Staff

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JODIE WAINWRIGHT

CEO

With 20 years of 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, connect with audiences and create change.

 

In her previous role at Holdsworth Community, Jodie worked closely with Social Workers teams delivering Aged Care and Disability support to secure funding and develop innovative programs. While at Holdsworth Community, Jodie secured seed funding and developed partnerships to deliver supported arts programs, including Dance and Drama, for participants living with intellectual disabilities. This included a collaboration with Sydney Theatre Company to providing facilitating artists to lead Drama workshops.

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MARGOT POLITIS

Artistic Director

With over 18 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. 

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

margot@milkcratetheatre.com

JESSICA SARAS

Artistic Program Coordinator

Jess is a professionally trained and working actress with over 15 years of experience in this field, holding a BA in Acting for Screen and Stage from CSU Wagga.

 

Jess has been a part of the Milk Crate Community in a variety of roles since 2016, currently serving as Artistic Program Coordinator, providing key support for the staff and artistic team in production and getting our programs off the ground. Jess brings to the role her vast experience in producing independently, under her company The Bird Cartel, and continues to expand her knowledge and experience with MCT producing many projects and programs, including 2019's major production, Natural Order.

 

Affectionately known in the company as MCT's YiaYia - preparing delicious food and making sure everyone gets fed is a strong value of Jess' (it should be noted that at this point in time she is not prepared to venture into catering full time).

 

If you are ever in need of a good meal, diary schedule re-vamp, pep-talk or song/dance/monologue - Jess is your gal.

For all enquiries contact jess@milkcratetheatre.com

Jess works Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays

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LAUREN VASSALLO

Marketing & Business Development Manager

Lauren Vassallo is an experienced marketing professional, graphic designer, educator and producer with over 20 years of involvement with the arts sector. She has a Bachelor of Design (Honours) and a Master of Design (Research) from UNSW Art & Design, in which she received an Australian Post Graduate Award. Her area of research is the relationship between the performer and dress/costume. Lauren has 11 years of tutoring experience at UNSW as a Sessional Academic in the design department. 

 

Lauren joins Milk Crate Theatre after five years with the peak body for dance 'Ausdance NSW.' Collaborating with key partners such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Dance Company and Accessible Arts, and the independent dance companies Murmuration, DirtyFeet and Critical Path. Lauren was the festival manager for March Dance 2021 and produced the 'Dance Artist in Residence' film. She is very passionate about supporting independent artists and highlighting the strong talent and original content from NSW.

For all marketing/publicity enquires lauren@milkcratetheatre.com

Lauren works Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

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LAURA HURSTFIELD

Social Worker

Laura is a Social Worker with over 15 years 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.

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DALE HOLLINGSWORTH

Finance Manager

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