Black Swan State Theatre Company of Western Australia acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live.

First Nations People have been telling stories on this country for many thousands of years, and we acknowledge their incredible contribution to the cultural and environmental landscape we reside in.

Board & Staff

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Kate Champion wide shot

Kate Champion

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Kate has decades of experience working in theatre, dance-theatre, opera, musicals, film and circus - in many genres ranging from devised original work, new Australian plays, classics, comedy, multi-art form work, interactive and physical theatre.

In 2002, Kate founded the company Force Majeure based in Sydney, and helmed the company from a project-based concern to a multi-year funded company premiering five original main stage works for major festivals and touring extensively regionally, nationally, and internationally until 2015. Force Majeure has toured twice to WA.

Kate works extensively on large-scale projects, and for major theatre companies as well as in the small-to-medium and independent theatre scene.

Kate had a 26-year career as a performer and dancer with companies both nationally and internationally and created two acclaimed solo shows. Kate performed her solo show Face Value at PICA.

Kate is a multi-award winning artist, winning the Helpmann Award Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production for Same, Same But Different (Sydney Festival), Most Outstanding Performance by a Company at the Australian Dance Awards for Already Elsewhere (Sydney Festival and Biennale de la Danse in Lyon), the 2012 Helpmann Award for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production for Not In A Million Years, and Most Outstanding Performance by a Company at the Australian Dance Awards for The Age I’m In (Sydney and Adelaide Festivals, touring to Dublin, Montreal and Seoul).

Ian Booth

Ian Booth

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Ian has worked in the creative industries in Western Australia for over 20 years, principally in the Australian film and television industry.

Ian started his working career as a lawyer, and after a variety of legal and film industry roles including working as Business Affairs Manager for Drama and Comedy at the ABC in Melbourne, Ian served as CEO of Screenwest from 2007-2017, the Western Australian peak film financing body.

In a period of strong growth for the sector, Ian led the Screenwest team that financed hundreds of film and television projects, with some highlights including Red Dog, Satellite Boy, Looking for Grace, Paper Planes, Bran Nue Dae, Australia, Breath, Cloudstreet, Mystery Road, Outback Truckers, SAS: The Search for Warriors, Who Do You Think You Are, and many more.

During this period, the screen industry in Western Australia significantly diversified and expanded from its base in documentaries and children’s television, to regularly producing critically and commercially successful international feature films and television series. WA films have now screened at all the biggest film festivals in the world on multiple occasions, including Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Toronto, Busan and Berlin.

After leaving Screenwest, Ian has worked as a consultant and executive producer, and also returned to practice law. Ian is currently a director of a number of companies in the film and television sector, including production company Indian Pacific Pictures Pty Ltd, and Home Fire Creative Industries Pty Ltd.

Ian’s recent credits as Executive Producer include the feature films RAMS, Star Dreaming, Ningaloo: Australia’s Other Great Reef, and Whale Super Highway.

Ian is currently a Commonwealth Government appointment to the board of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, and has previously been a Board member of national screen agency Ausfilm, Awesome Arts Festival, and the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

Francois Witbooi

Chair

Board of Directors

Francois Witbooi has worked as a senior executive in a range of industries across 4 continents. A classically trained concert pianist and winner of the prestigious Fulbright scholarship in 2002, Francois graduated from Columbia University in the City of New York with a Master’s in Arts management before taking up positions at the Arts Council England and the National Foundation for Youth Music UK. He is a co-founder of the Spear Group of Companies and has in the past been included as a winner of the 40under40, an award which celebrates Western Australia’s leading entrepreneurs under the age of 40. Francois also serves on the board of directors for the Spear Foundation, a charity aimed at supporting the development of children, the connection of Elders and the provision of training opportunities for young Aboriginal women.

Ms. Gooding is a Finance Executive with over 20 years experience in strategic and financial analysis, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, debt funding, management and financial accounting and governance across multiple industries including energy, mining, infrastructure, consumer goods, agriculture and philanthropy. Ms Gooding is currently Group Chief Financial Officer of Vulcan Energy Resources. Ms Gooding has previously held executive positions at Fortescue, Minderoo Foundation and Tattarang. Ms Gooding has extensive international experience having worked in Washington DC, Singapore and London, holding senior positions at PwC, Diageo Plc and Sirius Minerals Plc. Ms. Gooding is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors.

Anna is a Partner at national law firm Clayton Utz and holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Western Australia, and a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne. With over 20 years' legal experience Anna advises a broad range of clients on all aspects of employment, industrial relations and safety law. Anna also practices in regulatory litigation and compliance with a focus on large financial services.

Anna leads a number of diversity initiatives at Clayton Utz in Perth and sits on the firm's national diversity and inclusion committee, Momentum. Anna is recognised as a ranked practitioner for Employment in Chambers Asia Pacific 2023, and a leading Employment Lawyer (Employer Representation) in the 2023 Doyle's Guide. Anna is also the Chair of Council at St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls and is a member of the Law Council of Australia Industrial Relations Committee.

Zoë Atkinson has worked as a theatre designer nationally and internationally for over twenty-five years. Her experience spans a diverse range of art forms including opera, puppetry, dance, theatre, community arts, museum exhibition and the visual arts. Over the years she has served as a member and chair on many arts advisory boards, committees and funding panels; and has taught design at a variety of institutions, including WAAPA, where she was Head of Design from 2000 – 2002. Zoë has been the recipient of several awards for her work, including a Helpmann Award, several Green Room Awards, and the Young Australian of the Year Award for the Arts. Her relationship with Black Swan began in 2000; and she has since designed thirteen productions with the company.

James is a Partner in KPMG’s Customer and Operations Advisory Team with a focus on supporting Australia’s largest organisations through transformative change and improving business outcomes. Over the last 30 years he has led and supported large-scale business transformations across the globe. His knowledge and experiences position him well in dealing with Boards, Executives and Business Leadership to bring about impactful, practical and outcomes driven change. His skills are oriented around business process optimisation, operating models, cost take-out, strategy definition, customer engagement and experience, marketing, digital solutions and shared services.

As a committed triathlete, James leads an active lifestyle which is centred around his passion for community engagement. He is the current President of the Swan River Rowing Club, and supporting the growth and success of his community on a local and national stage is his primary objective. James also has a strong interest in global arts and culture, evidenced through his personal collection of artwork that celebrates the creativity of contemporary artists from South Africa, UK, USA, the Middle East and Australia.

“I am truly delighted to be able to support the growth and development of the Black Swan Theatre Company. The Company has an important role to play in nurturing the skills required to develop and deliver productions as well as bringing diverse perspectives and insights to all West Australians."

Andrew's career as a playwright and screenwriter spans thirty years. His works for the stage have been performed throughout Australia and internationally, including on the West End, Broadway and throughout Europe. His films include A Most Wanted Man, Edge of Darkness, Head On, Lantana and Strictly Ballroom. He has served on the Literature Board of the Australia Council and on the boards of Playwriting Australia, the Australian Writers Guild and the Adelaide Film Festival.

Mimi Packer graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is an accountant and mother of four children. Mimi is on the Board of the Australian Bridge Federation Foundation and is a former director of the PLC Foundation and The Fathering Project. She has been involved with numerous charities including Clontarf Foundation, The Smith Family and Brightwater Care Group. Mimi has been keen supporter of the Black Swan State Theatre Company for many years.

Ms. Paget serves as the acting Chief Financial Officer of Fortescue Metals, bringing over 25 years of senior finance executive experience in multinational organisations. Her expertise spans various finance domains, including accounting, tax, treasury, business evaluation, and acquisitions and divestments.

As a true strategic thinker, Ms. Paget is deeply committed to fostering financial resilience and driving organisational growth. She actively champions diversity within corporate and cultural ecosystems, recognising its pivotal role in the success of any business.

Her appreciation and passion for artistic expression are evident in her love for music, theatre, literature, and dance. Ms. Paget holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of WA and is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA). She is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) with The Tax Institute.

David is the Executive Director of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

A professional actor with extensive experience in theatre, film, television and radio, David trained at the Arts Educational Schools and at RADA.. The founding Chair of the Conference of Drama Schools Research Forum and a former Co-convenor of the 20th/21st Century Performer Training Group at TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), David is actively engaged in promoting research initiatives across the HE performer training sector. His own research includes published articles/book chapters related to Stanislavsky and Russian Naturalism, British Actor and Director training, the American Method, the work of Samuel Beckett and Postdramatic Theatre.

David was formerly the Chair of the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS) in the UK and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

David is an Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) published by Routledge.

He is also on the Advisory Board to the Stanislavsky Research Centre.

Alison is an experienced senior executive and Board member and is currently a Non Executive Director on the Boards of Bannerman Energy Limited (ASX:BMN), Matrix Composites & Engineering Limited (ASX:MCE), RAC Insurance and UN Women Australia. She brings significant expertise in sustainability, corporate affairs, legal, company secretarial and general management, having worked across a number of sectors including mining and resources, automotive, telecommunications and superannuation.

Her previous executive positions include Director of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs and Joint Company Secretary at Fortescue Metals Group and Executive Director Corporate Affairs at General Motors Holden. Her previous Non-Executive positions include industry superannuation fund AustralianSuper and NBN Tasmania Limited.

Alison holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws (Honours), and she is a member of Chief Executive Women and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

PHILANTHROPY ADVISORY BOARD

Mimi Packer (Chair)
Di Bain
Andrew Baker
John Barrington AM
Anna Casellas
Paula Rogers
Leah Royle
Lisa Rowley
Natasha Taylor

OUR TEAM

Chantelle Iemma Casting Director/Company Manager
Kathleen Higgs Senior Producer
Kaitlin Tinker Senior Producer (Parental Leave Cover)
Christie Sistrunk Creative Learning Manager
Thomas Papathanassiou Bridge Program Project Coordinator
Chris Isaacs Literary Director
Humphrey Bower Associate Artist
Naomi Pigram Associate Artist

Sarah-Jane Watkins Head of Finance
Katie Gugliotta Finance Manager
Deanna Faust Head of Operations

Tim Sitwell-Mogridge Head of Marketing
Irene Jarzabek Public Relations Manager
Phoebe Tempra Campaign Manager
Lauren Anderson Marketing Assistant
Logan Jones Ticketing and Customer Service Manager
Linda Pope Ticketing Officer
Angela Sturdy Ticketing Officer

Danielle Hadley Head of Business Development
Virginia Withers Head of Philanthropy
Eadie Pocock Donor and Partnerships Coordinator 

Katie Moore Head of Production
Joey Coombes Technical Coordinator
Stephen Matthews Workshop Manager
Les Hickford Construction Supervisor
Marek Szyler Scenic Artist
Jordan Lee Senior Set Builder & Head Mechanist
Ruben Dwyer Set Builder & Deputy Head Mechanist
Alison Little Set Builder
Lynn Ferguson Wardrobe Manager
Jenny Edwards Costume Cutter
Anna Weir Wardrobe Assistant/Dresser

Dr Nicola Forrest AO

Life Patron

Janet Holmes À Court AC

Founding Patron

Andrew Ross

Founding Artistic Director