The Artists

Meet The Artistic Team

Lenine Bourke

Lenine Bourke

Lenine Bourke (BA Hons, BED) has a broad range of professional experiences in the arts and cultural sector, nationally and internationally, leading various organisations and projects. Recently awarded with an Australia Council Community Partnerships Fellowship exploring Community Engaged Arts Practices and the intersection with Socially Engaged Arts Practices. Focusing the majority of her work collaborating with diverse communities. Recognised as a young leader in 2006 when she was awarded the inaugural Kirk Robson award and in 2009 when she received the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s creative fellowship to undertake research in the area of Social Practice

Jane Jennison

Jane Jennison

Jane has been working as an artist, facilitator, artistic director and arts-worker for the past 13 years. Jane has had a fruitful and ongoing relationship with Contact Inc as a past artistic director of Contact Inc, board member and employee. She is currently in her third cycle of working with the organisation. Jane is highly skilled in cross cultural practice and has worked consistently with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander and recently arrived migrant and refugee communities.

Nathan Stoneham

Nathan Stoneham

Nathan Stoneham likes throwing himself into new situations to see what he’ll learn. He works with people on art – theatre, music, performance and design. He prefers stories that often go unnoticed, encourages connections you wouldn’t expect, and searches for glimpses of utopia to capture and share.

Karen Batten

Karen Batten

Karen Batten uses visual art, print and web design with groups and individuals using a collaborative approach. This process happens by using dialogue, workshops and training to facilitate concept creation through to the final product. Karen has experience working with individuals, organisations and businesses of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, age, socio-economic status and abilities. Karen’s work and art practice blends a passion for social justice and self-expression with a mix of digital and visual arts. The practice thrives on collaborations with friends and community. Karen is based in Turrbal and Jagera Country (Brisbane) and works throughout Brisbane and Australia.

Vernea Curr

Verena Curr

Verena (BA-Drama with CI-Honours & Graduate Diploma of Education – QUT) is a freelance artist whose work dissects multiple disciplines from creator/ performer/ deviser of contemporary theatre and performance, installation and visual arts to facilitating, teaching and consulting across varied settings as a community arts worker and early years educator.

Verena has a passion for creating intergenerational arts based projects for children and adults and also has a keen interest in creating contemporary work, which allows for interdisciplinary collaboration, community engagement and the exploration of various forms of physical and visual storytelling. Verena is currently an associate artist with Imaginary Theatre and works for the Literacy and Young People’s Program at The State Library of Queensland.

Britt Guy

Britt Guy

Britt Guy is a producer, curator, community arts and youth worker who has worked across a range of agencies both nationally and internationally.  Britt’s experience includes roles within not for profit organisations (Flying Arts, Youth Arts Qld, Metro Arts), festivals and events (Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne, Newcastle, Slovenia, Cambodia, Croatia) and local government (Brisbane, Logan and Darwin).  Within these roles she has established and built upon programs and festivals that invest in the work and development of artists and their creative practices while creating high quality creative community programming.  Britt established her own company in 2013 which independently facilitates and produces high quality programming with experimental artists, working with innovative community participation models. Through this she established and runs two unique trans – cultural artist exchange programs in Slovenia, Croatia and Cambodia, a live art community commissioning framework called Thunderbox and a contemporary dance initiative Dance Satellite that develops and presents contemporary dance with regional communities. She is also the Producer: Theatre and Dance at Artback NT.

Soraya Del Castillio

Soraya Del Castillo

Soraya Del Castillo is a Brisbane based facilitator, installer and maker with a passion for transforming ideas into engaging collaborative projects. Her training in nursing, midwifery and experience as a Montessori trained educator have given her a highly unique perspective on artistic practice and cooperative process. Co-founder of the Wollongong based company CircusWOW she was the key visionary for many productions, co-directing, costuming and performing in successful ensemble works such as ‘Beneath my Feet’ and ‘Ignite’.

She has designed and facilitated many creative workshops with children and adults including with the State Library of Queensland, CiRCA, Contact Inc. and QPASTT. Soraya is currently a driving force in the artistic landscape at Junction Park State School, designing and installing art works and creating a children’s garden from inception to actualisation. Soraya’s interests are broad ranging and include costuming, hat making, gardening and creative work. Soraya has a committed passion for working alongside people and “getting good stuff going!!”

Sue Loveday

Sue grew up on a farm building things in her dads’ shed; a love that turned into a career. For the past 15 years she has worked as a freelance illustrator, designing both hand crafted and digital imagery for commercial and visual art applications. Sue has a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration, graduating from Queensland College of Art, she has also studied architecture and graphic design. Community arts and workshop facilitation have complimented her practice for the past five years.


Claire Christian

Claire is a theatremaker, playwright, director, facilitator and proud youth arts advocate. She is currently the Youth Program Coordinator at Queensland Theatre Company. Prior to this appointment she was the Youth Arts Director and the co-creative producer of the Projects Company at the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba.

As a playwright Claire has been recognised both nationally and internationally. She has a thriving working partnership with playwright David Burton, their co-written works include: Sex & Sensibility and Hedonism’s Second Album.

She is the co-artistic director of Mixtape Theatre Collective, a proudly regional, independent partnership whose aim is to create work designed to elicit joy through live performance. Mixtpae want their audiences to feel happier when they leave the theatre then when they entered. Productions include; Escape from the Breakup Forest and Bad Friend.

Claire is a passionate facilitator-director and has presented original, devised and contemporary texts. As well as having over six years’ experience in the Education sector, as a high school teacher in both Australia and the United Kingdom.

Libby Harward

Libby has a Vocational Graduate Certificate in Developmental Trauma / BA (Theatre) / and is a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator. As an artist she wants to connect and tell stories that help us reflect on, accept, nurture and celebrate a sense of identity.  Through her art, she is exploring her life and relationships. Libby is a descendent of the Nughi people of Quandamooka (Moreton Bay). I also have English Australian heritage. She has worked extensively in the community sector gaining specialist skills in working with marginalised young people. She loves to work on Therapeutic Arts, Community Cultural Development and Arts for Social Change projects. She has worked on projects in communities across Queensland, The Northern Territory and in the Torres Strait, as an arts worker coordinator and trainer on a broad range of projects, predominantly with young people using theatre and visual arts.

Libby is extremely passionate about utilising her knowledge in the neurobiology of Trauma, child and adolescent development, attachment theory and mindfulness into her practise as a community artist, providing opportunities for people to explore their potential using strength based principles with a strong focus on inclusivity. In addition to her thriving community work she is the mother of two young children and actively engaged in her own visual arts practice.

Matt Prest

I am a Sydney-based artist working in contemporary performance and theatre primarily as a performer and theatre maker. He makes work that draws on installation and performance art practice to create work that usually falls in the category of theatre. His work is usually multi-disciplined and the form may shift from project to project. At the heart of his work is always the question of what is the experience we are trying to create for the audience. How can we create a world in which the audience’s senses are heightened, in which their intellectual guard may drop? He wanta the audience to feel physically engaged and present in the world of our theatre.

As an artist it is never just him with the vision of what “we”are going to do.  Matt works in a highly collaborative way with a group of artists who all take on a shared responsibility for the creation of the work, with a cross over between roles and disciplines. Previous collaborators include: Clare Britton, Danny Egger, James Brown, Hallie Shellam, Janie Gibson, Eddie Sharp, Halcyon Macleod.

He makes work: The Tent 2008; Hole in the Wall with Clare Britton 2010. Work on other people’s projects as a performer/devisor: The Riot Act (Karen Therese) 2009, Africa (My Darling Patricia) 2009. I am also a member of The Whale Chorus, an ongoing ensemble collaboration with Janie Gibson, James Brown and TBA.

Billy McPherson

Billy McPherson is originally from the Kamillaroi in south-west Queensland. He recently had his short film Nalingu (Yours and Mine) selected for screening at Sydney Opera House, as part of Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival 2012. Billy will be touring nationally in July 2013 as a performer with acclaimed theatre production, I’m Your Man, which was voted in the 2012 theatre picks by The Sydney Morning Herald. Cuz is Billy’s first foray into theatre.

Melly Niotakis

Melly Niotakis is a photographer, filmmaker, youth, housing and arts worker who currently resides in Sydney and manages their own company, Niomedia. Melly has over the last 8 years managed a suite of interesting projects collaborating between professional artists, young people and community organisations. Melly is a published and exhibited photographer, with not only 2d images but also film, instillation based works and large scale public art work. Melly has a Diploma of Education (Primary) and a Bachelors of Photography from the Queensland Colleague of Art.

Andrew Hickey

Dr Andrew Hickey (Researcher)

Andrew is an academic, ethnographer and musician, with research interests in community and the role of place in building social harmony.  Andrew has worked on projects with government and community collaborators in Aotearoa, PR China, and throughout Australia. His most recent book, Cities of Signs: Learning the logic of urban spaces (Peter Lang) charts some of these research interests by exploring the tensions that surrounded the formation of community identity in a large master-planned and highly marketed urban development. Currently, Andrew is engaged in funded research exploring the role social research plays in local government decision-making, the function of community identities in determining community resilience and the roles young people play in active, resilient communities.

Louise Phillips

Louise Phillips (DipT, BEd, PhD, Researcher)

Louise is an academic and a professional storyteller with expertise in early years education, children’s rights and arts based methodology. For over 28 years Louise has worked with children across a broad range of arts and education contexts. Since 2012, Louise has been researching the Walking Neighbourhood and contributed to conceptualisation of the project from 2010. Louise collaborates with academics in Aotearoa, Canada, Sweden, Thailand, UK, and the USA to research possibilities for children’s citizenship, learning and action. She currently holds a US Spencer Foundation major grant to investigate young children’s civic learning and action in Aotearoa, Australia, and the US. Her research on children’s citizenship, walking as a methodology and storytelling is nationally and internationally recognised.

If you’re interested in bringing the show to your festival, venue or community, get in touch with us to discuss.