Our People

Meet our People

Our Staff

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Meghan Bourke

General Manager

Meghan brings years of knowledge and experience to Women’s Circus having worked in the arts for the past decade. She has held many roles including Operations Manager at Melbourne Fringe, Executive Director at Next Wave Festival, and Festivals Producer for Moreland City Council. In her position as Festivals Producer she instigated the redesign of the Brunswick Music Festival and transformed a longstanding folk event with declining attendance into to a headline grabbing festival. Meghan is passionate about feminism, food and felines and when not in the Women's Circus office can be found working a variety of audacious creative projects.

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Devon Taylor

Creative Producer

Devon is thrilled to move into the role of Creative Producer after five years as Executive Director of Women’s Circus (2014-2019). She brings a wealth of knowledge having produced and designed many Women’s Circus projects including an international collaboration with Circus Kathmandu and two large scale shows. She has been involved in the independent theatre scene for over 20 years, performing and producing works in spaces including La Mama and Theatreworks and working with regional festivals and companies including Castlemaine Festival and Words in Winter Festival. Prior to Women’s Circus she worked as Membership & Cultural Partnerships Officer with Regional Arts Victoria. Devon also currently sits on TNA’s Circus and Physical Theatre Advisory Committee and One Night In Footscray’s Committee. When not brainstorming community projects or chatting to members, Devon can be found pottering in her garden, digesting feminist theory, or interpreting her astrological charts while staring at the stars.

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Morgan Aldrich

Training & Membership Manager

Morgan has worked in arts administration and production for more than a decade for organisations such as Circa Contemporary Circus (Brisbane), Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle, USA), VORTEX Rep (Austin, USA), Motherboard Productions (Brisbane), and plenty of others. In her spare time she is a playwright and theatremaker. She has a sick passion for spreadsheets. She has worked at Women's Circus since 2014.

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Betty Musgrove

Marketing & Communications Manager

Betty has a diverse arts background with extensive experience in administration, events management, customer service, media and marketing. Her experience of new media and her own visual arts practice led her to collaborative roles with feminist focused Art festivals such as Found Festival and Grrl Fest. Betty has also worked for Melbourne Arts Festival, Harvest Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, and The Village as both a performer and crew-member. She has been working at Women's Circus since the start of 2016 and loves being part of the WC family. When she’s not at work she can be found in her studio churning out luscious textile and drawing creations or with her head in a graphic novel.

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Emma J Hawkins

Finance Manager

Emma has an administration and bookkeeping background, and is the Treasurer of the Victorian Actors Benevolent Trust, and is well known for her performances across Australia and internationally. In 2017 she hosted Women's Circus End of Year Cabaret and was a recipient of the Groundwork residency. She was nominated for a Green Room award for her role as Fleck in Love Never Dies and as a dancer for White Day Dream (Weave Movement Theatre). A keen advocate of fair representation of disability in the arts she speaks at many events and recently became Secretary for the Persons with a Disability Committee under MEAA. When Emma is not busy doing all this she can be found curled up with a good murder mystery novel.

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Franca Stadler

Resident Trainer and Head Rigger

Franca has worked in Melbourne circus and theatre for over 20 years in a variety of roles – as a rigger, rigging designer, technician, prop maker, circus trainer and circus performer and director-devisor. In addition to her role as the Women’s Circus Resident Trainer and in-house rigger, Franca works at Footscray Community Arts Centre as a circus trainer and facilitator. Franca has been involved in various capacities at the Women’s Circus since 1995 and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to the organisation.

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Devika Bilimoria

Digital Artist

Devika Bilimoria is an artist based in Birrarung-ga/Melbourne who contributes to shifting dialogues of bodies and cultures through dance, performance, image making and interactive installation. Trained in Bharata Natyam and Odissi, film and fine art photography (RMIT), their practice explores live and digital explorations of time, memory, place, and presence. They teach at Photography Studies College and freelance as a photographer while attempting intimacy with the void.

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Marie Watt

Resident Photographer

Marie Watt has enjoyed a very varied career, mostly involved with small business and the Arts, both in Australia and overseas. Prior to her studies in photography Marie operated an award-winning arts tourism business which introduced tour participants to artists and their art ’behind the scenes’. As part of her recent photographic practice and towards the creative component for her Degree Marie operated as ‘a fly on the wall’ at Women’s Circus, capturing images of the training, skills sessions, events and special performances – and was particularly thrilled to be able to document the development and performance of the THE DRILL.

Our Board

Board Member Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell (Chair)

Kristen is an urban and transport planner, working in academia and private practice. Kristen has been a dedicated Women’s Circus member for well over a decade. Her formative circus experiences were through the New Crew (formerly New Women) program at the Women’s Circus. She is a regular ensemble performer in large scale productions and volunteer on community programs. She can frequently be found happily hanging from aerial equipment and other people.

Felicity Cull (Deputy Chair)

Felicity is the Head of Legal Project Management and Applied Legal Technology at Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, drawing on her 20 years’ experience in project management and commercial litigation. Felicity is an experienced litigator responsible for managing complex commercial disputes/matters and risk.  Felicity also has a strong interest in the performing arts and regularly performs in tap dancing productions in her spare time.

Teddy Darling (Secretary)

Teddy is a young queer lawyer and artist working to build connections in local communities, and celebrate cultural differences through storytelling and art. In addition to being an experienced independent arts producer, community radio presenter, and multi-disciplinary visual artist and designer, he is proudly trans and non-binary, and in his spare time enjoys walks with his greyhound Dot. He is excited to have joined Women’s Circus to volunteer as board secretary.

Eleanor (El) Boydell

El is an arts manager and creative producer with a passion for interdisciplinary live and performance art driven by an engaged audience. She has produced work with Wit Incorporated, Memetica, Women’s Circus, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Boutique Theatre, and more, alongside work in the creative industries, higher education and family violence sectors. She’s great at organising teams and loves bringing creative visions to life. Five years ago she ran away to the West to join Women’s Circus, and has never looked back.

Melinda Smith

Dr. Melinda Smith has over 30 years experience in disability and education. In 2008, Melinda began promoting the health and wellbeing outcomes of dance for people with disabilities. In 2018, Melinda created her first solo work, Spasmotive. The next phase of her work sees her creating a series of audio-visual expressions of life in social isolation. Melinda lives with cerebral palsy and is an advocate of disability inclusion. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Deakin University. Melinda recently became a member of the Deakin University Disability and Inclusion team as a lecturer in Inclusive Arts.

Julie Spec

Julie has an extensive background working in the community sector and currently works as the Gender Equity Officer at Geelong Council. She has advanced experience in project management, community development and project implementation, and has worked with culturally and linguistically diverse communities both here in Victoria and overseas. 

Mandy D’Angelo

Mandy has over 20 years experience working with large businesses in the finance field in both Australia and abroad.  As a Chartered Accountant, Mandy has covered a range of industries from manufacturing, services, beverages, consulting and mining and has also worked with risk and governance.

Chantal Wynter

Chantal is a creative producer based on Kulin Nation Country who curates interdisciplinary work in collaboration with artists, arts organisations, galleries, festivals, Educational Institutions, Local Government, community and businesses. She is the founder and producer of West Projections Festival, and has worked as an artist and producer for MESS, Due West Arts Festival, One Night in Footscray, Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Women’s Circus, Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, Local Councils and Educational Institutions.

Donna Gross

Donna is a professional hula hooper and strategic business development and marketing consultant with a strong ethics base and 15+ years experience working in the non-profit and government sectors in both client facing and management positions.

Trainers

Mahla Bird

Mahla Bird

Mahla is an aerialist, performance artist, scientist, and queer body-positive fitness trainer. One of the creators of the award-nominated cabaret KillJoy, Mahla first fell in love with trapeze in 2011 and has gone on to perform both locally and internationally. As a fitness trainer, Mahla loves creating an environment that is dedicated to being both fun and supportive, while helping class members work towards their own unique goals.

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Sal Frances

Sal Frances has taught at the Women’s Circus since 2003. Sal is also an Associate Artist and teacher with Westside and teaches with Circus Oz. At the Women’s Circus, Sal teaches the popular New Crew six-month intro to circus program and the ever fun WeFo Teen Flyers classes for 12-17 year olds. Sal also works with Women's Circus on community projects, helping those who face barriers to discover the joy of circus.

Maya Green

Maya Green

Maya came to Women's Circus through the New Crew program in 2018 and was instantly hooked. She loves working and training in such an empowering environment and enjoys seeing kids and adults alike playing and supporting each other. Maya has always been passionate about the Arts and community engagement, having studied classical music performance in Adelaide in 2011. She is also currently studying horticulture. Maya currently works as an Assistant Trainer on kids classes, and as a Rigging Mentee under the guidance of our Head Rigger Franca Stadler

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Bianca Sciaretta

Bianca Sciaretta is a performer and teaching artist who has worked at the Women’s Circus since 2005. She has also worked with Footscray Community Arts Centre, Westside Circus and Circus Spot. Over the years Bianca has taught a variety of classes including Acrobalance and Trainee Tumblers. She loves working with such a diverse and interesting group of women and kids getting them excited by all things circus

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Emily Ross

Emily Ross has been working at the Women’s Circus since 2006. She teaches on the New Women’s program and on the Intermediate and Advanced Acrobalance classes. She also teaches at Westside Circus and Footscray Community Arts Centre. As well as being one of our dedicated trainers Emily is currently studying osteopathy. She loves working at Women’s Circus because of the sense of play, community, and inclusiveness of social circus.

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Luca Trimboli

Luca Trimboli (he/him) is a trans person and the amazing Assistant Trainer for our Circus Mixtape (Trans & Gender Diverse) class. Luca started doing circus in 2018 after attending a trans and gender diverse test drive at women's circus. ``Before this I thought only people who did circus were professionals who grew up with it. It's been amazing to be a part of this community and see firsthand a diverse group of people, not limited by age or ability, doing cool circus stuff.” At the moment he is focusing on trapeze as well as juggling. Luca also recently finished a degree in urban planning and writes short stories.

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Franca Stadler

Franca Stadler has been working at the Women’s Circus since 1995. She teaches our popular New Women*s class, kids programs and on community projects. She also teaches at Westside, Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Performing Older Women’s Circus. Franca loves that at the Women’s Circus each woman is given space to bring their own individuality into the classroom.

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Jenny McLeod

Jenny began training with the Women's Circus way back in 1998. She has been working with the Women's Circus since 2002 and has taught Acrobalance, New Women and Aerials. She has taught diverse groups and loves to see the positive impact exercise, fun, and achieving goals has on people. The aerials classes she teaches is based on improvisation, performance, and yoga classes and is founded in the belief that any skills and experiences can be used to create an aerial routine.

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Katy Burrows

Katy nearly drowned twice as a child and henceforth was afraid of most things. She became a visual artist before she discovered physical theatre, clown and circus and despite being quite scared she just couldn't resist the feeling that she'd found what she truly loved to do more than anything else. She began learning all kinds of circusy things in 2012 and has since studied in France, Chile and Argentina as well as Australia, mostly specialising in static trapeze and clown. In 2017 she worked with Chilean Circus Theatre Company, Suspension Horizontal on their work Me.Moria which depicted the history of Chile from a women's perspective. Katy is currently teaching Tuesday night Trapeze, Friday night Doubles Trapeze and Saturday morning Aerial Fit.

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Simone Sheridan

Simone joined the women's circus in 2009 and has never looked back! She loves so many things about the Women’s Circus – the friendly community vibe and feminist values means it’s a place where she feels very comfortable. Squeezing classes in around her nursing work, she has tried her hand at general aerials, Chinese pole, doubles trapeze, juggling and handstands, as well as discovering an enduring passion for acrobalance. Simone teaches the Northcote AcroFIT class alongside Emily Ross.

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Kelsea Blackburn

Keslea joined Women’s Circus in 2015 through the WeFo Teen Flyers program and has never looked back. Over her five years in the Women’s Circus community she has been a regular performer with our Red Coat stilt-walking rovers, and was part of the ensemble for our 2019 show THE DRILL working with acro and aerial skills. In 2018 Kelsea launched her own independent clowning business ‘Cookie the Clown’, mixing her love of juggling, stilt-walking, balloon twisting and games to entertain and delight audiences. Kelsea is currently the Assistant Trainer on our WeFo Teen Flyers class and has a passion for teaching circus to children and teenagers.

Women’s Circus provides opportunities for any woman to develop self-confidence, skills and creativity using social circus and performance.

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