Sofia is the co-chair of our board. She is an award-winning playwright and theatre maker. Her talent was first recognized through the Queensland Theatre Young Playwrights Award. This inspired her to pursue writing as a career. Her more recent work has featured in the Assembly at La Boite Theatre showcasing emerging performance makers, the Australia wide Anywhere Theatre Festival and local, YIPPA program. Lizard, written by Sofia will tour into Queensland secondary schools in 2022/23. Sofia has a Bachelor of Arts in drama and creative writing through UniSC and has completed her honours in writing for performance. Sofia spent her schooling years here, lives in the Gympie region and brings her unique regional viewpoint to our board.
Luke Harriman is General Manager at Performing Arts Connections Australia (PAC Australia), the national peak body representing and supporting performing arts presenters and creators. Luke has enjoyed a varied career over the last twenty years in roles such as programming, producing, planning, management, tour development, not-for-profit boards, events, festivals, galleries, box office, and regional arts projects with organisations such as arTour, Brisbane City Council, Gympie Regional Council, Brisbane Powerhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Flipside Circus, Playlab, and Edinburgh venue, The Gilded Balloon. He is passionate about bringing people together, building effective teams, and nurturing new opportunities and ideas for the sector. Prior to joining PAC Australia Luke was Manager Gympie Venues and Events and responsible for Gympie Regional Council’s cultural facilities, major events, and cultural development activities. From 2014 – 2018 he worked as the Creative Broker for Queensland’s centre, arTour (business unit of Circa Contemporary Circus) supporting producers and presenters throughout Queensland to develop a strong touring sector through touring services, network development and capacity building.
Professor Sandra Gattenhof
Sandra Gattenhof is the Director of Research Training in the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice (CIESJ) at Queensland University of Technology. She has previously been Discipline Leader Dance, Drama, Music. Over the past ten years Sandra has led major arts impact and evaluation consultancies for Australian cultural organisations. She is Chief Investigator for Australian Research Council Linkage Project The Role of the Creative Arts in Regional Australia: a social impact model (2019-2022), Social Impact Research and Evaluation Strategy for the Puuya Foundation in Lockhart River (2021-2023), and Valuing the Arts Australia and New Zealand (2020). A life-long arts educator, Sandra is recognised as a leader in arts and creative learning and has published high profile outputs in the fields of arts and cultural evaluation, arts education, and contemporary performance. She is the co-leader Creative Placemaking for Social Impact QUT Research Group. Sandra is chair of Australia’s award-winning visual theatre company, Dead Puppet Society, is a board member of Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and is an observer to the National Advocates for Arts Education having previously been Drama Australia’s representative for ten years. In 2021 Sandra was awarded Drama Australia’s President’s Award, and Sandra is a Drama Queensland Life Member. Sandra is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Alison Easton is an experienced Arts and education sector leader with an in-depth knowledge of drama pedagogy and performance. Alison has a first-hand experience of the needs of regional youth having spent most of her career teaching in regional locations in Queensland in both state and private school settings. A leader in her field, Alison has presented at National conferences and also shared her practice and expertise through her links with Drama Queensland and the QLD Curriculum and Assessment Authority as a lead endorser, confirmer and assessor. Alison also has a strong career background in student services and the development of well-being curriculum in secondary schools. A generous collaborator, Alison has worked with numerous artists in the development and devising of contemporary theatre works for young people and the community including the Fusion project in the Gympie region in 2019. Living on a working farm with her husband and three boys, Alison is a passionate advocate for Arts education and the expansion of opportunities for career pathways for young and emerging artists.
Justine has over 20 years working with children, young people and families in local communities as part of the human services and community development sector. She has worked in government and non-government organizations in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. Jaustine studied early childhood education then went onto complete a Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) she has always been dedicated around empowering communities to reach their full potential and believes opportunities should be accessible by all. Justine is currently the Service Coordinator within the mental health and family wellbeing team for a local not-for-profit organization, supporting children, young people, and their families within the Gympie region. Justine has a passion for the arts and is currently a financial member, supporter, and volunteer with the Gympie & District Eisteddfod and previously with the Gympie Theatre Association. As a competitive dancer in her youth Justine understands the importance of accessing the support, mentoring and connections within the performing arts industries. Justine is excited to be part of the Perseverance Street advisory board, bringing energy, enthusiasm, and a collaborative approach to offer amazing opportunities for the young people within the Gympie community.
Jonas is the youth representative on our board. Having lived and grown up in the Gympie region he has an authentic understanding of the need for quality cultural experiences for the community and across the Wide-Bay region. As a founding member of the company he has played a key role in the development of two new works in 2022; Lizard our school touring show and GRIT the mainstage production. Jonas is a skilled all rounder with a strong aesthetic and a passion for all things technical. In 2023 he will be completing more training in technical theatre as part of the Build Back Better Program delivered by Jute Theatre. Jonas directed Chromatown for the Queensland Theatre Scene Project in 2022 and is a skilled vocalist having performed in the James Nash Academy of Creative Arts award winning vocal group. In 2023 he will further develop his skills as a teaching artist working in the local community choir, Pitch.
Dr Sharon Hogan
Sharon is committed to enhancing pathways in the Creative Industries for young, emerging and regional artists. Sharon is a performance maker, Arts educator, and researcher who has specialized in producing contemporary arts experiences for young people, families and communities. Sharon lectured in directing, drama pedagogy and acting; into the QUT Theatre Open Program, at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Griffith University and has taught in secondary schools. She has produced and directed productions for a range of companies including Queensland Theatre, QPAC and QUT. In 2018 Sharon was recognised for her outstanding service to drama by the peak professional body Drama Queensland. Formally the HOD of the Arts at James Nash State High School, She is now the acting Head of Pedagogy. She volunteers her time as CEO for Perseverance Street. Sharon recently directed the critically acclaimed main-stage production of GRIT for Perseverance Street Theatre Company.