Dean of Collarts
As the Dean of Collarts, Ben O’Hara provides leadership and oversees the academic and operational running of the college.
Ben has taught music industry business at a number of institutions across Australia, including the Sydney Institute of TAFE Ultimo, The University of Tasmania, EORA College, and JMC Academy in Sydney and Melbourne. His most recent position saw him working as the Head of Higher Education (Music Business) at Box Hill Institute in Melbourne.
Ben has a broad range of experience in the music industry, having worked in music publishing and licensing as well as event and artist management. He has also been a performer for over 15 years, and runs his own booking agency. Ben also runs thebiz.com.au, an online music business resource centre and has published six textbooks on the music industry.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts in contemporary music (Honors) from Southern Cross University and a Masters of Business in Arts and Cultural Management from The University of South Australia. He is also currently completing a PhD at Monash University.
PhD (algorithmic composition), BCompSc, BMus, DipEd
Dr Paul Doornbusch is the Associate Dean. As well teaching on the Audio Engineering program and with more than ten years of international practice and teaching experience, Paul is regarded as one of Australia’s major players in the electronic and computer music scene. He is a composer, sonologist, researcher and occasional performer who works largely with algorithmic composition systems for traditional instruments and electronics.
Paul’s work has been presented internationally in concerts throughout Europe, the US, Canada, and Australasia, and ranges from compositions involving instruments and electronics to media works. Paul successfully completed a major research project – to reconstruct and document the music played by Australia’s first computer (CSIRAC) – while he was a composer-in-residence at the Computer Science department of the University of Melbourne.
Animation & VFX Program Leader
Originally from the UK, Simon Ashford began his creative practice in the animation film Industry in London working for industry luminary Richard Williams (Roger Rabbit) on his Magnus Opus ‘The Thief and the Cobbler’ for Warner Brothers. ‘Thief’ is often referred to as the greatest movie never made and was the subject of the documentary ‘The Persistence of Vision’.
Simon’s other film credits include Steven Spielberg’s ‘Balto’, ‘The Tales of Beatrix Potter’ and ‘The Silver Brumby’ for Media World & Animation Works, as well as numerous animated commercials and projects in London. Simon was at the forefront animation applications in 3D games art with Beam Software / Infogrames (Atari), working on ‘Space Race’ for Warner Brothers amongst a number of other 3D game projects.
Simon is a former Program Manager for CATC design school and Senior Design lecturer for Billy Blue Design School, now part of Laureate Australia. He has a passion and deep working knowledge of typography, served on the state council for AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) for four years and has written on design education for industry journals.
Simon is a certified Strengths Coach, coaching emerging creative designers at Billy Blue College of Design. He holds a Bachelor degree with Honors in Graphic Design, (majoring in animation film-making) from De Montford University in the UK and a Diploma of Art & Design.
Digital & Social Media and Entertainment Journalism Program Leader
Rikki spent more than a decade as a professional commercial advertising photographer, working for a variety of national and international clients, including as an automotive photographer for some of Australia’s leading advertising agencies and automotive companies.
Rikki’s first foray into education came about through a unique opportunity to train Southeast Asian police forces in 360-degree photography for crime scene investigation.
Following this, he made the permanent move into education. For the last seven years he has worked in a number of roles including Program Manager/Lecturer for CATC design school, now part of Laureate Australia, and Curriculum Designer/Senior Lecturer for SAE Institute. He has extensive leadership and educational experience across a wide range of creative disciplines including photography, film and design.
In addition to his photography and teaching roles, Rikki is a practicing fine artist. He works in a number of different mediums and his work is held in private collections throughout Australia. He holds a Bachelor degree in Photography from James Cook University and a Master of Fine Art with Distinction from RMIT Australia.
Interior Design Program Leader
With over 15 years combined experience in design and design education, Bruno held a variety of positions in leading architectural and design firms where he predominantly focused on the application of design thinking, service design, experience design, sustainability and technology within built environments.
Over the last 5 years, he
Committed to seeking unique and innovative solutions geared towards high user-centered quality outcomes, he is excited about leading Interior Design at
Music Program Leader
Jesse Hooper leads the Music team, taking Songwriting Master Class, Ensemble, and Collaborative Performance.
Jesse is four-time ARIA-award-winning songwriter and performer. Best known for founding the music groups Killing Heidi and The Verses, he is a multi-skilled writer, producer, performer and mentor.
As a hit songwriter, Jesse has achieved critical and commercial success internationally. In 2001 he won the prestigious Australasian Performing Rights Association Song Writer of the Year award and has written eight top 20 hit singles including #1 singles and albums.
As a guitarist, he has performed in major music festivals in Australia and abroad including main stage Big Day Out, Falls Festival, and Livid to name a few. Jesse has toured with some of the biggest acts in the world including Fleetwood Mac, Counting Crows, INXS and Midnight Oil.
In the studio, Jesse has collaborated and worked with iconic producers including Mark Opitz (INXS, AC/CD, The Divinyls), Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, The Pretenders) and John Travis (Kid Rock, Social Distortion, Buck Cherry).
Throughout his career Jesse has worked closely with the biggest and most powerful record companies, managers, and booking agents in the entertainment industry and maintains unique relationships with stakeholders across the mainstream and independent music sectors. Jesse has run successful touring and recording companies and is able to help artists holistically approach their branding and creative side with astute business acumen.
He also is working on a series of multicultural collaborations featuring refugee hip hop act FLYBZ, Paul Kelly, Waleed Aly, Pataphysics and indigenous artists Dan Sultan and Kutcha Edwards. This work is partnering with key community arts organizations The Artful Dodgers Studios and Multicultural Arts Victoria.
Jesse is passionate about helping share his world-class connections, knowledge and skills with emerging artists through his teaching and course design at Collarts.
Fashion Marketing Program Leader
Dr Rachel Matthews is the head of Fashion Marketing at Collarts. Her area of expertise in fashion marketing and communications is concerned with the people, processes and practices that influence tastes in contemporary fashion. She is a firm believer in fashion as a bell-weather or cultural barometer of change in society.
Originally from London, Rachel trained in fashion at Central Saint Martin’s and Winchester School of Art before beginning her career in the UK. She has worked as a designer for companies such as Whistles, John Lewis and Next as well as creating fashion visuals for Elle, Brides and Fashion Forecast magazines. Rachel has also worked as a design and marketing consultant for fashion companies in Hong Kong, Tunisia and Mauritius.
Throughout her career, Rachel has been involved in fashion education holding academic positions at Chelsea College of Art and Middlesex University in the UK. In Australia, she has worked at QUT and was head of the Melbourne School of Fashion for five years.
Since arriving in Australia, Rachel has also completed a PhD at Monash University. Her thesis examined fashion taste-making and the changing methods of influence in contemporary fashion media. She continues to publish on the topic and her work can be found in Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion Beauty and Style, Address: The Journal for Fashion Writing and Criticism and readingdesign.org.
Rachel is currently investigating fashion objects that polarise taste preferences and is writing about Ugg boots and Melbourne’s sneaker culture for Bloomsbury’s Fashion Business Case Study project.
Comedy Program Leader
Renowned for her characterisations, Andrea has written and performed 14 comedies for theatre, for which she has received three Comedy Awards and one Green Room Awards nomination.
Her best-known character is Ethel Chop, but she has a suite of others in her repertoire and also performs stand-up and hosting roles as herself. Her book Strain Your Gherkins by Ethel Chop was published through Penguin (now an ebook) and she has many TV credits including The Panel, Kath and Kim, The Librarians, The Games, Whatever Happened To That Guy, Micaleff Tonight, Headliners, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, Judith Lucy Is All Woman, Please Like Me, Utopia, Get Krack'n, and The Edge of the Bush. She wrote and performed weekly radio spots as Ethel Chop on Triple J and Austereo’s Australia-wide network for over 13 years.
Andrea has taught comedy writing for television at RMIT University and mentored VCA script writing students through Melbourne University.
Music Production Program Leader
As well as being the head of Music Production at Collarts, Tommy Rando is a chart-topping Australian performer, producer, singer-songwriter and composer. Tommy’s unique voice and impressive guitar skills have seen him work alongside some of Australia’s best and the finest international acts.
Tommy’s early education came from a scholarship grant to study at the National Guitar Summer Workshop New York USA, where he studied with Jazz virtuoso John Scofield, Robben Ford, Lenny Stern and Ernie Jackson (James Brown).
Tommy has also been accepted globally, having toured the USA and UK with his debut album Winter Sky and follow-up hit, Signature. After being spotted at South by Southwest music festival (Austin Texas) by music great Seymour Stein (Warner music.), Tommy went on to tour the UK where he met his future mentor, John Reid (Elton John/Queen manager), and proceeded to sign a record deal with All Terrain Music Universal Group. In 2012 Tommy went on to work alongside producer Mark Ronson and toured France with UK sensation Paulo Nutini.
In 2010 Tommy Rando released his debut EP ‘Signature’ which he performed live in the UK on BBC Radio 2 (Jo Whiley). Back in Australia, two songs from the EP received high rotation on radio stations Mix and Light FM. Tommy has also written and produced songs for Vanessa Amorosi, Australian Idol artists Lee Harding, Anthony Callea, Casey Donavan and UK Pop Idol artist Kirsty Crawford. His songs can also be frequently heard on the Australian television production Neighbours. In 2004 Tommy co-wrote the song ‘Wasabi’ hit number one on the Australian ARIA charts (performed by Australian Idol finalist, Lee Harding).
Tommy has recently signed a publishing deal with Karma Power Records New York and is also collaborating for film and TV sync’s including Alloy Tracks Los Angeles USA. Back at home in Melbourne, Tommy is a regular performer and owns a commercial studio in Melbourne CBD at Rooftop Studios where he is in demand for radio and TV advertisements.
Tommy is currently working on a PhD in research in digital music production at Victorian College of Arts Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Head of Audio Engineering
Graduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching (Higher Education), BMus
Jason is the Head of Audio Engineering. He is a Pro Tools Certified 310M Expert with an AVID ACSR 400 qualification, Bachelor Degree in Applied Music / Audio Production and has a Graduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching. As the builder, owner and manager of the successful Debasement Recording Studios in Ferntree Gully, JT has worked with clients from Bodyjar, You Am I, Slipknot and hundreds more.
Jason is also an in-demand drummer and teacher, who for over 15 years taught students across a range of ages and skill levels: kids as young as five, to top-level VCE solo performance students. Jason has played drums with dozens of artists like 28 Days and Bugdust, and is currently in a few bands including Cisco Caesar, Mono Deluxe & Scorn Of a Superhero.
Entertainment Management Program Leader
With over 34 years of experience in the music and entertainment industry, Chrissie Vincent has worked with some of the biggest names in music, both in Australia and internationally (she was based in Los Angeles for 5 years at Virgin Records Worldwide). She has worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, David Bowie, Sex Pistols, Smashing Pumpkins, Rod Stewart and Australian artists and bands such as The Living End, Pete Murray, Don Walker, Jeff Lang, Tim Rogers, Tex Perkins – the list is endless.
Over the years, Chrissie has worked in various capacities including publicity, artist management, TV production, record promotion, radio promotion and music television at MTV in Australia and the US. In 1999 she took the opportunity to branch out on her own as an independent publicist establishing Chrissie Vincent Publicity & Management, where she has worked on successful publicity campaigns for events such as Falls Festival, St Kilda Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, Pyramid Rock Festival, Boogie Festival, the Australasian Worldwide Music Expo and CD and National Tour Campaigns for both local and international touring artists. Along with publicity, Chrissie works as an artist and band manager and is currently completing a Masters Degree in International Music Business.
Academic Program Coordinator (Music)
Phil Bywater is one of the finest saxophonists in Australia; an exciting and dynamic performer. His experience is diverse, encompassing rock, afrobeat, funk, reggae, world music, jazz, free improv, and contemporary classical music. He has toured Australia, the United States, Europe, the South Pacific and South East Asia, and played countless Australian music festivals (Big Day Out, AWME, Byron Bay, Blues and Roots, MONAFOMA, Woodford, Apollo Bay, Queenscliff, St Kilda, Meredith, Fairbridge, Port Fairy, Yalukit Willam Ngargee, Dreaming at the G, Melbourne Indigenous Arts, Brunswick, Wangarratta Jazz and Blues, National Folk) as well as International Arts Festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and New Zealand.
Phil has released three independent CDs and appeared on dozens of other recordings as a band member or featured guest. He has performed extensively on radio and television (Rove Live, Spicks and Specks, Alive and Kicking, Denise), performed on TV and movie soundtracks including Crackerjack, Boytown and Judith Lucy’s All Woman and performed and recorded with an array of Australia’s finest musicians.
Phil was a key member of the board of the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival from 2005–2009, and was a curator and publicist for the Make It Up Club improvised music series 2004–2007. He has been active in both secondary and tertiary education since 1989, lecturing at VCA, AIM and JMC Academy.
Phil holds a Masters in Music (VCA), Graduate Diploma in Education (Melbourne University), and a Bachelor of Music (VCA), and has been an APRA member since 1993.
Entertainment Management Coordinator
Jess Carroll is the founder of music management and publicity company Inmocean. Jess has worked as an onsite publicist at the Falls Festival in Lorne for 8 years and worked on campaigns with a diverse selection of artists including Seth Sentry, Urthboy, Sampa The Great, Kah-lo, Ecca Vandal, Sophie Koh, Jake Meadows & Daniel Johns and CLIPPED Music Video Festival.
Specialising in custom made strategies for events, brands and artists, Jess has succeeded in placing her artists on top-tier international publications such as Stereogum, Highsnobiety, The Line Of Best Fit, and Rolling Stone. She has secured airplay on influential tastemaker stations Triple J, Double J, KCRW, BBC1 and Flux FM. In September 2016 Jess joined tertiary institution Collarts and lectures in Entertainment Management and Entertainment Journalism subjects.
Music Production Coordinator
David Jacob is a composer and producer of electronic music who hails from the south-east of Ireland. Having spent his teenage years as a DJ and holding his first club residency at the age of 16, his relationship with music technology started early. Producing since the turn of the century, he has released remixes and original productions on Motormouth, Gobsmacked, Raven Sigh and Industrial Strength Records among others. Although largely self-taught, David also holds an MA in music technology from the University of Limerick where he developed his interest in more experimental forms of composition
As resident DJ and founding member of an Irish sound-system collective and club nights, he has provided support to luminaries of the hard electronic dance music scene and promoted countless electronic music events. His recent Power Struggle EP has seen strong continued support from the international hardcore community, achieved chart positions on both Beatport and Juno, and remains one of Juno's best-selling hardcore releases of 2016. David is currently focused on hardware-based live electronic performance and DJing as part of the Rhythmic Shift collective.
Music Performance Coordinator
Brett is an accomplished composer, guitarist and producer from Melbourne. He graduated from NMIT with a Diploma of Jazz and Popular Music in 2000 before being accepted into The Victorian College of the Arts where he completed a Bachelor of Music (Improvisation) in 2004.
Working professionally since 1998 he has composed, recorded and performed with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Dan Sultan, The Verses (Ella Hooper), Paris Wells, The Hello Morning, Spender and many more. He has also supported Jimmy Barnes, Casey Chambers, Counting Crows (USA) and Fleetwood Mac on their 2009 Australian tour.
In 2009 Brett formed his own group, Magic Mountain Band who released their debut EP, Over an Ocean Away, in early 2010. The compositions from this first offering went on to be widely used in short films, television and documentaries, while the band has become a must-see live act in Melbourne.
In Feb 2014, Magic Mountain Band released their long-awaited debut album WILDERMAN to critical acclaim. Since then, the band has sold out multiple shows around Melbourne and gathered considerable support both nationally and internationally, culminating in their recent invitation to support American drone rock legends Earth on their recent Australian tour.
Music Performance Coordinator
Larissa Agosti is a composer, educator and multi-instrumentalist. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music as well as a Diploma of Education in Sydney before moving to Melbourne. Larissa has worked in various schools as an educator, and became the Head of Instrumental Music at University High School before moving overseas to work with one of Canada’s premier orchestras, Edmonton Symphony. Larissa helped to develop music programs for the community, and also toured extensively through the United States with different musical projects.
Her work has been featured in TV commercials, films, and she has released an album as well as various singles under the performance name 'Gosti'. Larissa's song Nostalgia on My Right Shoulder was chosen for the Australian feature film Torn Devotion.
She has several compositions in the Australian film Harmony directed by Corey Pearson, released in 2018. Larissa was a recipient of the APRA AMCOS female composer mentoring program, which gave her the opportunity to work with award-winning TV Composer Jay Stewart. Since then, Larissa has written music for The Block and other TV shows on Channel 7, Channel 9 and ABC. More recently, Larissa is working with researcher Marco Susino on a project entitled, Music That Moves Us, at The Juilliard School in New York.
Audio Engineering Coordinator
Dylan Mitrovich is an audio engineer, writer, producer and musician who has recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia.
Spending the last 5 years primarily touring the world as a live audio engineer & tour manager, Dylan was based in New York City during 2015-2016. He has worked with a range of artists both Australian and International, in venues from clubs to theatres and arenas, as well as some of the world’s biggest festivals.
Although live sound has been Dylan's focus in recent times, he is equally at home in the studio. He has been a Pro Tools user for over 18
Completing a BMusic (Hons) at Western Sydney University, Dylan majored in Music Technology. He is a
Dylan's passion lies in the combination of the technical and the creative - whether it be behind the live soundboard or in the studio.
Music Production Coordinator
Mitch Catterall is a young award-winning composer, producer, performer, and lecturer of music.
Based in Melbourne, Mitch is currently studying his PhD in Interactive Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where his studies focus on electronic music creation - specialising in glitch, trip hop, lofi, and industrial.
His music is published and performed under three separate aliases - Bribery, Slacktivist, and Lo.Fi.stro - which each have a defined aesthetic and style. He was awarded the Adolph Spivakovsky Scholarship for Composition of Music for his piece “Waster” in December 2018, as well being placed 2nd in the International Compfest Award for “Bodies on Everest”.
Mitch’s performance and recording history includes touring Australia (including venues such as the Melbourne Recital Centre) and the United States with various experimental, electronic, and electro-acoustic music groups, as well as teaching and performing in Taiwan, South Korea, and India.
He has worked collaboratively with domestic and international artists such as ARIA-award winner Mr Trials (of A.B. Originals), Jeswon (of Thundamentals), Shirt (NYC, Flume), Basy Gasy (Madagascar), and many more.
As an academic educator, Mitch brings extensive experience from his previous role as the Program Leader of Composition and Production at AIM, he is also a sessional lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and part of an international lecturing group that specialises in teaching electronic music techniques abroad. He is currently a project lead in the Melbourne-Monash Consciousness Research group, where he is exploring the neuro-scientific impacts of music on the brain, alongside a team of neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, and engineers.
Entertainment Journalism Teacher
Kate Arnott has been a freelance journalist, content creator, video producer, podcaster and photographer since 2014. She’s worked with Tennis Australia, the Melbourne Theatre Company, fashion house J’Aton Couture, distiller Cedar Fox and various video production companies. She presents, produces, researches, writes and edits ‘Leading Change: The Technology in Schools Podcast’.
During 18 years with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Kate worked as a video journalist, reporter, presenter, producer, researcher and vision & sound editor for high profile domestic and international radio and television news and current affairs programs. Kate has taught journalism at La Trobe University, RMIT and specialises in video & digital journalism and Fashion, Lifestyle Journalism at Collarts. Her passions include pub choir, hamburgers, art galleries and diving with sharks and rays.
Saxophonist Savannah Blount graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts [Improvisation Stream] and also has a Masters in Music [Contemporary Practice]. Savannah has regularly performed both locally and internationally in a wide variety of genres including jazz, pop, rock and hip hop.
Savannah works and tours in both the corporate and independent music sectors and has performed with artists including Don Burrows, James Morrison, Kevin Hunt, Bob Sedergreen, Deborah Conway, Architecture in Helsinki, David Campbell, Rhonda Burchmore, Wilbur Wilde, Gil Asky, Ninna Ferro, Carl Cox, Kate Miller Heidke, Tim Rogers, Kate Cebrano, Tex Perkins, Steve Kilby, Harry Angus, Mojo JuJu, Thando, Clare Bowditch, Jen Cloher, Melbourne Women’s Jazz Festival Sextet, Gian Slater, Andrea Keller, Tony Haynes Grand Union Orchestra [UK], Oliver Mann [Opera Victoria], Jo Sehee [USA], SPIRE Ensemble, Masta Ace [US], Megan Washington and Vince Jones.
Audio Engineering Lecturer
Steeve’s formative years were focused on classical music before transitioning, as a teenager, to the inevitable appeal of rock, alternative, pop
After studying physics at uni,
After many years producing, songwriting and engineering for other people, whilst working as a freelance sound mixer and sound designer for film and television, it has become clear that his skills and passion are best suited for the field of music composition for film and television. Writing music for
Entertainment Management Sessional Lecturer
Bruce Butler has had 30+ years of experience in the Australian music industry and has worked across a variety of organisations.
Starting in music retail as a teenager, Bruce quickly moved up to managing the specialist music store, Gaslight Records. In the 1980’s, Bruce worked in sales and promotions for CBS (Sony) Records in Melbourne and Sydney before leaving to set up Virgin Records Australia. Here, he was A&R Manager amongst other rolls including National Promotions and Marketing. On returning to Melbourne, Bruce worked as the Music Producer and Talent Coordinator for ABC-TV programs: ‘The Factory’ and on Molly Meldrum’s ‘Countdown Revolution’. Part of his responsibilities included booking all local and international guests. During this time Bruce was also part of the inaugural board for The Push, a youth organization helping school leavers put on live music events around Victoria. He wrote ‘The Young Players Guide’ as a reference for young people entering the local music industry. It went through a number of re-prints and a complete re-write in 2004. In the 1990’s and into the 2000’s Bruce managed original artists including The Church, Monique Brumby, David Bridie, My Friend The Chocolate Cake, and Ollie Olsen. Bruce also set up and ran Australia’s first all-electronic record label Psy-Harmonics and Karmic Hit record label as a side project of Steve Kilbey of The Church. Bruce looked after all aspects of the artists’ businesses and careers including negotiating recording and publishing contracts, booking live shows, and tour management.
In more recent years, Bruce has worked as a music consultant for JB Hi-FI and in 2014, was approached to be the Australian contributor to the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition at ACMI in Melbourne.
Before joining Collarts, Bruce completed his Masters of Art Degree in Arts Management at RMIT and was also teaching Music Business at NMIT.
Entertainment Journalism Teacher
Bryget Chrisfield completed a Bachelor of Education at Deakin University, majoring in English, Drama & Dance. After many years spent travelling and working, mostly in retail, Bryget enrolled in a Professional Writing & Editing course at RMIT. Her lifelong love of music and writing consolidated when she started penning live reviews for Inpress (now TheMusic) while studying at RMIT.
After graduating, Bryget was initially employed as full-time staff writer before being promoted to Victorian editor of this national street press publication where she remained for over ten years. She is currently a freelance journalist - her byline appearing in publications such as The Big Issue, TheMusic and STACK - and is seriously addicted to attending live shows. It is through interviewing musical geniuses that Bryget finds true happiness.
Jake Cleland has been a freelance journalist since 2010, covering music and pop culture for publications including Pitchfork, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Guardian.
Beginning in community radio and street press, Jake went on to complete internships at Everguide and TheVine, later becoming deputy editor and then editor-in-chief of the latter. He currently publishes STRINE WHINE, a monthly magazine focused on Australian music.
He’s also been called upon to contribute professional insight at music industry conferences like BIGSOUND and Face the Music.
A jazz singer in a former life, Melbourne songbird and storyteller Mezz Coleman finally found her home in the folk music world, and with her ukulele in hand has spent the last decade performing her unique blend of dreamy folk pop at festivals and venues around Australia.
Whether playing solo or with her full band, Mezz always manages to create an intimacy with her audience. Her passionate vocal delivery, poignant yet down to earth lyrics, and relaxed banter between songs very quickly breaks down the barrier between performer and audience. With four independent releases under her belt and over a decade of shows in some of Australia’s top venues and festivals all across the country, Mezz is currently working on a fresh batch of songs to share with the world soon.
While working as an original artist will always be Mezz’s greatest love, she has also had the incredible privilege of working as a backing vocalist and session singer for artists such as Nana Mouskouri, Marcia Hines, Barry Humphries, Gary Pinto, Delta Goodrem, Anthony Callea, Brian McFadden, John Foreman, The Melbourne Gospel Choir and more. She has performed at many events including the Channel 9 Carols by Candelight, MCG Grand Final, Dancing with the Stars and Good Friday Appeal Gala.
Mezz is also a passionate educator and works extensively around Melbourne as a vocal coach.
Hailey Cramer works with our Music Performance students, teaching vocals.
Hailey featured on the smash hit collaboration ‘Summer Days’ with rapper Pez, knocked audiences out performing with the likes of Michael Franti, 360 and Blue King Brown, all the while exploring and refining her own sound.
Hailey’s interest in music sprouted at a very young age. Infatuated with old school vocalists from her father’s vinyl collection, she developed a hobby of making mix-tapes to send to her grandmother in Sri Lanka singing all her favourite songs and splicing in messages from her family as interludes. In these early stages as an audio documentarian, Hailey learnt how to reach out and connect through song.
Ten years later, with an established reputation for her vocal talents and tireless work ethic, Hailey was welcomed into the fold of illustrious roots music giants Blue King Brown. Through extensive touring to the US, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean playing a massive array of national and international festivals, Hailey has performed alongside the likes of Santana, Silverchair, Powderfinger, Ben Harper and The Black Eyed Peas. Throughout Blue King Brown’s hectic touring schedule, Hailey has seized every opportunity to develop. From attending industry forums at Austin Texas’ prestigious SXSW festival to performing onstage with Michael Franti to spending time in the studio with Jamaican producer royalty Bonsai, Hailey makes the most of her surroundings to expand her experience and develop her creativity.
Back in Australia, her 2008 collaboration with rapper Pez both as a co-writer and performer elevated Hailey’s career to new heights. The smash hit The Festival Song gathered a national following, coming in at number 7 in Triple J’s Hottest 100, number 1 on the AIR 100% Indie Singles chart and number 11 on the ARIA Australian Singles chart. Since then, she has toured extensively with Pez and also lent her vocal prowess to hip hop contemporaries 360 on his chart topping album Falling and flying and Mantra’s Speaking Volumes album.
Shaped by a wealth of performance experiences over and spurred on by encouragement from the artists she has been working with and supporting, Hailey was inspired to realise the contents of her own songbook, define her own voice and seek out potential collaborators for her latest and most exciting creative stage – Hailey Cramer the solo artist.
Working alongside Melbourne-based producer Dan West Hayley has released her debut EP. the duo has sculpted a remarkable sonic landscape in which Hailey’s soulful vocal prowess is supported by a minimal yet funky accompaniment. Vintage analogue synthesizers, percussive sounds sourced from the body and everyday objects and noise making toys gleaned from local flea markets all combine to celebrate the nuance and humanness of a live performance in an electronic music context.
Welcome to the sonic world of Hailey Cramer, where story becomes song, electronics become humanized and where trash is sometimes treasure.
Lena’s musical experience covers much ground; growing up playing trumpet in The Cactus Channel, playing piano in contemporary jazz ensemble Lazercatz 2000, keys in electro-pop outfit Tetrahedra and vocals in art-rock eight-piece Tulalah.
She has toured Australia with Killing Heidi, No Zu, Bec Sandridge and Ryan Downey and plays in Melbourne with SPIRE Ensemble and Dance Party. She is the co-founder and artistic director of YoWo Music, a contemporary music program for young women and GNC teens in high school which aims to contribute towards gender equality in the music scene, and is a passionate music educator.
“Lena’s star is rising so fast due to her incredible work ethic and prodigious talent. She is truly one of the most impressive musicians and people I’ve had the pleasure of working with” - Ella Hooper (Killing Heidi)
Entertainment Journalism Teacher
Michael Dwyer is one of Australia’s most experienced and prolific feature writers and arts critics. He’s written mostly about music and the people who make it for 30 years and countless media, not least Rolling Stone, the Age, Fairfax Media and Melody Maker. He has worked on-air for Triple J, as a film script consultant and as an arts journalism lecturer at Monash University.
His lifelong passion for music has led him from the red heart of the Australian outback to the penthouses of Manhattan to interview myriad legends of rock, jazz and elsewhere: Lou Reed, Paul Simon, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Ry Cooder, Sonny Rollins, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith and Steve Reich among them. In a simultaneous life, he sings, plays lead tenor ukulele and tours internationally with the world’s first ukulele-harmony David Bowie tribute phenomenon, the Thin White Ukes. He lives in Melbourne with too many records.
Interior Design Sessional Lecturer
ILAN EL is the creative engine behind ILANEL DESIGN STUDIO. After practicing as an architect and interior designer overseas, he graduated from RMIT’s Industrial Design Masters program and submersed himself in Australia’s culture.
Experiential illumination is his passion and he designs with philosophical awareness. Many of his designs are interactive, contemporary and playful, making them whimsical and engaging. His unique understanding of people and spaces, as well as his ability to work with a variety of materials, makes him shine with bespoke briefs.
Dallas is the namesake front-woman of the award-winning Australian rock outfit, Dallas Frasca. A stand-out of her class and an almighty presence on the mic. Frasca has not stopped for over a decade. She’s toured the world, clocking over 1000 shows with her band including 9 international tours and has managed to put a Top 30 Australian ARIA charting album under her belt, a #10 Aus album as well as many awards including ‘Artist of the year’ at the Independent Music Awards.
2018 saw frontwoman Dallas Frasca a finalist for the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards in the ‘Artistic Excellence’ category and in April 2018, showed off her guitar skills to an estimated 1.5 billion viewers for the closing ceremony in the first-ever all-female band to play a sporting event in Australia for the Commonwealth Games held at the Gold Coast, Australia.
Her song, ‘All My Love’ finished 3rd in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC - over 16,000 entries) which landed her band to sign with French label, Verycords.
On the tour circuit, Dallas Frasca has rocked the world for more than a decade, supporting the likes of Ugly Kid Joe, Patti Smith, Aerosmith and Van Halen, and once fronting legendary Aussie rock band Midnight Oil in support of Amnesty International.
Her time is spent between Melbourne, touring with the band and working in the Northern Territory with indigenous women from remote communities wanting to engage with music.
Dallas is also the spearhead for the world-first concept, A Hitch To The Sticks Festival where she takes the audience on the road with her across regional areas in Australia.
Production, Logic Pro, Scoring, Synthesis and Music Theory Teacher
Al began life as an orchestral trombonist and pianist, but came to prominence performing, producing, and touring (on keyboards, vocals and trombone) with The Black Sorrows, Deborah Conway, (performing live at the 1992 Aria’s), Boom Crash Opera, and Stephen Cummings. As a performer, Al has toured with some of the biggest acts in the world, such as Sting, Jethro Tull, Whitney Houston, Nirvana (sharing the stage at the Big Day Out in Sydney in 1992), and Crowded House. (Al was once offered the keyboard gig with Crowded House in 1986, but it wasn’t to be!)
Al later turned to composing for Film and TV, where he became one of Australia’s busiest and most versatile composers and sound designers. He has directed and conducted many ensembles in the studio, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, various Big Bands, and producing many local, young bands.
Producing from his boutique studio in Elsternwick, Al has scored the USA feature film The Heist, TV series City Homicide, Canal Rd., Halifax f.p., many short films and most recently the Howard on Menzies documentary series for the ABC, as well as composing the theme song for the ABC TV show Backroads. More recently, Al has produced orchestral works for the feature films, I Am Mother and Celeste, and the title theme for the feature film H is for Happiness. He has completed orchestral scores for the Flagstaff Maritime Village, Light and Laser installation show in Warrnambool. Al has also composed many hundreds of local and international, TV and cinema ad soundtracks.
In addition to his production work, Al has a particular passion for Aural training, believing that the musical ear is a sometimes neglected tool.
Rebecca received her undergraduate degree from the Victorian College of Arts and has over 20 years of experience in performance and music education. As a performer, she has played across many genres. She has performed live and as a session recording musician with highlights including Angie Hart, Cam Butler, Tim Heath, Dave Bramble, Peter Luscombe, Elizabeth Welsh, Dan Luscombe and Bill MacDonald. Rebecca has also directed and arranged music for choir and theatre and she enjoys sound-making in many settings.
Rebecca’s teaching practice is focused the areas of classical, contemporary and jazz piano, composition, accompaniment for singers, aural training, and music theory. She has developed a teaching style that is both compassionate and thorough as she educates students whose ages range from young children to adults.
Rebecca is currently completing a Master of Music (Contemporary Practice) through Box Hill Institute. She has created a major project where she places limitations on her usual, habitual approaches towards her instrument, in order to push personal creative boundaries as a method to compose new work. An accompanying recording entitled Momentum: Sound Stories is the result of over a year of research and collaboration with other sound artists.
Project and Event Management Teacher
Jacelyn has had over 15 years of event management experience in the private, retail, corporate and government sectors. After a stint in PR, she began her career managing two large event venues overseeing large-scale events ranging from Rove Live, Guinness Book of Records and many Roadshow movie premieres.
In 2008 Jacelyn started Flock Agency and has worked across some of Melbourne premium events including the first Zara store opening, Fashion Full Stop—the biggest runway in Southern Hemisphere—and The Royal Melbourne show. Expanding Flocks offering to creative consultancy and experiential director she has worked alongside other agencies around Australia on large scale events. These include: Easy Forex, Big M, Mars Pet food, Westfield, QIC, Prada, Sunglass Hut, Melbourne Spring fashion week, Tabasco, Crumpler, Grill’d to name a few.
Jacelyn also lectures in Event Management at Collarts and is completing a masters in Marketing at RMIT.
Performance Forum Teacher
Best known as an award-winning singer/songwriter, Ella Hooper has a career that developed from the rock of Killing Heidi to the alt-folk of the Verses and the revealing songs of Ella Hooper solo.
Ella has won four Arias and written several top-ten hits including a number one album and single. Ella’s first album, Reflector, has multi-platinum status and her singles are widely played and streamed, while her impressive back catalogue cements her as a part of Australian music history.
Originally from country Victoria, Ella has performed in Europe, Asia and the United States. Within Australia, Ella has played major festivals such as Big Day Out, Falls Festival and Day on The Green as well as smaller, boutique events like Tasmania’s Festival of Voices where she debuted an all-female vocal side project called Tresses. Ella has also toured as support for some of the biggest acts in the world, including Fleetwood Mac. Conversations with Stevie Nicks during that tour was what prompted the release of Ella’s first solo album, In Tongues, in 2014.
On the media front Ella regularly appears on ABC television and radio and was team captain on the ABC’s reboot of popular TV show Spicks and Specks. Ella has also co-hosted her own national radio show on the 2Day network, scooping an ACRA (radio award) in her first year and hosted accompanying TV show Radar focusing on breaking new and local music.
Current projects include touring with SBS’s RocKwiz Live, working as a songwriting mentor and host with Telstra and Bank of Melbourne and filming a music documentary for Red Bull.
Ella is currently producing a new EP titled New Magic to compliment Venom which was launched earlier in 2016, garnering high praise from music critics.
Playing guitar from age 12, Lawrence’s formal musical endevours began at the Victorian College of the Arts where he studied a Bachelor of Music performance, spending time in various ensembles exploring the art of sonic interaction via texture, groove and melody by means of improvisation. It was here Lawrence garnered the Dr Phillip law Award for Innovation and began strong musical friendships that continue to this day.
Upon leaving the VCA Lawrence began exploring various experimental music production and composition techniques. His infuences range from Debussy to Elliott Smith to Aphex Twin to name a few. Lawrence’s diverse sound pallete has led him to be a key collaborator with a number of artists – most notably Ainslie Wills.
Lawrence’s sonic and compositional contributions to Ainslie Wills’ live and recorded music began formally in 2010 with the release of Wills’ Somebody For Everyone EP. This marked the beginning of a strong musical relationship, which led to the pair co-writing and producing the LP You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine, which was nominated for the Australian and Melbourne Music Prizes in 2013 and scored 4/5 stars via Rolling Stone Australia. The pair’s most recent offering comes in the form of EP Oh The Gold, with the single Drive added to high rotation on Triple J, while the track, Constellations was deemed Headphones Moment of the Day on BBC 6.
Lawrence’s performance experience include supporting the likes of: Vance Joy, Leon Bridges (US), Hiatus Kaiyote, Michael Kiwanuka (UK), Lianne La Havas (UK), Clare Bowditch, Daniel Merriweather and Andy Bull. He has also played a number of festivals including: Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Womadelaide, Falls Festival, Homebake Festival and Panama Festival.
Entertainment Management Sessional Lecturer
Jane has twenty years experience in the music industry and began her music career working on the tours of Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz and Led Zeppelin to name a few.
After stints at a recording studio and music management, she then went on to pursue her dream of working in A&R at Warner/Chappell Music UK where she stayed for eight years signing several multi-million selling artists as well as overseeing 50 songwriters and producers.
After her move to Australia nine years ago, she moved into Music Supervision and set up her own company, The SyncHouse. She has worked on over 100 commercials and promos as well as numerous TV shows and films and is passionate about the Entertainment Industry and being entrepreneurial. She is currently studying for her Masters in Teaching at Monash University, due for completion in June 2019.
Bass Guitar & Master Class Teacher
Josh Jones works with our Music Performance students, teaching Bass Guitar and Instrumental Master Class.
From a young age Josh knew all he wanted to do was play music. As a child there was always music around the house, whether it was his dad playing keyboard or his mum playing her favourite Carol King record.
After two years of trumpet in primary school Josh made the change to bass and never looked back. He went on to complete his degree in Music Performance at Box Hill Tafe and built himself as an established musician recording and touring nationally/internationally with Dan Sultan and Gossling. His musical adventures have seen him record in Nashville with Grammy-award-winning producer Jacquire King as well as share the stage alongside Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Missy Higgins and also members of the Jools Holland Band.
In 2009 Josh recorded on Dan Sultan’s second studio album, Get Out While You Can, which won an ARIA Award in 2010 for Best Blues and Roots Record and also won two Deadly and AIR Awards. Since then Josh has toured America, the United Kingdom and China as well as played at some of Australia’s biggest music festivals such as Big Day Out, Splendor in the Grass, Falls Festival and Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival to name a few.
Joshua is endorsed by Aguilar Amplification and his latest work can be heard on Blackbird by Dan Sultan and Harvest of Gold by Gossling.
Ensemble, Music Styles & World Music Teacher
Adam is a drummer and percussionist with a keen interest in challenging the possibilities of rhythm, drawing inspiration from musical cultures that have deep rhythmic traditions.
As a percussionist he has studied Balinese Gamelan extensively and has performed professionally with many of Bali’s most renowned musicians, composers and orchestras. As a drummer Adam has performed and toured internationally with many different ensembles, including the Australian Art Orchestra, of which he is a current collaborator.
In 2012 Adam was invited to perform in India as part of the collaboration between the Australian Art Orchestra and a leading South Indian group, Sruthi Laya, lead by mridangam maestro Guru Karaikudi R Mani. Adam’s performance with this group in Brisbane earned them the 2013 APRA Performance of the Year.
Adam has also performed, recorded with Labjacd (Latin Hip-hop group), The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra (large Afro-beat ensemble), Umlaut (lead by Mr Bungle’s Bar McKinnon), Maya Hasan (Indonesian Harpist) and Hiatus Kaiyote (2014 album release).
Ensemble, Vocal Music Teacher
Angela's passion for performing live earned her a spot on backing vocals with the talents of Vanessa Amorosi, Ross Wilson, Renee Gayer, Kate Ceberano, Marcia Hines, Thelma Houston, Jimmy Barnes, Brian Cadd, Eric Benet, Jess Mauboy and most recently Hugh Jackman. She also had the privilege of performing for Sir Richard Branson.
As well, she has worked extensively overseas as the lead for various corporate functions all around Australia, Italy, Fiji, Borneo, Hong Kong, Tai Pei, Shanghai, Hawaii, Bali and Kuala Lumpur. Performing live is a passion, but Angela also lends her vocal prowess to radio and television advertisements and albums.
But Angela can certainly stand on her own as an acclaimed singer. A fan of the iconic women of soul including Eryka Badu, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige and male icons including Prince and Stevie Wonder, Angela has developed her own unique style of singing described as neo soul, RnB with an infusion of jazz.
This is by far her most passionate repertoire and Angela knows hows to get a crowd of music lovers up on their feet. For the past 12 years, Angela and her band Afrodescia have performed to an excitable crowd of fans, entertaining them with their strong soulful sounds. So much so that band members from James Brown and Alicia Keys bands have come down to jam with the group. To top this off, in January 2013, Afrodescia were asked to open for the legendary Chaka Khan at her one and only performance in Melbourne at The Plenary. Performing to a sell out crowd for over an hour, Angela said, “Performing as a support act for Chaka Khan was surreal. One of the biggest highlights of my career it cemented our band as one of the best in the business.”
With such a talented and powerful voice and vast industry connections, it’s only natural for Angela to want to help others. For the past 15 years she has been a teacher and vocal coach for a range of students from teenagers to adults. Many are already established singers who need Angela’s help with voice and technique. She says, “I’m really passionate about teaching and have recently taken a position at Collarts University which allows me to share my experiences and knowledge to young singers who want to start in the industry.”
Two years ago Angela decided it was time to further her knowledge of the industry with some further study. She enrolled in a Masters of Arts (Arts management) at RMIT and graduated with distinction.
With such an impressive background in the live music industry, Angela has defied all odds and has one of the hardest and longest working careers in the music industry. Her commitment to performing, her art, her band and her family just keeps her going and wanting more. The next step is an original album currently in the making. “I’m so privileged to have worked with some of the most amazing musicians and have learnt so much that I’m inspired to create my own original music,” she says. “It’s time I expressed myself and my experiences through song and hope that I can put a smile on peoples faces when they listen to my music.”
Songwriting, Music Teacher
Keppie Coutts is a performing singer-songwriter and passionate educator. After graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 2007, Keppie was hand-picked as one of 12 young songwriters to spend a week with John Mayer in 2008, resulting in her song, ‘Waiting for the Avalanche’ being produced by Mayer in the studio.
Shortly after, Keppie was invited to sit on the Songwriting Faculty at Berklee, and since returning to her native Australia, has held teaching positions at the Sydney Conservatorium, Berklee Online, the Australian Institute of Music, and the JMC Academy. As a professional songwriter, Keppie works in collaboration with many artists in Australia and abroad—from Indie bluegrass Canadians, to major label pop acts, and even heavy metal artists.
She is thrilled to now join the ranks at Collarts and is excited to bring her technical and theoretical knowledge of music and songwriting with a love and sensitivity for contemporary songwriting, diverse styles, and a desire to help songwriters clarify and communicate their unique voice.
Venue Management Teacher
Tom has had a long, varied career in the music industry.
He has booked live music venues including The Toff, Revolver Upstairs & The Gasometer, founded and ran an ARIA award-winning independent label Trifekta Records, was the Melbourne side-show coordinator at the Big Day Out, worked with songwriters and composers at APRA AMCOS and did everything from packing boxes to A&R at Shock Records. He is now very pleased to be the co-booker of The Croxton Bandroom.
He has participated on panels for Face The Music and Creative Victoria as well as mentored for The Push’s FReeZA Mentoring Program.
Tom has taught music industry business at a number of institutions including the Australian Institute of Music and Melbourne Polytechnic. He currently teaches Venue Management at Collarts.
Music Technology Teacher
Patrick Marks, aka Pataphysics, is an MC, producer, trumpet player and audio engineer.
Patrick is a Mercury-Prize-winning producer for his work with Speech Debelle (Ninja Tune). He has worked with local and international labels, producing and remixing a list of artists that include 360, Fear of a Brown Planet, Hau (Koolism), Lotek feat Roots Manuva and The Flybz with Paul Kelly.
His debut album, Subversive, features the likes of Stic-Man and Rob Swift and was named among the top 15 releases of 2012 by The Australian Music Prize. As an accomplished trumpet player, Patrick’s trumpet stylings have featured on recordings alongside Rob Swift, S1 (Strange Fruit Project/Eminem), Braille, Ohmega Watts, Othello, Rosie Burgess, Dialectrix, 1/6 , Skryptcha, and Ishu. His exceptional music career has seen him tour Australia numerous times, he has played festivals such as Laneway, Big Sound and Peats Ridge, and he is part of an experimental improvisational trio and a nine-piece funk collective.
Patrick’s music work has extended to film and television, including writing the theme song for Legally Brown on SBS and his musical works have featured in the National Gallery of Victoria. He is also the Music Coordinator for R.I.S.E (Refugees, Survivors, and Ex-detainees), where he runs music, beat making, and poetry workshops, as well as providing recording and production for young artists.
Stevic MacKay is a Melbourne-based guitarist, producer, songwriter, author, clinician, video-director, university lecturer and entrepreneur with an impressive and diverse track record.
As guitarist and founder of Twelve Foot Ninja, he has pushed the boundaries of alternative rock music. He and his bandmates won the Revolver Golden Gods Award for ‘Best New Talent 2014’, garnering a reputation for demolishing international stages with undeniable force, blowing away audiences at US festivals including Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion, and Germany’s Euroblast.
Prior to forming Twelve Foot Ninja, MacKay was in high demand as a young session guitarist, playing on records produced by some of music’s big-name producers such as Eliot Kennedy (Brian Adams, Spice Girls, Take That) and Billy Mann (P!nk, John Legend, Sting). MacKay also wrote two guitar instructional books published by Hinkler Books entitled Simply Guitar and Lead Guitar, which have now sold over 1.3 million copies worldwide, making the guitarist one of Australia’s most successful authors of guitar tuition products.
Kevin is a versatile musician and specialist teacher with 23 years of experience in high school and tertiary music education.
Kevin has a diploma in teaching percussion and an associate diploma in trumpet. He has also worked with a huge number of bands, artists and theatre shows including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Nitin Sawhney’s Aftershock project and the Boy From Oz.
Based at Debasement Studios, Dan Murtagh is one of Melbourne’s most sought after producers and mix engineers. Dan’s modern style of production stems from a desire to push the boundaries of musicians and the way we use audio technology.
Working on production for various albums and singles, sound design for films and online media, Dan is at the forefront of creative audio. Dan’s ear for detail and strong musicianship ensures that artists are put through their paces, always striving for performance thatexceeds expectation.
Seeking out a musical identity in each project, Dan will discover what makes an artist unique and push those qualities to the next level.
Dan is Pro Tools certified and teaches a variety of audio subjects at Collarts.
Annie Neil is a well-regarded vocalist and WAAPA lecturer who played the female lead in the rock musical Hair in Australia and New Zealand and was the female lead in the London Production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Early in her career, Annie appeared in the BBC TV series We The Accused, opposite Ian Holm and has appeared in the Dublin Theatre Festival opposite Colm Wilkinson (Adam and Eve).
Annie has also been involved in recording work in London and toured with Steely Dan and Kikki Dee. She had a number one hit with her own group Fancy in the USA and has worked as a backing vocalist for Denis Waterman (soundtrack of Minder), Charles Aznavour, Roger Daltry, Jack Bruce, Sheena Easton and a multitude of others.
Since returning to Australia, Annie has performed with many visiting artists such as Lou Rawls, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Joe Longthorne and James Brown. Annie is also a stalwart in the Perth Jazz scene and is a founding member of the vocal group the Jazz Divas. She was the vocal coach on the WA production ofBran Nue Dae and has performed on several occasions with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
More recently, Annie performed in her one-woman-show Heart And Soul and released a live-recorded album from a concert at the Perth Blues Club.
Anna Paddick is a singer-songwriter, a vocal coach, and a creative arts therapist. She has been performing professionally since she was sixteen years old, and over the course of her career has developed an approach to music making and creativity that is rooted in collaboratively expressing and exploring our shared, ever-unfolding human experience.
Anna’s childhood love of Folk, Blues, Soul, Motown and 20th Century Pop soon led her to begin pulling at the threads of Jazz and improvisation which she studied at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary College and Monash University. When she began songwriting, interweaving aspects of music and life that felt the most intriguing and enlivening to her, she knew she had found her musical home. Anna’s vocal flexibility, agility and sensibility allow her to share nuanced and emotionally dynamic truths. She loves supporting upcoming artists in the process of developing their expressive skills and unique artistry.
Anna is passionate about music as a process of expressive empowerment and one that allows us to discover and create meaning in our lives. She performs at venues and festivals as well as in therapeutic recovery contexts, and her debut album is set for release later this year.
Clio Renner is a Melbourne born pianist, vocalist and songwriter. Renowned as the go-to keyboardist and session vocalist for a roll-call of Australian rock royalty including Angus and Julia Stone, Deborah Conway, Tim Rogers, Bob Evans, Alex Lahey, Killing Heidi, Olympia and Do Re Mi, Renner has been a fixture of SBS TV’s much-loved music show ‘Rockwiz’ houseband, and featured in the esteemed ‘Countdown’ band at the Sydney Opera House for the ABC’s 2017 and 2018 New Year’s Eve concert broadcast.
Clio was appointed Musical Director for ‘Her Sound, Her Story’ concert in 2016, which later evolved into a “comprehensive and captivating documentary”. Her directing role continued into 2017 when she was appointed MD for The Age Music Victoria Awards house band.
Clio teamed up with Melbourne’s Ella Thompson (Bamboos, GL) and Becky Sui Zhen (Sui Zhen, No Zu) in 2017 to premiere a collaborative work, Like Running Water, for Melbourne Festival. The performance explored feminity and the complex nature of water.
In 2018, Clio finally emerged as a solo artist, with the release of her first EP ‘Something Left to Leave Behind’. The record received a 4-star rating from Forte magazine, and she was subsequently named indie artist of the week by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association. ‘Something to Leave Behind’ was a triumphant statement from a woman growing in confidence in her own skin and relishing the realisation of her creative power.
Academic Support Officer / Sessional Lecturer, Critical Series
As Academic Support Officer, Camille supports students in developing (or brushing up on) their academic skills – everything from essay writing, to research skills, organisation and planning, referencing and academic honesty, and preparing for exams.
As a Sessional Lecturer for the Critical Series of subjects with Alicia Brown, Camille helps students to develop their critical thinking skills, and apply them to their understanding of music and art, and issues pertaining to the creative industries.
Camille is an innovative sonic artist, composer, and researcher with a diverse creative practice. He makes music, sound art, and sound design, independently and to commission for clients in film, theatre, dance, and museums. His work is informed by classical, punk, jazz, pop, electronic and avant-garde musics, acoustic ecology, musique concrete, deep listening, and conceptual art.
Camille recently completed his PhD project Listening Art, in which he made sonic artworks that encourage people to think critically about the act of listening, and the effect that listeners’ own past experiences and assumptions ultimately have on art as perceived.
Piano & Keys Teacher
Adam is a pianist and composer, originally from a jazz background, who has an interest in exploring the synthesis of jazz, funk, and more experimental music styles.
Adam has studied jazz piano with Steve and Bob Sedergreen, as well as Mark Soskin (Sonny Rollins), Laurence Hobgood (Kurt Elling) and Andy Milne (5 Elements, Dapp Theory). In 2003 Adam also received an advanced diploma of Music Performance from NMIT.
Adam’s major projects include his jazz trio, and the cinematic future-soul project Neon Bogart and the Minneapolis-style, jazz-fusion group Lake Minnetonka. Adam’s music also saw him tour across the UK, Europe and the USA in 2011.
For the past five years Adam has presented the jazz show Black Wax every Monday on Melbourne’s PBS 106.7FM. He has also worked as the musical director of Etta James tribute show, Heart of a Woman, and was musical director for A Soul Séance.
In 2014 he performed Game of Themes at the Melbourne Fringe, a one-hour solo piano concert of science fiction and fantasy TV and movie themes.
Karishma Sadhai has been performing since age four at various charity events for UNICEF in Melbourne. She was frequently involved in singing at public events throughout her childhood and was part of the choir that sang at Olympic Park for the Freedom Day Celebrations when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Recognized as a natural talent, she first sang the South African National Anthem at the MCG at age 12 and again several times at Etihad Stadium for the South African cricket team.
She began studying a Bachelor of Music Performance – Jazz Improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts at age 17, at which time she formed her own band and played corporate events, as well as several residencies at iconic Melbourne venues. Looking to expand her horizons, she moved to Ireland, where she toured around county Cork with a jazz trio and performed on national television with Susan McFadden (sister of Brian McFadden) and Michael Leonard who represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Since then she has recorded guest vocals on The Cat Empire’s Aria-Award-ward winning album, The Sun, as well as performing featured vocals on two studio albums for Aria-nominated Melbourne band Jackson Jackson and backup vocals with Dan Sultan for the critically acclaimed Maurice Frawley tribute album Long Gone Whistle. Several hip-hop records have benefited from her vocals, including Illy’s Pictures, which was in the JJJ’s Hottest 100, and Phrase’s critically-acclaimed album Clockwork. She also co-wrote and recorded Shining Bright, which was the theme song for the Delta Goodrem movie Hating Alison Ashley. Karishma has recorded her own original material with Jan Skubiszewski (Way of The Eagle) at Sing Sing Studios, which featured Daniel Merriweather and Harry Angus.
Karishma has toured all over Australia playing most major festivals including Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, St. Kilda Festival and also performed with Marva Whitney (backing singer for James Brown) at Falls Festival. She co-founded the Jayka Academy of Music, where she has drawn focus to providing students the opportunity to perform at big community events. In 2013 and 2014 students performed at the Summersault Festival main stage and were selected as the choir for the Melton Carols by Candlelight where they performed with a 30-piece brass band and backed singer Kane Alexander.
Karishma is a passionate and driven vocal teacher, who loves being surrounded by music and has been dedicated to music education for over 12 years.
Interior Design Sessional Lecturer
Jo Scicluna is a Melbourne-based artist and educator in art and design, having worked professionally across both fields for over 20 years. She has exhibited locally and internationally. Her photo-sculptural installation practice is often driven by the invitation to respond to specific regions allocated by host galleries. Her exhibitions involve the installation of an array of photo-sculptural works, as well as the activation of the architectural features and characteristics of the gallery space.
Scicluna is currently undertaking a PhD Research Project at Monash University in Fine Art. Her research and practice is driven by the quest of exploring, magnifying and revealing the subtle historical and elemental mechanisms of place and is motivated by her personal experiences of cultural displacement as a first-generation Australian. She has taught across a number of universities in areas of fine art and design, having taught a number of studio projects in Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Architecture at RMIT and Monash Universities. She is also a conceptual consultant at Paul Morgan Architects, an award-winning Melbourne based architectural practice.
Entertainment Management and Audio Engineering Lecturer
Garth Sheridan is a Melbourne based musician, audio engineer, trainer and researcher. His work includes a range of electronic and dance music, audio sculpture and mixed media surround installation.
As a DJ and live act, he has performed festivals and clubs across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, UK and Africa. He has also performed or done sound design at Liquid Architecture, MONA, Stockholm Fringe, Spiegeltent and MidSumma. Garth’s works have also been incorporated in television soundtracks including Sunshine and Unplanned America.
He has also worked extensively in production and operations management for live music, theatre and performing arts venues across Melbourne.
Garth has taught audio production, project management, web design and music industry classes in universities and community spaces around Melbourne since 2010. He has a PhD from RMIT University and has published research on Electronic Dance Music, Angolan Popular Music and musical practice in diaspora communities.
Feature Writing Tudor
Wendy Squires has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, starting her career at News Ltd as a cadet journalist before working her way to magazines and television. She has been the editor of Cleo and Australian Style magazines and held senior roles on Who Weekly, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Madison and Woman’s Day. In 2000 she returned to News Ltd where she created the Body + Soul insert magazine, edited all News Ltd’s Olympic Games magazines and helped launch Fox Studios. She has also written for numerous titles including The Bulletin, Cosmopolitan, Good Health, Men’s Style, Mode, Shop, People and ELLE. In 2009 her novel, The Boys’ Club, was published, based on her year as the Publicity Director at Network Nine. Today, she writes a syndicated opinion column for The Age, freelances for many magazines and websites, appears as a commentator on Sky News and ghost authors biographies for PanMacmillan. She is also writing her second novel.
Entertainment Management Teacher
Andrew Watt is vastly experienced in many areas of the music and entertainment business. He is a practicing intellectual property, entertainment and media lawyer with Melbourne firm Madgwicks.
Previously Andrew has had an exceptional career, being the founder, editor and publisher of street press publication InPress, a music publisher with the Paul Dainty Corporation, an artist manager of high profile acts in both Australia and the US, a television producer with multiple network credits, including Executive Producer of the series Rock Soldiers (an observational documentary on the Australian concert touring world) and a music journalist and commentator. Andrew’s writing on music and the music industry currently appears regularly in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, national music magazine Rhythms and industry website The Music Network.
Andrew is also the author of Welcome To The Jungle – Navigating the Music Business In Australia (2014), a 570 page anecdotal textbook for the music business in Australia.
Teacher in Performance Forum, Ensemble, Vocals, Logic, Production
Best known as an accomplished singer and songwriter for pop/rock/harmony band Taxiride, Tim is also a producer, multi-instrumentalist and programmer.
Tim has won an ARIA Award, had Number 1 & Number 5 albums, 7 singles in the ARIA Top 40 Charts and Number 2 & Number 15 songs in the ARIA Club Charts. Two of his songs have been the most played songs on Australian Radio in 2000 & 2003 against local and international recordings.
Tim has performed extensively in Australia and overseas including multiple tours of Japan and the USA and a
Tim written music for television and film including Neighbours and Reef Doctors; composed music for online campaigns such as Mazda & Quit Victoria; and produced music for other artists from independent releases to Australian Idol competitors; and vocally produced an album for The Voice Kids.
With indie/electronic band Friends Of Mine, Tim toured Australia, had successful sync’s
Outside of music Tim has reviewed movies for commercial radio, hosted multiple programs on community radio, been a voiceover artist, acted in independent films, performed Improv Comedy, been a scriptwriter, shot and edited corporate videos and copy-written for corporate campaigns.
Entertainment Management Teacher
Penny Weber is a music business entrepreneur who has run businesses ranging from music industry recruitment agencies to artist management. Penny’s management business has looked after the careers of: True Live, The Raah Project, Paris Wells, Josh Abrahams, Describe Eliza, Quadraphonic, The Grand Silent System (Shock), The Sound Movement, Virtue, Offcutts (Rubber), Lindsay Gravina (producer at Birdland Studios), Irwin Thomas (Jack Jones) to name a few. She has also worked in music licensing and film.
Penny has created, facilitated and run local and national education programs, conferences, forums, workshops, masterclasses and online seminars on business practice within the music industry. She has worked as the Professional Development Manager of a Music Industry Advisory body and as the director of the Digital Entertainment Program Plug In Summit and recruitment agency Cover Your Artz.
Penny has contributed to the film, music, digital and education industries as an artist manager and arts administrator for the music business sector. Her roles have varied from working with film composers (Cezary Skubiszewski), record companies (Standard Records RCM International/Standard Music Publishing), industry associations, artists (Jam Packed Entertainment), Venue Bookers (Indie Initiative at Metro Nightclub) and music producers (Lindsay Gravina of Birdland Studios). Her experience in film has been as a producer/ music supervisor for independent production company, Truncated Pictures on the film Verite – taking it to Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
She has a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Monash University, Masters in Business Administration (Executive) and Masters of Commerce from RMIT.
Vocal and Songwriting Teacher
Melodic architect and soulful crooner Ainslie Wills has been writing and performing her brand of progressive pop within Australia since 2007, when she was unearthed by Triple J not long after finishing her Bachelor of Music Performance degree at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Her 2013 album, You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine was nominated for the Melbourne Music and Australian Music prizes and has received ongoing critical acclaim. Rolling Stone claimed it “a beguiling debut” and Dom Alessio from Triple J described it as “A dark, moody and self-assured first record.” Her most recent offering Oh The Gold was featured on BBC6, ABC Radio National, PBS 106.7, RRR and Bandcamp Weekly. The first single off the album, Drive, was added to full rotation on Triple J.
Over the last 10 years, Ainslie has been lucky enough to perform alongside the likes of Leon Bridges, Hiatus Kaiyote, Lianne La Havas, Missy Higgins, Bernard Fanning, John Butler, Clare Bowditch and Michael Kiwanuka. More recently, Ainslie teamed up with Tom Iansek of Big Scary and #1 Dads fame to co-write the single So Soldier on the AIR nominated album About Face.
In addition to writing and performing Ainslie has worked as a vocal coach and music industry mentor for the past 12 years and loves to share and exchange information with like-minded, passionate music lovers.
Belinda is an improvising musician/composer living in Melbourne, Australia. A recent PhD graduate of the VCA, Belinda was awarded a Creative Victoria Scholarship for excellence in 2015, was a recipient of an APA from 2011-2013 and a finalist in the 2011 APRA Professional Development Awards. Artistic director of the Make It Up Club from 1993 – 2007, and Project Manager for the Click Clack Project and Jolt Arts 2010-16, Belinda has played a significant role in supporting and enhancing the development of the Melbourne music scene.
Predominantly a flautist, Belinda performs as a soloist and appears in many ensembles including her own groups Lo-Res (six piece chamber jazz) and Saveja (flute and harp duo), Tim Pledger’s Bohjass – of which Belinda has been a member for 20 years, and the BOLT Ensemble – dedicated to performing the music of composer Dr. James Hullick. As a soloist Belinda has developed an array of extended techniques which she utilises in performances as an improviser and an interpreter of music. She has been invited to perform in Festivals across Australia, Japan and Europe as well as independently curated events across Australia. Belinda’s work as a session musician has seen her record with many outstanding artists of various genres including pop legend Cat Power, songwriters Ned Collette and Martin Mackerras, composers Kate Neal, James Hullick and Tim pledger as well as sound artists Philip Brophy and Graeme Croft.
Belinda explores the use of texture and contour within her compositions and improvisations to paint scenes of rich complexity, focusing on the acoustic nature of her instrument. Belinda also extends her abilities towards the composed music of the 20th and 21st centuries, the structure and innovation of which she draws into her own improvising and composition.
Karl Lewis has firmly established himself as one of Australia’s in demand drummers. His passion, versatility and dedication to his craft has led him to play and record with some of Australia’s finest artists such as Savage Garden, Bachelor Girl, Daryl Braithwaite, Killing Heidi, Keith Urban, Tim Watson (Taxiride), The Hampdens, Andrew Wishart (X Factor), Tweed, Winterpark, Laspina, and The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to name a few!
As a touring drummer Karl has shared many stages globally with some of the biggest acts in the world including Bon Jovi, Genesis, Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz, George Clinton, Mariah Carey, Boys To Men, Pink, Midnight Oil and INXS.
In the studio he has had the privilege to work along side some of Australia’s finest music producers, including Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, Beth Orton), Chong Lim (John Farnham, Dancing with the Stars) and producer/engineer Jimi Maroudas (Eskimo Joe, Tim Rogers).
Karl regularly backs artists such as Ross Wilson, Phil Emanuelle, Brian Mannix, Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen), Dale Ryder (Boom Crash Opera), Anthony Callea, Tim Campbell, Bjorn Again, Blanche Dubois, as well as performed in musicals Rock of Ages, Spring Awakening and a multitude of YABC productions.
As an established composer/producer in his own right. Karl has also provided programming and compositional skills to various projects including his own band She Said Yes (featuring Tania Doko and Jack Jones), Silent Passenger and various Film and TV work.
Karl is Internationally sponsored by Gretsch Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Remo Drumheads and Roland Music Corporation.
Mike Callander started DJing in 2001, and since then has been recognised as one of Australia’s most diverse and yet consistent selectors. He continues to open and close for countless touring artists in Australia and at various destinations across the world, but more importantly has helmed critical residencies at home in Melbourne clubbing institutions such as Honkytonks, for which he also compiled and recorded The Last Dance mix CD released globally in 2007, and more recently at Revolver, where his weekly Friday night offering continues into its ninth year.
In 2008 Mike co-founded Haul Music and began releasing ambitious avant-garde techno productions, including a long-player “Antarctica” and subsequent remix album, from which his tracks found their way on to mix CDs such as Dave Seaman’s Renaissance Masters, and into the crates of various tastemakers, and surprisingly even onto morning television. A decade later and he is equally at home producing pure dance floor bangers: a recent collaboration with The Presets’ entitled “Until The Dark” was the closing track of their top-5 album Hi Viz, and the energetic final track in their festival live shows.
In 2012, alongside accomplished sound designer Davide Carbone, Mike co-founded School of Synthesis, an educational facility that offers high-end hands-on training to music producers and DJs. His work at SOS led him to become an Ableton Certified Trainer, one of only 250 people in the world endorsed by the company to demonstrate their software. Since 2016 Mike expanded his educational focus to include sessional lecturing, mentoring and technology classes at The University of Melbourne’s Bachelor of Music in Interactive Composition, where he is currently completing his Masters Research into the bridge between Techno DJing and studio practice.
In 2016 and 2017 Mike’s production skills took him across Australia and the world for more than 30 shows with The Avalanches. This chart-topping Australian band is one of many to engage Mike’s live-show programming skills to take their project from the studio onto stages such as Glastonbury, Roskilde, Rock Werchter, BBK Live and Fuji Rock. More recently his work with the band has expanded to include production work on tracks for their third album.
At the other end of the performance spectrum, Mike is equally at home performing solo improvised electronic sets in sweaty nightclubs, or alongside T-Rek and Honeysmack as The Broken Acid Experiment.
Beyond 2019 Mike is more inspired for DJing and live performance than ever, but has an additional focus: Zero Percent, the production team he formed with Kim Moyes (of The Presets) and their new record label Here To Hell, distributed globally by Kompakt. Zero Percent has thus far turned out genre-smashing remixes for The Drones, The Avalanches and The Jezabels, and is fast developing a reputation for sweaty, energetic performances at their Here To Hell label nights.
Since graduating from the Collarts Music Performance degree in 2016, Louis has built a career as a session musician, establishing himself as a versatile drummer in Melbourne and surrounding areas.
With 10 years experience in the music industry, Louis has performed and recorded with many national and international artists/bands, including several Australian tours and high profile shows. He is also actively involved in the Australian corporate music scene, regularly playing Victorian and interstate functions and weddings with a range of corporate acts.
Beyond this, Louis teaches drums at music schools and hosts a series of drumming workshops throughout Melbourne.
Christopher de Groot is a multi genre, multidisciplinary composer with a vast array of professional credits. He has a wide variety of musical interests and influences including orchestration, electronics, instrument creation, recording techniques, sound design, cult soundtracks and Balinese gamelan.
De Groot studied at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts where he gained a Masters degree in composition. He has composed music for several independent feature films and has been nominated for an APRA Screen Music Award , and a West Australian Screen Award four times [2009, 2010, 2011, 2014], winning in 2009 for his work on The Director’s Cut.
De Groot’s other credits include 15 short films, seven Melbourne theatre productions and many stand alone music works. He has also released seven albums of original compositions. In 2018 de Groot completed composing an 85-minute, one-voice opera based on the 20-hour video diary of Björk Stalker Ricardo Lopez.
Selena provides support to students, maintains student records and is responsible for reporting to government agencies. Selena also maintains My Collarts and oversees student services at the college.
Selena began working at Collarts after moving from New Zealand to Australia to 2012. She has a Diploma in Audio Engineering and Music Production from the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ), where she was then employed as a casual tutor and student support coordinator.
Selena also has experience as a live sound engineer for New Zealand artists such as Chris Knox and The Nothing, The Sami Sisters and Hollie Smith.
Head of Marketing
As Head of Marketing at Collarts, Vanessa is passionate about recruiting and educating the entertainment industry’s next generation of leaders, contributors and renegades.
Vanessa joins the Collarts team after working in marketing and event management for some of the world’s biggest and best arts organisations, including the Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Festival, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne International Film Festival. She’s lead successful marketing strategies for the likes of Philip Glass, John Cale (Velvet Underground), Ariel Pink, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Australian Dance Theatre, Back to Back Theatre Company, the rarely-performed Mahler 8, and the Age Music Award-nominated, Supersense Festival.
Future Student Manager
Claire is one of the lucky ones you speak to before you start at Collarts. Working closely with careers advisors, high school music teachers, VET program leaders, and incoming students, Claire will prepare you for everything you need to know about the college and its courses.
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Claire obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Music Business and Business from Belmont University and studied abroad at the University of Melbourne where she discovered the incredible Melbourne music scene. Before moving back to Melbourne permanently, she interned with three Nashville-based artist management companies while working on concerts and events at the Curb Event Center.
Prior to starting at Collarts, Claire worked for a Melbourne entertainment agency. Booking local music acts and DJs gave her great insight into the growing industry in Melbourne and a passion for finding talented students and helping to launch their careers.
You’ll usually find her listening to bluegrass music, attempting to garden, or petting every dog in sight.
Marketing Campaign Manager
With a background in media and education marketing, Jesse joins Collarts as Marketing Campaign Manager. His career has traversed the Tasman, working with The Radio Network (NZ), Mediaworks (NZ), Seven Network and Deakin University. Jesse’s work has been recognised with multiple national industry awards and nominations, including the AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence and New Zealand Radio Awards.
While musically inept himself, this hasn’t stopped Jesse from indulging his passion for music – attempting the guitar, drums, trumpet and tuba before eventually resigning to appreciating the work of those more talented. Since moving to Melbourne, Jesse has found himself spoilt for choice, becoming an avid fan of the local music and arts scene.
International Student Coordinator
Jessica has been working in the education industry for the past three years. With a wide knowledge of education and its international relations, she assists and guides international students with their application process, making their study transition seamless.
Holding a Master of Information System and Bachelor of International Business and Commerce, Jessica finds joy in the different processes and strategies that can be used to build relationships globally.
International Recruitment Manager.
Domenica holds a Master degree in Intercultural Communication from USI in Lugano, Switzerland and a Bachelor in International Studies from UdeM in Monterrey, Mexico.
She is fond of languages and travel. She is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and English, and has been to 47 countries. These give a broader intercultural understanding when dealing with students from different cultures. She is a passionate individual, who is focused on the student experience.
Domenica is in charge of the International Strategy for Collarts, this includes dealing with different stakeholders such as partner schools, agents, international prospective students, among others. She has over 7 years of experience working in International Education ranging from ELICOS, VET and Higher Education Providers.
Lauren is your go-to girl once you’ve decided that Collarts is the place you want to study. She is one of the first people you will speak with on your journey towards enrolling at Collarts. Most interviews and/or auditions for the courses take place with Lauren before she gives you a tour of one of our fantastic campuses. She will guide you through the enrolment process and makes sure settling into life at Collarts is as easy as possible.
Originally from Manchester, England, Lauren graduated from the University of Central Lancashire and worked in both recruitment and education before joining the Collarts family. She has recently made the big move to Melbourne after spending time in both Perth and Adelaide. However, the arts and music scene of Melbourne sparked Lauren’s interest and she couldn’t stay away.
Her passion for music has always been apparent as displayed by the wide array of instruments she’s laid her hands on including: piano, flute, and more recently guitar. Aside from music, Lauren also loves traveling, scuba diving, painting, and a delicious cup of Melbourne coffee.
Student Progress Coordinator
Recently Meg has been galavanting around the globe and has just returned from living in London for the past couple of years.
After seeing every possible band and attending every possible music festival she could overseas, Meg decided to head back to her hometown in Melbourne and she couldn’t be happier that she has joined the Collarts family.
Need help with your timetable? Special Consideration? Someone to talk to about the most recent Bachelor episode? Meg is ready and willing to help you with everything you need. Not sure who to ask? Meg probably has your answer.
Future Student Advisor
After returning from
She has completed a bachelor of Entertainment Management at AIM in 2015 and completed an internship at Warner, The Australian Independent Record Association and Melbourne Film Festival. Eloise then went to work at LovePolice, selling merch for some of Australia's biggest sporting and music events.
When Eloise is not interviewing students, she is usually binge-watching shows on Netflix, at the movies or spending time with her two doggo's who are named after music icons Bowie and Prince.
Student Services Support Officer
Hailing from Canberra, Karla made the move in 2014 to Melbourne to pursue all things Music! While undertaking her Bachelor of Music at AIM, she volunteered at every opportunity - including music disability support programs, music festivals and at local TV station 1700. During this time she also worked for local record label Wondercore Island and dabbled in copywriting for arts and humanities blog, SpeakerTV.
After graduating, she found herself drawn back to education; whether it was in student services roles in a range of educational institutions or hosting music classes for toddlers. It was a natural fit for Karla when she became a Student Services Support Officer at Collarts, as it was a perfect combo of creative expression and student support.
Karla is passionate about creating a welcoming and safe environment for all learners which she believes is achieved through genuine expression and a listening ear.
When Karla isn't helping students with their queries she is either appreciating art and music or making some herself.
Jason joins Collarts with a background in media agencies, and fills the role of Marketing Coordinator. Jason has previously serviced clients such as Hertz, Dodo and the AFL amongst others, with the knowledge garnered from previous roles extending across both online and offline mediums, with a focus on digital platforms.
For a couple of years after high school Jason spent his time playing in bands, recording music and enjoying the opportunity to play shows. This passion for music has persisted, and you can still catch him out at gigs around Melbourne if you look carefully enough. Other passions include attempting to ride his motorcycle in a vaguely safe manner and spending too much time at the cinema.
I.T System Administrator
Sherry is the Collarts Go to person for any of your IT issues including Timetables, Passwords, user accounts any software issues or technical questions you may have.
Sherry has been with Collarts for over two years and has been responsible for all of student I.T support as a system administrator. He is also responsible for maintaining the system and network, while facilitating support for all users with their needs across all four campuses.
He has done his Masters from Monash University in Business and IT (ERP) and has worked with IBM, DELL, Victoria Police and La Trobe University.
He loves music and has attended almost all the big artists who have performed in Australia for the past 12 years. His favourite musicians are Pink Floyd—privileged to attend twice—and The Doors. He also loves to travel the world, ticking places off one by one.
Anne Ligthart completed a Post Grad in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2013 and is now a Clinical Psychotherapist. In 2018 she is in her fifth year of a second Post Grad Certification as an Anthroposophic Psychotherapist. All of Anne’s training is oriented in the arts and
As well as working for Collarts in their Wellbeing department, Anne works with the Magistrate’s Court as a psychotherapist for victims of crime. She also teaches Mindfulness in schools, is an EMDR practitioner (working with traumatic memories) and has previously managed an NFP drug and alcohol facility for six years.
Recently Anne trained as a yoga therapist for the direct use of this in her practice as a psychotherapist and has a strong background in spiritual science. She also recently completed intensive training in Critical Incidents, and in-depth
She has two children, 18 and 22 years, and is a devoted parent as well as a Professional scuba diver. She enjoys diving in the tropics on holidays and has a daily practice in yoga.
Future Student Advisor
Originally from New Zealand, Kalena moved to Melbourne to chase the creative arts scene. Kalena studied classical ballet and contemporary dance at the New Zealand School of Dance and later received a degree in Event Management and Marketing from Auckland University of Technology.
Her dancing has given her some great opportunities to travel—she's studied at the San Francisco Ballet School, performed at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, toured with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company and did an artist and teaching residency in Bali.
Since leaving full time dancing behind Kalena has had a number of roles within events, marketing and account management.
When not at Collarts, Kalena is usually out enjoying Melbourne’s music scene or watching a dance performance. She also enjoys pursuing her own project-led dance practice working with local artists.
Content & Social Media Manager
Monique is a Burmese-Australian content specialist with growing expertise in digital strategy, community development, social media and storytelling. Her passion lies in creating high-quality content, across both digital and social media, that celebrates the malleability of communication and her interests in music, culture and digital media.
Equipped with a Bachelor of Communication (Media), she has worked for the past four years as an editor, social media manager, video producer and writer for VICE, Madman and Speaker TV to name a few. With creativity at the heart of her content creation, Monique also pursues writing and music journalism; her freelance editorial works appearing in VICE,
When Monique isn’t creating content for
Industry Partnerships and Experience Manager
Jade grew up in country Victoria and started out working on events through the Freeza Committee and Youth Council in Shepparton. She cut her teeth working at the local music venue, Yahoo Bar, assisting with band booking, working the door, and manning the merch desk.
In 2007, Jade moved to Melbourne and completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Business at RMIT in 2010. During her time at RMIT, she interned and volunteered at any opportunity possible, working heavily in band booking, publicity, festival work and artist management.
Since completing her degree, Jade has event managed over 300 weddings, parties and corporate events. She has assisted with booking gigs at venues including: the Evelyn, the Birmingham, the Curtin and the B.East and has worked extensively in publicity for festivals, touring artists and pop-up food and wine events. In 2011, she did a stint in London, working in logistics and operations for Secret Garden Party Festival as well as running social media integration for UK artists at Good Lizard Media. In 2014, Jade was the event manager for Big Hearted Business (founded by Clare Bowditch) and has worked on numerous national and international festivals in roles including stage managing, logistics and operations, merchandise management, artist liaison, and staff & volunteer coordinating.
Jade is extremely passionate about supporting the local, live and independent music scene in Melbourne. Her favourite venue is the Old Bar, her favourite community radio station is Triple R and her favourite festival is Boogie. She is a staunch Megahertz supporter when it comes to the only footy game she watches each year, Reclink’s Community Cup.
Wellbeing Support and Counsellor
Sarah Pant completed a Bachelor degree in music theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2002. She worked as a voice over artist in Melbourne before moving to the UK where she devised theatre for young people, created and toured theatre projects and performed as part of a cabaret duo in London. Sarah has shared her theatre and musical skills through a variety of creative workshops within corporate groups, schools and youth justice services throughout Europe and Australia.
Sarah also works as a holistic psychotherapist, facilitator and trainer. Her key areas of expertise and interest lie in group facilitation, conflict work and the creative dynamics and process of change. She has worked with groups and individuals in private practice and within organisations supporting client’s capacity to conduct healthy and skilful conversations and engage positively with challenging situations.
Sarah is an experienced holistic psychotherapist and NLP practitioner and draws from her many years of involvement in the community sector within psychosocial rehabilitation and early intervention programs. As well as teaching at Collarts, Sarah works in private practice and as a Senior Consultant at CLE Consulting. She also teaches at The Metavision Institute, offering training and seminars to psychotherapists and is a trainer of the Teachers Empowered program, a professional development program for teachers and social workers.
A music lover and sports fanatic, on the weekends you'll find Jared either at a gig or bar across Melbourne, supporting his beloved Bombers or scouring the city's many record stores for a bargain.
Having worked in high-level student services roles at both Monash University & the University of Auckland, Jared brings a wealth of knowledge to the team at Collarts.
He manages our support email, provides course advice and works closely with both our academics and operations team to provide the best possible experience for our students.
Student Services Officer
Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Chris moved to Melbourne in 2015 to experience a more vibrant city. After graduating University as a secondary teacher, Chris spent years teaching English, Classics, History and Mathematics in New Zealand. After moving to Melbourne he worked in the medical devices field before realising that education is the sector for him - Collarts, with its focus on student success and progress was the perfect fit.
Chris is passionate about ensuring that all students are succeeding in every aspect of their education, and enjoying themselves while they do so.
When he’s not at Collarts, you’ll find him at pub trivia, trying desperately to get his dog to behave, or arguing about esoteric NBA stats.
As Student Administrator at Collarts, Peiyi is extremely passionate about the provision of excellent student experience. Peiyi moved to Melbourne in 2012 and completed Master degree in International Finance at Deakin University in 2014. During her time at Deakin, she worked on the Mentor Program and endeavoured to deliver exceptional support to student services.
Prior to working at Collarts, she has been working in education consulting industry for 3 years. Peiyi dedicates herself to her work and couldn’t be happier to join the Collarts family.
Brunswick St Campus Supervisor and Music Theory Tutor
Jack is an alumnus of the Collarts Music Performance degree, having graduated in 2014. He is a versatile multi-instrumentalist specialising in electric guitar.
Jack has been involved in the music industry for over 10 years, doing session work and playing with various acts in his hometown of Cairns, before making the move to Melbourne in 2012.
Now he coordinates his own corporate bands, providing high-end entertainment packages in Melbourne and surrounding areas. In addition to this, he works with various artists and also on his own original projects.
A graduate of the Collarts Audio Production Degree, Brad now finds himself back again in education, having previously worked for several schools and circus organisations through out Victoria and NSW over the last 15 years, teaching to and performing for children of all ages.
A lover of the electronic, he has an intense relationship with his synthesizer, and spends his time either making sounds or talking about oscillators, filters and the joy of signal flow.