Suellen Maunder – Artistic Director and CEO
Peta Cooke – Event, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Karen Engel – Marketing and Administration Assistant
Amanda Belanger – Events and Administration Assistant
Mill Darby – Business Development Officer
Board of Directors
Gill Townsend (Chair), Arabella Kullack (Secretary), Michelle Champion, Tim Cooke, Greg Jensen, Saurav Kataria, Gillian Mailman, Suellen Maunder and Karyn Weller.
Gill Townsend (Chair)
Gillian Townsend has worked in social work and social justice for 35 years commencing her career as a residential social worker in Brixton, South London, moving to Cairns nearly 27 years ago. She is currently Team Leader at Centacare Mental Health Resource Service. She is also President of the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health. Gill believes in the power of theatre to change the way a society sees the world.
Arabella Kullack (Secretary)
Arabella Kullack graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Laws (2011) and is now part of MacDonnells Law’s state-wide Commercial and Wills and Estates Team, specialising in the areas of commercial and succession law. She has experience in key areas of estate planning, including wills, testamentary trusts, enduring powers of attorney, advance health directives and binding death benefit nominations. Arabella is also experienced in the area of estate administration, encompassing applications for probate and letters of administration and collection and distribution of estate assets. Arabella is the secretary of the Far North Queensland Law Association (FNQLA) and a committee member of the Queensland Law Society (QLS) Early Career Lawyers Committee. Furthermore, she is currently undertaking her Masters of Applied Law (Wills & Estates) at the College of Law.
Michelle Champion graduated from Central Queensland University with a Bachelor of Accounting (2011) and is now a qualified Real Estate Agent at Marsh Property. Before venturing down the Real Estate path Michelle gained experience in Management Accounting and Compliance type roles at various companies within the Cairns Region and also including State & Local Government and not for profit organisations. Michelle has been involved in large scale projects including analysing, designing, building and implementing a fully integrated Accounting, Asset Management and Maintenance system. Michelle has also been responsible for the operations and compliance for a not for profit organisation involved in the remote communities of Queensland and Northern Territory. Whilst Michelle was in these roles she developed a passion for Real Estate and decided to change direction and become a Real Estate Agent.
Tim Cooke studied Industrial Design at University of Technology, Sydney (1993-1998), and graduated to found design agency PeowPeow. Not one to keep still, he opened a cafe, ‘Vender’ and then went on to open numerous hospitality and retail ventures for clients in Sydney and Melbourne. Tim founded his own brand, Luxe Espresso and opened a number of stores around Sydney before taking Australian coffee super-brand, ST Ali to London. Moving to Cairns in 2011, Tim has worked with a number of businesses to fine tune and restore profitability as well as being the Business Development Manager at Next Byte, Board Director at FNQ Heat, Design Director at The Business Booth and Director of Food and Beverage at Paradise Palms Country Club. Tim is currently Design Director at Tropic Group and specialises in design, business strategy and user experience.
Greg Jensen (Melbourne)
Greg Jensen has significant senior executive experience in the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. He has been involved in fundraising programs for many clients in the healthcare, medical research, service delivery, and social policy sectors and has a demonstrated capacity to identify the improvements required to deliver best practice fundraising and to coach fundraising staff to attain their best performance. Greg holds a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Communications, and a Master of Counselling with Distinction from the University of Western Sydney. Greg feels the arts are important to any community in defining its soul and identity. The work of JUTE is vital to the North Queensland community. JUTE deserves to be supported in its endeavours and Greg strives to do that through his association with the Board.
Saurav Kataria (Brisbane)
Saurav Kataria is a Senior Strategy Manager and evangelist with experience in top tier global consulting firms (Ernst & Young, PwC and Accenture). He is passionate about Business Development, Productivity Improvement, Innovation and Growth Strategy with specialisation in Design Thinking, Customer Experience & Engagement and Large Scale Business Transformations. Saurav is passionate about the role that Arts and Culture organisations play in the community, believing they bring us together. Saurav says he wants to be part of an organisation whose mission encompasses: ‘Not resting until all of the stories have been told, until there is no regional artist needing support and our audience and community need for stories is fully sated’.
Gillian Mailman is a proud Bidjara women and trailblazer who sets, rather than follows trends. This started at a young age where Gillian became the first Aboriginal female Electrician in Australia the first to represent Companies in the Telecommunications sector and the first to successfully establish a Company in the Telecommunications industry with her first start-up Company Fibre Optics NQ. An Aboriginal Entrepreneur driven by her passion for improving the lives of disadvantaged people through economic development and empowerment Gillian’s innovative approach has made her the leading business woman she is today with over 25 years’ experience in the Telecommunications Industry from Project Management to Design. Throughout her journey Gill has achieved significant success and overcome many personal challenges – including negative stereotypes as to what women and Indigenous-owned businesses represent. By constantly focusing on quality and being the strongest competitor in her field, Gill’s mantra remains “Indigenous businesses need to get our businesses to the level where race doesn’t matter”. Gill lives by this mantra every day by ensuring that all staff exceed customer expectations. Gill approaches every day with respect. Respect for People, Respect for Land and Respect for Profit. As a woman, Aboriginal Australian and successful entrepreneur, Gill’s legacy will be that of setting trends, busting myths and breaking ground for those who choose to follow.
Founding Member and Artistic Director & Chief Executive Officer of JUTE Theatre Company. Suellen was one of the key players in gaining $2.7m in capital works funding from State Government to build JUTE a home and was integrally involved in the design and development of the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Cairns.
Suellen has served on many boards including the Theatre Board of the Australia Council and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Suellen is currently on the board of Diversity Arts Australia and the Queensland Chamber of Arts & Culture and their Regional Arts Working Group. Suellen is a cultural leader, particularly in the regional theatre sector and is committed to the growth of high quality professional theatre practice in the regions.
Karyn Weller is a social worker with over twenty years experience in mental health, rural and remote and early intervention with families in both the provision of community and government service management and delivery. She works in private consultancy in areas of workforce development and supervision. She is passionate about policies, programs and practices that support community wellbeing and has supported the development and implementation of arts health projects and submissions.