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Perth Festival is thrilled to offer free professional development opportunities that focus on specialised areas of the arts.

In 2023 we invited visiting and local artists and arts workers to form four panels discussing a range of topics.

Cezera Critti-Schnaars holds a microphone laughing in a panel discussion

Listen to the recordings

During the 2023 Festival, we recorded the four panel discussions from our Connect: Arts Industry sessions so you can give them a listen anytime.

Check out our playlist featuring recordings of four panel conversations; Working With, Technology as Dramaturgy, Intergenerational Collaboration and Making Art in Public Space.


Industry Panels 2023

The below panels took place during Perth Festival 2023.

Industry Panels were open to anyone from the WA Arts Industry to attend and free.

spotlight installation shining up to the night sky


Creating work in public space can allow artists to experiment with scale, collaborate with communities and respond to certain contexts, and for their work to reach different audiences. However, it does come with different challenges than working in gallery spaces.

Annika Kristensen will facilitate a conversation with Michaela Gleave (Between Us), Bruno Booth and Glenn Iseger-Pilkington (Fremantle Arts Centre), three artist/curators that work in galleries, public space and participation. Come and dive deep into their practice, interrogations and learnings with us.   

When: Sun 5 March, 2pm to 3.30pm
Venue: State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre
Panellists: Michaela Gleave, Bruno Booth and Glenn Iseger-Pilkington
Faciliator: Annika Kristensen

Michaela Gleave

Michaela Gleave is an Australian born artist based in Gadigal/Wangal country, Sydney, Australia. Her conceptual practice spans numerous mediums and platforms including digital and online works, installation, performance, photography, sculpture and video. Her projects question the nature of reality and our innate relationship to time, matter, and space, focussing particularly on the changing intersections between art, science and society.

Michaela’s work has been presented extensively across Australia as well as in Germany, Greece, the United Kingdom, Austria, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Iceland, the United States and Mexico. She has developed major performance and installation works for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Dark Mofo Festival, Hobart; Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth; Bristol Biennial, UK; TarraWarra Art Museum, Melbourne; Carriageworks, Sydney; and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne among others.  She has been awarded residencies at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City, Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan, and CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Australia.

In 2015 Michaela won the Churchie National Emerging Art Prize. and was awarded a prestigious Creative Australia Fellowship in 2013. Permanent installations of her work have been commissioned by Bendigo Art Gallery, VIC, Salamanca Arts Centre, TAS and The Rechabite, WA. 

Bruno Booth

Bruno has used a wheelchair for most of his life, interrupted by a short and unsuccessful career as an amateur stilt walker when he used prosthetic legs as a child. In his memory these leather and metal devices would not have been out of place on the set of some dystopian, apocalyptic epic – not in a cool and attractive Fury Road sort of way, more like the zombies in the original Walking Dead. The experience of wearing restrictive equipment left him with a dislike of tight fitting clothing, a love of speed and a need to reach over his head in supermarkets – as a child he made the decision to use a wheelchair as his primary mode of transport – and he’s never looked back (probably because he’s too busy looking out for sand pits on dark footpaths). 

Having a disability has been a constant background hum throughout Bruno’s life. Kind of like a social tinnitus – you know it’s there but you try not to talk about it. It was only when he started to call himself an artist, without cringing too much, that he began to engage critically with what it meant to be categorised as disabled. 

To read all the dry details about Bruno’s career click here 

Glenn Iseger-Pilkington

Glenn Iseger-Pilkington (Nhanda and Nyoongar Peoples/ Dutch/ Scottish) is Curator of Visual Arts at Fremantle Art Centre in Walyalup | Fremantle, Western Australia. Glenn undertook his formal art training at the School of Contemporary Art, Edith Cowan University, majoring in Printmaking and has worked within the visual arts sector over the last seventeen years as an arts development officer, curator, advisor, and advocate for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artists. 

Glenn has also held the roles of Senior Curator (FORM: building a state of creativity), Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Material Culture (South Australian Museum), Curator Content Development, (New Museum Project | Western Australian Museum) and Associate Curator of Indigenous Objects and Photography (Art Gallery of Western Australia).

Glenn’s most recent projects are Marawar-ak | From the West: Contemporary Art From Western Australia, 'Jila Kujarra | Two Snakes Dreaming'  (Fremantle Arts Centre, 2022), ‘Undertow’ (Fremantle Arts Centre, 2022, in association with the Perth Festival) and ‘nyinalanginy | the gathering’ (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2021, in association with the Perth Festival).  Glenn sits on the National Cultural Heritage Committee and sat on the preselection panel for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory) from 2019 to 2022.

Facilitator: Annika Kristensen

Annika Kristensen is an experienced curator with a particular interest in commissioning new work by contemporary artists; the civic role of galleries and museums; art in the public realm; and broadening audiences for contemporary art. Previously Senior Curator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne, where she remains as an Associate Curator, Annika has worked with major international and Australian artists to commission new work and curate significant solo and group exhibitions. Recent exhibitions include: Frances Barrett: Meatus (2022); Who’s Afraid of Public Space? (with Max Delany and Miriam Kelly 2021-22); Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act (2019); The Theatre is Lying (with Max Delany, 2018-19); Eva Rothschild: Kosmos (with Max Delany, 2018); Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism (with Paola Balla, Max Delany, Julie Ewington, Vikki McInnes and Elvis Richardson, 2017–18); Greater Together (2017); Claire Lambe: Mother Holding Something Horrific (with Max Delany, 2017) and NEW16 (2016).

Previously the Exhibition and Project Coordinator for the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014) and the inaugural Nick Waterlow OAM Curatorial Fellow for the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012), Annika has also held positions at Frieze Art Fair, Artangel, Film and Video Umbrella, London; and The West Australian newspaper, Perth. Annika was a participant in the 2013 Gertrude Contemporary and Art & Australia Emerging Writers Program and the recipient of an Asialink Arts Residency to Tokyo in 2014. She holds a MSc in Art History, Theory and Display from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Arts/Communications from the University of Western Australia.


Sensorium Theatre has been making work for children with disability for over 10 years. Most recently, they have been working with disabled artists to perform and create new work, including Wonderbox. Join Sensorium’s Michelle Hovane and Mike Moshos with Julia Hales and Jeremy Smith to discuss their insight into making work with, not just for disabled artists.

In a landscape where we want to see better representation on stage and authentic voices, what are some of the learnings these artists and industry leaders can share? 

When: Thu 9 Feb, 10am to 11.30am
PICA Performance Space, Perth Cultural Centre
Panellists: Michelle Hovane, Mike Moshos, Julia Hales (You Know We Belong Together) and Jeremy Smith (Performing Lines)
Facilitator: Alex Desebrock 

Michelle Hovane

Michelle is a physical performer, somatic practitioner and co-artistic director of Sensorium Theatre. She is passionate about the transformative potential of the arts and the importance of live storytelling in maintaining human communities. She is a founding member of Sensorium Theatre and has been instrumental in the development of the company and the articulation of the company's methodology. She has been a co-devisor and performer on Sensorium Theatre's current productions The Jub Jub Tree, Oddysea and, most recently, Whoosh! and has led metropolitan, regional and national tours. Over the past 20 years, Michelle has facilitated and performed with many communities of diverse abilities, cultures and identities which gives her a deep ability to tailor each performance to the individuals she encounters.

Julia Hales 

Julia Hales is a performance artist dedicated to sharing the experiences of people living with disabilities, particularly Down syndrome. 

A passionate advocate for her community, Ms Hales demonstrates to the world through her artistic practice what she and others with Down syndrome are capable of, dispelling prejudice and creating opportunities.

In 2018 Ms Hales presented the world-premiere of You Know We Belong Together, commissioned by Perth Festival with Black Swan State Theatre Company and DADAA. An uplifting tale of love, relationships, acceptance and belonging, the play is autobiographical. The show returned to Black Swan in 2019 and has a standing invitation to the Edinburgh Festival when safe to travel.

Since You Know We Belong Together, Ms Hales has been invited to develop a documentary theatre work, Screens, in Melbourne. She has also been engaged by ABC Compass to present a one-hour special, The Upside of Downs which was broadcast in October 2020.

Julia has also been mentored by Black Swan Theatre Company’s artistic director Ms Clare Watson since 2019 which has given her the opportunity to contribute to the State's flagship theatre company and further develop her skills as a leader in the arts and disability space.

Now focused on creating artistic opportunities for other artists with disability, Ms Hales is collaborating on the development of a new arts bureau called My Studio with My Place WA Ltd. and a peer to peer network, CHANGE X CHANGE.

Julia is also currently developing The New Bachelorette with collaborator, Bron Batten and looks forward to presenting this to audiences in 2024. 

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy is the Senior Producer at Performing Lines WA where he works closely with independent artists working across performance disciplines. In April 2020, he returned to Boorloo/Perth after four years at the Australia Council for the Arts as Director – Community Arts and Experimental Arts. He worked closely with artists, organisations and communities across the country promoting artistic bravery, self-determination and brokering opportunities.

In addition to his extensive portfolio, Jeremy championed Regional and Remote Australia under the Australia Council’s Cultural Engagement Framework and helped develop and deliver key arts and disability initiatives. As the General Manager of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), Jeremy loved working within a contemporary arts organisation supporting the development, presentation and commissioning of work by leading interdisciplinary artists.

Jeremy has held a range of senior positions in the corporate, not for profit and government sectors in Western Australia, including with DADAA, the AWESOME Festival and ArtsWA / Department of Culture and the Arts. He is a graduate of WAAPA, and worked as a freelance lighting designer, production manager and creative producer in the early stages of his career. As a disabled man, Jeremy is a fierce advocate of celebrating difference and transforming attitudes which ‘other’ people in our community. He also promotes actions to ensure these values are central to our arts, cultural and creative industries.  

Facilitator: Alex Desebrock

Alex is a facilitator, connector, artist, producer, advocate and do-er living in Walyalup (Fremantle). In 2021 she took on the seasonal role of Associate Producer (Connect) at Perth Festival, curating and developing arts sector initiatives. 
As an artist, Alex makes intergenerational participatory work under Maybe (   ) Together which has presented works across Australia including Sydney Festival, Dream Big, Awesome Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, WOMAD, city streets and regional towns. She has had two works in Perth Festival: The Future Postal Service & Small Voices Louder 

Alex has had international residencies with Carte Blanche (Denmark), ASSITEJ (Germany), Arts Chioyda 3331 (Japan) and The ArtGround (Singapore). 

Alex is a founder of several initiatives that weave the arts sector together. This includes FLOCK; Shifting & Stirring and Australian Arts Amidst Covid-19. 

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the two main performers having a conversation


Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Equations of a Falling Body both use technology as a collaborator. In these two works, technology strongly influences narrative, atmosphere, and audience perspective, and was at the core of their inceptions. This panel will unpack the development of these works and consider technology’s role as a dramaturgical tool.

When: Mon 13 Feb, 10am to 11.30am
PICA Performance Space, Perth Cultural Centre
Panellists: Kip Williams, Laura Boynes & Mark Howett
Facilitator: Kate Champion 

Laura Boynes

Laura Boynes is an award-winning independent dance artist based in Boorloo/Perth, working nationally and internationally as a performer, choreographer, teacher and movement director for theatre. Laura’s practice is centered on presenting social, cultural and political happenings as they intersect with individual experience. Her practice utilises the body as metaphor and as a meeting point for investigating ideas of human resilience, social responsibility, adaptability and ecological change. She uses performance as a tool to inspire critical thought and reflection on the contemporary world.

Laura has choreographed multiple short and full-length works and co-directed large commissions for dance companies such as LINK Dance Company, CO;3 Youth Ensemble, Buzz Dance Theatre and the WAAPA. Her theatre credits include choreography and movement direction for Black Swan State Theatre Company, Lost and Found Opera, Renegade Productions, Steam Work Arts, Yirra Yaakin and Variegated Productions. Her solo work Wonder Woman created with Adelina Larsson and Julie-Anne Long (2019) was nominated for four PAWA Awards and won the Australian Dance Award for Independent Dance in 2020. 

Kate Champion

Kate was the founding Artistic Director and CEO of Force Majeure (2002-15), an influential performance company based in Sydney dedicated to new Australian work.  

She forged the companys exemplary reputation premiering five original main stage works for national festivals. Every production she co-devised and directed utilised a balanced cast of actors and dancers, integrating spoken text, movement and film language into an holistic form. 

She has worked for over thirty years in theatre, dance, circus, opera, musical theatre and film with arts companies and institutes including Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Performing Lines, The English National Opera, Opera Australia, The Hayes, Ensemble, NIDA, NICA and National Theatre of Parramatta. Kate has been awarded Helpmann, Green Room and Australian Dance Awards. Before creating her own work and becoming a director, Kate was a professional dancer working with companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre-London, Australian Dance Theatre and Dance North which in turn led to the creation and performance of two award-winning solo shows. 

Kate has recently been appointed as the Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company of Western Australia. 

Mark Howett

Mark Howett, originally from Busselton Western Australia and is proud to stand on Noongar Boodjar. He went on work experience as a 15-year-old in 1979 to the National Theatre, Perth, with dreams of becoming an actor. After two weeks, he joined the theatre family working as a lighting technician. He was later awarded a scholarship by the Department of Culture and the Arts to study Theatre Design, specialising in Lighting Design under the tutelage of Jennifer Tipton at the School of Drama, Yale University. 

On his return he joined Opera Australia as a lighting realiser, recreating award-winning international lighting designs. This is where Mark met the legendary director Jim Sharman who gave him his major break as the lighting designer on The Rake’s Progress for Opera Australia in 1993. 

Mark is a multi-Greenroom and Helpmann Award winner who has worked not only as a lighting designer but a video and set designer for international productions in theatre, film, dance and opera. Over the past 10 years, he has focused his energy into directing more film and theatre. In 2016 he was appointed as Artistic Director of Ochre Contemporary Dance Company, Perth. 


In our 2023 Festival there is a commonality across three Aboriginal led works prioritising intergenerational collaboration: Kronos Quartet with Maatakitj, Seven Sisters & Punkaliyarra.

This panel will unpack why this is culturally important, why there is demand from the younger generation and why the older generation are embedding it into projects. Also discussed will be the tensions between freedom of artistic expression coupled with responsibility of cultural practice.

When: Wed 22 Feb, 10am to 11.30am
NEW VENUE: The State Library of WA Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre
Panellists: Michelle Adams, Clint Bracknell, Cezera Critti-Schnaars & James Berlyn
Facilitator: Bobbi Henry

Michelle Adams

Michelle Adams is an emerging Yindjibarndi Elder from Roebourne, WA and Cultural Advisor to Big hART, working with the organisation for many years to ensure the program is safe culturally, speaking for the work in the community, and performing onstage in Songs for Peace. A passionate advocate for change and an innovator in her community, Michelle shares a wide range of skills and knowledge to whoever is willing to walk and talk respectfully with Indigenous people, more importantly willing to pass those skills and knowledge onto the next generations.

Michelle has also been a senior government adviser in Indigenous Affairs at the Department of Communities and is a trained language specialist with over 20 years’ experience in community development and education. Michelle is the co-creator of Perth Festival work Punkaliyarra: Sister in Law Dreaming story, a role which brings together her various worlds of experience to bring visibility to Aboriginal women’s leadership in Roebourne. 


Maatakitj (Dr. Clint Bracknell) is an eclectic Noongar song-maker originally from the south coast of Western Australia. An awarded Australian theatre composer, his rock ’n roll music also features in films and television internationally. The Australian describes Clint’s voice and guitar as ‘pure magic’ and his 2022 release Noongar Wonderland, featuring ARIAaward winning producer Paul Mac, melds Noongar song traditions and electronic dance music. 

For more than a decade, Clint has focused on Noongar language and song revitalisation, co-translating and composing for the critically lauded Noongar language adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth known as Hecate (2020), and co-producing, co-translating, and playing a lead role in the audacious Noongar language dub of the 1972 Bruce Lee’s 1972 film, retitled Fist of Fury Noongar Daa (2021). He holds a doctorate in music from the University of Western Australia and is Professor of Indigenous Languages at the University of Queensland. 

Cezera Critti-Schnaars

Cezera Critti-Schnaars Based in Perth, Western Australia, Cezera is a proud Nyoongar and Greek theatre maker whose passion for theatre started when she was a kid. As a teenager, she branched out into writing her own work, participating in Yirra Yaakin Writers’ Group. She completed the Aboriginal Performance Course at WAPPA in 2018 Since, she has worked with companies such as Yirra Yaakin, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in both acting and directing positions. Most recently, she played the role of Jo March in adaption of Little Women for The Blue Room Theatre and Mel & Sal. For her performance in Hecate (2020) she was awarded Best Newcomer and Best Supporting Actress at the PAWA awards. 

James Berlyn

James Berlyn is a performing artist/maker of more than thirty-five years experience. Trained in dance at VCA in the 80s, he has worked in dance, dance-theatre, theatre and community art across the country as a performer, creator, director, curator and educator. Back in the day he was a Pratt Scholarship winner at VCA in 1987. He was also the Swan Gold best actor of the year in WA in 1993, back when brewing companies sponsored state art awards!

Over his five years at WAYTCo, the company has trebled its membership and has spearheaded diversity and inclusion initiatives that have seen the company become increasingly relevant in the lives of many First Nations, LGBTQI+, BIPOC and disabled young Western Australians. WAYTCo is now happily seen as a kind of cultural refugee hub for emerging artists to safely and inclusively, discover their own relationship to theatre and performing arts at their own pace! James was recently awarded an individual Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for 2021. 

Bobbi Henry

Bobbi Henry is an actress and theatre maker who after along break to raise her three sons endeavoured to return to the theatre and acting. She landed back in the theatre world and took it by the horns 2019 when she starred in Cracked by Barbara Hostalek.

Bobbi’s theatre credits include Dating Black(2021)  FIFO-fit in or f**off (2020) Hecate (2020) Cracked (2019) Runamuck (1997) with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and Randolph Stowe’s Tourmaline with the Black Swan Theatre as well as Educating Rita and By Degrees with The Effie Crump Theatre and Queensland State Theatre Company.

She has also been engaged in the education sector running workshops and empowering youth through theatre and has assisted in the facilitation of Noongar language workshops as part of the Ngalaka Daa youth ensemble performance with  Yirra Yaakin and in collaboration with WAYTCO.

She worked with The Australian Children Television Foundation in the second series of Genie from Down Under. Bobbi played Peal in the award winning short film Pilbara Pearl and appeared in the film The Life of Harry Dare.

Bobbi is currently the Associate Artist at the Perth Festival and Associate Producer at Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. She has a Masters in Performing Arts from WAAPA ECU.

Bobbi is keen to open up conversations around diversity in the arts sector and highlight the strength and voices of our matriarchs both past present and emerging.

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