Our Team

Advocating for Dance in Queensland

Find out more about the Ausdance QLD team and Management Committee

Kate Usher

Executive Director

Kate is a Brisbane based Producer. Kate graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 2008 with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Dance), a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration in 2009 and a Masters in Creative Production and Arts Management in 2011, where her thesis ‘The Business of Dance: Identifying the Skills and Knowledge for becoming a Self Producer’ was awarded the grade of High Distinction.

Kate’s most recent position was with Metro Arts as their Associate Producer working across all art forms in contemporary performance. Prior to this Kate worked at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in the Arts Programming team, where she worked on numerous projects such as: in-theatre performance, commercial projects, large scale events and bespoke festivals.

With her freelance producing practice, Kate has also worked for Woodford Folk Festival, La Boite Theatre Company, Brisbane City Council and Artslink. Kate is a keen advocate for Independent Dance and was a member of the Ausdance Queensland management committee 2010 – 2016.

Dr. Anja Ali-Haapala

Dance Development Consultant

Anja is an audience researcher and dance practitioner. Central to Anja’s audience research work is listening and giving agency to the audience voice, and positioning audiences as authorities of their own theatrical experiences.

Through her audience research projects, Anja has worked closely with The Australian Ballet (Melbourne), Sydney Dance Company, Expressions Dance Company (Brisbane), and Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane, and has presented and published her findings internationally.

Anja’s dance practice crossing making, performing and teaching across stage, street theatre and film projects in community, school, tertiary and professional settings.

Anja is also the co-chair of the Early Career Researchers Community – Dance, an international network for emerging dance researchers to develop networks and skills.

In 2016, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) awarded her a PhD on the topic of spectator-dancer relationships during open rehearsals. Anja also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with First Class Honours (2011, QUT). www.ali-haapala.com.au

Ashleigh Musk

Program Producer

Ashleigh is a Brisbane-based dancer, creator and producer. After graduating from the Queensland University of Technology (Australia) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance Performance) in 2012, Ashleigh moved overseas where she completed a Postgraduate Diploma of Contemporary Dance at the University of Kent / Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds, UK) in 2013 and a Postgraduate in Production and Cultural Event Management at the University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) in 2016.

Alongside her work in producing and arts management, Ashleigh has also worked with various international companies and choreographers. She has choreographed for and performed in festivals throughout the world, including the Guandong Modern Dance Festival (China, 2011), 2High Arts Festival (Australia, 2011), Sismógraf (Spain, 2016), Swallowsfeet (UK, 2016) and Ripollesdansa (Spain,
2017).

For the past five years, Ashleigh co-founded and implemented a cultural project in Figueres, Spain, using dance as the main art form but which also expanded into other disciplines including circus, music, theatre and installations/digital art. The project, AGITART, involved various lines of work: an annual international festival, educational and audience engagement projects, a touring dance company, programming for the city theatre and collaborations with various cultural key stakeholders in Spain.

Stephanie Pokoj

Adminstration and Communications Officer

Stephanie completed a Graduate Diploma in Creative Industries in 2017 majoring in advertising and communications in the arts (QUT), as well as holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Dance Performance graduating in 2004 (QUT). 2017 saw Stephanie expand her practice into arts marketing putting her skills in graphic design, film editing and website design and management into effect working closely with the Independent Arts sector and freelance commercial contracts.

In 2017 she joined Supercell:Fesitval of Contemporary Dance as the Marketing and Development Coordinator.

In addition to her new endeavors in Arts Marketing,
Stephanie keep close to creativity and contemporary dance maintaining a practice as a Brisbane dancer and choreographer. Over the last 15 years Stephanie has worked and trained in Australia and UK focusing on the intersection between dance, theatre and installation works. Most recently Stephanie was part of Supercell 2017 as a dancer performing in “They Gather” choreographed by Bridget Fiske & Joseph Lau, as well as being able to present her work “Unconsciously Done” as part of the INDEX program. She has also performed and choreographed for Bleach* Festival, Outcast Performing Arts, Lucid Dance Company and other independent artists.

Management Committee

The Ausdance Queensland management committee members meet up every six weeks. They are responsible for the governance of Ausdance Queensland.

Renee Place

Chair

Renee is an Arts Advocate, Dance Educator and Dance Educational Consultant.

Damien Cassidy

Vice-Chair

Damien is a Producer for Brisbane Festival.

Lynne Masters

Treasurer

Lynne is the Head of Finance at Queensland Ballet.

Lisa McCready

Secretary

Lisa is the Deputy General Manager at Circa Contemporary Circus.

Clarissa Rayward

Ordinary Member

Clarissa is the Director of Brisbane Family Law Centre.

Gail Hewton

Ordinary Member

Gail is a passionate Community Dance Artist working with older people.

Dr. Jordin Steele

Ordinary Member

Jordin works in arts and cultural strategy and policy design for Brisbane City Council.

Julie Chenery

Ordinary Member

Juile is an educator, counsellor and long term dance-o-phile. Motivated by creating options and opportunities to help people thrive.

Madalaine Nixon

Ordinary Member

Maddie is a Brisbane based writer, dramaturg and production stage manager.

Meg Cooper

Ordinary Member

Meg is the founded of Mad Dance House.