and a sessional lecturer in Arts Management at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.
Key Skills + Expertise – Arts Industry / Theatre Maker
Board member since 2015
Renée Newman is passionate about integrating the theory and practice of performance, with broad interests in site specific performance, contemporary performance and traditional theatre practice. Her current position as research supervisor and lecturer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts draws on fifteen years as an actor, writer, director, facilitator and educator. Her practice life has featured performance roles with companies including Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Black Swan State Theatre Company and Red Ryder. She was co-director of theMOXYcollective from 2009 – 2014, which produced and/or developed eight shows, including works in New York, Winnipeg, Berlin, Rome and across Australia. Her theoretical interests were first inspired by a BA in English and Comparative Literature, majoring in Theatre and Performance Studies, followed by Honours and a PhD in Performance Studies. In addition to her WAAPA role, where she teaches in the theory and practice of contemporary performance and site specific performance, she co-facilitates a postgraduate course in ‘Leadership in Sustainability’ at Curtin University, drawing on performance practice to enhance the influence and achievements of environmental professionals.
Key Skills + Expertise – Sustainability
Co-opted to the Board in 2014
Vanessa Rauland is a lecturer and research coordinator at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute. She recently completed her PhD, which focused on mainstreaming low carbon urban development. Her areas of research include Decarbonising Cities, Low Carbon & Regenerative Urban Development, Climate Policy, Low Carbon Schools and Green Prisons. Dr Rauland is also the co-founder of SimplyCarbon, which helps organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their operational efficiency, while saving them money. Together with a colleague, Vanessa assisted South Fremantle Senior High School to become the first certified Carbon Neutral school in Australia.