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YUM CHAT SPEAKERS

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ANDREA MARIA LAM (DREA)
Andrea is founder of Dance Masala, the Bollywood (and Beyoncé) Dance Company. Dance Masala’s vision is to respectfully and authentically pay homage to Indian culture through excelling in Bollywood dance. Their mission is to create inspiring fusion, while actively engaging in classical roots of Bollywood and the influence of regional specific folk-dance. In pursuing this vision, Drea has trained in many forms of Indian and non-Indian dance. Also, Dance Masala runs Beyoncé classes…. It makes sense. Andrea is a mix of Macanese (Portuguese / Indian / Chinese) and Hong Kong Chinese.
Photograph by Man Cheung

ANNA C Y CHAN 
Anna is a practicing administrator, producer, curator and arts educator. She is now the Head of Artistic Development (Dance) of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. A former professional dancer, Anna continues her artistic contribution as producer and has strong interested in supporting innovative work and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Currently she serves as Emeritus Chair of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance; Vice-President (East Asia) of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific (WDAAP); Dance Advisor of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

ANNETTE SHUN WAH
Annette has had an extensive career in television and radio as a presenter and producer, and a freelance career as an actor and published writer.  She currently holds creative roles in two theatre companies.  As Executive Producer she has developed Performance 4a into the leading producer of contemporary Asian Australian performance, and in 2015 she was appointed to the Directorate of the National Theatre of Parramatta.  Annette is fourth generation Chinese Australian.
Photograph by Brian Geach

ARUN KETSIRAT
Arriving from rural Thailand to Australia with limited English proficiency, Arun completed a degree in Fine Art and Filmmaking with the Sir Samuel Griffith Scholarship. Her first film, ‘My Name is Pornsuk’, tells the story of an artist’s search for identity in a new culture. Since then, highlights include shoots in the Indonesian archipelago, the foothills of Japan, the south of France and throughout Australia. Her current work explores female identities in a cross-cultural context.

ELYSHA REI
Elysha Rei is a visual artist who interested in exploring her cross-cultural experiences.  With a strong connection to her Japanese heritage, Rei’s work draws upon a strong Asian aesthetic, using imagery and patterns inspired by nature as well as self-portraiture.  With a family history of travelling and relocating, Rei’s arts practice has become a consistent approach to exploring her own sense of identity.   She continues to travel the world and create works in paper-cutting, drawing, paste-ups and installations.

ERIK KUONG
CREATIVE LINKS / POINT VIEW ART ASSOCIATION, MANAGING & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MACAU

DR INDIGO WILLING OAM
Indigo is a researcher and lecturer in sociology at Griffith University, and the co-founder of the Asian Australian Film Forum and Network.  Her research and community work focuses on experiences of migration, diversity, emerging community voices and youth cultures. She received a PhD in Sociology and a Medal in the Order of Australia for her work with transnational adoptees.

JAMIE LEWIS
Jamie creates and performs contemporary intercultural work. Leaning towards social practice, she facilitates meditations with audience members as co-creators on memory, place, and time, through autobiographical stories, conversation, and food. A graduate of LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne), Jamie is also interested in alternative economic models in her practice, seeking out barter trades and exchanges, and new platforms to create, curate, and present work.

JEREMY NEIDECK
Jeremy is a performance maker who has has worked between Australia and Korea for over a decade, specialising in transcultural art practices that span music, physical, and dance theatre. Jeremy has been awarded scholarships from Aphids and the Australia-Korea Foundation, and in 2013 was an Asialink Resident at The National Changgeuk Company of Korea as well as a recipient of the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Fellowship for Young and Emerging Artists. His transculturally collaborative performance works 지하 Underground and Deluge: 물의기억 have enjoyed multiple seasons in Brisbane and Seoul. Jeremy’s latest work is 심청 <Shimchong>: Daughter Overboard!, an adaptation of Oh Tae Suk’s reimagining of the traditional Korean tale of Shimchong that combines pansori, poetry, and political satire in a work of physical theatre and will premiere at WTF 2016.

JOON-YEE KWOK
Joon is a Creative Producer, Experience Designer and Arts Consultant with over 15 years’ experience producing events, festivals, and major celebrations, with particular expertise in creative place-making, and artist development programs. Joon is currently a Lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology and a consultant with the City of Gold Coast on a Multicultural Artist Development Strategy. She is also a Metro Arts Board member and convenes the Australian Bureau of Asian Creatives. Joon is second generation Chinese-Australian.

KATRINA IRAWATI GRAHAM
Katrina is an Indonesian-Australian who once longed to be a writer so she quit her job as a kindergarten teacher and wrote and directed a short film. It was nominated for Best New Female Filmmaker in Queensland so she wrote another one. It won the Cancer Council Daffodil Day Award and was picked up by Women in Film and TV as one of the top 20 women’s films in Australia. Katrina has been writing ever since.

LEISA SHELTON
Leisa is a performance artist and curator with a practice that foregrounds collaboration and an advocacy for new Australian transdisciplinary and intercultural practice. Recent projects have seen her as curator and presenting director of the 2015 eXchange, a program of cultural and practice exchange between artists and festivals in Melbourne and Taipei, Taiwan; and as co-curator for the Venice International Performance Art Week.

LI CUNXIN
Li Cunxin has had a long and diverse career as an internationally acclaimed dancer. He was appointed as Queensland Ballet’s fifth Artistic Director in July 2012.

At the age of eleven, Li was selected by Madame Mao’s cultural advisors to attend the Beijing Dance Academy. In 1979, he joined Houston Ballet as an exchange student and went on to achieve the rank of Principal in 1982.

Amongst many awards and accolades, Li won two silver and one bronze medal at three international ballet competitions, and two Princess Grace Awards.

He moved to Melbourne in 1995 with his wife, dancer Mary McKendry, to join The Australian Ballet as a Principal Artist. Li retired from dancing in 1999, at the age of 38, but maintained his strong ties to the ballet community.

Following his performing career, Li worked in the finance industry as a senior manager at Bell Potter, one of the largest stockbroking firms in Australia. Until his appointment as the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet, Li sat on the board of The Australian Ballet from 2005 and the Bionics Institute.

In 2003, Li published his international best-selling autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer, which has received numerous awards and was adapted as a feature film in 2009. Li was Queensland’s Australian of the Year 2014.

LUKE GEORGE
Award winning artist, Luke George is a choreographer and performer. George was raised in Tasmania and is based in Melbourne. George connects with artists and audiences locally and internationally/culturally through residencies, collaborations and performances. Luke makes his own performance work and collaborates on works with other artists and companies. George’s works have been presented widely in Australia and internationally in Paris, Marseille, Bergen, Sandnes, Hammerfest, Goningen, Tokyo, Yokohama, Beppu, Singapore, Portland and New York City.

MARIANNA SHEK
After a nine year stint as a pharmacist, Marianna decided to pursue her passion for the creative arts. Thus began an exciting journey as a ceramist, animator and now producer/writer. She is currently completing a PhD in transmedia writing at Griffith Film School, where she also teaches in the animation and games department. She blogs about creative arts practice and culture at www.theunreliablenarrator.com.au She also publishes picture books and novels for young readers at www.rockonkitty.com.au

MICHELLE LAW
Michelle Law is a Chinese-Australian writer whose work has appeared in Women of Letters, Growing up Asian in Australia, Destroying the Joint and many Australian literary journals. She is an AWGIE award-winning screenwriter whose films have screened internationally and on the ABC. In 2014 she co-authored the comedy book Sh*t Asian Mothers Say. Michelle is currently working on her first stage play with La Boite Theatre. www.michelle-law.com

NASIM KHOSRAVI
Nasim investigates the potential for cross-cultural fusion in the performing arts and possible ways for interactive theatre in her works. With the strong connection to her Iranian heritage, she is experimenting with modern techniques to achieve a dialogue between Iranian traditional theatrical elements and the contemporary world theatre. In this dialogue, the modern rereading, reconstruction and dramatisation of persian classical works of literature have had a significant place.

NELLE LEE
Since graduating from USQ, Nelle has worked with some of Queensland’s leading theatre companies including the Queensland Theatre Company, LaBoite and Strut n Fret. In 2006 she co-founded shake & stir theatre co. Today they are the most popular in-school’s touring company in Queensland, performing to more than 130,000 students across the State as well as a critically acclaimed Mainstage season which tours to theatres across the country. As a writer, Nelle has penned numerous school productions, co-adapted Dracula and George Orwell’s 1984 and wrote the Helpmann nominated Statespeare and the Matilda winning Tequila Mockingbird.

NGOC PHAN
Ngoc is an actor, teacher and first time playwright.  Since graduating from WAAPA she has worked extensively on stage, with companies such QTC, Canute Productions and Elbow Room.  TV and Film companies include Fremantle Media, Channel 10, Black Balloon Productions, New Holland and Toothless Pictures.  She’ll be making her debut performance in La Boite Theatre Company’s 2016 production of A Streetcar named Desire playing the role of Stella and has also been made one of their artist in residence.

RAMA THAHARANI
INDEPENDENT, ARTS PRODUCER, INDONESIA

SAMMIE WILLIAMS
Sammie is a Brisbane based dance artist and educator ranging in styles from contemporary to hip hop. Sammie’s recent performance credits include the short solo ‘Little Girl’ for Makeshift Dance Collective at Anywhere Theatre Festival, Motherboards’ production of Deluge and the Stance by Liesel Zink. Sammie was a guest artist and movement director with Hot Brown Honey Burlesque for Brisbane Festival 2015 and is currently working as a teacher in Loganlea whilst also creating a new work, supported through a residency at Metro Arts.

SANCINTYA SIMPSON
Sancintya is an artist and researcher who examines the complexities of racial, migratory and mixed-race experience within Australia. Her practice is informed by her heritage as a biracial First-Generation Australian of Indian-Anglo descent. To create dialogue on societies concealed prejudices her practice intertwines painting, photography, video and performance. The two main aspects of her practice are her use traditional mediums mixed with digital platforms and her radical alter-ego CHICHI MA$ALA. Simpson has a Bachelor of Photography with Honours from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University (2014).

SHARI INDRIANI
Shari is an Australian-Indonesian writer and artist. Her short plays have received professional public readings; Lola’s Gift (Playlab and La Boite Theatre Company), and The Knot (Queensland Theatre Company and Brisbane Writers Festival). Her latest play Squint Witch is currently under development through Playlab and Playwriting Australia.  Shari is presently the Producer of New Work and Development at Queensland Theatre Company.

YI-WEI KENG
TAIPEI ARTS FESTIVAL, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, TAIWAN