Michelle Silby, GAICD
Executive Director Ausdance NSW and Ausdance Vic.
Michelle Silby has an extensive career in dance in both creative and administrative functions. After successfully leading Ausdance NSW since Oct 2012, she was appointed Executive Director, Ausdance Victoria in Nov 2015. This dual role leads the teams, through strategy, operational efficiencies and large-scale outcomes; the Director of Big Dance Australia (2014-), and the was the Co-convener of the Arts Industry Council Victoria (2017-20190. Currently Michelle sits on the following Industry and government committee’s; ACFIBS for NSW, Industry Advisory Group, Victorian Skills Commission (VIC), Independent Reference Committee, Arts & Culture related Industries, Vice Chair (National training and professional development) Previously Chair, Regional Arts NSW funding 2014-17, Several Arts NSW funding panels, Churchill Fellowship 2013-16.
She is inspired by the opportunities that leading both states will bring to the dance sector, wider communities and respective organisations. She has held roles as the Program Manager, Dance at the Australia Council for the Arts, where her responsibilities included; working with the board, policy and strategy, dance funding programs, key dance initiatives, such as Tasmanian Community Dance Project and Young Emerging opportunities for example, JUMP (2010-2012), Executive Producer for the 2014 Australian Dance Awards and is also an Independent Consultant for Arts and Dance with various clients across Australia. As an arts leader, she is strategic, entrepreneurial and generous with her time and support of others.
Michelle was born in the UK, where she studied dance at Arts Educational Schools London, followed by a post-graduate year at London Contemporary Dance School, The Place in 1992. Later in 2000-1, after moving into management and leadership roles, she undertook an intensive arts and business management course for arts leaders and was most recently awarded a subsidised place to attend short course in Australia for not-for-profit leaders by Harvard Business school. During her 15 year professional dance career in the UK and Europe, Michelle worked across a variety of contexts as performer, touring Europe for over a decade, educator, choreographer, director, festival director, company manager and consultant.
Susan Doel is passionate about the role of creativity in public life and is committed to democratising access, opportunities and our stages. An experienced producer specialising in cultural development, Susan has an extensive career in the arts mostly in Melbourne where she has been based for the past 19 years. Susan has worked in local government, medium and large performing arts venues and not for profit arts organisations for 10 years and has enjoyed working on festivals, main stage events, public art, urban space renewal and cultural development projects across theatre, dance and music. Prior to this Susan held roles in Education as a teacher and in community and youth development. Susan has a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts (Dance) from Deakin University (2005), Bachelor of Teaching (Dance/Social Science), University of Western Sydney (2006), a Masters of Arts and Cultural Management (hons), RMIT (2011) and is currently undertaking a Master of Research – Anthropology at Macquarie University.
Career highlights include, her time as a Producer and Creative Producer for the Arts Centre Melbourne (2017-2019), in which she worked a wide range of projects including the Midsumma Festival, Melbourne Festival, AsiaTOPA, MEL+NYC, children and families programming and Australia’s flagship hip hop mentoring project, Dig Deep. Susan was a Creative Producer at Footscray Community Arts Centre (2014-2017) Australia’s leading socially engaged arts centre, setting standards of best practice in relation to cultural resources, human rights and community engagement and Company Manager at WEAVE Theatre (2013-2015) Australia’s longest running disability led theatre company, in which she oversaw the strategic development of the company’s key partnerships and drove stakeholder engagement.
She is the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts Structured Mentorship with KAGE Physical Theatre Company and Footscray Community Arts Centre and has received other local awards for her producing and artist development work. In her spare time, Susan is a freelance producer and mother of two.
Projects & Programs Manager
Kate holds a PhD in dance theatre and disability from Macquarie University which she undertook with the supervision of Julie-Anne Long and Yuji Sone. She has six years of tertiary teaching experience – across Performance Studies and Media Studies – both at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney. She has held various arts administration positions, most recently at Critical Path and prior to that, at Australian Dance institute and Australian Dance Vision. To date, one of her most challenging and exhilarating experiences was interning at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival for the 2009 season in Massachusetts USA. Outside her role at Ausdance NSW, Kate continues her academic work, at the Sydney Institute for Intelligent Systems, researching dance and robots until the end of 2019, and as co-convenor of the International Federation for Theatre Research’s ‘Performance and Disability’ Working Group alongside Yvonne Schmidt from Zurich University of the Arts until 2022. A dancer at heart, Kate feels strongly about fulfilling an advocacy role on behalf of the NSW dance sector and hopes to work meaningfully together with individuals and organisations, both fresh and familiar to the community.
Lauren Vassallo is an experienced designer with a demonstrated history of working career in the arts and entertainment industry which spans 15 years with extensive experience in marketing, arts administration, events, education and design. Lauren leads on the design of collateral such as the Annual Report and DAIR Triennial Report. She manages social media platforms and sector engagement.
She has a Bachelor of Design (Honours) and Master of Design (Research) from UNSW Art & Design. Her area of research is the relationship between the performer and dress/costume. Lauren has 11 years of teaching experience at UNSW as a Sessional Academic in the design department. She is very passionate about supporting the independent dance sector and in her freelance work, she has collaborated with dance companies including DirtyFeet, Murmuration, in the role of graphic designer and costume designer.
Administration Officer & Memberships
Remi Harvey holds a Bachelor Arts Practice and Management from Macquarie University where she undertook a brief internship with Guy Morrow. Remi performed with the Australian Girls’ Choir for 13 years, before starting her Arts Management career with the organisation in 2013. During her time with the Australian Girls’ Choir Remi sung alongside performers such as Hugh Jackman and Ronan Keating, as well as performing for Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II at Parliament House in 2011. She toured extensively with the choir both nationally and internationally including Times Square for the 2011 international tour, the Australian Embassy in Washington DC, the Sydney Opera House, Allianz Stadium and Carols in the Domain.
Her experience both working for and performing with the Australian Girls Choir along with her studies at Macquarie University has given Remi an insight and passion for the arts that she is now extending by working at Ausdance NSW. Remi is also an elite level ice hockey player, representing Australia internationally for 8 years and is a passionate coach training the U18’s Australian and State Teams.