Our People

Kate Champion - Artistic Director

Kate Champion

Kate has decades of experience working in theatre, dance-theatre, opera, musicals, film and circus - in many genres ranging from devised original work, new Australian plays, classics, comedy, multi-art form work, interactive and physical theatre.

In 2002, Kate founded the company Force Majeure based in Sydney, and helmed the company from a project-based concern to a multi-year funded company premiering five original main stage works for major festivals and touring extensively regionally, nationally, and internationally until 2015. Force Majeure has toured twice to WA.

Kate works extensively on large-scale projects, and for major theatre companies as well as in the small-to-medium and independent theatre scene. Kate is presently working as director on the development of a new play with local Perth actors Mandy and Hayley McElhinney.

Kate had a 26-year career as a performer and dancer with companies both nationally and internationally and created two acclaimed solo shows. Kate performed her solo show Face Value at PICA.

Kate is a multi-award winning artist, winning the Helpmann Award Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production for Same, Same But Different (Sydney Festival), Most Outstanding Performance by a Company at the Australian Dance Awards for Already Elsewhere (Sydney Festival and Biennale de la Danse in Lyon), the 2012 Helpmann Award for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production for Not In A Million Years, and Most Outstanding Performance by a Company at the Australian Dance Awards for The Age I’m In (Sydney and Adelaide Festivals, touring to Dublin, Montreal and Seoul).

Kate currently sits on the board for Belvoir Theatre and Legs on the Wall.

Ian Booth - Chief Executive Officer

Ian Booth

Ian has worked in the creative industries in Western Australia for over 20 years, principally in the Australian film and television industry.

Ian started his working career as a lawyer, and after a variety of legal and film industry roles including working as Business Affairs Manager for Drama and Comedy at the ABC in Melbourne, Ian served as CEO of Screenwest from 2007-2017, the Western Australian peak film financing body.

In a period of strong growth for the sector, Ian led the Screenwest team that financed hundreds of film and television projects, with some highlights including Red Dog, Satellite Boy, Looking for Grace, Paper Planes, Bran Nue Dae, Australia, Breath, Cloudstreet, Mystery Road, Outback Truckers, SAS: The Search for Warriors, Who Do You Think You Are, and many more.

During this period, the screen industry in Western Australia significantly diversified and expanded from its base in documentaries and children’s television, to regularly producing critically and commercially successful international feature films and television series. WA films have now screened at all the biggest film festivals in the world on multiple occasions, including Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Toronto, Busan and Berlin.

After leaving Screenwest, Ian has worked as a consultant and executive producer, and also returned to practice law. Ian is currently a director of a number of companies in the film and television sector, including production company Indian Pacific Pictures Pty Ltd, and Home Fire Creative Industries Pty Ltd, which is in the final stages of a market led proposal process with the State Government of Western Australia to build and operate major film studios in WA.

Ian’s recent credits as Executive Producer include the feature films RAMS, Star Dreaming, Ningaloo: Australia’s Other Great Reef, and Whale Super Highway.

Ian is currently a Commonwealth Government appointment to the board of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, and has previously been a Board member of national screen agency Ausfilm, Awesome Arts Festival, and the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Francois Witbooi, Chair

    Francois Witbooi has worked as a senior executive in a range of industries across 4 continents. A classically trained concert pianist and winner of the prestigious Fulbright scholarship in 2002, Francois graduated from Columbia University in the City of New York with a Master’s in Arts management before taking up positions at the Arts Council England and the National Foundation for Youth Music UK. More recently he worked in micro enterprise development in a number of communities across regional and remote Western Australia. He is a co-founder of Redspear Safety and was most recently included as a winner of the 40under40, an award which celebrates Western Australia’s leading entrepreneurs under the age of 40. Francois also serves on the board of directors for Aboriginal Choice, a charity aimed at supporting and giving emotional strength to elders in their communities.

  • Felicity Gooding, Deputy Chair and Treasurer

    Ms Gooding is the Commercial General Manager of Fortescue Future Industries; recently moving across from her position as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Minderoo Foundation, a modern philanthropic organisation. Prior to her promotion to Deputy CEO, Felicity was CFO and COO of Minderoo Foundation and Minderoo Group (now known as Tattarang) for more than 8 years, a time of significant growth for both organisations.

    Ms Gooding is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors. Felicity has held a number of directorships and is currently director of the Black Swan State Theatre Company and the Freedom Fund, a London based organisation dedicated to ending modern slavery.

    With over fifteen years’ experience specialising in due diligence, mergers and acquisitions and equity and debt financing across various sectors in Washington DC, Singapore and London. Ms Gooding has held senior positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Diageo Plc Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and Sirius Minerals Plc.

    Ms Gooding is mother to Rosalie and Hamish and passionate about reforming the systems of early education to incentivise women to return to work after having children.

  • Anna Casellas, Company Secretary

    Anna is a partner at national law firm Clayton Utz and holds undergraduate degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne. Anna is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    With almost 20 years' legal experience Anna advises a broad range of clients on all aspects of employment, industrial relations and safety law. Anna also practices in regulatory litigation and compliance with a focus on large financial services.

    Anna leads a number of diversity initiatives at Clayton Utz in Perth and sits on the firm's national diversity and inclusion committee, Momentum, as well as the National Graduate Recruitment Committee.

    In 2020 Anna was voted by peers as WA's Lawyer of the Year (WA) - Employment and Labour Law 2020. Anna also sits on the Council at St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls and is a member of the Law Council of Australia Industrial Relations Committee.

  • Zoë Atkinson

    Zoë Atkinson has worked as a theatre designer nationally and internationally for over twenty-five years. Her experience spans a diverse range of art forms including opera, puppetry, dance, theatre, community arts, museum exhibition and the visual arts. Over the years she has served as a member and chair on many arts advisory boards, committees and funding panels; and has taught design at a variety of institutions, including WAAPA, where she was Head of Design from 2000 – 2002. Zoë has been the recipient of several awards for her work, including a Helpmann Award, several Green Room Awards, and the Young Australian of the Year Award for the Arts. Her relationship with Black Swan began in 2000; and she has since designed thirteen productions with the company.

  • Mimi Packer

    Mimi Packer graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is an accountant and mother of four children. Mimi is on the Board of the Australian Bridge Federation Foundation and is a former director of the PLC Foundation and The Fathering Project. She has been involved with numerous charities including Clontarf Foundation, The Smith Family and Brightwater Care Group. Mimi has been keen supporter of the Black Swan State Theatre Company for many years.

  • Prof. David Shirley

    David is the Executive Director of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

    A professional actor with extensive experience in theatre, film, television and radio, David trained at the Arts Educational Schools and at RADA.. The founding Chair of the Conference of Drama Schools Research Forum and a former Co-convenor of the 20th/21st Century Performer Training Group at TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), David is actively engaged in promoting research initiatives across the HE performer training sector. His own research includes published articles/book chapters related to Stanislavsky and Russian Naturalism, British Actor and Director training, the American Method, the work of Samuel Beckett and Postdramatic Theatre.

    David was formerly the Chair of the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS) in the UK and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

    David is an Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) published by Routledge.

    He is also on the Advisory Board to the Stanislavsky Research Centre.

  • Alison Terry

    Alison is an experienced senior executive and Board member and is currently a Non Executive Director on the Board of UN Women Australia. She brings significant expertise in sustainability, corporate affairs, legal, company secretarial and general management, having worked across a number of sectors including mining and resources, automotive, telecommunications and superannuation.

    Her most recent position was Director of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs and Joint Company Secretary at Fortescue Metals Group. Previous roles before joining Fortescue include General Counsel and Company Secretary and Executive Director, Corporate Affairs at GM Holden, Head of Corporate Affairs at innovative electric car network company, Better Place Australia, and Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of leading not-for-profit, The Foundation for Young Australians. She has also held a number of Non-Executive positions including on the Board of Directors of industry superannuation fund AustralianSuper and NBN Tasmania Limited.

    Alison holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Graduate Diploma of Business (Accounting), and is a member of Chief Executive Women and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

ARTISTIC REFERENCE GROUP

  • Artistic Reference Group 2022

    Prof. David Shirley (Chair)
    Ian Booth (Chief Executive Officer)
    Kate Champion (Artistic Director)
    Rob Brookman
    Rob McKenzie
    Wendy Martin
    Michael McCall
    Barry McGuire
    Sally Richardson
    Ann Tonks

PHILANTHROPY ADVISORY BOARD

OUR TEAM

  • Finance & Operations

    Sarah-Jane Watkins Director of Finance
    Katie Gugliotta Finance Officer
    Deanna Faust Director of Operations
    Erin Howe Executive Assistant & Office Manager

  • Artistic

    Polly Low Literary Director
    Chantelle Iemma Company Manager
    Chris Isaacs Resident Artist

  • Production

    Katie Moore Director of Production
    Joey Coombes Technical Coordinator
    Les Hickford Workshop Manager
    Ben Green Workshop Administrator & Set Builder
    Stephen Matthews Senior Set Builder & Head Mechanist
    Martin (Marek) Szyler Scenic Artist
    Jordan Lee Set & Prop Builder
    Alison Little Set & Prop Builder
    Ruben Dwyer Set Builder
    Lynn Ferguson Wardrobe Manager
    Jenny Edwards Costume Cutter
    Nicole Marrington Costume Technician
    Anna Weir Wardrobe Assistant/Dresser
    Jemma Eton Costume Construction

  • Development

    Georgia Clark Director of Business Development
    Emilie Monty Development Officer

  • Education

    Christie Sistrunk Creative Learning Manager

  • Marketing

    Nancy Hackett Interim Marketing Manager
    Irene Jarzabek Public Relations Manager
    Olivia Atley Campaign Manager

  • Ticketing

    Logan Jones Ticketing and Customer Service Manager
    David Mitchell Ticketing and Development Officer
    Linda Pope, Angela Sturdy Ticketing Officers