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Our Staff

Emily Mann 
Chief Executive Officer                          

CEO Emily commenced with Darwin Festival in February 2016. Emily has directed multi-award-winning festivals and has over 10 years’ experience in festival and major events’ programming, strategy and management.

Emily’s diverse portfolio of festival experience spans the arts, cultural and tourism sectors. She has developed major events for leading not-for-profit and government stakeholders including Sydney Writers’ Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, Sydney Living Museums and Parkes Elvis Festival.

Emily has extensive knowledge and experience in the strategic development of cross-sector partnerships, audience development, marketing and corporate relationships.

Originally from Sydney, Emily is a recent arrival to Darwin and the spectacular colours and tempests of Territory life have already found a place in her heart. She is proud to lead the Darwin Festival team and to steward the Territory’s premier major arts festival.

Felix Preval
Artistic Director

Felix joined Darwin Festival as Head of Programming in April 2016 before stepping into the role of Acting Artistic Director for the 2017 season. Felix was appointed Artistic Director in August 2017 and will oversee the development of the 2018-2020 Darwin Festivals programs. A dynamic producer, programmer and festival manager, Felix has worked for arts festivals across Australia and New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

Felix joined Darwin Festival after four successful years as Festival Producer of Melbourne Fringe Festival. Along with festival management experience, Felix brings a wealth of knowledge from a decade of artistic practice as a director, actor and writer, and as former creative director of an award-winning independent theatre company. 

Originally from New Zealand, Felix is loving the Territory life, particularly the people and the colours – he rarely misses the south, though it is a bit hot in the build-up…

Mat McHugh
Production Manager

Born and raised in the Northern Territory, Mat has worked extensively across regional NT since 2001. In 2004, Mat moved to Papunya, an Indigenous community in the Western Desert, where he worked as a youth worker for three years. He became very familiar with the local language, Luritja, during this time and built strong relationships with the local community. 

Mat returned to the music industry in 2009 as an audio technician, tour manager and production manager, touring with a wide range of bands and artists through some of the most remote and amazing parts of the Territory. Over the past 10 years, Mat has visited over more than 40 communities and worked on events in remote locations including Barunga, Ngukurr, Elcho Island, Groote Eylandt, Merrepen Festival and the Baucau Music, Arts and Culture Festival in Timor Leste.

Mat has worked with many arts organisations across Northern Australia including Skinnyfish Music, Artback NT, Country Arts WA and CAAMA Music. Since 2014, he has production managed a variety of shows for Brown’s Mart Theatre and Tracks Dance in Darwin.

When Mat wasn’t busy travelling to remote parts of the NT, he was working as an audio technician at Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival annually since 2011. Mat has worked on Darwin Festival since 2009 in a variety of roles including audio technician, production coordinator for the Festival’s hub Festival Park, technical manager and now production manager.

Darwin is more than just Mat's home. Not only has it given him all of his professional opportunities, it is also his friends, his family and his community. Mat thrives on Darwin's diverse and welcoming atmosphere.

Zoe Scrogings
Development Manager

Zoe brings extensive experience in national and international arts management specialising in cross-cultural collaborations, business development and fundraising.

In 2015 Zoe escaped Noosa, adventuring to Darwin to be closer to crocs, culture and south-east Asia. Joining City of Darwin as Cultural Partnerships Officer, she brokered international partnerships across a range of sectors that enabled professional and cultural exchanges within Darwin's Sister Cities Program with counterparts in America, China, Europe, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. 

As the Executive Director of Backbone Youth Arts (2014) and Artistic Director/CEO of Contact Inc (2005 – 2009), Zoe produced groundbreaking work with emerging artists from diverse communities. Zoe has experience in managing a successful arts consultancy business that engaged clients globally. She has also worked as a sessional academic at Queensland College of the Arts with the Contemporary Australian Indigenous Arts Unit. 

As part of an Asialink Arts Management residency, in 2011 Zoe worked with the Makhampom Foundation in Thailand to produce an exchange and International People's Theatre Forum. Other residencies have seen her collaborate with the Mirror Art Group in Thailand and on an Arts In Education partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts in Jakarta, Indonesia.  

A former board member of Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Zoe looks forward to raising her daughter in the Northern Territory and hopes to expose her to Darwin's rich historical and cultural heritage.

Harriet Robinson
Program Manager

Harriet was born in Brussels and has been a Darwin resident for the past four years. Harriet has 10 years’ experience working in arts festivals in Europe and Australia, including Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Adelaide Fringe. With a background in event administration and operations, she has worked in various roles at Darwin Festival since 2013 and has been Program Manager since January 2015.

A graduate of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (London), Harriet has a keen interest in theatre, particularly in new writing and theatre for young audiences.  Harriet enjoys producing key events within Darwin Festival’s family program, including the Teddy Bear’s Picnic and emBARK!, our new mini festival for mini humans.

Harriet enjoys working at Darwin Festival because of its unique programming and beautiful venues.

Her favourite thing about living in Darwin is the laidback lifestyle, with its easy morning commutes and generous community spirit. And NT News headlines – you can’t beat them!

Renee Allchurch
Finance & HR Manager

Renee was born in Victoria, raised in Adelaide and moved to Darwin in 2016. Renee has more than 15 years’ experience working in finance across law, media, manufacturing, project management and entertainment.

Renee loves working at Darwin Festival and considers it to be the most exciting place she has worked in her career. She loves the buzz around festival time when the office is so lively and looks forward to being part of many more festivals to come.

Renee believes there is something special about living in Darwin. Even though she is new to the city, Renee feels so comfortable here it’s like she’s lived here for years. The sunsets are absolutely breathtaking and she loves the laidback atmosphere. Darwin will definitely be Renee’s home for many years to come.

Miriam Scapin
Festival Administrator

Miriam was born in Alice Springs and has lived in Darwin for most of her life. Miriam has a passion for organisation and a healthy dose of curiosity. These come in handy when you are the office manager and first point of call at the Festival. Miriam holds a degree in engineering and has broad experience working in research, media, hospitality and corporate administration. While she was living and working in Brisbane and Melbourne for eight years, Miriam spent most of her money going to events.

As a little girl Miriam was taken to the Bougainvillea Parade and many an event or movie aimed a little higher than her age bracket. The Festival of Darwin (as it was then known) whet her appetite for creative arts, both mainstream and experimental.  She found a love for events that familiarised her with the history and cultural diversity of Darwin and the NT and learned to appreciate the beauty of outdoor venues. Nothing gets her more excited than a good story or a good song.

On weekends you’ll find Miriam keeping on top of the best places to eat and supporting live music in Darwin. Darwin is home. Miriam hopes everyone feels like that in August. 

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