Our Committee

MR TIM FAIRFAX AC

Patron

Tim Fairfax AC is a renowned philanthropist and patron of the arts. Mr Fairfax and his wife Gina are based in Queensland, and in addition to their major support of the visual and performing arts, serve on boards and committees in the wider business sector. Tim brings a wealth of experience in charitable work to his role as Patron, and is pleased to be involved with such an important charity for the performing arts community in Queensland.

MICHAEL BALK JP

President

Michael Balk is an Actor, Producer, Presenter, and Singer.

He has had extensive involvement in theatre, film and television with a large portion of the last decade focused on children’s entertainment. Michael is currently a Producer and with Nine Entertainment Co and appears as senior actor in the network's children's programs SMASHHDOWN! and BrainBuzz. Michael is also known widely as scrapboy in the AFI & Emmy award-winning ABC kids show dirtgirlworld and Get Grubby TV.

Previously, Michael was the Director of Entertainment at Australia Zoo and often works in advertising on television. A professional member of the Australian Academy of Cinema Television Arts, Michael also represents performers, journalists and crew in Queensland as a Board Director with the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance. He has been a proud member of MEAA since 2000 and is a delegate to the National Performers Committee - serving on the Animation Committee, Screen Committee, and Intimacy Guidelines Committee.

OLVIER SAMSON

Vice-President

Oliver's love of music and performance began with a Shania Twain CD from his mum's collection at age 4, and grew from there. Learning guitar and taking after school drama classes from a very young age, he delighted in any opportunity to be on the stage.

Oliver is a multi-genre producer, performer and voice artist with a Bachelor of Musical Theatre from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (2015). Since graduating, he has experienced success as a performer locally, nationally, and internationally with credits including Underground Opera’s West End To Broadway, The Harry Potter Frog Choir at Universal Studios Japan, and as a member of The Ten Tenors. Oliver has since turned his focus to Australian premieres of original musicals, including Don’t Call Me Ishmael and Becoming Bill. He recently performed for The Head Bros. premiere production of new musical Hallmarked! in which he played legendary composer George Gershwin.

As a producer, Oliver’s work spans both independent and public sectors. He worked on Out of the Box Children’s Festival 2018 (Programming Intern) and Queensland Music Festival 2019 (Project Coordinator). In the independent sector, he has produced William Hinz’s Genesis at Metro Arts in 2019, which was subsequently published by Australian Plays; and co-produced the Australian Premiere of Jesse Eisenberg’s The Revisionist, which starred Kate Wilson and Michael Mandalios, and was directed by Caroline Dunphy.

Oliver is a proud member of MEAA Actor's Equity, and serves as a committee member for Playlab Theatre.

MICHAEL MANDALIOS

Hon. Treasurer

Michael Mandalios is a Brisbane-based theatre artist; a graduate of the Bachelor of Musical Theatre from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, having also trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He is currently pursuing a specialisation in Voice teaching, while continuing to contribute to the development of new Australian works. Credits in 2019 include Genesis, which he directed for A Very Theatre Company at Metro Arts, Magpie - a Playlab, MetroArts and E.G. Production presented at the Brisbane Powerhouse, Associate Producer for Becoming Bill, and Dialect Coach for Little Triangle's 'NINE' (Syd).

Michael is also the founder of Refraction Theatre. His work on Magpie and The Revisionist (Refraction Theatre’s first production) saw him nominated in two categories for the Matilda Awards in 2019.

As director and producer, Michael is the creator of The Brisbane Sessions (Beyoncé, Michael Jackson) with Underground Broadway, and a co-creator on There’s Something About Mary(s) with fellow graduate Cassie George. Since graduating in 2016, Michael has also performed in the premiere of Don’t Call Me Ishmael: The Musical with Underground Broadway, Fair Play for Queensland Music Festival, and worked on developments such as On The Docks, Guerilla Sabbath, and My Father’s Wars (As I Found Them).

Michael is a proud member of Actors' Equity.

EN RUI FOO

Hon. Secretary

En Rui (pronounced N-RAY) Foo is a MEAA Equity member who works in business development with Sparke Helmore Lawyers. She was previously with QPAC for six years working in both the Development and Programming teams.

Prior to her professional career at QPAC, En Rui was born and raised in Singapore before moving to Brisbane to pursue her BFA (Dance Performance). She is drawn to inclusive community projects and deeply believes that the arts and literature can offer alternate perspectives in a world that is increasingly divisive. With a passion in healthcare, En Rui also undertakes work as a Medical Secretary on weekends at a General Practice - her current research interest is on opioids and its devastating impacts, as well as the relevant debate around "do no harm".

En Rui thrives on those in need and enjoys bringing like-minded individuals together.

She has previously volunteered for the Sherwood Community Festival and has experience as Secretary of that committee.

KENDALL BATTLEY

Committee Member

After working in the arts industry for most of my career, including working directly with artists, I understand the incredible challenges artists can face including career longevity, injury, operating contract to contract and external factors such as COVID impacting their ability to work.

I love that AEBF can provide a safety net for those who may need a hand from time to time and could mean the difference between someone choosing to stay in this industry or needing to leave it.

Artists give so much to us as a community and are so often ready to lend a hand to help those in need as we’ve seen throughout the last few years, to me working with AEBF represents an opportunity to potentially give back to an industry that brings so much joy, beauty and meaning to our world.

JANTY BLAIR

Committee Member

Janty Blair is a Butchulla (connections to K’gari), Woppaburra, Mununjali woman through her mother and Wakka Wakka , Cobble Cobble through her dad’s side. She is a Saltwater girl through and through!

Janet (Janty) Blair graduated from Rockhampton Base hospital in 1987 and then completed her Midwifery training at Redcliffe Hospital in 1998.

Her extensive health career spanned nearly 3 decades before she decided to follow her dreams and commenced her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at QUT in 2020.

Earlier this year she fell into Stand Up Comedy while house sitting in Byron Bay. She recently returned from The Melbourne Comedy festival where she took out the Deadly Funny Grand final. Janty recently performed with Steph Tisdale in Blakout at the Powerhouse as part of the Brisbane Comedy festival. She now is honing her skills by performing regularly at Open Mic nights in Brisbane.

Janty is in her third year of Bachelor of Fine Arts - Drama.

JACQUI FRASER

Committee Member

Jacquiline joined Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra in July 2021 as Marketing Manager.

After five years with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and with a background in marketing, communications, digital media and ticketing, Jacquiline brings with her a breadth of arts marketing experience and an excitement to share and spread the joy of Camerata’s music-making.

Jacquiline holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing with a Graduate Certificate in Business (Integrated Marketing) from the Queensland University of Technology.

She is passionate about all things performing arts, having dabbled in ballet and music, and would be honoured to contribute to the Fund to further support fantastic its work in supporting the performing arts community.


BRIGITTE FREEME

Committee Member

Brigitte Freeme is an actor, writer and director based in Meanjin (Brisbane) and from 2019-2021 Brigitte studied Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Acting. Her involvement in the performing arts ranges from screen and stage acting, to writing and directing. Her most recent and notable theatre works have been The Laramie Project with Queensland Theatre and Mr Burns at Burke Street Studios. In 2021 she wrote, directed and produced her own work I am Woman, Hear Me at Anywhere Festival in UQ’s Senate Room. Her latest writing credit has been a contribution to Creation by Deborah Kelly at Griffith University’s Art Museum..

Further contributions Brigitte makes to the performing arts is coaching kids, teens and disabled adults at the Australian Acting Academy and previously teaching dance to kids and adults at KJ Dance & Cheer. Brigitte is a proud member of the MEAA and serves delightedly on the committee of the ABF.


MEG HAMILTON

Committee Member

Meg is Brisbane-based performing artist and producer, whose “stage debut” was on the back of her uncle’s tray-back ute as a 5-year-old in regional QLD. With a Bachelor of Musical Theatre from QLD Conservatorium Griffith University, Meg loves the variety and vitality that a life in the Arts brings.

Working as an Associate Producer at Metro Arts, Meg particularly enjoys supporting emerging and mid-career artists to present new works. Outside of this role, she has enjoyed a dynamic start to her career as a creative and performer. Meg has worked in theatre, jazz, opera and musical theatre works in venues across Queensland; from QPAC, The Tivoli and The Powerhouse, to exquisit regional theatres, council venues, libraries and schools all over rural and regional Queensland.

DAVID POWER

Committee Member

I have been enamoured by the arts for the entirety of my life. I have danced since I was three years old and dabbled across every other kind of art at some point in my life. I grew up and begun my training in Brisbane before I was accepted into The Australian Ballet School at age 15. Moving out of the nest at such a young age, like so many artists do, enabled a swift maturing process and exposed me to the extreme lifestyle an artist lives to work to their aspirations and dreams.

Although the school was the best place for me to receive the highest standard of training, I was always more interested in the connections and friendships I was making through the process. I was elected School Captain in my graduation year and worked closely with the dancers to implement systems that prioritised wellbeing and mental health. Respecting that this artform has centuries of history that unfortunately implements an unhealthy power balance I am fascinated in how to work along with this culture but still make change for a healthier future.


MICHELLE RAE

Ex Officio

Michelle Rae is the Director of the Queensland Branch of the MEAA.

MATTHEW BURTON

Ex Officio

Matthew Burton is an Industrial Organiser for the Queensland Branch of the MEAA.

JEMMA NOTT

Ex Officio

Jemma Nott is an Industrial Organiser for the Queensland Branch of the MEAA.

NAOMI PRICE

Ambassador

Naomi Price is an Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the The Little Red Company, and is one of Australia's most loved performers. Naomi was the driving force behind the IsoLate Late Show in 2020, which aligned with the ABF QLD to raise much-needed awareness and funds for Queensland's most in-need performers.

KATE GOULD

Associate

Kate Gould is the Artistic Director of the Brisbane Powerhouse and brings an wealth of experience and knowledge to the Fund as an associate. Kate has served on many boards across the business and arts sector and continues the work of her late father Dr Tony Gould AM in her ongoing support of the Fund.

ROBERT KINGHAM

Associate

Robert Kingham trained as a theatre practitioner at the University of California San Diego, the British Theatre Institute London and Grotowski's Theatre Laboratory in Poland. His career has spanned many decades with multidisciplinary experience across Europe, Australia and Asia.

In addition to his work as a performer, director and educator, Rob is known in the business as the ‘Theatre Opener’. This reputation is apt after his important contributions established performances in new theatres around the state, including the Lyric Theatre and Princess Theatre in Brisbane. Rob has also had extensive experience in theatre administration and management.

Robert moved to Indonesia in late 1986 to work in Australia's bilateral development cooperation program. He served as the 'face of Australia’ to Islamic communities throughout Indonesia, The Southern Philippines and Southern Thaland. He refers to playing Lawrence of South East Asia as his longest run and most successful role.

After a thirty-year period working in the education and government sector in South East Asia, Rob returned to Brisbane in 2016 and continues to practice as an actor and mentor in Queensland.

Rob brings together his lived experience as a theatre practitioner and administrator to assist the Fund with their reporting and governance obligations.

NELLE LEE

Associate

Nelle Lee has served on the management committee of the ABF and is an Artistic Director of Shake & Stir Theatre Company.

PAUL DELLIT OAM

Immediate Past President (2003 - 2021)

Paul served on the management committee of the Fund for 30 years.

A graduate of QUT, Paul Dellit has worked as an actor, musician, director, composer, musical director and producer for various companies such as QTC, La Boite, Opera Queensland, Brisbane City Council, Adelaide Festival Centre, Queensland Arts Council, Brisbane Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Seymour Productions and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). He was also responsible for setting up the QUT Gardens Theatre. Paul has served on various boards and committees including the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) and the Music Theatre Panel for the Helpmann Awards. He has been arts editor for QNews; arts commentator on the Melbourne radio programme Broadway at Bedtime; a Queensland theatre reviewer for Stage Whispers; and Editor of arts & entertainment e-bulletin A Little Gossip.

In 2003, he was awarded a Centenary Medal for his services to the arts, and in the June 2017 was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his outstanding service and contribution the performing arts.

Paul was a Producer with QPAC for many years and is currently the Manager of the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre in Bundaberg Queensland and has been a proud member of Equity since 1987.

DR TONY GOULD AM

Immediate Late Patron (2004 - 2020)

Dr Tony Gould AM was a performing arts pioneer and was a driving force behind the development of Queensland’s performing arts for decades.

In 1979, Tony was named Director of Queensland’s Performing Arts Complex and, under his direction, the complex became internationally known for its contribution to social justice performing arts programs, arts education activities and special initiatives.

Following this role, Tony left another legacy as Artistic Director of Brisbane Festival for five years. Queensland’s dynamic arts industry has thrived under Tony’s leadership, vision and through his development of artists and new companies.