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WOMEN IN ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
“Committed to increasing female-driven storytelling
and artistic leadership in Australia”

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Chelsea Plumley - AWE President

Chelsea is a musical theatre and cabaret artist, musician, host, producer, writer, teacher and television actor. She is passionate about making a difference through active service to communities and organisations that speak to her core values.

Being President of AWE gives Chelsea the opportunity to work towards equal voice, equal representation for women in the Australia arts and entertainment industries but on a more personal level, it has energised her to nurture and honour her own unique female voice. She believes wholeheartedly in women collaborating and aligning their power to effect positive global change.
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Theresa Borg - AWE Secretary

Theresa has worked as a performer, writer, director and producer in subsidised, commercial and corporate workplaces.

She wants to know what her female colleagues are up to and be there to support them as we work together to produce female-driven stories and raise the visibility of female artistic leadership across all disciplines: thus AWE.
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Melanie Hillman - AWE Treasurer and Events Manager

Melanie maintains a diverse portfolio across a number of disciplines - as a performer, educator, director and creator. A founding member of Concrete Cloud Theatre Company, she has worked in theatre, musicals, cabaret, ballet, opera and television as well as developing new Australian works around the country.

A graduate of Monash University, the University of Tasmania and WAAPA, she is a passionate and tireless advocate of promoting the representation of women in the performing arts. She is excited by performance that challenges, excites and enlightens. She is also excited to be part of an alliance of exceptional women who support and facilitate future opportunities for all female creatives.
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Fiona Choi - AWE Social Media Co-Manager

Having spent the majority of her acting career representing the minority on Australian screens and stages, Fiona is proud to be shining a light on female-driven works as part of AWE. She believes in the power of storytelling: that the sharing of perspective, imagination, pain and laughter is how we as humanity can unite, be inspired and heal.

In order for that to happen, all voices must be represented and be given access and opportunity. Plus it’s just plain exciting to see what intelligent, creative and passionate women can make!
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Anne Frankenberg - AWE Governance, Grant Applications & Compliance

Anne is Deputy General Manager at the Australian National Academy of Music. Trained initially as a clarinettist, Anne has degrees in Music and Psychology, an Executive MBA, and has had an arts management career with the Victoria State Opera, Opera Australia, and 3MBS Radio. She was inaugural General Manager of Victorian Opera.

Anne has also been Director of Communications and Fundraising and Deputy Executive Director at International Women’s Development Agency. She has served on the Boards of the Australian Youth Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and is currently a Director of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia.
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Melissa Langton - AWE Website Manager

Melissa has been working in the performing arts since 1992. She is very pleased to be a part of this team, which consists of a group of very fine women, whom she is also pleased to call her friends. She feels that this is an important and relevant step in the current climate and is looking forward to being a part of the adventure.
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Susan-ann Walker

Hi...I am Susan-ann Walker...Performer/Writer/Musician/Singing Teacher....My background is mainly Commercial Musical Theatre with a sprinkling of Opera and TV and a big dash of self devised and self Produced Cabaret.

I am very excited about our big day on Nov 11 as i believe when women unite....anything is possible!
I am looking forward to meeting a cross section of fabulous women from all areas of the Arts community and sharing our ideas....It will be AWEsome!
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Karen Vanspall

After a couple of decades working as a performer and being an adult consumer of the Arts, I’ve noticed that fewer and fewer stories and characters resonate with me and worse, many even alienate or marginalise. I don’t see my experiences as a woman valued and reflected in our current artistic climate. This is because we, as a society, haven’t learnt how to regard the female voice in storytelling.

I hope, through AWE, we begin to challenge the position of the male narrative as the high-water mark against which everything else is measured.
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Janis Cook

Musician, writer, arranger and concert curator, Janis Cook, has been drawn to the challenge of creating chamber music programmes for the 21
st Century. Often employing related art forms and cultural touchstones to add context and meaning to the musical repertoire, Cook & Co. events aim to take the audience on a journey that is engaging and rewarding, irrespective of prior musical knowledge.

The recent Connections series incorporated literature, dance, visual art, narration, lighting and acting to inform and enhance a range of music for soprano, baritone, violin, cello, harp and piano.

Janis believes that art is not created in a vacuum, nor are the various streams mutually exclusive.