Board and Staff
The WA Youth Theatre is governed via the Constitution of the WA Youth Theatre. This sets out the roles and responsibilities of the company and the members of the Board. The Constitution is available for members to read: Constitution
Board membership of the company consists of 10 members – made up of professionals in the areas of arts, philanthropy, finance, education business and legal areas. The Board also has Youth Advisory membership consisting of members of the company
The board meets bi-monthly and an AGM for all members is held annually in April. Any current member is eligible to stand for the Board – Youth Advisory membership.
TIM MINCHIN – ARTISTIC PATRON
Tim Minchin is an internationally renowned comedian and musician, who was a member of WA Youth Theatre in the 1990s and participated in the company both as a Performer and a Musical Director. Under the tutelage of original Artistic Director Jenny Davis, Tim honed his performance skills in the company.
Tim has travelled and performed internationally and his credits include performing in the arena specatular Jesus Christ Superstar and Sydney Theatre Company's production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, as well as writing the hugely successful Broadway musical Matilda. In 2015, he will appear as Northern Irish ex-convict, Smasher Sullivan, in Secret River, an Australian drama mini series directed by Daina Reid for the ABC.
ERICA SMYTH – BUSINESS PATRON
Erica Smyth has almost 40 years experience in the mineral and petroleum industries. She was Principal Geologist for BHP Minerals Limited for 7 years, and then BHP-Utah Minerals International’s Beenup Project Manager for 4 years, before moving to BHP Petroleum as their Manager Gas Market Development WA and later joined Woodside Petroleum Limited as General Manager – Corporate Affairs. She has been a professional company director since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Science from University of Western Australia and an Applied Master of Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In 2008 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia and in 2012 was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
She is currently the Chair of Toro Energy Limited and the Diabetes Research Foundation of WA. She is also a Director of Emeco Holdings Ltd; the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Deep Exploration Targeting CRC, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations), and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. The Chamber of Mines & Energy (WA), as part of the Women in Resources Award 2010, awarded Dr Smyth a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the industry and in 2013 she was included in the Women in Mining (UK) list of 100 Inspirational Women in Mining.
RACHEL DAWSON - CHAIR
Rachel is a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, specialising in employment law, industrial relations and equal employment opportunities. Her passion, around work, is the performing and visual arts- a passion that developed at an early age as she witnessed her family members’ work in those industries. Before commencing her legal career Rachel studied Stage Management at WAAPA and worked for various theatre and event management companies around Western Australia, including WA Opera, Black Swan State Theatre Company and the Perth International Arts Festival. During that time she was particularly focused on youth theatre, for which she was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001. Rachel is pleased to be able to reignite that passion through her involvement with the WA Youth Theatre Company Board.
JOHN AQUINO - TREASURER
John’s professional background is in chartered accountancy and finance. He has had a long association with arts organisations and arts administration having worked with funding bodies (the Australia Council and Department for Culture and the Arts), as well as arts organisations (Adelaide Festival, and Art Gallery of WA).
He brings to the board an understanding of the challenges that face performing arts organisations and those that operate in the not-for-profit environment. His experience has been in assisting companies to find an appropriate balance between delivering core product and discovering innovative ways of being financially viable.
John has a passion for the performing arts as well as an awareness of the creative process within which artists operate.
VERONICA LAKE - BOARD MEMBER
Veronica Lake has been a teacher of English Literature, including the works of Shakespeare, for most of her lengthy teaching career. “There are people who shape your world. People who completely change the direction of your life. Veronica Lake is one of those people.” (ratemyteachers.com) Awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2009 to study international theatre companies and their approaches toward making modern, vibrant and meaningful connection between the works of Shakespeare and young people in the 21st Century.
ALISON MORLEY - BOARD MEMBER
Alison Morley is currently Manager - Project Generation and Geological Services at Iluka Resources. Alison is a geologist by training and has postgraduate degrees in Geology and Finance.
Alison’s NFP experience includes two years as Chair of the WIMnet committee – a national group which focuses on encouraging the attraction and retention of women to the resources sector; Deputy Chair of the Minerals Research Advisory Committee for MRIWA and member of the WA Finsia Regional Council. She also acts as a mentor in several formal and informal mentoring programmes.
ROBYN SERMON - BOARD MEMBER
Robyn Sermon has 20 years experience in Government, Media and Community Relations, and prior to her current role she managed Community Relations for Comalco in Gladstone (Queensland). Originally from WA, Robyn has previously worked for WMC and Rio Tinto including time with Argyle Diamonds and Hamersley Iron. Having trained as a journalist, she has also worked for a non-profit organisation, the media and as a Ministerial Media Advisor in the Federal Government.
Andy Farrant - board member
Andy is currently the Principal of One Degree consultancy firm, and has worked for many years in the arts sector of WA. Any'd passion and dedication to the arts is exceptional, having worked with Country Arts WA and ScreenWest among many other organisations. His experience in managerial roles within the arts makes him an incredible asset to the WAYTCo board.
YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD
Luke Binetti - Youth advisory member
Luke Binetti is currently undertaking a double major in Performance studies and Screen Arts at Curtin University. He played a lead role in WA Youth Theatre’s most recent production of Punk Rock, 2014 and received a special mention for Male Actor of the Year for his performance in it. Most recently he played Spyros in The Dreaming Hill, 2015.
Campbell greenock - youth advisory member
Campbell Greenock performed in WA Youth Theatre productions Another Twin, Fire and The Dreaming Hill, 2015. Campbell is studying at UWA whilst pursuing his passion for the arts, taking his talents for the stage and sharing his knowledge by directing his own show in late 2015.
DECLAN BROWN - YOUTH ADVISORY MEMBER
DIASY COYLE - YOUTH ADVISORY MEMBER
LIAM LONGELY - YOUTH ADVISORY MEMBER
emily rose brennan
Emily is a NIDA graduate and a working actress who brings with her an enthusiasm and expertise in training that is unparalleled. Emily is a WAYTCo Key Tutor in the areas of Acting For Screen, Stage Acting, and Devising, and is an excellent mentor for young students interested in extending their physical and vocal performance skills and developing their scenework.
Clare Testoni is a writer, actor, and theatre maker with a strong interest in oral storytelling and mythology. Her areas of expertise include Puppetry, Physical Theatre, and Devising. Clare is an exceptional local artist and a dedicated tutor, who has worked with a huge range of local and international artists.