Patrons

Jonathan Coleman OAM

Founding Patron

Jonathan Coleman (Jono) has worked as a writer and presenter on Australian and UK television and radio since 1980. His broadcasting career began on children’s TV show Simon Townsend’s Wonder World, and continued with stints on public and commercial programmes such as Triple J, Saturday Morning Live and then on British television and radio, particularly on breakfast shows. Jono now presents news and entertainment reports daily in the show Studio 10 on the Ten Network with Ita Buttrose and Jessica Rowe, and on radio stations including radio 99.3 FM and 2GB. He also has regular guest spots on UK radio and TV various networks such as BBC London and ITV London. In addition, he has written for Punch magazine, British newspapers and comedy shows.

David Williamson AO

Patron

David Williamson is recognised as Australia’s most successful playwright. Over 40 years, his work has ranged across theatre, film and television, seen in Australia, Britain, the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. After his successful play The Coming of Stork premiered in 1970, others have included The Removalists, What If You Died Tomorrow?, The Department and Travelling North. In 2014 a record of eight of his plays were professionally produced in Sydney alone. His plays have won numerous Australian and overseas awards, including the coveted George Devine Award for The Removalists. Many of David Williamson’s stage works have also been adapted for the screen, including Don’s Party, The Club, Travelling North and Sanctuary. He has won the Australian Film Institute film script award five times, and twelve Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE Awards. His screenplay for On the Beachwas nominated for the US Golden Globe awards. Many of Williamson’s plays were performed at Marian Street Theatre in the 1990s, and he is delighted to be a patron of the movement to re-open the theatre.

Committee

Our committee consists of experienced fundraisers, performing art professionals and concerned members of the community. They are committed to working together with Council, artists and the community to see Marian Street Theatre open again.

John Townend AM

John Townend AM

Chair

John Townend AM, Emeritus FFIA, was a film, video and television director working with clients including advertising agencies, corporates and not for profits, locally, nationally and globally. For more than 25 years John was a certified fund-raising executive assisting many not for profit groups raise millions of dollars, including becoming chairman of a number of national and international diabetes organisations and the state and national Fundraising Institute.

Jessica Blaxland Ashby

Jessica Blaxland Ashby

Secretary

Jessica Blaxland Ashby is an arts professional working as co-producer for Blaxland and Daughter and Business Manager for Marian Street Theatre for Young People. She has a long history with Marian Street Theatre, through her mother and grandmother, and through beginning her work in theatre there at the age of 10. She is currently secretary of the Save Marian Street Theatre Committee.

Luke Playoust

Luke Playoust

Committee Member - Architect

Luke Playoust is an architect with specialised expertise in all types of residential projects involving master planning and design. He has worked on projects ranging from heritage sensitive projects, renovations and restorations, to commercial fit out work and space planning.

Indu Balachandran

Indu Balachandran

Committee Member

Indu Balachandran is the General Manager of Enterprises at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE). Indu has worked in enterprise development in the creative and social sectors for 15 years. Her work in the Indigenous sector was recognised by the UTS Human Rights Award for Reconciliation.  A keen contributor to cultural development in the South Asian diaspora, her film exploring gender and music, “Her Inner Song”, enjoyed national acclaim and prompted new dialogue in the community. Indu is a musician in the Indian Carnatic tradition, teaching and performing vocal music and the veena (a stringed instrument).

Harry Loughnan

Harry Loughnan

Treasurer

Harry Loughnan lives Marian St Killara and has been on the Save Culworth Avenue Car Park Committee for a number of years. He has recently retired from Qantas where he worked for over 40 years as a training captain on various aircraft. He has been involved in mentoring and crew resource management.

Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson

Committee Member

Michael Richardson is a former newspaper journalist, magazine publisher and editor and the author of several books on self-sufficiency and the environment.  He was first elected as State Member for The Hills and Castle Hill in 1993 and during an 18-year career served as Shadow Minister for Housing, Corrective Services and The Environment. He now lives in Killara.

Marianne Kopeinig

Marianne Kopeinig

Committee Member

Marianne has over 20 years experience as a private practitioner and corporate counsel for private and ASX listed companies and broad industry experience in commercial, corporate governance, risk management and compliance functions.

Professor Di Yerbury AO

Professor Di Yerbury AO

Committee Member

Professor Emerita Dianne Yerbury AO is an Australian academic and university administrator. She was the Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, from 1987 to 2005 and Australia’s first female Vice-Chancellor. In 1987 she was also made Professor Emerita at the University of New South Wales. She was named the 2002 Telstra New South Wales Business Woman of the Year.

Wendy Blaxland

Wendy Blaxland

Committee Member

Wendy Blaxland has worked as an academic, teacher, writer and theatre professional. As well as publishing over 100 books mainly for children, she has written an unpublished history of Marian Street Theatre, is a long-term committee member of the Marian Street for Young People Board, and is a playwright and co-producer with Blaxland and Daughter Productions.

James Southwell

James Southwell

James Southwell is an actor and former student of Marian Street Theatre for Young People. In 2012 he came second in NSW in HSC drama, and in 2016 graduated with a distinction in a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theatre and Performance Studies from UNSW. His next production will see him touring schools in NSW, QLD and ACT with Bard on the Beach doing Romeo and Juliet.