At Flinders Creative Arts and Industries, you'll be taught by award-winning poets, directors, dancers, novelists, filmmakers, artists, actors, digital media experts and more. Our creative arts staff are passionate industry leaders at the forefront of modern education.
Meet the Flinders Creative Arts and Industries staff below.
“Fiction in all its glory! I write commercial fiction under the name Tess LeSue with Penguin Random House USA. Publisher’s Weekly calls my work ‘witty and memorable’; RT Book Reviews praised it for being ‘a delightful rollercoaster ride’; Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews gave my latest book five stars and All About Romance summed it up as ‘funny, romantic and appealingly entertaining, [while] unflinchingly portraying the ugly underbelly of the old west’.”
An award-winning novelist, Dr Amy Matthews is the Chair of Writers SA and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Flinders University. Amy’s academic and teaching skills have also been recognised in multiple honours and awards.
As Tess LeSue, Amy’s romance fiction novels have seen her stamp her mark on an industry worth over $1 billion and accounting for over 50% of all paperbacks sold.
Amy is a highly skilled, engaging lecturer in touch with both the scholarly and commercial aspects of Creative Writing.
Dr Sean Williams is one of Australia’s most-awarded speculative fiction writers. With over forty novels and one hundred and twenty short stories for adults, young adults and children, the #1 New York Times-bestselling author certainly ‘walks the walk’ as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Flinders.
“My work has been nominated thirty times for the Aurealis Award, in the categories of Science Fiction Novel and Short Story, YA Novel, Children’s Novel, Fantasy Novel, Horror Short Story, and Collection. Also, for the Ditmar Award my work has been nominated seventeen times in the categories of Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Collection, and Professional Achievement. In 1999, I received the “SA Great” Award for Literature.”
Sean’s literary achievements are incredible, ranging from speculative fiction to realism, resulting in him being named the “King of Chameleons” by Australian Book Review for the diversity of his published output.
Creating a stage show that appeals to both a Japanese and an Australian audience is a challenge few would take on, but Flinders University Lecturer in Drama Critical Studies, Dr Alex Vickery-Howe not only took on the challenge, he created a sell-out success.
Alex’s Once Upon a Midnight, a bilingual, bicultural horror rock musical, opened in Okinawa, Japan, before selling out again at the Adelaide OzAsia Festival. For Alex, the biggest issue was developing a script that worked with two completely different senses of humour.
"Sarcasm is lost. I offended a lot of people just being myself... it's that Australian thing of saying 'I hate you' but really meaning 'I like you' which is taken literally."
A passionate, witty lecturer, Alex has written for the stage in partnership with several theatre companies, has written and directed a number of short films and recently completed an internship with StudioCanal in Sydney working in screen assessment/development.
A storyteller, bush poetry fan and self-proclaimed “biggest dag in the room”. Sarah is a highly accomplished playwright, theatre practitioner and practice-led researcher.
“My research is allowing me to visit some of the world’s key centres of digitisation, develop a real understanding about what it is people are doing when they undertake digitisation activities and what it means for the way we as the public use and learn from digitised sources. If you read the scanned copy of Middlemarch on Google Books does that make the experience of the book different from reading it in hard copy or the Project Gutenberg version?”
Flinders’ Senior Lecturer in Creative Industries, Dr Tully Barnett is investigating ways of valuing arts and culture beyond econometrics and digitisation as a cultural practice. She works in the fields of cultural policy, digital humanities and literary studies and co-author of What Matters? Talking Value in Australian Culture (2018) with Julian Meyrick and Robert Phiddian.
Tully is a Research Fellow for the ARC Linkage project Laboratory Adelaide: The Value of Culture. She serves on the advisory board of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC) and the executive committee of the Australasian Association of Digital Humanities (aaDH).
Her research aims to help us better understand how reading and literature will work in the post-print age. It asks which books are being digitised, who can access them and how digitisation will change the way we read.
Tully’s understanding of the implications of digitising our cultural past have made her an engaging and highly regarded lecturer.
“Most of my artistic time is spent off the computer and as a sculptor/model maker at heart I love to stick bits of junk together to make something cool...or weird...or weirdly cool. I like to play in the fringes where the digital and traditional art worlds meet. As a Lecturer in Digital Media at Flinders University my day to day job involves teaching others to let their creative brain loose.”
Born in the year that we first walked on the moon, Flinders Lecturer in Digital Media, Shane Bevin spent most of his school lunch money on Time Pilot, Moon Patrol and Xevious...the dawn of the video game era. His first computer was a ZX81 with 1 KB of ram, a 3.5 MHz processor and any colour on screen you liked (as long as it was black or white). As an art tool, it was somewhat limited, but digital art slowly took over Shane’s life.
Co-founder of Adelaide animation studio Monkeystack, Shane has experience in animation project management, render wrangling, 3d production, Virtual Reality production and software management.
He has been awarded multiple times for his work as director, art director and technical director, and his many years of teaching and production experience brings an exciting, energetic industry focus to the delivery of curriculum.
“Learning to deal with ambiguity, being curious and questioning everything – that’s what artists do. I’m interested in fostering open and inclusive learning spaces for our students to develop a sense of who they are, to take risks and to make the work they need to make.”
Gregory Ackland is a practising artist and arts educator with 17 years of teaching experience in the visual and creative arts. He is a passionate advocate for the value of creativity, innovation and culture.
Gregory is interested in digital media practices, conceptual photography and the moving image. He has facilitated workshops, presented papers and collaborated with colleagues at Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, AUS on topics including contemporary Chinese photo media, the role of photography in a media economy, arts careers and new media practices.
As the Principal Lecturer for Visual Arts he provides academic leadership for staff and students, develops partnerships with industry and maintains an active teaching role. His teaching focus includes arts funding, creative entrepreneurship, career pathways and cultural critique.
He has judged a number of arts awards, including the AIPP Contemporary Art Photography prize, delivered workshops for the Art Gallery of South Australia and regularly sits on arts funding assessment panels. Gregory is a represented artist with Hill Smith Gallery, South Australia.
An industry practitioner who just ‘gets it’, Tom’s business ‘Frankie Films’ allows him to keep on top of industry trends and bring that knowledge direct to the classroom. A well-respected, award-winning filmmaker with a passion for entrepreneurship, mentoring and encouraging students to enjoy the entire filmmaking journey.
Dr Sarah Peters is a playwright, theatre practitioner and practice-led researcher.
Sarah’s passions lie in telling the shared stories of lived experience through verbatim theatre. She has written about women living with alopecia in bald heads & blue stars, and young people navigating mental health and wellbeing in twelve2twentyfive. Eternity premiered in QLD in 2017 and an excerpt of the script is published in 'New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing'.
Her play Blister is an exploration of her time walking the almost 800km Camino de Santiago in Spain
“I had this idea about doing this big long walk in Spain and writing a play about it. I wasn’t really a big walker at that time, so I set myself a training program that started with walking 5kms a day, six days a week. The next month it was 6kms, then 8kms, then 10kms…until the month before I left for Spain, I was walking 18-21kms a day six days a week. I was finishing my PhD at the same time, so it was a great balance between physical activity and the more sedentary aspects of writing.”
The ability to bring such a wonderful breadth of life experiences to the stage has helped Sarah to become an engaging and passionate lecturer who believes that mentoring theatre practitioners in their creative practice will help to bring out their best.
Flinders University’s Katie Cavanagh lectures in 'hands-on' digital media topics, where she happily frolics and explores the convergence and combination of text, design, image and meaning.
Katie has a wealth of practical experience to offer students, having worked as a graphic designer, web monkey, and project manager for TechWorks and TMP Worldwide. Her skills have enhanced Flinders’ world-class visual effects credentials, highlighted by back-to-back wins in the prestigious Rookies Awards.
“Winning the Rookies, School of the Year: Digital Illustration in 2017 was amazing; holding the title for the second year against such strong competition underscores the rigour of our world-class degree. Of particular note, Flinders students were ranked among the most industry-ready participants in the international competition.”
The Rookies global rankings (2017 and 2018) place Flinders University in collaboration with CDW Studios as the world's No. 1 Digital Illustration School. The relaunched Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Effects and Entertainment Design) provides students with industry focused skills and knowledge that Katie is confident will see them graduate job ready.
“We changed the name to Visual Effects and Entertainment Design to help clarify both for the students and for prospective employers what the students have studied. The future in the VFX space is looking bright. South Australia has always been a creative state but now there is more work for artists here.”
“I want my students to recognise the importance of the body in the acting process, I want them to leave with a heightened sense of curiosity, awareness, joy, detail and autonomy.”
Dr Renato Musolino looks back at an over twenty-year career at the tertiary level, specialising in Laban Movement Analysis, movement for actors, psycho-physical acting, improvisation, directing, and text/scene work.
“Listen!”, that’s what Renato wants his students to do. Not only to what’s happening in the room but also to what their body is saying. To achieve this, he guides his students through a warm-up each morning, leading them through movement exercises, yoga and putting text and sound to movement.
“Similar to how an athlete has to develop their body-mind to be in an optimum space to accomplish the tasks associated with their sport, it’s pretty much the same with acting. Movement practice is developing breath awareness and resilience, stamina, and nuance in expressive work– it’s very much training students to be aware of what their body is doing at any given time, helping them become aware of their habitual patterns and expanding their behavioural range.”
Fluent in Italian, Renato has worked nationally and internationally with leading companies including State Theatre Company South Australia, Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir Theatre.
“Being a writer is being God.”
A passionate, witty lecturer and award-winning writer, Alex has written for the stage in partnership with several theatre companies, has written and directed a number of short films and recently completed an internship with StudioCanal in Sydney working in screen assessment/development.
“I’m a teacher by instinct. In fact, I had to be constrained when I was a student here, from trying to teach at the same time!”
A graduate of the Flinders Drama Centre himself, Dr Christopher Hurrell is a stage director, dramaturg and teacher who has worked nationally and internationally over a twenty-year career in the areas of new writing, Shakespeare, actor-training and musical theatre.
It’s long been recognised, that acting on screen has a different focus to acting on stage. But with new media formats developing at such a high speed, actors need to continuously reinvent their mode of delivery and be ready to adapt to these new platforms. “We can’t predict what the next fragmentation is going to be. It’s going to happen so rapidly. The challenge now is how to develop in my students the internal motor that enables them to work out what the dynamic qualities of a new emerging medium are, and the intelligence to re-think what we need to do differently as performers to vividly create that pure moment at the heart of the work, for that medium.”
Working with many of Australia’s finest actors on stage and screen, including Rebel Wilson and AFI Award winner Nicholas Eadie, his style of directing has always been very actor-centred.
“I had an idea when I was studying here, of what I would one day want to focus on: developing new processes for actors, working in a different way on the relationship between the text and the actor - and that became my PhD – how actors work, how they work on a text, how the text is experienced in their voice and their body. My PhD was specifically designed to enable me to continue to take the idea of teaching actors further.”
“I began my film career as a clapper loader on television series and went on to work on many documentaries, commercials, short dramas and feature length films. My true passion is in documentary film-making.”
Helen Carter is an award-winning, masters-educated, cinematographer with 20 years' experience in the film and television industry. She is a graduate from the AFTRS, receiving the highest achievement in her year, and has since been recognised by her peers, winning eight awards from the Australian Cinematographers Society as well as numerous awards from the AFTRS, Kodak and the Sydney Film Critics Circle.
As Lecturer in Screen Production, Helen is responsible for writing and teaching curriculum to undergraduate, honours and post graduate students with a particular emphasis in skill acquisition.
Helen is currently researching a PhD on cinematography in Australia.
“As author Lisa L. Hannett, most of Dr Lisa Bennett’s works are categorised as ‘Dark Fantasy’ or ‘Horror’, which is hilarious considering all versions of Lisa are afraid of the dark.”
Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and English, Dr Lisa Bennett completed a BFA (Hons) at the University of Ottawa before earning a BA (Hons) and PhD in medieval Icelandic literature and cultural memory at Flinders University. At Flinders, she teaches a wide variety of topics, including Vikings and Anglo-Saxon Literature, Reading and Writing Short Stories, Life Writing, Crime Fiction, Adaptations and advanced creative writing workshops.
Under the name Lisa L. Hannett, she has published over 70 short stories in venues including Clarkesworld Magazine, Fantasy, Weird Tales, the Year's Best Australian Horror and Fantasy (Aus), the Year's Best Dark Horror and Fantasy (USA) and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (Can). She has won four Aurealis Awards, including 'Best Collection 2011' for her first book, Bluegrass Symphony, which was also nominated for a World Fantasy Award.
“Cinema is like a time-capsule. It can transport you to another place”
Inspired by 80s action films, Nicholas is an inspiring creative who practices his craft as often as he can. His interests are comprehensive and include Hollywood cinema, film aesthetics, the history of film distribution, Australian national cinema and Asian cinema.
“I'm currently doing research on women in 1970s Hollywood, which extends on my existing research on Hollywood and film authorship. I'm also doing research on the use of video essays for assessment. My other interests include film festivals, and contemporary Australian and Asian cinema.”
Dr Nicholas Godfrey’s research and teaching interests are comprehensive, including Hollywood cinema, film aesthetics, the history of film distribution, Australian national cinema and Asian cinema.
Nic is a Lecturer (Scholarly Fellow Academic) in Screen and Media at Flinders University. He is the author of The Limits of Auteurism: Case Studies in the Critically Constructed New Hollywood (Rutgers University Press, 2018).
He is a contributor to Metro and Senses of Cinema, and has been involved with curating films for the Adelaide Film Festival and the Mercury Cinema. Nic has also been a judge for the South Australian Screen Awards and the Australian Teachers of Media Awards.
“My current research is primarily in the area of women screen practitioners. Gendering History on Screen: Women Filmmakers and Historical Films (IB Tauris, 2018) examines the innovations of women filmmakers in film forms including biopics and movies about the 'war on terror'. Forthcoming research includes The Cinema of Gillian Armstrong (Edinburgh 2019).”
Born and raised in New York City, Flinders Associate Professor Julia Erhart is an internationally recognised researcher in LGBTQ identities and commercial media. Articles by her have appeared in numerous anthologies including Queer TV in the Twenty-First Century (McFarland, 2016), Invented Lives, Imagined Communities: Biopics and American National Identity (SUNY, 2016), and Queer Love in Film and Television (Palgrave, 2013), and in journals which include Continuum, Continuum, a/b: Auto/Biography, Screening the Past.
Julia is the recipient of a grant from the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2016), a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching (2014), and a fellowship from Fulbright (2000).
She is a committed, passionate, and nationally recognised teacher.
“Studying, examining, and making Art is, for me, one of the most powerful ways of understanding our world…teaching into the Bachelor of Creative Arts allows me to continue to do these things, and to work with the remarkable students our degrees attract. As a film reviewer for the ABC, I am continually immersed in the world of film, and am able to speak about the intellectual, emotional and political impact this art form has upon us.”
A passionate lecturer in all aspects of the Creative Arts, Nick is the only staff member who teaches across every stream of the Bachelor of Creative Arts degrees. Since the BCA’s inception, Nick has designed, finessed and delivered the core first-year topic CREA100: Introduction to the Creative Arts, and is heavily involved in touch points throughout each year of the Creative Arts degrees.
Nick has written widely on film and literature; has contributed to the book The 100 Greatest Films of Australian Cinema, has written and broadcast about the #MeToo movement, has reviewed films for the Australian Book Review, and has published on authors including Thomas Pynchon and Michel Faber. He has presented at conferences from UCL London to Łódź, Poland, and regularly hosts Q&A sessions and interviews with notable figures from the worlds of film, television, literature and music.
Outside of Flinders, Nick has been a weekly film reviewer on ABC South Australia for over 15 years, has served as an assessor on grants panels for Arts SA, has contributed as a programming consultant and writer for the Adelaide Film Festival, is a Jury member for the International Youth Silent Film Festival, has served on the Sydney Film Festival jury, was on the Adelaide Writers’ Week committee for 10 years, and is a member of the International Federation of Film Press.
In 2019, Nick was received a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Innovation in Teaching for his work in CREA1001.
Better known as romance writer Tess LeSue, Amy is an award-winning popular fiction author. Her work has been penned by Publishers Weekly as ‘witty and memorable’; and ‘funny, romantic and appealingly entertaining’ by Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews.
“Dance was always something that I was drawn to for self-expression but I had no idea where to begin to turn it into a career. Start somewhere like a tertiary college? That’s how I launched and I haven’t looked back. My career covers all matter of creative processes and performance formats involved in contemporary dance performance and all have informed how I teach and what is critical in the exchange.”
Peter’s professional career commenced in Canberra at Human Veins Dance Theatre. He then spent the next twenty years performing and collaborating in leading contemporary dance companies including Dance North, Australian Dance Theatre, Chrissie Parrott Dance Company, Taipei Crossover and Leigh Warren and Dancers.
In that time, he has worked with choreographers/directors such as Graeme Watson, Nanette Hassel, Douglas Wright, Jean-Pierre Perreault and Per Jonsson and has performed lead roles in Glen Tetley’s “Pierrot Lunaire” and William Forsythe’s “Enemy in the Figure”.
Peter has taught extensively in contemporary dance studies and received choreographic grants from ARTSA and the Australia Council.
“I am an experienced Screen Production lecturer, a filmmaker, and a business owner. Through my broad industry experience, I know that it is not enough anymore to only do one thing, so I don’t just teach filmmaking, I endeavour to inspire students to start businesses, create their own opportunities, promote achievement, give back, mentor others, and enjoy the journey.”
Dr Tom Young’s extensive experience in documentary, television commercial and client video production has given him a highly practical approach to his teaching. Tom understands exactly what the industry requires of graduates, and as head of video production company Frankie Films, he practices exactly what he preaches.
As Lecturer in Screen Production at Flinders, Tom brings together industry and education, the long running and highly successful Community Voices Program being a prime example. In this program students collaborate with not-for-profit organisations to produce online video ads and short documentaries that promote, celebrate and recruit volunteers in South Australia. Since commencement, more than 250 students have participated in the program, producing over 125 videos.
Tom’s passion for filmmaking and engaging presentation skills have made him a popular fixture at Flinders.
“Flinders Drama Centre is cutting edge in so many ways. It has a really interesting academic side that encourages students to think critically about theatre, explore the ways theatre is changing, and consider how theatre changes us.”
Working on lots of TV and film productions in Vancouver including Battlestar Galactica and I, Robot to subsidise her deep love for Shakespearean theatre, Canadian-Australian actress and director Tiffany learned everything about screen acting by making mistakes on set herself. “As a person who loves theatre, what I offer the degree is an understanding of how you can adapt performance techniques for the screen. I've learned to love screen work and to appreciate how it is just as collaborative as theatre while being a totally different process.”
Tiffany has lived in Adelaide for over 10 years and has developed strong ties within the professional acting community. Through these relationships, she hopes to attract more HDR and PhD students to Drama. “I've learned that you can reach a point in your career where you want to challenge yourself in different ways. I'm hoping to share with graduates and mid-career performers my own experience of what postgraduate research did for me as an artist and member of my industry.”
Tiffany is especially excited about communicating the possibilities practice-based research can offer as a research methodology. “Doing a PhD or research into the actor’s work is an empowering way to delve deeply into what we do, contribute to the creative process, and create a lasting artefact once the performance is over.”
At Flinders, Tiffany directs and teaches screen acting, dialects and voice as well as the Meisner technique, an acting technique that is based on Stanislavski's principles and focuses on other actors in the environment rather than on internal feelings.
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