Staff and Board

Meet the exceptional humans who make Vulcana happen!

Vulcana Staff

Celia White - Artistic Director

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Celia is the Artistic Director of Vulcana. She has worked for over 30 years as a performer, maker and director of contemporary circus and performance, exploring the potential of meaning originating from the body and visual languages, from circus, dance, the visual arts and other inspirations. Her feminism informs all her work. She is passionate about getting people passionate about and involved in making performance that changes our view of some small corner of the world or each other or the act of performance.

She needs to remember to drink more water when running from the office to the workshop floor and back. She wishes she had more time for dancing.

Jo Pratt - General Manager

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Jo is the General Manager of Vulcana and loves to fill her time facilitating the governance, strategic and operational viability aspects of the organisation. Jo has around ten years in the arts sector in senior management roles, most recently as the CEO / Artistic Director of the Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre. In her spare time she loves working with musicians on their career planning and business development and also manages a couple of bands.

Passionate about travel and food, Jo is currently also learning to hula hoop!

Angela Willock - BUsiness DEVELOPMEnT MANAGER

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Angela is the Business Development Manager and takes care of all this marketing and business development. Her background is in youth work and workshop facilitation so you may be unsure how she arrived in circus. The answer to this is simple. Whenever Angela sees an opportunity in life and she is unsure if it is the right one, she asks, what would 5 year old Angela do?

Angela is also a performance poet and co-directs Ruckus Slam, a company that produces slam and live art events across Brisbane and Melbourne. And in case you are wondering, 5 year old Angela thinks grown up Angela is pretty great.

Yonna Simon - TRAINING SCHOOL CO-ORDINATOR

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Yonna looks after all things workshop at Vulcana, including Vulcademy, Kids & Teens and our See Saw program. When she isn't in the office, she's working as a kids circus trainer in both our Vulcana Kids program, and on community outreach projects. Her favouritate circus skill is Acrobalance.

During school holidays Yonna heads off to Sydney and Melbourne where she's studying to be a Feldenkrais Practitioner- and is learning more fluidity in her movement. If you don't know what Feldenkrais is - basically she rolls around on the ground. And one day - she hopes to get you to roll around on the ground too.

Trainers

Vulcana is super proud to have an amazing bunch of trainers who teach on our workshop program, deliver our community work and perform at Vulcana events. Our trainers are incredibly skilled not only in circus, but also in their teaching and training techniques. Our trainers perform and teach all over the world ... but we love it best when they're in Brisbane!

Meet our trainers!

Vulcana Board

KATHERINE QUIGLEY - Chair

Katherine is the CEO and Artistic Director of Backbone Youth Arts and an active member of the Queensland Chamber of Arts and Culture and national youth arts steering committee.  A scholarship recipient and graduate of NIDA's inaugural cohort, Masters of Fine Arts in Cultural Leadership, Katherine specialises in producing collaborative, experimental multi-arts and cultural experiences.

Her career spans 15 years as a producer of multi-arts festivals, events, exhibitions, theatre and circus working for; Maerz Muzik Berlin, Queensland Music Festival, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, State Library of Queensland, Artworkers Alliance, The Danger Ensemble, Company 2, Flipside Circus, Youth Arts Queensland, Straight Out of Brisbane (SOOB), Contact Inc, Black Drum Productions, Vibewire Hub, Backbone’s 2high Festival, Lucks, Lightbox Studio and Artslink. She has produced works for Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane Festival, La Boite Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Fringe, Metro Arts, Theater Basel and Hebbel Theatre (Berlin) and has worked with artists in Australia, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Her final subject at NIDA was an International Placement (1 month) at the Battersea Arts Centre, where she observed and researched the company’s resilience model with reflection towards their programming for children and young people.

In addition to her studies at NIDA she has completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries with subjects in Drama, Film and Music and a Graduate Certificate in Accounting (partial completion) at the Queensland University of Technology.  Katherine is also a peer assessor for Arts Queensland and the Australia Council.

Kate (Kati) Murphy - Vice Chair

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Kati is a long-term Vulcanista who ran away with us way back in 2002, through the only avenue available to someone quite so initially uncoordinated, clowning, and she has never looked back – even developing some physical circus skills along the way! Despite this she takes her circus very seriously and is passionate about the power of circus in transforming lives. In the last 17 years she has been a keen student, performer, volunteer and eventually member of the Board, learning the ropes through Vulcana as the organisation itself has grown. 

Over this time Kati has participated in three community shows (Home Fictions 2003, Sling-backs High Heels and Sensible Shoes 2008, As If No-one Is Watching 2018-19) and three mentorships (Physicalisms 2004, Topographies 2006, the Stuff Project 2019). Other arts sector experience includes a seven-week season of character work with Santaland in the Brisbane City Myer Centre three years running (2005, 2006, 2007) and volunteer work backstage and front of house for various other arts companies and shows.

As a person living with Bipolar Disorder, Kati is a strong advocate for disability and particularly mental health - going back to her first committee experiences sitting on Boards at QUT, as the undergraduate student rep for the Law Faculty’s Teaching and Learning Committee (2003) and Academic Appeals Committee (2004) - whilst studying a Justice Studies degree majoring in Critical Criminology. During this time Kati also worked on a small project as a research assistant to the Head of the Law Faculty at QUT (2005).

More recently, Kati has decided to get up close and personal with the business end of Sporting and Recreation, and has also joined the Brisbane and Districts Eight Ball Association Board as Secretary this year.

After her wealth of experience with Vulcana Circus, Kati is extremely proud to be taking up the position of Vice Chair in 2019 and is looking forward to learning from the other bright and amazing individuals on the Board and Staff

Sally Walker - Secretary

Sally discovered circus and Vulcana in 2003 and immediately felt like she had found her people. Since then she has been involved in two community shows at The Brisbane Powerhouse, performed with the Vulcana Ensemble at the Mullum Circus Festival and attended countless classes. Sally has also trained with circuses in London, including the National Centre for Circus Arts, My Aerial Home and AirCraft Circus.

Sally joins the Vulcana board with a background in Media. Since graduating from QUT with a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) im 2001, she has worked for media owners, agencies and consultancies in both Australia and the UK.

Sally is excited to get involved behind the scenes with one of Brisbane’s most vibrant and creative arts organisations.

Brooke Sinclair - Treasurer

A CPA qualified accountant with a background in taxation, financial accounting and the not-for-profit sector, Brooke has worked closely with artists and arts workers for over 16 years. Brooke is a committed professional with a keen interest in arts, especially local arts and culture, and a lifetime commitment to ethics in financial practices.

In addition to teaching accounting at TAFE and university, Brooke has served on committees for the arts, cultural programs, educational programs, and sport and recreation committees. She continues to build on her specialist expertise in information analysis, data visualization and compliance, and is keenly interested to support and empower not-for-profit organisations to achieve stability and growth.

Nadia Jade - Member

Nadia Jade is a circus producer and arts promoter. She is the Artistic Director of the eclectic underground performing arts company Moment of Inertia Productions, and is the force behind the alt-arts website, Nothing Ever Happens in Brisbane. She is a sideshow performer, hula-hooper and aerialist, who likes to get on stage when she has a chance in her busy schedule. She is one of the core team at circus production house Cluster Arts and is passionate about supporting artists to achieve their wildest ambitions. She also works for WOW Australia helping to bring together the leading festival in the southern hemisphere for gender equality advocacy.

Nadia’s career began with theatre and street performance training, before a gift for practical systems development saw her focus shift to entertainment, events and venue management. She has lived in Brisbane, Melbourne and Glasgow, Scotland, and during this time has worked in a plethora of spaces including large-scale music venues, stadiums, fine dining restaurants, fast paced cafes and bars, and alternative culture venues and festivals. She has worked as a music booking agent and promoter, and as an international radio DJ.

Upon her return to Australia in 2011, she obtained a dual degree in Arts & Communications, and is currently undergoing professional development in philanthropy, grant-writing and media training.

Shona McKenzie - Member

Shona has been a member of the Vulcana community since 2013 after working on the Small Change Project as part of a collaboration between and W&W dance group. This experience opened Shona's eyes to the wonders of circus and she immediately began classes. Commencing circus much later in life than most  presented a number of issues for Shona however the supportive and non judgemental culture of Vulcana helped tremendously and she continues to participle in classes and perform.  Shona supplements her circus training with martial arts coaching, training and dance.
Shona brings to the Vulcana board a keen interest in encouraging older women to try circus as a means of maintaining physical fitness as well as the social interaction associated with circus both of which are  key components in the healthy ageing process. Shona has background in health working for many years  as a registered nurse and later as a nurse practitioner focusing on assisting people to improve their health and maintain independence in  the community.  Shona has recently retired and is excited to be involved with the board as Vulcana continues to grow into the future.

Bena Brown - Member

Bena is a mum to two boys, a speech pathologist and cancer researcher, and an active member of Vulcana Women’s Circus for the past three and a half years. She appreciates the long-standing role Vulcana has played in the lives of many. Personally, she has benefited from the wealth of support, acceptance and acknowledgement of the Vulcana community during an emotionally challenging time. Vulcana lifted her up, gave her strength to be, and Bena loves gifting this experience to as many others as possible through her participation in classes, amateur performances, and an inspired audience member. Bena has seen and experienced the wide reach Vulcana has; connecting with children, youth, the elderly, the disadvantaged, the under-represented. She values the diversity, strength, courage and voice of the Vulcana community and admires and holds dear similar values.

I am excited to serve on the Vulcana Board to achieve its vision in the long-term, in providing a supportive space and opportunities for women, trans and non-binary genders, youth and children and communities to explore, create, develop and express transformation, to challenge societal norms, and to champion diversity through the physical creation of circus arts. I live and breathe the feminist principles espoused by Vulcana, and dream of a world that my sons will inherit where inclusion, equality, and celebration of difference (background, gender, sexuality, culture, ability) is the rule, not the exception.