Executive Director/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.
Acting Artistic Director
Head of Programming
Felix is the Head of Programming and the Acting Artistic Director for the 2017 season. 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…
Ben is a born and bred country boy from regional South Australia. Ben studied technical production at the Adelaide College of Performing Arts (2003). Ben’s arts festival experience includes Womadelaide, Falls Festival (Lorne and Marion Bay), Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Oz Asia Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Festival, Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival. He has also worked with various theatre companies and venues across Australia including Patch Theatre Company, Restless Dance Company, Australian Dance Theatre, Windmill Theatre Company and JUTE Theatre Company in co-production Darwin Theatre Company.
Ben has toured extensively around Australia and New Zealand with various theatre companies and other major shows including David Strassman, Shane Warne the Musical and Freefall by Gravity and Other Myths.
Ben first travelled to Darwin regularly to visit family. He always looked forward to arriving, as it feels familiar when that warm blanket of air greets you when you exit the plane, or you see the change in the landscape as you drive up from the south.
Ben worked on the 2012 and 2013 Darwin Festivals before joining the team as Production Manager in 2014.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Scottish lass Claire holds a degree in marketing and began her career at Perth Museum and Art Gallery in Scotland. Following this she joined Horsecross Arts, which runs one of the oldest producing theatres in Scotland, Perth Theatre. Horsecross Arts launched a brand-new purpose-built arts venue, Perth Concert Hall, where Claire spent seven years developing venue audiences and sharing in more magical events than she can recall.
Claire then moved to Cambodia to volunteer, eventually working with Cambodia’s principal contemporary dance company Amrita Performing Arts. An offer from Victoria’s flagship contemporary dance company, Chunky Move, brought Claire to Melbourne. Claire has also worked with Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre company, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Claire moved to Darwin in 2016 to work on Darwin Festival and quickly fell head over heels. The heat. The people. The sunsets. The NT News front covers. Festival Park!
Claire loves Darwin Festival because it offers something for everyone, whatever your preference. The variety of works on offer, the warmth of the audience, the focus on Territory music, art, theatre and dance all add up to make Darwin Festival unique and special.
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 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!
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 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.