MONICA KANE – Chair
Key Skills + Expertise – Arts Industry / Arts Leadership / Social Change
Board Member since 2020
Monica’s day job is co-CEO of Community Arts Network (CAN). She is also a Board member of SCOOP Foundation, which works to break the poverty cycle of children living on the streets in Varanasi, India. Monica is in the final months of completing her Masters in Human Rights Education at Curtin, with a specific focus on Indigenous and children’s rights.
Having been in arts leadership positions for over ten years, Monica’s current role at CAN enables her to create positive social change through the arts. Recently, she successfully steered the organisation through volatile times, developed an empowering culture, and established a financially viable organisation that can flourish beyond the ebbs and flows of government cycles. Most importantly, her experience at CAN has created opportunities to work with Elders on First Nations programs across Noongar country.
Previous to the arts, Monica was a sole trader, providing facilitation and training services for management and business qualifications across sectors, cultural groups and countries including Pakistan and Turkey. With her combined experience Monica brings a level, focused, and strategic perspective over governance, strategy, financial analysis, funding and partnerships, and community engagement.
Her passion for The Blue Room Theatre comes from knowing its significant place in the ecology of arts and culture in WA. And believing in how it connects stories and people and the possibility of truly reflecting the plurality of voices that make up Australia. As a young girl growing up in Perth watching productions at The Playhouse, The Blue Room, Octagon and Dolphin theatres she was mesmerised by the visceral transformation into someone’s story. The Blue Room Theatre has a special place in Perth’s history, and for emerging creatives, it brings critical opportunities that must be maintained and expanded for many years to come.
ZAINAB SYED – Deputy Chair
Key Skills + Expertise – Arts Industry / Arts Management / Community Engagement
Board Member since 2020
Zainab is a poet, producer and educator. She graduated with a BA in Political Science from Brown University, USA. From 2014-2017 she toured as a performance poet across the US, UK, Middle East, South Asia and Australia and facilitated art therapy workshops for incarcerated women, trauma victims and migrants and refugees. She is co-founder of Pakistan Poetry Slam and illUMEnate, a collective of diverse artists and humanitarians in WA.
In 2017 Zainab joined Performing Lines WA as a Producer, where she has worked on/toured: Whoosh! by Sensorium Theatre, Layla Majnun by illUMEnate, Small Voices Louder and Dear Hope Street by Maybe Together, Fully Sikh by Barking Gecko and Black Swan, Minneapolis by Will O’Mahony, Black Brass by Mararo Wangai, Children of the Sea by Jay Emmanuel and 5+5 (Sydney) with the SweatShop and Playwriting Australia. Zainab is a PAWA Judge, Member of CAN Diversity Working Group and a 2020 Churchill Fellow. With PLWA she regularly attends APACA/PAX, Dance Massive/ATF and WA Showcase.
My passion is in curating and facilitating opportunities for intercultural collaboration between independent artists and re-imagining the frameworks around inclusion. I believe theatre has the power to forge transformative experiences and connections between people and communities. I really look forward to being involved in developing the Blue Room’s access and inclusion strategies and initiatives during my term as well as bringing my experience in creating new pathways for emerging and diverse artists, championing the independent arts sector, and supporting WA artists and stories to tour regionally, nationally and internationally, to benefit The Blue Room Theatre’s membership, and community as we embark on an exciting new chapter together.
TANYA PAYNE – Treasurer
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.
LIESBETH GOEDHART – Secretary
Key Skills + Expertise – Philanthropy / Arts Management / Marketing
Board member since 2018
Liesbeth holds a degree in Fine Arts from Curtin University and has worked in the arts and cultural sector in Western Australia for 18 years. She has held a range of senior roles, including Director of Marketing and Development for the Perth International Arts Festival (2000-2005). In 2008, she established the WA office of Artsupport (now Creative Partnerships Australia) for the Australia Council for the Arts.
Since 2010, her firm goedhARTconsulting has specialised in strategic planning, community and stakeholder consultation, philanthropy and brokering corporate-arts partnerships. As a consultant, Liesbeth has worked with many organisations across all art forms throughout the State, from small to medium to major cultural institutions.
An enthusiastic collaborator who thrives on empowering people and encouraging emerging creative talent, Liesbeth enjoys using her experience and energy to add value to arts organisations and their boards. She has been a Board member at the Blue Room Theatre Board since early 2018 and previously served on the Boards of Strut Dance (2011-2017) and Tura New Music (2014-2019). She is also a founding committee member of Impact100 Fremantle, a community giving circle.
Liesbeth is passionate about helping to build a truly inclusive arts sector, free from barriers, where people of all abilities and cultural backgrounds bring their own unique perspectives to the creative process and participate on an equal basis. She is excited about continuing to bring her wealth of fundraising experience in the arts, skills in strategic planning and her wide network of relationships in WA to benefit the Blue Room Theatre and its members.
Key Skills + Expertise – Artist (Director / Dramaturg)
Board member since 2020
Emily McLean trained at WAAPA and is a founding member of Red Ryder Productions. She has directed for Black Swan State Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Deckchair, Red Ryder, WAAPA, Curtin, Maiden Voyage Theatre Company and others. Last year Emily directed Water by Jane Bodie (BSSTC), assistant directed The Torrents by Oriel Gray (BSSTC), and directed The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe (Red Ryder). In the last eight years she has directed ten new Australian works. In 1996 Emily directed her first ever show at The Blue Room Theatre, Dancing with the Fabulous Rat Girl by Tom Horne. Since then she has directed over ten shows there (including Grounded by George Brant, Toast by Liz Newell, Fat Pig by Neil LaBute and Slut by Patricia Cornelius). She has mentored Blue Room directors and writers, sat on the selection panel, been in the audience and occasionally had a drink at the bar. She would love a chance to give back to this company that has given her (and all of us) so much over the years.
Key Skills + Expertise – Artist (Performance Maker / Writer / Producer)
Board member since 2020
Sam Nerida is a theatre maker, producer and award-winning playwright, working and living in Boorloo on Whadjuk Noongar boodja. They are also the Producer and co-founder of Static Drive Co, a Digital Puppeteer for Murdoch University, and an arts-educator for young people. In 2020 Sam was commissioned to contribute to Playwriting Australia’s ‘Dear Australia’ project, was a KISS Club and Perth Festival Lab artist, developed several Winter Nights projects and is currently directing The Jellyman. Their play ‘See You Next Tuesday’ was awarded Best New Writing (The Blue Room Theatre), Best New Work and Best Independent Production (PAWA Awards) for 2019. They have worked for The Blue Room Theatre as their Associate Producer (2018 – 2019), and their recent performance credits include The Wolves (Red Ryder, 2019).
Sam’s love for The Blue Room Theatre has grown with each new way they have engaged – as an artist, an audience member, a staff member – and will bring a fierce passion for both the organisation itself and the WA arts sector at large. Recently their practice has moved away from performance projects and towards the facilitation of professional and sector development, specifically in areas of youth engagement, disability and cultural diversity, always with values of self-determination and inclusivity at the forefront. Sam believes that The Blue Room Theatre always is and will continue to be an industry leader in both performance and process, and would honour the chance to be a part of that journey for the coming years.
Key Skills + Expertise – Multi-disciplinary Performer and Artist / Emerging Leader
Board Member since 2020
Ian Wilkes is a proud Noongar man of the Wadjuk and Balladong people. He graduated from WAAPA (Aboriginal theatre) in 2008. Theatre credits include Honey Spot, Kaarla Kaatijin, So Long Suckers and Hecate for Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and The Long Forgotten Dream for Sydney Theatre Company. In 2015 Ian performed at the Opera House with the long running WA show Binjareb Pinjarra.
Ian has also developed skills in directing and writing. Productions directed by him include Kep Kaatijin, Songbird (The Blue Room Theatre collaboration). Boodjar Kaatijin (also written by Ian) and Djinda Kaatijin (2019) for Yirra Yaakin, and Hobo (2016) for The Blue Room Theatre. He was also assistant director of Yirra Yaakin’s 2014 production King Hit.
Amongst Ian’s acting and directing career he is also a talented dancer. He teaches traditional and contemporary dance to the younger generation by combining his knowledge of culture, theatre and performance.