Milk Crate Theatre is proudly a Gold Mental Health First Aid skilled Workplace. 

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Staff

Jodie Wainwright - CEO

With 20 years’ experience working in the not for profit sector for organisations such as Cancer Council, Sydney Opera House and the Red Cross, Jodie brings a wealth of Marketing, Development and Leadership skills to Milk Crate.  Jodie is a passionate believer in the power of stories and their ability to bring communities together, bridge differences and most of all to connect with audiences and create change.


Jodie has spent the last five years in a Development role with Holdsworth Community, where she worked closely with teams of Social Workers delivering Aged Care and Disability support, to secure funding and develop innovative programs. She has strong relationships with government and philanthropic funders as well as with other community organisations and peak bodies. Jodie also worked closely with the program teams through the change to consumer-directed funding, with the introduction of both the NDIS and Home Care Packages, to price and package programs and take them to market.

 

During her time with Holdsworth Community, Jodie was able to secure seed funding and develop partnerships to deliver supported arts programs including Dance and Drama for participants living with intellectual disabilities. This included a partnership with Sydney Theatre Company to providing facilitating artists to lead Drama workshops.

 

Jodie was a project leader in the development of the Holdsworth HomeShare program. HomeShare addresses housing affordability and social isolation in older people by matching younger people in need of affordable housing with older people living alone with a spare room in a supported sharing arrangement. The Holdsworth HomeShare program is a sustainable fee-based model and Jodie led the exploration and scoping project which included detailed research into people at risk of homelessness, the factors that can put someone at risk of homelessness and their ability contribute back to the project both financially and through the provision of support to the older homeowner. Jodie was able to secure funding to take the project into pilot and to support the second-year roll-out in order to build the service to a sustainable level.

Margot Politis - Artistic Director

With over 16 years of practice, Margot has become a recognised leader in NSW inclusive arts practice as a performer, choreographer, film director, and devisor of new dance theatre. Margot was appointed Artistic Director of Milk Crate Theatre in 2018, after two years serving as Associate Director, and designed and directed the company’s 2019 major production, Natural Order. Previous to this, she spent 2009-2016 as the Accessibility Director at Shopfront Arts Co-op, where she established the Accessibility Program, directing the Bodylines and Harness Ensembles of young people with disability in various performances and films; including the film Reaching Out Over & Over, which was an official selection of the 2016 NYC Indie Film Festival. She began her career performing with Restless Dance Theatre as a mentee to Kat Worth in 2004, after graduating from the Flinders University Drama Centre 2003.

 

In 2017 Margot choreographed the Shopfront Arts Co-op and ATYP co-pro, Dignity of Risk alongside Natalie Rose, which won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Young People. Independently Margot has worked with Ausdance NSW, Accessible Arts NSW, Murmuration, Dirty Feet, The Song Room, Ever After Theatre, and Autism Spectrum Australia. She has been funded to study with various companies and artists in the USA: Axis Dance, The Gabrielle Roth Moving Centre, Tricia Brouk; and in 2013 was awarded a Cultural Leadership Grant from The Australia Council for the Arts to do the same in the UK, working with: Candoco Dance Company, Stopgap Dance, Mind The Gap, Graeae Theatre, and Oily Cart. In May 2015 she was artist in residence at Tasdance, Launceston, to provide skills development in inclusive practice for the company. Also in 2015, Margot established Self Help Arts, a collective of artists with lived experience of mental health support needs.

 

Margot’s focus as a practitioner is in making interdisciplinary and immersive performance work that explores social constructs, integrating theatre, film, movement, sound, setting and light. Margot has spoken at many events about disability and mental health, including as a panellist at the MCA Mental Health Awareness Week forum, and has consulted on the development of Arts and Health policy for government and organisations. 

For all enquiries regarding artistic programs, CACD practice and facilitating artists.

margot@milkcratetheatre.com

Lisa Walton - Creative Producer

Lisa has worked in the arts industry since graduating from the University of Wollongong in 2013. Lisa was the Production Office Manager of international film production, consultancy and casting company, Films and Casting Temple until 2015. During this time she also worked as the Festival Executive for An Australian Film Initiative, an independent body dedicated to marketing, promoting and distributing Australia screen culture in emerging and non-traditional markets and who present the Australian Film Festival of India. Lisa worked on Sydney-based cross-cultural feature film UnIndian released in 2015. 

Lisa has worked with Milk Crate Theatre since 2015 in the role of Marketing Coordinator, before taking on the role of Creative Producer in 2017. In 2017 Lisa was also awarded the Council of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Australia Prize for a Future Leader. 

For all enquiries regarding productions and performances. 

lisa@milkcratetheatre.com

Jessica Saras - Program Coordinator

Jessica is a professionally trained and working Actress, graduating from Charles Sturt University in 2006 with a BA in Acting for Screen and Stage. Additional training highlights include her ongoing work with Howard Fine and David Coury of Howard Fine Studios, and Alexander Technique training with practitioner Barbara Robertson. 

Jessica has appeared in various independent theatre productions. Theatre credits include: Wyrd: Season of the Witch (Ninefold), "The Mamet Women" (Woolf Ensemble), The Maids (Phable Productions), Love Song Dedications (2008), Stage Door (2006), Macbeth (2005) and Three Sisters (2005).

In 2017 Jessica created The Bird Cartel alongside Beth McMullen and Gemma Scoble, premiering their first work Best Before at The Sydney Fringe Festival.

Film and Television credits include: The Tail Job, Black B*tch, The Big Day for ABC's Fresh Blood Initiative, and Rescue Special Ops. Jessica is also a popular fixture in locally made short films, most notably Ren Thackham's Brainless Killers (2015 Sydney Indie Film Festival winner Best Short Film, Best Special Effects).

Jessica first began her employment with Milk Crate Theatre in 2016 as Admin Support. She is thrilled to be onboard in an expanded capacity in 2019 as Program Coordinator and Support Artist.

Jess is in the office Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

jess@milkcratetheatre.com

 

Laura Hurstfield - Social Worker

Laura is a Social Worker with over 15years experience.  Laura moved to Australia 10 years ago from the UK and was employed by CatholicCare Broken Bay for over 8 years.

 

Laura has been working as a Consultant in Social Work and Welfare projects since January 2017.


In 2013 Laura was voted International Triple P Practitioner of the Year.  Laura was one of 11 nominations from all over the world. Laura is trained in Teen Triple P, Triple P standard, Incredible Years, Circle of Security, 1-2-3 Magic and Engaging Adolescents programs.  Laura is also trained in the Love Bites program.

 

Laura has a Cert IV in Training and Assessment and offers tailored “Keep Them Safe” training for agencies working with children and families.  Laura also has Cert IV in Frontline Management.

Laura can be contacted on 0427 199 193 or by emailing socialworker@milkcratetheatre.com.

Dale Hollingsworth - Financial Consultant

For over 17 years, Dale has worked with some of the most ambitious arts companies in Australia. He founded ARTSANDBUSINESS in order to share his unique understanding of the financial and organisational requirements of arts and not-for-profit organisations. His particular aim is to benefit creative companies that have a positive social agenda. A diverse career has seen Dale work in a senior management positions for organisations across the arts spectrum, including Carriageworks, the Australian Centre for Photography, Performance Space, the Australian Design Centre, Barking Gecko Theatre Company and the British Film Institute. Dale's education reflects his parallel interests in business operations and social progress. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, a Bachelor of Psychology and has studied Social Impact at the University of New South Wales. 

For all enquiries regarding finance - Dale works Tuesdays. 

finance@milkcratetheatre.com

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