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Our Board

Comprised of both skilled and representative members, the WAYTCo board ensures diligent governance and oversight, whilst placing young people at the centre of decision making.

WAYTCo is thrilled to announce the appointment of a new Board Executive. Read about our wonderful new and continuing board members below or jump to page end for a copy of the 2023 Annual Report.

Chairperson

Rachel O’Brien (She/Her) Rachel’s professional and educational backgrounds are a unique intersection between business and art. Blending business acumen from senior roles in arts industry organisations, entrepreneurial endeavours, and an MBA from the University of Western Australia, with WAAPA training as a performer, she brings perspectives in business development, change and transformation, and in nurturing creativity. Rachel serves as Chair of the Philanthropy Committee for Edmund Rice Camps For Kids WA, and has developed sponsorship and corporate giving strategies for both commercial and non-profit activities.

Underpinned by a vision to see creative industries thrive in Australia, Rachel aims to see the development of young and emerging performers and has an interest in ensuring we have strong, dedicated pathways for artists to grow, flourish, and contribute to the vibrancy of our communities in WA.

Deputy Chair  

Izzy McDonald (She/Her) is a theatre maker, writer and director based in Boorloo, Perth. Izzy has been making for 7 years and has a focus on telling stories of heart and place. As a mid-career artist whose first professional show was with WAYTCo, joining the board of management as an Arts Industry member represents a full circle moment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (English & Cultural Studies) from the University of WA, a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Hons.) from WAAPA and has previous governance experience, having served on the board of The Blue Room Theatre. Izzy brings an energy of hope and momentum.

Treasurer

Kinjal Kakkad (She/Her) is an experienced MBA professional with 14 years of service within the Public Sector from Frontline to Middle-Senior Management Roles. Kinjal’s experience in the public sector is founded by a sense of direction and purpose within change management practices, which involves building organisational skills through inclusion and diversity, nurturing relationships through effective communication, and developing professional expertise through efficient coaching, thus fostering public service professionalism and probity within the organisation. Kinjal’s skills and experience will allow her to drive change and implement a strong governance model within the organisation and ensure risk, regulation, legislation, and compliance requirements are incorporated within the operational functions.

Secretary  TBA

Max Leech (He/Him) has developed drama programs and devised youth theatre in Australia, Singapore and London. As a Principal Consultant at the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, he advises schools on drama and dance across Western Australia. He is committed to designing and implementing curriculums that meet realistic goals. Max is passionate about making Arts experiences available to all members of the community.

 

Liz Ledger (She/Her) is an experienced leader, project manager, marketing and communications specialist. Currently employed as the CEO of the Town of Claremont, Liz has 30 years of experience in the local government sector. With tertiary qualifications in Arts Management and Business, Liz has initiated community development programs and strengthened community connections and likes to work collaboratively to achieve goals. Liz is driven by making a positive difference to either the community she serves or the people she works with, and believes creativity is fundamental to this process.

 

Mohammed ‘Ayo Busari’ (He/Him) is an award-winning Visual Artist, Community Arts Producer, Writer, Performer, Youth Arts Curator & Disability Support Worker.  He co-founded the theatre group, The Outsiders and has produced, written, and performed at various shows, most significantly EAPS at The Blue Room Theatre & PICA.

A graduate of Journalism & Media (BA Hons) from University of Hertfordshire and Screen Arts (MArts) from Curtin University, Ayo works at The Blue Room Theatre as the Communications Coordinator. He has carried out a range of freelance and consultancy work, offering his skills to organisations like Propel Youth Arts, Perth Festival, Centre for Stories, AWESOME Arts and more. Ayo contributed to The Blue Room Theatre’s Artist Advisory Group, Propel Youth Arts’ KickstART Festival Committee, and Perth Festival’s Young Voices, for two consecutive years. He also currently sits on the board for Regional Arts WA.

 

Emily Martin (She/Her) Emily has worked as an entertainment lawyer for over 20 years in Sydney London and most recently back in her home town of Perth. Emily worked for many years as inhouse senior counsel at the Sydney Opera House and at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Emily is passionate about story telling in all its forms, particularly live theatre. Emily has also completed a Masters in Arts Administration at Goldsmiths, University of London including a stint working at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in the West End.

 

Amanda Huxtable (She/Her) is an innovative educator who is highly skilled in curriculum planning and development. As Head of Dance and Drama at Santa Maria College, she has directed many theatre productions and large-scale events. Amanda volunteers as the Educational Consultant for The School of St Yared Ethiopia, a project under Hope For Children Australia. As a member of St Yared’s executive management team, Amanda has been involved in strategic planning, mentoring, professional development, community engagement and fundraising. Inspired by fostering empathy, curiosity and creativity in young people, Amanda is passionate about developing educational experiences that link learning to self-awareness and personal potential.

 

Jono Battista (He/Him) is a creator, sound designer and PAWA-nominated performer living and working in Boorloo (Perth). He graduated from WAAPA in 2019 with a BPA in Performance Making. His recent credits include Love Letters to the Revolution (2021, Sian Murphy) as a performer, REST (2019, WAYTCo) as a performer and dramaturg, The Cockatoos (2019, WAYTCo) as assistant director, and A Nought For A Cross (2021, The Perthian Chronicles) as sound designer and composer. He also co-adapted, co-directed and performed in REST for its 2021 remount. Jono is a member of the Board of WAYTCo and Chairs its Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).

 

Zenatalla Ibrahim (They/Them) is a seasoned storyteller, lived experience speaker and published slam performance poet. They have worked with TEDxPerth (2018), BeyondBlue (2016 onwards), Centre for Stories (2019 onwards) and BurnBright (2020 onwards) regularly – talking about their journey as a neurodivergent non-binary Muslim queer person. They pride themselves on being engaged in community and creating avenues for representation and change using the power of vulnerable and authentic storytelling. They have served the UWA Student Guild (2017 Corporate Services and Women’s Dept, 2018 Access Dept) and have attended an arts governance masterclass series (2022) to upskill for their capacity on the Board.

 

Jessica Darlow (She/Her) is a West Australian based arts professional with over a decade of experience in festival management and programming. She held positions at Fringe World Festival and Brisbane Festival before taking the role of Senior Program Manager at Perth Festival, where she has been responsible for the delivery of the performance program since 2017. A skilled strategic thinker and innovator, Jessica has played an important role in the growth and development of festivals in Western Australia. With particular interest in performing arts, Jessica has managed the delivery of large-scale festival programs from conception, through to development, delivery and accountability.

 

Cezera Critti-Schnaars (She/Her) is a proud Nyoongar- Greek theatre maker with a passion for theatre. Since completing the Aboriginal Performance Course at WAAPA (2018), she has worked with a number of companies in both acting, writing and directing roles. Performance credits: Hecate (Yirra Yaakin, 2020), Little Women (Mel & Sal and The Blue Room, 2021). Directing: YirraYakin-WAYTCo’s Ngalaka Daa (2021, 2022); WAYTCo’s Seven Sisters for Perth Festival (2023), co-directed with James Berlyn.  Awards: Best Newcomer; Best Supporting Actress (Performing Arts WA Awards, 2020).

 

2023 Annual Report