Small Change – Performer Bios

Photograph: Racheal Missingham,

Racheal

Racheal is a Policy Officer in Queensland Public Services and she has a strong understanding of policy and planning development to provide high-end strategic advice to meet the overall delivery of the project.

She has discovered a love for exploring and expression through acrobatics, aerial dancing and performing.  She also has been training at Vulcana Women’s Circus since 2011 and have been involved in two performance projects with Vulcana. Being in a supportive and encouraging environment, a world of opportunities opened up.

“I just have to believe I can do it!!”

She has had a short but noteworthy professional career which underscores her professional ambitions both in the field of policy development and in helping the broader community.

 

 

Photograph: Lara CroydonLara

Lara is a Gudjala Kabulba woman from North Queensland. Most children dream of being doctors and astronauts but Lara always wanted to be a circus performer.

She has been climbing trees and balancing on horse yard rails since she was young girl in her dusty hometown of Kilkivan and has been blessed to train with Vulcana Women's Circus for the past two years.

She has a degree in Fine Arts (Drama) and has worked with companies such as Queensland Theatre Company and Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

She currently works as Community Program Officer at kuril dhagun at the State Library of Queensland and is invested in creating fun, engaging and educational programs for the local Indigenous community.

 

 

 

Photograph: Anni WebsterAnni

Anni has been a health worker, educator and academic for over forty years. Her research explored how people draw meaning from their work, especially women working in the social services sector.

She is now a freelance writer, facilitator and researcher, who continues to value, and always will, her experience of being a mother.

 

My experience with Small Change

Being involved in the Small Change project has been an absolute joy for me and I think I speak on behalf of my friends in MADE. As older women, it’s been fabulous working with younger women to share and learn from each other through our stories of work.

 

Dancing with the MADE group over the past few years opened my eyes about what is possible for older women, and working with Vulcana has taken this awareness further. As an academic, I’m used to discussing ideas, so it’s been fascinating to watch – and be part of   the transformation of ideas into performance.

 

My experience of work

My generation was the first for whom a career and a family was the norm rather than the exception. ‘We had it all’ as the saying goes but it was a real balancing act. We tried to do our best as workers and mothers, but often lost ourselves along the way.  I’ve always been a working mother, at times been the main bread winner and was a single mother for a period. I know firsthand the double shift of work and home that is a daily reality for many women.

I’m passionate about supporting younger women, especially working mothers who nurture the next generation while contributing their skills to the workplaces. I’m hoping that we as a society can do a better job of supporting working mothers, that we can reshape work in more humane, family-friendly ways that are better for men as well as women. Our society needs more women leaders and hopefully many of them can also be mothers as well if they choose to be.

I’m keen to encourage older women, no longer working full time, to draw on their lifetime of skills and experience to continue to contribute to positive changes in society. We have  a lot to give – and a lot to gain by doing so.

 

Natalie 3Natalie

I grew up in a country obsessed with 'race'. Growing up, I often had to tick the box marked 'others', and even as a child, I knew this wasn't right. Then when I moved to Australia to pursue a Masters in Drama and Performance Studies a few years ago, people would say to me, 'You speak English really well!' (haha).

I've always found energy working in collaborative environments, whether it's in theatre or in education. Since being in Australia, I've done a few different jobs - teaching ESL, giving private tuition after school, tutoring at the GUMURRII Student Support Unit at my university, and working as a disability support worker. But all of them involved constantly interacting with people, and that's what I love best.

I'm currently writing my PhD on Vulcana and their outreach work, examining the convergences between applied performance, feminist theatre, and disability.

I first fell in love with Vulcana Women's Circus back in 2011, when I did their Circus Essentials Class - it was supportive and empowering.

I've learnt that Vulcana is a space that embraces and celebrates diversity, without judgement. It's where I can explore the possibilities of what my body can do. And I'm still exploring.

 

 

Photo: BevBev

Beverley is a Nurse Consultant and Educator, specialising in the Art and Skill of Caring for People Affected by Dementia.

Beverley’s approach to ageing and dementia promotes potential before problems. She is passionate about the value of creative engagement to delay the onset of ageing and to prevent or delay the onset of dementia.

Currently she is working with Alzheimer’s Australia to provide people living with dementia with opportunities to engage socially with others in the joy of creative dance, no specific steps, no wrong way to move, just their way.

Come Dance with Me, has sponsored new friendships, self-confidence, visible achievements and countless occasions of life sustaining joy. Beverley is committed to keeping the project going, whatever it takes.

 

 

 

 

Photo: ShannonShannon

By day, Shannon is a Research Assistant who helps look into the psychological processes that can influence the criminal justice system. Although she works across a number of projects, as a vocal feminist, her passion lies in investigating the impact that stereotypes about gender and sexuality have on juror decision making in cases of sexual assault and domestic violence.

By night (and on weekends), you can find Shannon (sometimes dressed as Batman) swinging from the ceiling on a tissu, and most recently, her aerial chain - yeah, you read that correctly - chain - as in cold, hard, unrelenting, metal chain!

After finding her way to Vulcana in 2011, she hasn't looked back and continues to develop her love for all things circus, performing and character play!

 

 

 

 

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