Meet the Team

AFTT’s courses are delivered by Australia’s leading performing arts tutors and award winning professional film makers, all of whom have made their own definitive mark on the industry. Get to know the 'Be Fearless' team here.

Adrian Bilinsky

Adrian Bilinsky

Sound & Sound Design

Adrian has over 10 years’ experience working in both Sydney and London as a sound professional across many disciplines, from feature films, television, music, radio, advertising, promos and documentaries.

Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien Curran

Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien Curran

Screenwriting & Directing

Half Chinese, half Irish, born in England, raised in Australia, Aimée-Lee grew up poor in Sydney’s richest suburb, is six foot tall and useless at sport. All of these factors have influenced Aimée-Lee’s love of writing films that celebrate difference and those on the outside. 

As a director, Aimée-Lee’s passion lies in working with actors to craft truthful and nuanced performances, and collaborating with production designers to create unique worlds that bring her writing to life.

Her short films Jump and The Palace that I Live in have played at over 25 festivals across America, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia, including three Academy Award-accredited festivals. Jump won Best Short Film at the Palm Springs International ShortFest (USA, 2013), Blue Mountains Film Festival (2013) and the Provincetown International Film Festival (USA, 2014), and was programmed by Tribeca Film Festival and Flickerfest to screen on United Airlines and Virgin Australia flights.

In 2014, Aimée-Lee was the director’s attachment on the feature film Strangerland, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes. She has also worked as a writer’s assistant for Glen Mazzara (Showrunner onThe Walking Dead), and Producers Su Armstrong and Brian Rosen (Good Will Hunting, Red Dog).

Alex Kiu

Alex Kiu

Marketing Manager, South East Asia

Alex joined the AFTT team in 2017 with experience in international education marketing for Malaysian and UK institutions. He has over a decade of experience specialising in the higher education sector, and solid knowledge of the creative industries, especially in Malaysia where he is based. 

Alison Rooke

Alison Rooke

Guest Dramaturg – Festival of the Creator

Alison Rooke is a writer and dramaturg from Sydney.  A graduate of NIDA Playwrights Studio and AFTRS (Screenwriting), Alison also has a Master of Arts (Creative Writing) from UTS. Her plays include, You Are Here (Stories from the 428), Apples and Onions (Brand Spanking New), Sharks Can Smell Fear (Bare Boards Brave Hearts Festival), and Combat Fatigue (Sydney Fringe Festival). She has been an Inscription Edward Albee Playwriting Scholarship finalist and her short film Apples and Onions was released in 2016.

Her play The Blackbird and The Whale was selected for the prestigious National Script Workshop (Playwriting Australia) and has received support from the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Fund. It was also a finalist in the 2017 Silver Gull Awards. Her screenplay Firebug was a finalist in the 2017 Smart For a Girl: Roar initiative. She was a founder and artistic director of Somersault Theatre Company and was the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts JUMP grant. Alison teaches writing and works as a freelance dramaturg. 

The world premiere of her latest work, Slow Burn will be performed as part of Flight Path Theatre's 2020 season

 

Andre (AJ) Irinco

Andre (AJ) Irinco

Student Admissions

Passionate and committed to supporting students and their families throughout the transition to creative education, Andre is enthusiastic and dedicated to offer encouragement and motivation to students in achieving their career goals. With his working background stretching across customer service and sales, Andre personally works with each student to identify their goals and realize their full potential. He has loved being involved in a creative institution that expresses the importance of togetherness. Whilst you are aiming for the stars and harnessing your passion towards your creative education journey, Andre will guide you through the process and maximize your chances of admission at AFTT.

Andrew Lindsay

Andrew Lindsay

Movement

Andrew is a graduate of the Lecoq Theatre School and was a participant in the LEM with Jacques Lecoq and Krikor Belekian, and the Sydney Morning Herald described their first work as "perfection". Andrew then co-founded Red Weather and worked as writer, performer and director. Credits include Canberra Theatre Company, Entr'acte, Kickhouse Theatre, Deckchair Theatre, Skylark Mask and Puppet Theatre, Gonghouse, and Ethnochip (Berlin). He is the author of The Breadmaker's Carnival and The Slapping Man, and most recently he co-wrote and performed Mermaids in the Well and The Devil's on my Shoulder with Kavisha Mazzella at Melbourne's La Mama Theatre.

Anthony Skuse

Anthony Skuse

Guest Director

Anthony is Head of Performance at Actors Centre Australia. He was Associate Lecturer for Performance Practices at NIDA from 2009 to 2012.

Training: Drama Studio Sydney. In 1997 and 2001 he worked with Javanese Movement Practitioner Suprapto Suryodarmo.

 

Anthony’s directing credits include: Alistair McDowall’s Pomona, (KXT, Secret House); Three Sisters (AFTT, Belvoir Downstairs);Katie Pollock’s Normal (Uncertainty principle); Jen Silverman’s Bones at the Gate (AFTT, Belvoir Downstairs); Crime and Punishment (Secret House); The Street of Crocodiles (AFTT, Belvoir Downstairs); Joanna Erskine’s Air  (Old 505); Chekhov’s Seagull (Secret House); Chekhov’s Play Without a Title (AFTT, Belvoir Downstairs); Simon Stephens’ Birdland (New Theatre); Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis (Old Fitz); Simon Stephens’ Herons (ISA); Suzie Miller’s Sunset Strip (Uncertainty principle & Griffin, and with Critical Stages National Tour); Melita Rowston’s Between the Streetlight and the Moon (KXT, Mophead Production); Bathsheba Doran’s Mystery of Love and Sex (Darlinghurst Theatre); Charlotte Jones’ Airswimming (The Vaults, London);Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s Our Class (AFTT, Belvoir Downstairs); Nick Enright’s Man With Five Children (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); Katy Warner’s Dropped (Old Fitz); Christopher Harley’s Blood Bank (Ensemble Theatre); Jane Bodie’s Fourplay & Ride (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); José Rivera’s The House of Ramon Iglesia (MopHead Productions); Suzie Miller’s Caress/Ache (Griffin Theatre Company); Jessica Bellamy’s Shabbat Dinner (Rock Surfers, Rocks Pop Up Festival, Griffin Theatre Company); Nick Payne’s Constellations (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); Diana Son’s Stop Kiss (Unlikely Productions); Bite Me (ATYP); Simon Stephens’ On the shore of the wide world (Griffin Independent); Amy Hertzog’s 4000 Miles (Under the Wharf, Sydney, La Boite, Brisbane & Critical Stages Regional Tour); Stephens’ Punk Rock (Under the Wharf) three Sydney Theatre Awards including Best Independent Production and Best Direction ; Tracy Lett’s Bug , Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Marius Von Mayenburg's The Cold Child and Michael Gow’s Live Acts On Stage (Griffin Independent); Mark Ravenhill’s pool (no water), The Presnyakov Brothers’ Terrorism (Darlinghurst Theatre Sydney)

Ben Brockman

Ben Brockman

Guest Lighting Designer

Ben is an award-winning Lighting Designer who works both nationally and internationally 

Bens Lighting Design Credits Include: 
Legs on the wall: Cat’s Cradle, The Raft Development, Waters Edge; Shaun Parker & Company: In the Zone, King; for Griffin Theatre Company: Family Values, Splinter, Replay, Diving For Pearls, 2016 Season Launch, 2018 Season Launch; For Ensemble Theatre: Tribes, The Big Dry, The Plant, Neville’s Island; For Darlinghurst Theatre Company: Torch Song Trilogy, Broken, Detroit, Mother Fucker With a Hat, Tinder Box; For NTOP: Lady Tabouli, Girl in the Machine, The Girl/ The Woman; For Pinchgut Opera: Farnace; For Apocalypse: Metamorphoses, Angels In America part 1 and 2; For Mad March Hare: Cripple of Inishmaan, Eurydice. You Got Older, Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo, Belleville, Dark Vanilla Jungle, Shivered; For Bakehouse Theatre Company: Dresden, Visiting Hours, The Laden Table, Jatinga, Straight; For Bontom: Chamber pot Opera (Sydney Adelaide Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe Festival); For Squabbalogic: Good Omens the Musical, Herringbone, Grey Gardens The Musical, Mystery Musical, Man of La Mancha; For Spark Youth Theatre; Political Children, Haunted; For Hayes Theatre Company: Razorhurst, Carmen Alive or Dead; For For 

Ben’s Website with his portfolio and upcoming productions can be found at: www.benbrockman.com

Ben Sztajnkrycer

Ben Sztajnkrycer

Industry Speaker

Ben Sztajnkrycer is a veteran screenwriter in the United States and Canada. He has written features for such companies as Appian Way (Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company), Impact Pictures (producers of the billion dollar “Resident Evil” franchise), and Revelations Entertainment (Morgan Freeman’s production company). He has also written Canadian content films for distribution through outlets including Sony Pictures, Syfy, and ION Entertainment. In addition, Ben has worked as a creative executive at Walt Disney Feature Animation, where he contributed to the development of titles including “Frozen” and “Lilo & Stitch" and has taught screenwriting since 2009!

Bonnie Elliot

Bonnie Elliot

Industry Speaker

Bonnie is an award-winning cinematographer who works across drama, documentary and video art. Her unique talent expresses itself in a boldly poetic and emotionally resonant aesthetic. She is a brilliant collaborator and works intensively with the director to realise a vision for the screen. Bonnie’s work has screened at major international festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, Tribeca, Rotterdam, Sydney & Melbourne. She has received recognition from the Australian Cinematographer’s Society on numerous occasions.

Her most recent drama projects include STATELESS, a six-part series created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie for the ABC, that will premiere at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival alongside John Sheedy's debut feature, H IS FOR HAPPINESS. Bonnie’s collaboration with director Ana Kokkinos continued on THE HUNTING in 2019, for SBS, after the acclaimed SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY, 2016, a six-part series for Matchbox Pictures/ABC, directed by Glendyn Ivin, Matt Saville and Ana Kokkinos. For this she won an AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in Television, becoming the first female cinematographer ever to win this award.

Brett Thornquest

Brett Thornquest

Industry Speaker

International Producer Brett Thornquest's driving motivation for founding Eclectik Vision, was a dedication to build upon his extensive production and advisory experience and relationships formed and collaborate with creatives around the world with a shared vision to co-develop, finance and produce outstanding and diverse media properties for the world markets. Eclectik Vision is a creative media entertainment company, focusing on the development, financing and production of film and television properties. Collaborating with a diverse range of writers, directors and producers on both their own initiated properties and also those created by ourselves. Eclectik Vision takes on the principles of eclecticism; a conceptual approach that derives ideas, style, and taste from a broad and diverse range of sources and the ability to interpret and collaborate with people in a creative way.

Brooke Goldfinch

Brooke Goldfinch

Film

Brooke’s narrative short films have screened in festivals around the world, including Edinburgh and Rome. Brooke returned to Sydney after receiving a Screen Australia Talent Escalator Grant for her short film Red Rover, which earned her the Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival’s Dendy Awards, as well as an AWGIE and ADG nomination. Whilst studying at NYU she was selected by actor and director James Franco to write and direct a segment of the compendium feature film The Color of Time, starring Jessica Chastain, Mila Kunis, and Henry Hopper.

Brooke’s most recent short Outbreak Generation was the result of receiving the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship in 2016, with the film premiering at the 2017 Sydney International Film Festival.

She is in development on several projects, including a television series with Matchbox Pictures set in Sydney’s inner west which examines mental illness and our culture’s inept response to it; and a feature film, Splitters to be produced by Truant Pictures and Arcadia.

Bryan Coelho

Bryan Coelho

Cinematography

Bryan Coelho is a Sydney-based award-winning director and cinematographer with over 10 years’ experience working in the industry. Bryan has directed a variety of work including TVCs, short films and music videos, his short films travelling on both the domestic and international circuits. He has also worked extensively as a cinematographer and television editor for shows such as Mythbusters, Wrecks to Riches and Hard Shine. With his hands-on approach Bryan is focused on the future of the Australian industry, driving forward to produce powerful, emotive cinema.

Clare Heuston

Clare Heuston

Singing

Clare holds a BA (Hons) from Sydney University and an A.Mus.A from the AMEB. After directing several original music theatre works for The Native Rose Music Theatre Society, in 1998 she won the Lady Persia Galleghan Award for Operatic Voice at the Sydney Eisteddfod and made her musical debut at the National Lieder Society, singing with chamber music legend Rachel Valler (AM) at the piano. Since then she has performed as a recitalist all over NSW, as part of various ensembles featuring such instrumentalists as Fiona Ziegler (violin), Jocelyn Fazzone (flute) and Robert Johnson (French horn). In 2012, she wrote, performed in and composed music for her first play Televention which was produced at the King St Theatre, directed by Deborah Jones. In 2014, she composed and performed in Distilled with folk pop act The Slow Days, as part of the Sydney Fringe.

David Caesar

David Caesar

Screenwriting & Directing

A graduate of AFTRS, David has written and directed five feature films, including Idiot Box, Dirty Deeds and Mullet, which won the AWGIE for Best Original Screenplay in 2001, and Best Direction at the Shanghai Film Festival in 2002. His film Prime Mover won the Queensland Literary Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2009.

He has also directed over 100 hours of television drama, including Rush, Underbelly: Razor, Phryne Fisher and Underbelly: Badness. Most recently he co-wrote and co-directed the mini-series Power Games for Channel 9 and is currently directing Nowhere Boys the Movie for Matchbox Pictures.

David White

David White

Industry Speaker

David White, an Australian sound editor, sound designer, recordist and editor is best known for his role as the sound designer of the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road in which he won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing with fellow sound editor Mark Mangini! White has made soundtracks for movies, TV and other media platforms for the better part of 30 Years with the same passion and drive as he had in the beginning of his career.

Starting out as the Head Engineer and Partner at Counterpoint Sound Studio in 1983 - 1987, White moved onto his work as a freelance sound engineer and has never looked back. Along with the mass amounts of film and TV White has worked on including 'The Railway Man', 'Star Wars: The Padawan Menance", and the documentary "White Light", his work has covered designing and mixing commercials for TV and Radio, editing Dialogue, FX and Music. The definition of jack of all trades.

Deborah Jones

Deborah Jones

Acting

Deborah gained a Diploma of Performance in 1995, from the inaugural graduating class of the Actors College of Theatre and Television, (ACTT). Since then, Deborah has not only worked as an actor but also as a director, producer and teacher. Her acting credits are numerous, some of which include: Rake, Love Child and Redfern Now for TV; and on stage, Mother Clap’s Molly House (New Theatre), Apples & Pears (Old 505), Thank You for Being a Friend (Comedy Store), The Art of Success (Pact Theatre), Holiday in the Sun (Sidetrack Theatre), Baby With the Bath Water (Bondi Pavilion), and Anthology, Hungry (Stables Theatre).

Deborah’s directing credits include The Women (New Theatre), Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Tap Gallery), Televention (King Street Theatre), Tidy Town of the Year (Old Fitzroy), Wind in the Willows (Haven), and Cosi (Haven). 

In 2016, Deborah is playing Sister George in The Killing of Sister George (King St Theatre). 

Dr George Markakis

Dr George Markakis

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Bachelor of Business - University of Technology

Professional Doctorate - University of New England.

George Markakis started in accounting and business over 20 years ago. George has studied and worked in a number of business areas, including but not limited to compliance, business advice and management practices. He is a qualified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He has been a key member in all accreditation and re-accreditation processes for vocational and higher education, and was integral in the expansion of the College into Victoria in 2000 and Queensland in 2008. George has overseen the growth of JMC Academy, from being a single campus vocational education provider with just over 200 students to a private Higher Education provider across three states, over 15 qualifications and in excess of 1,600 students. 

George is a member of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET) Finance Committee, a judge for the AIMIA awards (Australian Interactive Multimedia Industry Awards), a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia.

Dr Mark Seton

Dr Mark Seton

Actors Wellbeing

Dr Mark Seton is an Honorary Research Associate at The University of Sydney. He lectures on stage and screen performance histories and practices. His research interests include the psychological wellbeing of performing artists, ethical teaching and research practices in higher education creative and performing arts, and discourses of spirituality. Alongside membership of the editorial board of the international Journal of Applied Arts and Health, Mark is Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee for the Australian College of Theology and is on the advisory panel of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare. 

Eloise Snape

Eloise Snape

Acting

Eloise has worked consistently on screen and she is a voiceover artist. She has worked in radio as a host for 2ser and FBi radio. Eloise established MopHead Productions with Stephen Multari in 2013 whose first show 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog was picked up by atyp’s Under the Wharf program and nominated for numerous Sydney Theatre Awards. It went on to have a season at La Boite Theatre in Brisbane and a national tour with Critical Stages in 2016. In 2018, MopHead acquired the rights to the Australian premiere of Tony award-winning play, Stephen Karam’s The Humans.

The season ran at the Old Fitz Theatre with award-winning director Anthea Williams at the helm and was a critical and commercial success. Eloise has also produced in a solo capacity, most recently working on Fierce with Redline Productions and Janine Watson, and Celebrating 50 Years with David Williamson with Ensemble Theatre. She is a proud member of Equity.

Awards: Sydney Theatre Award Nomination - Best Supporting Actress Independent Production 2013.

Studied: Advanced Diploma Performing Arts (Acting) Actors Centre Australia 2011.

Theatre: You’ve Got Mail (Sotto/Blue Room); Sunset Strip (Critical Stages/Griffin); Wink (KXT); Trevor (Outhouse/KXT); The Humans (Redline/MopHead); Air (Old 505); A Midsummer Nights Dream (Sport for Jove); The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Redline/MopHead); 4000 Miles – National tour (Critical Stages/Catnip/MopHead); Infinity Taster (Redline); The House of Ramon Iglesia (Redline/MopHead); Macbeth (Bell Shakespeare); The Players (Bell Shakespeare); Platonov (MopHead/ATYP); Shabbat Dinner (Rock Surfers); 4000 Miles (MopHead/ATYP); Oh the Humanity & Other Good Intentions (Pantsguys); Romeo & Juliet (Joanna Erskine).

Erin Good

Erin Good

DIRECTING

Erin Good is an award-winning writer & director represented by RGM Artists. Erin’s work has been selected for 42 national and international film festivals. She has won 15 awards in Australia and internationally specifically for her writing and directing and has been nominated for many more including two Australian Director’s Guild Awards.

Erin is a 2014 recipient of the Emerging Filmmakers Fund from Screen NSW for her short film Alone (Starring Shari Sebbens, Charlotte Best and Nathaniel Dean). 
Erin’s digital series Jade of Death was one of ten projects worldwide selected for the Berlinale Project Lab, and Erin was selected as a writer/director at the Berlinale Talent Campus. The series premiered in Australia to a sold out screening at the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival in February 2018. The series has been selected for 17 festivals around the world including Series Fest where it was selected as one of only sixteen independent television pilots from around the world. Jade of Death has been nominated for 44 awards including a C21 Drama Award. The series has won 12 award including Best Series and Best Director at the International Academy of Web Television. Season 2 was supported by development funds from ABC and Screen Australia.

Erin has worked with some fantastic Australian actors including Ashleigh Cummings, Susan Prior, Max Cullen, Sara West, Richard Green, Charlotte Best, Nathaniel Dean, Shari Sebbens, Leeanna Walsman and Nicholas Hope.

Erin has a number of television and feature projects in development also works as a commercials director for Taste Creative Agency.

Farlie Goodwin

Farlie Goodwin

Course Supervisor, Theatre Production

Farlie has trained as a Stage Manager at The London Academy of Music and Dramatics Arts (LAMDA). She has worked in Events and Stage Management since 2000, working in both Australia and Europe.

Some of Farlie’s credits include:
Theatre: - Darlinghurst Theatre Company (Sydney), Heathers, the Musical (Sydney), Eugene Onegin (Norway), This Fella, My Memory (Sydney), Moving Parts, (Sydney), Billy Elliot (Sydney), Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (Sydney), Blackbird (London), Far Pavilions (London), The Full Monty (UK). The Boyfriend (UK).
Events: - Fourth Wall, Invictus Games, Opening Ceremony, Youth Winter Olympics, Lillehammer, Vanfest, Parramasala Festival, Yellamundie Festival, Sydney Royal Easter Show - Main Arena.

Farlie is honoured to be imparting her knowledge and passion of Stage Management to the students of AFTT.

 

Fernanda Barros

Fernanda Barros

International Agency Support Manager

Fernanda has been working in the Education field since 2010 and has had vast experience dealing with international and domestic students. Initially focused on international recruitment and student support, Fernanda now provides support to all AFTT education agents, onshore and offshore.

Fiona Reid

Fiona Reid

Equipment Manager

In 2006 Fiona gained her Masters degree in Film & TV at the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh College of Art and gravitated towards specializing in documentary Editing. 

She gained her first broadcast credit as an editor with A Story about Hope in 2003 with STV for their Artery series. Since then Fiona has been editing documentaries for independent production companies and has added BBC, Channel4 and SBS (Australia) to her list of broadcast credits.

Additionally, films she has worked on have enjoyed successes in film festivals worldwide. Bon Voyage won the Venus of Badalona award for best documentary at the Festival Filmets Badalona in Barcelona. The Great Flood was re-selected for Sheffield Doc/Fest as part of their 20th year anniversary.
Other projects have screened in official selections at film festivals including Edinburgh, Seattle, Milano and HotDocs.

Fiona is the full time Equipment Manager here at AFTT.  Whilst providing continuous technical support for teaching and film productions, her editing background ensures that she can assist with the navigation through, and problem solving of workflows of the varied nature of productions that AFTT’s students produce.

Firass Dirani

Firass Dirani

Industry Speaker

Firass Dirani is one of Australia’s most exciting leading actors of our time. His lead role as The ‘King of the Cross’ in the award winning Underbelly: The Golden Mile series caused a sensation both with the Australian public and industry insiders. A born entertainer, Firass’ profile in Australia has been on a meteoric rise. In 2010, he was nominated for the Inside Film Out of the Box award and also won GQ Men of the Year ‘Best Television Actor’ award in the same year. In 2011, he won two Logie awards for ‘Best New Talent’ and the Graham Kennedy Logie for ‘Best Actor’. 

He continued his reign on Australian TV in 2012, he took on the role of Channel 9’s House Husbands. The show won most popular TV drama at the 2013 Logie awards and the series has had exceptional success filming five seasons to date.

In 2015, Firass fulfilled one of his long-life dreams by working with legendary director Mel Gibson, on the World War Two epic Hacksaw Ridge. Late 2017, Firass released his first produced and directed action comedy short film Bang! Bang! on Facebook. It had a reach of a quarter of million people. In 2018, he appeared in the FX TV series Mr In-between, directed by Nash Edgerton and stared in comedy series Sando produced by Jungle for the ABC.

Glen Hamilton

Glen Hamilton

Head of Acting

Glen has a long history in education and the Australian performing arts industry. He has directed over one hundred theatre productions, has created new performance works in the theatre restaurant sector, touring shows nationally as well as founding corporate and community performance companies. He has served on various industry panels and advisory groups, has judged on multiple Sydney theatre awards and serves as Industry Judge for the TV Week Logie Awards, in the most outstanding actor category. 

Glen has trained some of Australia’s best and most versatile actors, with Alumni performing in all major theatre companies across the country, cast in most Australian television productions as well as working on films both domestically and internationally. Graduates have received AACTA, Sydney Theatre and TV Logie Awards and enjoy significant commercial and artistic renown.

Glen led the development of the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Acting) degree in Sydney and spearheads its national rollout through AFTT’s sister school, The JMC academy in Melbourne and Brisbane. This program affirms the actor’s capacity to be resilient, independent and entrepreneurial, in a highly rewarding and evolving performing arts industry.

James Smithers

James Smithers

Guest Set Design

James is an Actor, Producer and Designer. Designing credits include: Pomona (KXT), Bird (Old Fitz Theatre), Three Sisters (AFTT at Downstairs Belvoir), Jekyll and Hyde (AFTT at Downstairs Belvoir). As an actor his credits include:
Pomona at KXT, Joseph K and Crime and Punishment at Limelight on Oxford. Troilus and Cressida, The Seagull, The Winter’s Tale and Cymbeline at The Depot Theatre and The Ritz at The New Theatre. He recently appeared as Jesus De Sade in the fourth series of the Hit US series Preacher. James is Co-producer for Secret House Theatre Company.

Jenny Tran

Jenny Tran

International Student Support & Marketing Officer

Jenny joined the international team in 2019. She focuses on facilitating student services and providing direct support for international students.

In her spare time, Jenny enjoys outdoor activities and travelling. Her extensive travel experience has sharpened her intercultural communication skills and honed her ability to adapt to different cultural backgrounds.

Jill Brown

Jill Brown

Voice

Jill Brown is an acting graduate from Theatre Nepean (Western Sydney University), studied singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music and has a Masters in theatre studies from UNSW. Jill has 30 years’ experience as a professional singer/ actor and has directed numerous theatre productions. She was the head of voice studies and a lecturer in performance at Theatre Nepean for ten years, and studied and performed with Roy Hart Theatre (France) as well as producing the Australian tours of company members (2010, 2012 and 2013). Jill is Artistic Director and conductor of a cappella ensemble Let it Go Edith. Jill has taught voice and coached voice skills in productions at AFTT since 2011. 

Jo Elliot

Jo Elliot

Theatre Production

Jo has a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts (Technical Production) from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and a Master of Design Science (Illumination Design) from The University of Sydney. Jo has extensive experience as a Production Manager and Lighting Designer.

Theatrical highlights: Theatre of Image, Happy Prince; Pixel and Friends; Tales from the Arabian Nights; Robinson Crusoe and Go Pinocchio; Sydney Festival 2007 & 2008, Triffids, It’s Raining Pleasure & House of the Holy Afro: Pieter Dirk Uys, Elections and Erections; Credo Canvas, Stables Theatre and the Tracking Kultja Festival, National Museum; Associate Lighting Designer for Testimony (Australian Art Orchestra, Sydney Opera House);

Architectural lighting design highlights: Steensen Varming: Sydney Opera House Western Shell and Lighting Master Plan, Belvoir St Theatre, Port Macquarie Glass House

Basset (AECOM): St Barnabas Church Broadway, Newcastle University Theatre and Newcastle Hospital.

Jo is currently a PhD candidate at and Tutor at The University of Sydney. Her research investigates the perception of light in unoccupied architectural spaces.

John L Simpson

John L Simpson

Marketing & Distribution

John L. Simpson is a graduate of the Masters of screen arts and business course from AFTRS, with a BA in performing arts. He is an award-winning creative producer/ distributor with over thirty years’ experience working in the performing arts arena. As a producer, John L. began working in film with Al Clark (Chopper, Priscilla Queen of The Desert), and on Thunderstruck, before producing Razzle Dazzle and Mike Bullen’s directorial debut Amorality Tale

John L. was also the co-writer and producer of the powerful film Men’s Group, winner of the Digispaa, Spaartan Award, and winner of Best Film, Best Actor and Best Script at the 2008 Inside Film Awards. 

John L. launched distribution and production company Titan View in 2007, in order to bring important Australian films to Australian and international audiences. Titan View’s first release, The Jammed, was the highest grossing independent Australian film on screen average ever, during its opening two weeks. In recent years, John L. pioneered in distributing the first international co-production between China and Australia to be released in Australia and New Zealand – 33 Postcards – starring Guy Pearce.

Jon Knautz

Jon Knautz

Industry Speaker

In early high school, Jon began developing his filmmaking craft. After gaining experience in directing, producing, camera, writing, and editing, Jon completed the Film Foundation program at the Vancouver Film School. Jon's first short film Apt. 310 played eleven film festivals and garnered two awards for Best Short Film. In 2004 Jon received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to direct the short film The Other Celia. He followed this experience with the critically acclaimed short film Still Life. Each film played numerous festivals and Jon was awarded Best Director for both films at the Malibu Film Festival in 2006.

After the successes of his short films, Jon parlayed his experience into his first feature film Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. The film gained considerable attention throughout the festival circuit and received rave reviews. His second feature, The Shrine, premiered at the 2010 FanTasia Int'l Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature. Jon's latest feature film is a psychological thriller called Goddess of Love.

Karel Segers

Karel Segers

Screenwriting

Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at the age of 17. Today, he is a story consultant, writer and producer, with experience in film rights acquisition, development and production. Karel is a certified teacher whose lectures have inspired students in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. His clients include award-winning filmmakers, as well as three Oscar nominees. 

Karel is the founder of The Story Department and www.Logline.it! and he ranks in the world's Top 10 of most influential people for screenwriting on Twitter.

Kim Ramsay

Kim Ramsay

Production Support

Kim fell in love with the medium of film at the ripe old age of five when she first saw the movie Jaws. That initial moment of inspiration provoked her to dedicate her life to filmmaking. She began her film career as a continuity woman working on independent feature films such as Bitter & Twisted, Gabriel, Left Ear and over 40 short films. 

Going on to pursue a path as a storyteller, she has written and directed seven short films, which have collectively screened at over 60 festivals internationally and received 22 awards. Her work has screened on The Comedy Channel, Foxtel and SBS.

In 2012, she directed IFSS Uncut, a four-part TV series for Foxtel about the craft of short filmmaking, which screened primetime on Sunday nights.

In the past few years she has worked extensively in the field of documentary creating powerful stories for non-profits and charities such as CanTeen, CerebralPalsy Alliance and The Cancer Council, as well as directing TVCs and branded content. 

She is currently in post-production on a feature documentary about the empowerment of women in Nepal which will premiere mid 2016. 

Larry Biederman

Larry Biederman

Visiting Guest Director

LARRY BIEDERMAN was introduced to Los Angeles with his acclaimed productions of Eric Overmyer’s Dark Rapture starring Nick Offerman at the Evidence Room, and the World Premiere of Crumble by Sheila Callaghan (“Shameless”) at LATC.  Biederman’s biggest collaborator from the television world has been Winnie Holzman (Wicked, "My So-Called Life"), serving as the on-set coach for her series “Huge” (ABC Family). He also directed Holzman and husband, actor Paul Dooley, on two successful productions of their play Assisted Living, premiering at the Odyssey Theatre in L.A., and then moving east to a run at the George Street Playhouse. Most recently he staged a festival presentation of Stupid Kid by Sharr White (“The Affair”) starring Laurie Metcalf and Tom Irwin and another Sheila Callaghan L.A. premiere of We Are Not These Hands at Rogue Machine Theatre. 

He has directed two premieres of Mickey Birnbaum’s plays.  The first, the L.A. premiere of Big Death and Little Death, included a live death metal band at the Road Theatre.  The second, a world premiere of Backyard at the Echo Theatre Company, earned two Ovation awards and five Stage Raw Award nominations including Best Direction. Biederman was involved with both plays since directing their first workshop presentations at ASK Theater Projects and the William Inge Theatre Festival, respectively.

Biederman also enjoys the classics, including direction of Moliere’s The Learned Ladies at Theatre of NOTE, Lillian Hellman’s The Autumn Garden at Antaeus, which earned three more LA Weekly award nominations including Best Revival. In 2009, Biederman took his innovative staging of Schnitzler’s La Ronde to the New York International Fringe Festival where, in addition to critical acclaim, both actors received Best Actor awards for the festival.  

Biederman spent seven seasons with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, directing and serving in many senior capacities on the A.C.T. artistic staff, and as Associate Director of their M.F.A. program. Bay Area productions include Peter Barnes’ Red Noses, a Critic’s Choice named one of the year's 10 best productions.

Biederman teaches directing and acting, both privately and for many reputable training programs throughout the country from the Williamstown Theatre Festival to the Old Globe and locally at Cal State Fullerton where he served three years as their Head of Directing.  He has had the privilege of directing great actors during their training years, including Elizabeth Banks, Jim Parsons, and Anika Noni Rose.  Currently, he is a Professor of Directing at Cal State Northridge. 

Biederman lives in Studio City with his wife, Therese and their son, Tyler. 

Leng Te

Leng Te

International Communications Manager

Leng looks after marketing and communications for all international-related activities at JMC Academy. She joined the JMC Academy team in 2010 with experience in international education marketing in the language school, vocational education and higher education sectors.

Her interest in the creative industries has seen her release a few music projects, publish a book and spend a year working for an arts production company. Leng serves on the boards of Tabor Victoria and Candlelight Productions.

Lex Marinos

Lex Marinos

Acting

Lex studied Drama at the University of NSW, and later with renowned American acting teacher, Stella Adler. Since then he has worked in all areas of the entertainment industry as an actor, director, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He is best known for his television performances in Kingswood Country and The Slap, as well as other series, films and countless stage productions. Lex has also worked extensively on ABC radio, and has held many advisory and governance positions with arts and cultural organizations including SOCOG, The Australia Council, and Community Broadcasting Foundation. His memoir, Blood and Circuses, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2014.  

Lucia Mastrantone

Lucia Mastrantone

Movement

Lucia has enjoyed a successful and varied career in theatre, film and television with an extensive list of credits as an actor, physical performer/ movement director, movement teacher, writer and voice artist. She toured nationally and internationally with physical theatre companies such as Legs on The Wall, NYID and in Shaun Parker’s Blue Love and the internationally acclaimed physical theatre piece Verona for Magpie Theatre Co. 

As an actress she has worked with many of Australia’s major theatre companies including Belvoir St Theatre Co, Bell Shakespeare Company, Sydney Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet, Griffin Theatre Co., STCSA and MTC. In film and television Lucia was seen in the John Edward’s award-winning TV series Tangle and in AFI-winning film Look Both Ways. Lucia worked on the very successful production of The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe as an associate director and movement director. This production was critically acclaimed and won The Humanitarian of The Year award, and toured the WOW festival, London and Sydney. She is co-starring in a Working Dog animation called Pacific Heat released early 2016. Her teaching experience at AFTT has spanned across 18 years and keeps her inspired to always be reinvigorated and keep abreast of performing arts industry trends.

Luke Eve

Luke Eve

Directing & Producing

Luke is an award-winning producer and director who began his career working as a freelance photographer. His passion for film lead him to form his own production company More Sauce. Over the years the company has produced multiple award-winning short films, music videos and online series. His short film Australian Summer was the winner of Tropfest and his recent online series Low Life, which he co-created, co-produced and directed, has won a dozen major international awards. In the meantime, Luke has directed several television series including Sex: An Unnatural History, Great Southern Land, Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery and The Elegant Gentleman's Guide to Knife Fighting. He currently splits his time between Sydney and LA directing high-end commercials for Sydney production company Playbig Film, while also developing a number of feature film projects both as a producer and director.

Luke Rogers

Luke Rogers

Acting

Luke Rogers is a theatre director, actor, producer and teaching artist. He is a graduate of NIDA (directing), Theatre Nepean (acting) and is the Artistic Director of Stories Like These. Luke has directed at Griffin Theatre Company, ATYP, Seymour Centre, Old Fitzroy Theatre, New Theatre and NIDA, and has worked with many drama schools including ACTT, Sydney Theatre School, CQUniversity, Actors Centre and AIM Dramatic Arts. Previous positions include Resident Studio Artist with Griffin Theatre Company (2014), Theatre Manager of New Theatre (2007 - 2012) and the Artistic Director of The Spare Room. 

Margaret Kaye

Margaret Kaye

Feldenkrais

Margaret Kaye has been teaching the Feldenkrais Method of Movement for a really long time...

Due to an Occupational Overuse injury Margaret was unable to work for several years. This is now a speciality area, amongst others.

Margaret also specialises in working with performers, such as actors, musicians and athletes.  

Michael McLennan

Michael McLennan

Film

Michael McLennan is a Sydney-based independent filmmaker whose films have played for festival audiences around the world. These films include 'Go Quickly', 'Small Things', 'Magpie', 'Why We Trade' and the films of the Secret Film Society, which he founded in 2009. Recently he completed the short films 'Standby' and 'A Tea Party for Sad People’ and is currently in post-production on a proof of concept film, and currently has three feature scripts in development. He has lectured and mentored hundreds of filmmakers.

Michelle St Claire

Michelle St Claire

Post-Production

Michelle is an AFTT graduate and award winning editor of over a dozen shorts, several web series, and the feature film Kairos. After spending several years editing digital content and acclaimed shorts, she started teaching post-production at AFTT

Michi Marosszeky

Michi Marosszeky

Film

Michi is an AACTA nominated film maker, she has been working in the film industry for the past twenty-seven years. She has worked both in Australia and internationally on large budget feature films, television dramas as well as on commercials. She has shot several documentaries in locations as diverse as central NSW and the Middle East. She directed and shot Third Time Lucky, an autobiographical documentary about cancer, which was distributed by Australia Network.

Between 1990-94, she studied Fine Arts at the National Art School, majoring in photography. 
In 2011 Michi completed a Graduate Diploma in Cinematography at the Australian Film and Television School. In 2012 she continued studying and completed a Certificate in Screen Culture. Since completing her Cinematography course, Michi has continued to shoot a variety of projects such as short films, corporate work as well as develop her own projects. Michi has completed the first series of an animation documentary series, Woven Threads -stories from afar which she created, directed, designed and produced with Paul Sullivan from Benchmark Media and Entertainment. This series is now showing on iview and a second series Woven Threads -stories from within on Mental Health is currently in development and the early stages of production.
In 2020 Woven Threads - stories from within was installed at the Powerhouse Museum on permanent display. In 2019 the series was nominated for an AACTA award and in 2016 and 2017 two different episode of Woven Threads premiered at TEDx Sydney. 

Michi is a passionate filmmaker and enjoys being involved in the creation and vision of projects

 

Miro Bilbrough

Miro Bilbrough

Screenwriting & Directing

Miro trained as a curator of contemporary art and was employed as an art critic, however after migrating from New Zealand to Australia in 1990 she began writing poetry and film scripts.
 
Her film debut as writer-director was with the award-winning short Urn (1995), which enjoyed a theatrical release and a strong festival life internationally. Later she made the award-winning Bartleby (2001) and the short feature Floodhouse (2003), which was nominated for three AFIs and an AWGIE, and was broadcast by Arte/ZDF in France and Germany and by SBS in Australia. 

Her feature film Being Venice (2012) premiered at the Sydney Film Festival, and was nominated for The Age Critics Award. Internationally, it premiered in competition at Mannheim-Heidelberg IFF, has been broadcast by Arte/ZDF and enjoyed theatrical release in New Zealand.
 
Miro has written for animation and docu-drama. Animation Bad Baby Amy was nominated for a BAFTA in 2002, while docu-dramas Carcrash (1994) and The Fifth Continent (1998) were short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. More recently she has written voice-over narrations for Neil Oliver in Coast Australia, series 1 and 2.
 
Her script editing credits include Kim Mourdant’s The Rocket, a multiple winner at Berlinale 2013, and Kathy Drayton’s critically acclaimed documentary about Australian photographer Carol Jerems, Girl In A Mirror (2005).

Miro is currently developing her feature screenplay Joyriding as part of a creative arts doctorate at Western Sydney University. As a poet she is widely published online, in literary journals and in her debut collection Small-Time Spectre.

Nate Edmondson

Nate Edmondson

Guest Sound Designer

Nate is an international, multi-award winning Composer and Sound Designer for stage and screen. His scores have been heard across the world, including multiple Off-Broadway and West End runs of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, and Paddington Gets In A Jam (Rockefeller Productions), which have reached a global audience of more than one million people.

Nate’s theatre credits include; For STC: The Harp In The South (Parts 1 & 2), Blackie Blackie Brown, Three Sisters, Cloud Nine, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo And Juliet. For Belvoir: Mark Colvin’s Kidney, Mortido, Seventeen, This Heaven. For Bell Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Romeo And Juliet, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale. For Griffin: Dead Cat Bounce, Good Cook. Friendly. Clean., The Ham Funeral, MinusOneSister, Caress/Ache, The Witches, Music, Jump For Jordan, Rust And Bone, This Year’s Ashes. For Ensemble: A Broadcast Coup, Fully Committed, Baby Doll, Diplomacy. For Malthouse: Blackie Blackie Brown, Salomé, Lord Of The Flies. For Monkey Baa: Edward The Emu, Possum Magic. For DTC: Love, Torch Song Trilogy, Savages, Good Works, Daylight Saving, All My Sons, The Seafarer. For Hayes: HMS Pinafore, Evie May. For ATYP: Political Children, Fireface, The Hiding Place. For Critical Stages: Stones In His Pockets. For Riverside Theatres: Shellshock. For Sport For Jove: Of Mice And Men. For Siren Theatre Company: The Moors, The Trouble With Harry, Good With Maps [AU & UK], Misterman [AU & UK]. For Rockefeller Productions: That Golden Girls Show! [US & CA], The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show [Global]. For Street Theatre: All My Sons [UK].

Awards: 2016 and 2015 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Score / Sound Design of an Independent Production (Good With Maps, Misterman), 2018 and 2016 Broadway World Award for Best Score / Sound Design of a Play (The Harp In The South, Leaves), 2014 Brian Dyer Trophy for Best Score / Sound Design [UK] (All My Sons). In 2019 Nate was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Sound Design for his work on The Harp In The South.

Nathan Hockridge

Nathan Hockridge

Film

Nathan Hockridge is an AFTT graduate, currently working in the advertising industry as a camera assistant and operator.

After graduating he spent a few years working locally in Australia, before travelling to Japan for a year in 2019-2020 to work on feature films with Paramount Pictures and BBC.

Patrick Klavins

Patrick Klavins

Voice – Acting

Patrick is a voice, text, and acting coach based in Sydney. He is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Voice. Before studying at NIDA, Patrick was appointed Lecturer in Voice & Speech at the Adelaide College of the Arts several years after graduating from the school’s acting program.

As a tutor, Patrick regularly teaches at Actors Centre, AFTT and NIDA. He has also worked with students at Brent Street, Flinders Drama Centre, Rose Bruford College, Sydney Acting Studio and Sydney Theatre School; he has also been a teaching artist at Belvoir and STCSA. In early 2020, Patrick was invited to observe classes at leading UK institutions Guildhall School of Music & Drama and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Patrick’s teaching practice has been influenced by prominent theatre practitioners Patsy Rodenburg, Declan Donnellan, Cicely Berry, Barbara Houseman and Uta Hagen. His areas of speciality include acting technique, vocal development, text analysis, Shakespearean verse and acting through song. Patrick also enjoys teaching theatre history and studying acting pedagogy. 

Qualification: Master of Fine Arts in Voice, NIDA; Bachelor of Contemporary Arts in Theatre, University of Tasmania; Advanced Diploma of Arts in Acting, AC Arts; Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (to be completed).

Paul Barakat

Paul Barakat

Screenwriting & Directing

Paul has been under the spell of cinema since he accidentally saw ‘Taxi Driver’ at the age of 8. That same year, his parents took he and his siblings to war-torn Beirut to see their ancestral homeland before it completely imploded. They also went to Disneyland. 

The absurdity of these vastly different experiences profoundly influenced Paul’s work and life. He has been an ardent student and practitioner of many facets of the screen craft, beginning his career in his late teens as a freelance camera operator and editor.

As a filmmaker, he has written, produced and directed numerous award-winning short films, including ’Squalor’, ‘Pavel’ and ‘Fragments’, which took him to New York in 2005. 

Paul is also a former graduate of IFSS. He returned to the school to teach screenwriting and within two years, he was promoted to the Head of Teaching, overseeing the development of the school curriculum and managing the faculty and students.

In 2014, Paul decided to pursue a screenwriting opportunity in Los Angeles after his pitch for an original TV series, ‘Zealot’, garnered strong interest from multiple production companies. He was mentored by leading industry consultant and former TV exec, Jen Grisanti, who championed the project. During his time in LA, Paul also had a chance meeting with a well-known U.S. director, who gave him an opportunity to write a feature screenplay. The film is currently in financing stage. 

In 2015, he was commissioned to create the multi-platform sci-fi project ‘Gish’, through which he developed his first comic book with artist 
Marcelo Baez. After securing finance for his low-budget feature film, Paul is set to direct the production at the end of 2016.

He is also a professionally trained actor, having appeared in local and international productions, including ‘ East West 101’, ‘ Love My Way’ and ‘Farscape’, as well as numerous TVC's and stage productions. 

Besides sharing his passion and knowledge of the craft as a tutor, Paul also works as a script consultant for multiple screenwriters and directors across the globe.

Peter Gainey

Peter Gainey

Director of International Services

Master of Education (International Education) - Monash University

Peter Gainey is responsible for overseeing all international initiatives, including outbound and inbound mobility of staff and students, offshore and onshore pathway partnerships, and offshore course delivery initiatives.  
 
Peter’s previous roles included directing the Wollongong, Flinders and New England universities’ Japan office and the Australian National University’s Asia regional office.  His extensive independent consulting experience focused on developing international student recruitment channels, profile raising and brand building in new markets, sourcing transnational education opportunities, institution linkage development, and market entry strategising and implementation. 

Raechyl French

Raechyl French

Voice

Raechyl is a Sydney voice pedagogue, actor and voice artist. As an actor, Raechyl trained with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York, Les Chantery, Howard Fine, AMAW Sydney, Kim Farrant and MEAA workshops, building an extensive toolkit in acting and vocal craft informing her teaching. She graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in 2021 with an MFA Voice and coaches at NIDA and AFTT alongside productions and private coaching. Raechyl approaches voice work as the foundation for expressive, clear and effective communication, pulling upon play-based, confidence-building strategies in working with children and adults to develop strong vocal skills and acting craft. She has also found a niche in accent and dialect training, receiving high demand for her approachable yet specific coaching.

Richard Michalak

Richard Michalak

Cinematography

Richard Michalak has been shooting film since 1969 and has worked in the film industry since 1973. He has shot 18 feature films and many commercials, music videos and documentaries, gaining a wealth of experience shooting in many countries and all budgets and formats.

Richard was a successful, award-winning student director and cinematographer at AFTRS when he completed the course in 1980. He then concentrated on cinematography for 30 years but is once again branching back into writing, producing and directing. From this he brings a broad understanding of the cinematography process from all angles.

Riley Maguire

Riley Maguire

Film

Riley is an AFTT Alumni and Filmmaker working in Sydney. Alongside his team, he works on productions of all shapes and sizes specialising in traditional film and video production in emerging web spaces. His short films have been screened and awarded internationally as well as locally. His work at AFTT aims to bridge the gap between industry veterans and students, having spent the years since his graduation focusing on Filmmaking in a current and evolving media landscape. 

Robert Klenner

Robert Klenner

Director

Robert Klenner has been an actor, director, producer, university lecturer, and directing consultant. Robert was born and raised in Poland, where he studied film performance under Krzysztof Kieslowski. His career spans over two decades and three continents. He's directed over one hundred hours of screen drama and has taught directing in the United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Ethiopia. He is a Fellow of theUnited Kingdom Higher Education Academy.

Robert Maxwell

Robert Maxwell

Voice

Rob is a voice, dialect and acting teacher based in Sydney. He holds an MFA in Voice from NIDA, and is an acting graduate of the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York City. He has worked extensively as an actor and teacher both here in Australia and overseas, including residencies at Yale School of Drama and Carnegie Mellon University.

Rob’s coaching credits include: Ghosts, Marat/Sade, Waiting for Godot, The Changeling, Lunacy, The Show That Smells, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton (all for NIDA), Hamlet (Blue Cow Theatre Company), Jess and Joe Forever (Sugary Rum Productions) and Gruesome Playground Injuries (Tasmanian Theatre Company). He teaches at numerous institutions around Sydney, including AFTT, NIDA, Actors Centre Australia, Australian Theatre for Young People, TAFTA, Screenwise, Sydney Actors School, and the Hub Studio.

Rob is passionate about helping actors acquire a psycho-visceral connection to text and language. His teaching philosophy is steeped in an array of techniques that advocate a more holistic use of self – integrating body, soul, mind, imagination and voice.

Romney Stanton

Romney Stanton

Yoga

Romney is an actor, voice over artist, director, yoga teacher and health coach with a passion for helping others to discover mindfulness through yoga, body/breath connection and deep listening. Romney proudly owns 'Darlo Drama' which brings confidence and creativity to adult actors and 'Sprout Wellness with Romney' a place for clients to rediscover their health!

As an actor, Romney's theatre include; 'Lady Macbeth' in Macbeth with Barestage Theatre, ‘Rose’ in Scarecrow for which she won Suzy Goes Sees “Top 5 Best Supporting Actors for 2018”, other theatre credits include ‘Paulina’ in The Winters Tale (Secret House), Pisanio' in Cymbeline (Secret House), ‘Ros’ in Henna Night (Mercury) ‘Alice Flack’ in That Eye, The Sky (New Theatre), ‘Mother Superior’ in Roundheads and Peakheads (Bondi Pav), ‘Octavia’ in Antony and Cleopatra (Secret House), ‘Molly’ in Love Song (Gamut Theatre Co). 

Directing credits include 'Death comes for Breakfast' as part of the Sydney Short & Sweet festival where the play made it the finals. Assistant director on “The Jungle” presented by Darlo Drama in 2018 and Director 'Welcome to the Moon and other play' at Darlo Drama in 2019.

Romney has been a proud member of Equity since 2015. 

Ryan Tate

Ryan Tate

Stage Management

A graduate of ACTT and University of Wollongong. Ryan has worked in events and stage management in Dubai, Australia and United Kingdom. Recently returning as Senior Stage Manager from Dubai 2020 Expo, his Australian theatre credits include: Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, Strictly Ballroom the Musical, Cabaret, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, RENT, Hot Shoe Shuffle. Ryan’s British credits include HAIR, The Hurly Burly Show, Top Hat the Musical, Thriller Live and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Ceremonies.

Samantha (Sam) McLean

Samantha (Sam) McLean

Campus Manager

Thanks to her extensive background in leadership, customer service, administration, hospitality and film & tv makeup,  Sam brings a broad range of experience and expertise – both creative and commercial – to her role as AFTT’s Campus Manager.
Sam has undertaken a number of different roles at the Academy since 2008 (Enrolments & Administration Officer to Admin Coordinator, to Course Operations Manager, and everything in between), she has a unique and  thorough understanding of the processes required to keep the Academy running smoothly. Sam has lived and breathed every moment of her exhilarating journey with the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television.
In 2018, Sam took on the role of Campus Manager, and oversees all the day-to-day operations at our Holt Street Campus.

Sean O'Riordan

Sean O'Riordan

Acting

Originally from London, Sean graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. After working on the London stand-up circuit he toured the UK for six years, playing everything from Macbeth to Captain Hook. 

In Sydney he worked with the Sydney Theatre Company with is Shakespeare detective show, before joining AFTT and forming Barestage Theatre – writing, directing, producing, and performing in many plays. He teaches/ directs for a number of Sydney schools and companies and his film credits include Candy with Heath Ledger, and The Man Who Sued God with Billy Connolly.    

Shane Jacobsen

Shane Jacobsen

Industry Speaker

Shane Jacobsen is one of Australia's most loved, award-winning actors, presenters and entertainers. His incredible and varied career spans over 40 years both here at home and internationally. The successful film "Kenny" brought Shane recognition as the "Dunny Man" alongside his subsequent credits including: Cactus, Charlie & Boots, Surviving Georgia, The Dressmaker, That's Not My Dog, 7 Guardians of the Tomb, Brother's Nest, The Excellent Mr Dundee and soon to be seen in Never Too Late as a TV Host, presenter and actor, Shane's appearances have been numerous and varied.

He has hosted the Australian Film Institute Awards, Top Gear Australia, The Logies, Little Big Shots and many more. Shane will soon appear in three TV Shows; Australia's Got Talent, The All Monty and Mates on a Mission. 

Shondelle Pratt

Shondelle Pratt

Consent and Intimacy Coordinator

Shondelle is an intimacy coordinator, choreographer, director, performer and educator. She gained a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Theory and Practice and a Diploma in Education from the University of Western Sydney in 1996. Shondelle then went on to complete a Diploma of Acting with Ensemble Studios and a Masters of Directing for Performance at the Victorian College of Arts. She is currently under the mentorship of world leader in intimacy pedagogy- Ita O’Brien and Intimacy On Set.

Shondelle has had 30 years of experience in the arts, working with award winning companies such as Opera Australia, Pacific Opera, Monkey Baa Theatre Company, CDP, Aquarius Films, Dinosaurus Productions, Mad March Hare Theatre Company, Squabbalogic, Ping Chong and Company in New York and Uk Theatre Company Bamboozle. She has also enjoyed working with Sydney Philharmonia Choir, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Red line Productions, Force Majeure, Spark Youth Theatre Company, Lady Sings it Better, Ensemble Theatre and Griffin Theatre Company.

Shondelle is a proud member of MEAA.

Simon Ward

Simon Ward

Acting & Theatre Production

SIMON WARD is an actor, psychologist and educator. He trained in the MA Musical Theatre degree & the LRAM program in teaching voice at the Royal Academy of Music (London), holds a Licentiate in Musical Theatre from Trinity College London, trained with the Actors Centre Australia, and completed Psychology degrees at Macquarie University Sydney.

He has performed in London’s West End, New York City & throughout Australia in musicals, plays, opera and extensively in cabaret. He has also directed shows for the Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne Fringe Festivals. Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, a Chartered Psychologist & Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a member of the British Voice Association, the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Manhattan Association of Cabarets, of the Music Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA), the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare, and a proud Equity UK & MEAA Equity Australia member. Simon is also a member of the MEAA Equity Wellness Committee.

He has worked in the NSW Government Health Department, as a consultant psychologist for the Australian Ballet & works in private practice. He presented at the MTEA Conference in NYC, the APS conference, and the Estill Voice Symposium in London. Simon teaches acting, voice, and mental health on tertiary musical theatre and dance programs in Australia, regularly runs workshops for schools, educational institutions, health professionals, teachers, performers, NGOs and creative arts bodies. www.simonward.info

Sinclair Suhood

Sinclair Suhood

Tech Support

Sinclair’s role at AFTT varies from supporting the Tech Manager in the Tech Store, supporting marketing with content, filming & editing, and he also works within the after-hours team.

Sinclair graduated from AFTT in 2018 with an Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media in the industry focus area of Film. Throughout his time at AFTT he focused on cinematography while also networking with the tutors and students. This opened many opportunities up to him, such as shooting music videos as well as being a 1st AC on a few, too.

While at AFTT, Sinclair shot and directed a myriad of short films. Several were selected for international film festivals, with three of them gaining a place in the semi-finals, one in the finals and one claiming first prize.

Sinclair is currently a 1st AC on an Australian feature film.

Steven Ljubovic

Steven Ljubovic

Head of Student Services & Admin

Steven is one of AFTT’s Acting alumni and has worked professionally on numerous stage shows since graduating. Steven also works as part of the Student Admissions team and is the co-creator of AFTT’s Alumni Program that launched at the beginning of 2020. He has loved being a part of a creative institution that highlights the importance of community in the ever-changing world of creative arts.   

Vincent Ho

Vincent Ho

International Student Admissions Officer

Vincent started his journey in Melbourne as an international student. His passion for the international education industry started during his studies, where he volunteered in an international club and was given the opportunity to meet with students from many different countries. When he graduated, he joined the international education industry and has been active in recruitment and admissions ever since. He loves meeting international students from different countries to share his experience as well as the beauty of studying in Australia.

Virginia Ferris

Virginia Ferris

Dance

Virginia is a choreographer, artistic director, adjudicator, dance tutor and event coordinator specialising in contemporary choreography, musical theatre and jazz styles. As a classical ballet dancer for the Tasmanian Ballet Company, Virgina has performed as a TV and film dancer, as a musical theatre performer in shows such as Hello Dolly, and Dancin’ Man, and as a contemporary performer for Company in Flight (San Francisco). She has also choreographed and performed with Frank Sinatra, Kylie Minogue, Peter Allen, Marilyn Jones, KD Lang, Kath & Kim, Bob Downe, Keith Bain and Jimmy Somerville to name a few. 

Career highlights include: City of Sydney Chinese New Year 2016 (Performance Director); Dance Fusion Red Earth Arts Festival 2015 (Artistic Director); Daft Punk Launch 2013 (Creative Consultant); The McDonald College (Head of Dance); Gay Games 2002 (Director of Choreography); Australian Dance Awards for Ausdance (Director); and Superleague Launch (Choreographer).

Winston Cooper

Winston Cooper

Acting

Winston is an MFA graduate from Queensland University of Technology. With 20 years’ professional experience, he is an acclaimed performer who has trodden the boards in major, indie and regional theatres across Australia and New Zealand. He has also filmed television and feature film roles screened nationally and internationally, and has been awarded Best Actor recognition at a number of international festivals.   

Winston has an inherent passion to empower artists in their technique, and help them understand what makes them tick as an artist. He looks to inspire dynamic and honest performances, as well as addressing the welfare of the actor on and off the stage. He considers it his personal goal to see actors flourish.   

Woody Naismith

Woody Naismith

Head of Film

For almost two decades Woody’s acting roles in film, theatre and television have not only nurtured his dramatic instinct, they’ve allowed him to explore the dramatic arts extensively. He’s worked on productions in Australia, Tahiti, Japan, UK and America before a five-year stint in which he called Hollywood home. Here his acting branched into teaching and  film production. 

As a trainer, Woody desires to encourage others to understand their empathetic self by attaining the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Woody aims to inspirer his students to evolve their artist voice, their creativity and to develop a strong point of view through teaching them a true understanding of themselves and how they relate to their craft. 

Having written, produced and directed fashion videos, art films, short films, behind the scenes, and commercials, Woody has become an experienced camera operator, editor and colorist. Woody has a keen eye for capturing moments and conveying visually appealing and interesting stories. His work both in front of and behind the camera gives him a great sensibility and understanding of film production. 

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