Western Edge works with a diverse, expert team of highly experienced community artists with whom we have established long term professional relationships. We also work with many young people in their late teens and early twenties, most of whom are from CALD backgrounds and previous participants in our programs, who are interested in establishing themselves as community artists. Western Edge has a long-term commitment to these young people and supports them in a number of ways: through the provision of mentored work opportunities alongside experienced artists; through project-based training; and through the provision of support and encouragement to pursue higher education.
The Artistic Team
Western Edge's team of artists includes:
Jo Trevathan – Teaching Artist:, Choral Musician, Installation Artist, Theatre Devisor.
Jo is a professional performer, musician, devisor, workshop leader, theatre technician and arts administrator. She has had extensive experience in bringing together different personnel and expertise across the arts communities in large and small-scale events. She has toured both nationally and internationally with The Teabags and Spindrift Music Theatre. Since 2004 she has worked for Western Edge Youth Arts as a Lead Artist devising, scripting, and directing school shows. In 2007 she was the installation artist for Old Ghosts New Land and in 2009 she was project coordinator and installation artist for Home Is Where…as part of the Big West Festivals. Other large-scale community projects include Spirit of the World (Musical Director, Geelong Ethnic Communities 2002/03) and This Point in Time, Angels, and Voices in Harmony (Artistic/ Musical Director, Williamstown Festival 97-2000). In 2009 she received assistance to study with the Ubuntu Choirs Network in Canada and now teaches multi-ethnic and community choirs. She is currently working at Big West Festival as their Community Arts Coordinator.
Jane Rafe – Teaching Artist: Theatre Devisor and Poetry/Creative Writing
Jane Rafe is a leading teaching-artist with a strong track-record of work with Western Edge Youth Arts, Footscray Community Arts Centre, the Victorian Arts Centre’s Education program and Nexus Arts. She received the Drama Victoria Award for best touring theatre for schools show in 1999 for Dog Theatre’s Buckley’s Chance. Jane has run arts residencies across the state with Nexus Arts and directed community performances for the Mallacoota Festival and the High Tide Festival on the Surf Coast. Jane is also a designer who has designed work for FCAC (One Nation 1999) and the Geelong Courthouse (Underworld 2000). Jane has a Masters in Theatre from University of Leeds UK (1990) and is a fully qualified drama teacher. Jane has recently authored three research reports – The Odyssey (2010) The Tale of Troy (2009) and The Government Project (2008) - based on participant interviews evaluating Western Edge schools projects. Her recent work has involved the development of poetry and other creative writing integrated into a performing arts process.
Hoang Tran Nguyen – New Media Artist
Hoang is an artist working in film and other digital media who has created exhibited his work as part of the Next Wave Festival, the Big West Festival, the Fringe Festival and at Art Play and Footscray Community Arts Centre. He has won arts awards from the Australia Council and Maribyrnong City Council. He has worked in a range of community and education contexts and is a regular member of Western Edge’s team of teaching artists with whom he has made a number of documentaries and films with young people. Hoang has a Bachelor of Industrial Design and a Diploma of Photography from RMIT.
David Cuong Nguyen – Teaching Artist: Writer/Director and CALD Specialist
David is a very experienced and widely acclaimed community artist who works with the Centre for Multicultural Youth, North Richmond Community Health, Big West and Phunktional Theatre as well as being a leading teaching-artist with Western Edge. David’s recent work includes collaborating with Dave Kelman on Searching For Lear and Black Face White Mask in projects that connected Debney Park Secondary College and the Flemington Community. Dave is a talented award winning script writer (Malt House Emerging Writer) who helps young people write their own, high quality, original scripts. Dave was recently recognised by Castanet (Arts Victoria Advisory Committee on community arts) as a leading artist working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Luke Matthews – New Teaching-Artist: Director and Writer
Luke is a new addition to Western Edge’s team of teaching artists. He is an experienced teacher who until recently worked as Head of Creative Arts at Hume Central SC in Melbourne. He is an award-winning scholar (The Dwight Prize for Best Honours Student in English at the University of Melbourne) who has conducted research and written and presented papers for conferences and publication and has worked as a lecturer in theatre at the Australian National University. Luke has written original work for the Melbourne Fringe and the Carlton Courthouse Theatre as well as devising and directing a wide range of work in schools.
Casey is a playwright, teacher and theatre practitioner with and for young people based in western Melbourne. Casey studied Theatre and Education at the University of Melbourne and completed an honors degree in Drama Education in 2005. Casey studied Live Production at Julius Media College and has held the position of Performing Arts Coordinator at Victoria University Secondary College in Deer Park, Victoria for the past five years. In 2009, Casey won the Out of the Boot Playwriting Competition for her play Industrial Park. Industrial Park was produced by Urban Myth Theatre of Youth for the Out of the Boot performance season in Adelaide, 2010. Casey won the St Martins National Playwriting Competition in 2009 for her play Boy Stories and was selected for the St Martins Youth Arts Emerging Writers Studio in 2010. Casey worked as writer/director for On the Radar, a community arts program with Western Edge involving African males aged 11-26 aimed at bridging relations between African youth and police performed at the Wyndham Police Station and Phoenix Youth Centre. Casey worked as Associate Director and Stage Manager on Chronicles: Searching for Songlines through 2010.