Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee

Meet the committee!

The Committee provides advice and guidance on all aspects of the Festival including our Disability Action and Inclusion Plan, built environments, access services available across our programs and community building. Committee members are paid for their time and meet at four key stages across the year.

The committee is comprised of members with a range of access requirements, disability and/ or lived experience, and includes patrons, artists and service organisation representatives.

The committee is comprised of members with a range of access requirements and/or lived experience with disability, and includes both patrons, artists and service organisation representatives.

Meagan Shand is a Disability Leader and Community Consultant, with over 20 years experience working in community culture development and social change. Meagan lives with disability, and received a Centenary Medal of Australia in 2001 for her vision and commitment to creating a disability-led advocacy group. She is passionate about promoting the benefits of Arts, and completed a Masters of Social Science, exploring how participation in art contributes to individual and community resilience. Meagan is the immediate past CEO of Arts Access Australia and worked with the Department of Communications and Arts on an Australia wide consultation to inform the renewed National Arts and Disability Strategy 2019. She says her biggest achievements in the arts have working in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts to deliver the first National Arts and Disability Awards at the National Portrait Gallery in 2019; and leading the first international Meeting Place forum in Berlin, 2018.

Simone Flavelle is Screenwest's Diversity and Inclusion Manager, developing WA screen industry knowledge and practice around diversity and supporting practitioners identifying as diverse to be included in industry. Simone was previously a Founding Member and Digital Producer at DADAA (Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts Australia), designing and implementing arts and cultural projects, workshops and digital mentoring programs with over 90 Western Australians identifying primarily as disability diverse. Led by artists with disability, Simone has supported performers, visual/digital/sound artists and film makers to create works for screen, exhibition, theatre, specific sites and online. She is a parent to two young men living with disability.

Julia Hales is a performing artist dedicated to sharing the experiences of people living with disabilities, including her own experience. Julia has a 20-year history with DADAA, through which she made the short film Finding Love in 2017. The project led her to collaborate with Perth Festival, and in 2018 she presented the world-premiere of You Know We Belong Together, commissioned by Perth Festival in a co-production with DADAA and Black Swan. The show returned to Black Swan in 2019, and Julia is currently undertaking a mentorship with Artistic Director Clare Watson. Julia regularly volunteers with children with Down syndrome, and speaks at state and national events.

From Peter – note that Peter was taught oral communication in English, but learnt Auslan at 11 years old which is now his preferred language:

Being stuck in hearings community without interpreter is barriers to attend all kind of things that I wish to be involved. My name is Peter Blockey and born profoundly Deaf. I’ve experiences in the past and created a multimedia short film Alone in a Silent World. We are very small deaf community, Friday social nights at Deaf Club and only talking with community is a small world. Now this is all changing, I used to feel that the big community attitude is also now changing with new generations. Today’s changes in technology have opened up new world to me as a Deaf person and new opportunities. 

Grace King is an assistive technology assessor with the National Disability Insurance Agency. In 2009, Grace came to Perth from Madison, Wisconsin, to volunteer at the Cisco Academy for the Vision-Impaired, teaching people who are blind or have low vision to build and maintain computers along with customer service skills. Before this, Grace was working in IT for NASA. Grace is also an award-winning mezzo-soprano and performed alongside Little Birdy gold record-awarded musician Fergus Deasy in Playtime with Grace and Fergus: The Musical, at the Fringe World Festival 2019.

Melanie works two days a week in Media and Corporate Communications for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and was the Secretary of Women With Disabilities WA Inc - a non-profit incorporated organisation that is run by women with disabilities for women with disabilities. She graduated from Murdoch University with a double major in Japanese and Communication Studies in 2000 and has since worked as a Japanese interpreter. Melanie is also a User Analyst for Web Key IT, testing websites and documents for compatibility with her assistive technology. She loves socialising with friends and family and attending concerts and events and is thrilled to be involved with the Perth Festival.

Morwenna Collett is an experienced leader, project manager, lecturer and consultant. She brings significant arts and disability expertise to the Patternmakers team, including her own lived experience as a musician with disability. She has recently returned from Churchill Fellowship in the UK, Ireland and USA investigating inclusive music programs, venues and festivals which actively engage disabled people.  

She is currently a lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium at the University of Sydney and a consultant and advisor to various arts organisations. She has previously been the CEO of Accessible Arts (the peak arts and disability service organisation across NSW which provides information, advocacy and arts opportunities to people with disability) and held various senior management roles at the Australia Council for the Arts. 

Mary-Ellen King has held leadership positions at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Victorian Arts Centre, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Perth Concert Hall and more recently in the aged care sector.  She has an MBA from Melbourne University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of WA and is a graduate of the AICD.  She has been a Director of Perth Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Orchestra Victoria, Red Stitch Theatre Company, Footscray Community Arts Centre, and was a member of the Australia Day Council (Victoria).   Mary-Ellen has served on the Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and on the Major Performing Arts Board and is currently Chair of Lost and Found Opera and a Director of Juniper Aged Care.

Katherine Wilkinson is an arts manager, producer and curator, with an interest in socially-engaged, collaborative and site-responsive practices. She currently hold the positions of Program Director for the Fremantle Biennale; Special Projects Coordinator at Fremantle Arts Centre; and is the current Curator for the DADAA Fremantle Gallery.

Previously she has worked at the Perth Festival as the Creative Producer for Five Short Blasts (2019), and at International Art Space, as the co-creator and Curator of the Know They Neighbour program (2015-19). Katherine work, lives and swims on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar.

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