Chair Dr Brooke Thomas BA (Hons), PhD (Literature)
Artistic Director Liz Lea BA (Hons)
Treasurer Shereen Crowe
Secretary Jane Gellel
Member Megan Flynn
Member Robert Bunzli
Member Susan Innis
Dr Brooke Thomas BA (Hons), PhD (Literature); Chair
Dr Thomas was the Senior Adviser for Arts and Events as well as Chief of Staff to the ACT Attorney-General and Arts Minister from 2016-2020. She is an arts advocate with a thorough grounding in strategic governance and stakeholder engagement. As well as a public service career in policy development, program management, industry engagement, international relations, and change management, Brooke has served on various community boards and advisory committees including being a long-serving former Chair of Canberra Dance Theatre and Kippax Uniting Community Centre. She also chaired a sub-committee of APEC on behalf on the Australian Government during 2015, and was on the Steering Committee of the National Multicultural Festival for several years. She has an arts practice in bellydancing as a performer, teacher, and choreographer with Quake Bellydance, and she runs the annual community dance fundraising event, The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever, which raises money for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service. Brooke has also worked for ANU, served as a Federal Government Chief of Staff, been published academically several times, and performs at events throughout the ACT and region. She is now consulting in various areas of the arts in the ACT.
Liz Lea; Artistic Director
Liz has 30 years experience working internationally as a dancer, choreographer and producer. Her background lies in classical Indian and contemporary dance and she has been commissioned in India, UK, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and USA. Liz has a long practice as a solo artist and her seminal one woman show RED was shortlisted for a 2019 Australian Dance Award. She received a 2017 Australian Dance Award for my direction of Great Sport! at the National Museum of Australia and she was named the 2017 ACT Artist of the Year. Liz has created and toured numerous company works including ‘120 Birds’, ‘Magnificus Magnificus’ inspired by the red tailed black cockatoo for Indigenous dancer Tammi Gissell and ‘Kapture’, inspired by South African freedom fighter, Ahmed Kathrada.
In 2020 she toured RED to the UK and was Movement Director for a new production in Kuwait. During Covid she launched the ACTivate program for artists living with intellectual disability and began learning Audio Description. She ran the I Dance Film Festival with Hanna Cormick and Matt Shilcock and relaunched the Australian Talented Youth Project as The Stellar Company with a focus on excellence in community arts practice. 2021 sees new ventures with a dance film titled And… Breathe and new company works The Point and Delve with ASTRO 3D in creation. Liz is represented by Karen Gallagher and Associates, UK.
Shereen Crowe; Treasurer
I have worked in many and varied workplace environments for more than 35 years. I have been working in the Australian Public Service for the past eight years in a number of roles in Canberra. These include administration, records management, executive support and policy roles. I am currently working in a full time permanent capacity in Indigenous Health data and reporting in a role that includes committee secretariat support. My previous work roles include primary school office manager at Telopea Park School; teacher aide, office assistant and tutor to Indigenous students at schools in Alice Springs NT; teller and customer service officer for the Commonwealth Bank in Sydney and Nowra NSW. I lived in Ltuentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) Aboriginal community near Alice Springs for five years. I was employed part time by the community school and conducted dance classes and workshops with school students. I also managed a small community dance festival with the students with the support of an Australian Govenment Artists in Schools grant which I applied for successfully. I was granted permission by community Elders to observe and participate in ceremony at the community, and to observe the weeks of preparation for the women's dance participation in Yeperenye Festival held in Alice Springs, helping out as with support tasks. I seek to share my love of dance with all and to support others to participate in the rich experiences that can be shared through the performing arts. I moved to Alice Springs in 2006 and participated in the town's vibrant arts community as a member of what became Dusty Feet Dance Collective. The focus of Dusty Feet was to create dance opportunities for all - all ages and all abilities. As part of the collective, I taught dance classes to adults on a casual basis. I participated as a dancer and as a choreographer in two Cabarets as part of Alice Springs Festival, and in other community dance performances in Alice Springs. I am committed to supporting diversity in all aspects of life and sharing the richness and strength that diversity brings to our communities. I was born in South Africa to multilingual mixed race parents and grew up in Western Sydney. I am currently a Zumba instructor in Canberra. Zumba is a dance fitness program that brings latin and world music rhythms and dance to all abilities and fitness levels - everybody and every body. I particularly love including African rhythms and dance in my Zumba classes.
Jane Gellel; Secretary; Jane trained as a Health Information Manager at Curtin University in Perth, and started her working life at Royal Perth Hospital, in a variety of roles – starting out as a clerk on the Emergency Ward and working her way up to being Manager, Health Records Services. Marriage to an Army Officer then brought with it many, many moves, wonderful experiences and different opportunities. Jane worked for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Canberra for 12 years, and also worked for three years at Government House as a member of the Governor General’s personal staff. Jane has been a volunteer with her local Community Fire Unit since 2014 and remains committed to helping her neighbours navigate safely through the fire season. Jane has always danced her way through life, starting with ballet and tap, and later moving on to ballroom dancing, belly dancing, Taiko Drumming and Zumba.
Megan Flynn; Member
My professional working life began as personal assistant to an opera singer in London, then translator in Paris, followed by jobs in Australia as youth counsellor, secondary school teacher, yoga teacher, arts administrator, TAFE teacher and instructional designer for distance and online learning courses. I retired after 20 years in the APS as policy advisor, grants and project manager, strategic planner and organisational facilitator. This included being a Director on several national Industry Training Advisory Boards (ITABs) and the Commonwealth Delegate to several international education working groups, here and overseas. In parallel, I continued to participate in contemporary dance, social dance and improvisational theatre, starting as one of the inaugural performers in Playback Theatre, Sydney,1981, and most recently as a member of Canberra Dance Theatre’s Growing Old Disgracefully (GOLD) group. For 10 years, I was also co-Director of Refresh Your Life, a private fitness and personal development studio.
Robert Bunzli; Member
Robert is the manager of Digital Learning Programs at the National Portrait Gallery, where he has worked for the last year. Prior to that he ran the Museum Robot Program and virtual tours at the National Museum of Australia. Robert also has a background in theatre as a director, writer and producer, but not for some time. He formed and directed the performance team at Questacon from 2000 to 2006.
Susan Innis; Member
Originally classically trained by in WA, Susan soon discovered she wasn’t cut out to be a ballerina, she was however passionate about teaching and making dance accessible to all. Fast forward a teaching degree, and raising 3 sons, Susan is now a Fitness and Dance Teacher who works with all ages, from 4 years old to 84 years young.