From the moment Wal Cherry brought his unique brand of inspiration to Flinders as our foundation Professor of Drama, Flinders University has fostered vibrant artistic excellence through our creative arts program.
For 50 years Flinders has nurtured the aspirations of those who would pursue creative roles in theatre, film, writing, music and more.
Many of our alumni have established remarkable and influential creative careers. Brink Productions, The Border Project, Circus Oz, Red Shed and The Angels are amongst the many stellar success stories to emerge from Flinders; we’re proud to showcase even more as part of this inspiring and illuminating exhibition.
It is by no means an exhaustive list, but a snapshot of the myriad talents that have risen to prominence in the past half century. I’m confident we’ll see yet more stars added to the Flinders firmament as the students of today – and tomorrow – follow enthusiastically in the footsteps of these fifty inspiring Flinders Creatives.
Flinders University inspires a legacy of artistic excellence from current and future students as they work with award winning teaching staff and researchers in areas including drama, screen, creative writing, digital media, dance, fashion, and visual arts.
A Flinders 50 Creatives exhibition was held at the Adelaide Festival Theatre from March to June 2016.
Alex Frayne is co-founder of Sputnik films and director, editor, and producer of the feature film Modern Love (2006), which Variety Magazine described as “…unlike anything else in the Australian genre catalogue.” Also an accomplished still photographer, he won the Atkins SALA Festival Photographic Award in 2010 and has recently received worldwide acclaim for his Adelaide Noir Series.
Alex Reid has applied her appreciation of the arts and passion for creativity, innovation and local communities to her career as a public administrator. Originally trained as an actor, Alex moved on to roles including Group Executive Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet SA and most recently Deputy Chief Executive in the Department of State Development SA.
A Mirning woman from the Nullarbor on the West Coast of South Australia, Ali Gumillya-Baker’s work crosses the disciplines of visual art, performance and film. Associate Dean, Yunggorendi Student Engagement in the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement, Flinders University, Baker’s art examines themes of sovereignty, colonialism and intergenerational transmission of knowledge.
The first Indigenous person to receive accreditation to the Australian Cinematographers Society, Allan Collins has lent his keen eye to television drama, documentaries, commercials and feature films. He has won awards for his cinematography in work including Road, Dust, Mistake Creek, and Beneath Clouds, for which he received an AFI and Independent Film (IF) award.
A prolific screenwriter, and AWGIE Award winner, Annie Fox has written television episodes which have received prestigious awards including the AFI, ATOM and New York Silver Medal. She was a series co-writer on Ocean Girl and Thunderstone, which both received BAFTAs for Best Children’s Series.
Also an accomplished script editor, producer, teacher, poet, mentor and creative consultant, her work on shows such as Wicked Science, Pirate Islands, Blue Heelers, State Coroner and Flipper, has screened in over 100 countries around the world.
Director, writer and producer Anthony Maras has developed a reputation for bringing confronting stories based on true events to the screen. He is a three-time AACTA Award winner for his short films Spike Up and The Palace, which has also won plaudits at a number of international film festivals. He is currently signed on to direct the feature film Hotel Mumbai.
Collaborators in the Australian Bureau of Worthiness, actor and theatre-maker Emma Beech and writer-director Tessa Leong have a talent for uncovering how people really think and feel. The Bureau interviews people in communities with the question “What makes your day worth it?” and turns the answers into performances that reveal the inner truth of our shared human experiences and relationship with place.
Barry Plews is a producer, dramaturg and festival director specialising in international collaboration. He has worked for many years in China across new media, film animation and a range of performing arts, and was executive producer of Sweet & Sour, the first official animated short film co-production between China and Australia. Plews is currently creative producer for Reckless Moments, sponsor of the Creative Futures program.
Caleb Lewis is a multi-award winning playwright. His works for the stage, which often highlight social issues and demonstrate a deep understanding of the human condition, have been produced nationally and internationally. Lewis’ works include RobotBaby; Songs for the Deaf, Nailed; Men, Love and the Monkeyboy; Dogfall; Rust and Bone; and Clinchfield. He is currently resident playwright with Melbourne’s Red Stitch Actors Theatre.
Catherine Fitzgerald has been a vital figure in South Australia’s theatre community for over 30 years, working as an actor, writer and director with most of SA’s theatre companies. She was artistic director of Vitalstatistix National Women’s Theatre 1996-2002 and Associate Director at State Theatre Company SA in 2011-2012. She is currently working as a freelance artist.
With over 30 years’ experience in galleries and museums, Christopher Menz is a key player in the Australian arts scene. Formerly Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia and Acting Director at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Menz is an accomplished art consultant, curator, lecturer and writer on the decorative arts. He is currently Development Consultant for Australian Book Review.
A dinosaur firing an anti- aircraft gun. A Christmas- tree ninja. Teenage Hitler playing basketball. These absurd scenarios all sprang from the fertile mind of Dario Russo. An Australian writer, director, producer and composer, his credits include the Internet series Italian Spiderman (2008) and the multi-award winning SBS TV series Danger 5: Series 1 (2012) and Series 2 (2015).
CEO and Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival Centre since 2006. He is a former Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Head of Concert Music for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He is Chairman of the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres, and the founder of OzAsia Festival. He also leads a comprehensive Australian/ Asian Cultural engagement program.
Gale Edwards is one of theatre’s leading lights on the world stage. An acclaimed director, she has been awarded three Sydney Critics’ Circle awards for best director and best production, was the first Australian to direct on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s main stage, and the first Australian to open a musical on both The West End and Broadway.
Geordie Brookman is a director, dramaturg and producer with an impressive list of theatre credits to his name. His productions have played in theatres throughout Australia, the U.K. and Asia for companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Malthouse Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Brink Productions, Frantic Assembly, Arts Asia Pacific and the State Theatre Company of South Australia. He is currently the Artistic Director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia.
Greg Mackie’s contribution to the cultural life of South Australia has been significant and sustained. For over 20 years he led Adelaide’s Imprints Booksellers, a decade shaping Adelaide Writers’ Week program, and founded the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. Awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2002 for services to the arts, Mackie went on to lead Arts SA for a number of years. He now serves on several boards, providing valued advice to cultural leaders. His next role will be as CEO with History SA.
Beloved by Australians for his irreverent sports coverage on TV and radio, Greig Pickhaver is better known as HG Nelson of the comedy duo Roy and HG. An actor, comedian and writer, Pickhaver has been nominated for several Logie Awards – winning in 2001 for The Dream – and was recognised in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday honours list with an OAM for his services to the media.
Hannah Kent’s debut novel, Burial Rites, has taken the literary world by storm. Winning several awards and landing on shortlists for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Guardian First Book Award, it has been translated into over 20 languages and is being adapted into a feature film. Hannah is also the co-founder of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings.
Helen is one of Australia’s most experienced feature film producers, and her credits include Wolf Creek 2, Swerve, Black and White and Heaven’s Burning. Helen’s films have been selected for over forty prestigious Film Festivals, including Venice, Toronto and London. Helen also contributes to industry organisations, as CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation (2004-07), Chair of the Australian International Documentary Conference (2007 -2012), the Australian Film Commission Board (1998-04) and Board member of Ausfilm (2004-07).
Indigenous artist, writer, government adviser and former soccer player, John Kundereri Moriarty is a member of the Yanyuwa people. Chairman of Balarinji Design Studio, and co-founder and co- chair of the not-for-profit Nangala project, Moriarty’s studio’s designs adorned the skies in the mid- nineties when Balarinji was commissioned by Qantas to paint two of its aircrafts.
John Schumann’s political and social conscience and lifelong commitment to Australian culture was nurtured at Flinders University. In the 1998 federal election, he took the then Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, to postal votes in the seat of Mayo. The count lasted 12 days – almost as long as his campaign.
John’s song “I Was Only 19” has won almost every award the Australian music industry has to offer and features on every list of note, including the international list “100 Songs That Changed The World”.
A founding member of the trailblazing computer art collective VNS Matrix, Julianne Pierce is a producer, artist and arts administrator with over 25 years’ experience in the cultural sector. She was appointed as Creative Producer of the Adelaide Fringe in 2015 following three years as Executive Director of Australian Dance Theatre. She was based in the UK from 2007-2012 as Executive Producer of pioneering media performance group Blast Theory and was Chair of the International Symposium on Electronic Art from 2006-2013.
From INXS videos to feature films starring the likes of Catherine Zeta- Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Zack Efron, producer and creative consultant Kerry Heysen is no stranger to celebrity. But it’s her hard work behind the scenes that has seen films such as Shine and Hearts in Atlantis reach the big screen. Heysen is CEO of Kino Films.
Kim Dalton’s production and arts management experience has seen him involved in some of Australia’s most celebrated films including Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Dalton served as CEO of the AFC and Director of Television at the ABC, and in 2007 was awarded an OAM for his service to the film and television industry.
Martin Armiger has been rocking the silver screen as a film composer for over thirty years. His work includes scores for Pure Shit, Young Einstein, and Cane Toads: The Conquest. Martin has won an impressive collection of awards, including an AFI and four ARIAS, and is currently Head of Screen Music at Australian Film, Television and Radio School.
Mario Andreacchio’s passion for bold ideas and young people has driven his work as a director and producer on films such as Napoleon, The Real Macaw and The Dragon Pearl – the first treaty co-production between Australia and China. In 1988 Mario won an international Emmy Award for “Captain Johnno”, an episode of the TV show Touch the Sun.
From theatre and film, to television drama, comedy and action, Melanie Vallejo is one versatile young actor. She has performed in productions for the Sydney Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir, Fresh Track Productions and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Vallejo’s TV credits include Australian favourites such as All Saints and Packed to the Rafters, as well as Power Rangers Mystic Force. She currently stars in the Network Seven drama Winners and Losers.
Generations have grown up with the works of Mem Fox. Her original contributions to our culture, including the ever-popular Possum Magic, have delighted Australians young and old for decades, providing inspiration to readers and fellow writers alike. And they will surely continue to do so for decades to come.
Nescha Jelk’s originality and creativity have made her one of Australia’s most exciting young theatre directors. Winner of the Helpmann Academy 2011 Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Award for fostering emerging talent, she has gone on to direct originals including Sepia, Jesikah, and Deluge, and interpretations of Volpone and Othello. Jelk is currently the Resident Director at the State Theatre Company of South Australia.
Whether it’s for movies such as Little Fish and Truth, her stage presence in one-woman show Mother, work as a presenter on Play School and Better Homes and Gardens, or starring in television series such as A Place to Call Home and City Homicide, Noni Hazlehurst is recognised as one of Australia’s most respected and loved performers and presenters.
Also an accomplished director, writer, presenter and broadcaster, Hazlehurst has two Logies, four AFIs and three AFI nominations. In 1998 she received an AM for her services to children and children’s television.
Winner of the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award for his first play Little Borders, Phillip Kavanagh is one of Australia’s most promising emerging playwrights and dramaturgs. Works such as Deluge, Replay and Jesikah have seen Phillip earn a Colin Thiele Creative Writing Scholarship, State Theatre Company SA Flinders University Young Playwrights Award, and Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award.
Richard Tipping works at the boundaries of poetry and visual art, making word sculptures such as The Eternal Question in Light Square. Co-founder of Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets, he has made documentary films on writers including Les Murray and David Malouf. His famous artsigns are internationally known through MoMA, New York.
The Director of critical and commercial sensation Shine, Scott Hicks is one of Australia’s most celebrated filmmakers. With a raft of international awards to his name – including an Emmy, a Peabody, and an AFI, not to mention multiple Oscar, Golden Globe and AFI nominations – his filmography includes Snow Falling on Cedars, Hearts in Atlantis and No Reservations.
Listeners of ABC Classic FM would be familiar with the voice of Simon Healy, who has contributed to the network for over thirty years. He presents and produces Sunday Opera and Monday and Tuesday Evenings as well as many of the network’s concert broadcasts and feature programs. His series, ‘The Skill of Musick’, received an Australian Hi-Fi Award.
From cult Aussie horror to Hollywood blockbusters, Sean Lahiff’s filmography is formidable. He has worked as an editor on Swerve, Wolf Creek 2 and The Darkness, and was a visual effects editor on Gravity, The Hunger Games and The Great Gatsby (to name just a few). Lahiff is Editor of the upcoming Wolf Creek miniseries and directed the award- winning horror-comedy short Too Dark.
Getting his start in films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and Mad Max 2, writer and producer Steve Knapman has been breaking new ground in Australian film and TV for over 40 years. With numerous Logies and AFI Awards to his name, he is known for celebrated programs including The Leaving of Liverpool, Wildside, White Collar Blue, and East West 101.
Tim Jacobs has been a mover and shaker in the Australian arts scene for over 25 years, and his understanding of Australia’s cultural life has seen him head up some of the country’s most prestigious institutions. Jacobs is former Director of Arts Victoria, CEO of Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne, and executive director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Film and television producer Tim Sanders has helped bring some of cinema’s more ambitious projects to the big screen. Based in New Zealand, his work includes films such as Whale Rider, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Return to Eden, and the TV series Plainclothes and This Is Not My Life. Sanders has won multiple awards, including two BAFTAs, and is a partner in production company Field Theory.
He’s been Hamlet, a vampire, the Earl of Southampton, Frankenstein’s monster, and many more characters: Xavier Samuel is one of Australia’s most dynamic young actors. He recently performed in the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s The Seagull for the 2014 Adelaide Festival. Samuel’s film roles have included cult horror movie The Loved Ones, Fury alongside Brad Pitt, and Twilight: Eclipse.
Closer Productions is a collective of filmmakers based in Adelaide, South Australia. 52 Tuesdays, Shut Up Little Man! and Life in Movement are just some of Closer Production’s award- winning films. The Closer Productions team has created entertaining and provocative documentary, drama and experimental films, which have screened in cinemas, TV, art galleries and at major festivals around the world.
Redgum was an Australian folk and political music group formed in Adelaide in 1975. Members included John Schumann, Michael Atkinson, Verity Truman and Chris Timms who all attended Flinders University. Redgum is best known for John Schumann’s song I Was Only Nineteen.