Ambassador and Artist in Residence
Brenden Borellini has been an inclusive arts advocate and creator with Crossroad Arts for 8 years. He has worked across various projects as an actor, workshop facilitator, photographer and researcher. As Crossroad Arts’ Ambassador and Artist in Residence, he has also travelled to Japan and the United States where he exhibited his 2D and 3D photographic works. Furthermore, Brenden collaborated in the creation of a film called When Brenden met Hiroe, which was shortlisted at the SuperFest International Film Festival in San Francisco.
Brenden was born profoundly deaf and totally blind, and has had to overcome many difficulties throughout his life. He successfully pursued his education at the Special Education Unit for the visually impaired students at Cavendish Road High school in Brisbane and went on to become the first deafblind student to integrate into the community. He then studied Sociology at the University of Queensland. Brenden received the prestigious ‘Young Australian of the Year Award’ for his incredible achievements.
Brenden hopes to pursue his talents by continuing his artistic and cultural endeavours in collaboration with the community. He believes everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves through the arts and share their stories with the world. He says he has been afforded many opportunities by opening up his artistic works to the world, and believes everyone is able to learn about the value of artistic and cultural purposes.
You can read more about Brenden’s latest exhibition and artistic works here.
Artistic Director and CEO
Alison brings to Crossroad Arts over 15 years of experience in the inclusive arts, theatre and disability sector. She has held positions at NSW peak bodies for arts and disability, including: Accessible Arts, Creative Director for Beyond the Square, Access and Inclusion Coordinator for Vivid Sydney and Sydney New Years’ Eve. She has also worked extensively as a theatre director and tutor for community theatre companies, including Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Shopfront Theatre, PACT, Milkcrate Theatre and the Australian Theatre for Young People.
Alison highly values the training and development of artists with disability and was the founding director and co-collaborator of RUCKUS, a contemporary performance ensemble in Sydney consisting of 6 performers who also happen to have Down syndrome. Her ground-breaking collaborative work and dedication to inclusive community arts led her to be awarded with the Australian Council for the Arts Young Leaders Award in 2007. In 2015, she was awarded the Churchill Fellowship, which enabled her to research disability-led theatre practices and inclusive training programs across Europe and the UK. Alison is the current Artistic Director/CEO of Crossroad Arts and is motivated by using her experience to build and engage the community in inclusive arts and cultural events and programs. She is passionate about raising the profile of the company, uncovering local stories and creating genuine opportunities for the regional voice to be heard.
Autumn is an experienced inclusive arts practitioner driven by inclusive arts engagement and development, ZINES, cultural events coordination, youth arts leadership, mentoring, visual arts and performance.
Since 2006 Autumn has worked with Crossroad Arts periodically as a performer, artist, arts worker, administrator and as a member of the Management Committee. During this time, Autumn has closely worked on co-producing, facilitating workshops, creative developments, and collaborated with artists from the community to tell their own stories, directed and devised original work across music, film, visual arts and performance mediums. Autumn has also founded several artist collectives, coordinated festivals, exhibited works and performed as a musician outside of her work with Crossroad Arts.
Working from a grassroots perspective, Autumn has gained first-hand skills in funding applications, administrative management and likewise has a strong knowledge of the cultural memory and value of Crossroad Arts.
Autumn was awarded a scholarship through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and completed a Diploma of Business (Governance) and was recently selected to be part of Australia Council for the Arts’ Future Leaders Program that assists with the development of emerging and high potential arts leaders.
Lesa was born and bred in Mackay and only has ventured out of the region for a short stint of 10 months to live in Sydney where she experienced her young son’s premiere professional stage performances in Matilda the Musical. Her experience in the arts started when her daughter started to learn dance at the age of three some 17 years ago, with her two brothers following in her footsteps and branching into all genres of dance, drama and music theatre. Currently, all three children are performers or creators of the Arts and obviously, she is their biggest fan! She has been and continues to be involved in theatre and dance using her hobbies to provide costuming and props.
Lesa’s administrative and finance experience spans over some 35 or so years in Mackay with many different industries and cultures. During this time, she has gained a very broad range of skills and expertise which she brings to Crossroad Arts, however, she has enhanced those areas further since joining the Company. She is looking forward to growing and expanding her knowledge in inclusive arts practice going forward, in particular marketing, promotions and funding and grant applications.
Artist in Residence Support
Mathew has a longstanding passion for the arts and has been working in the sector for 18 months now. He is an artist support, event organiser and workshop facilitator based in Mackay, Queensland where he has lived for over 20 years. He learnt his skills via volunteering for Mackay Conservation Group, other environmental and political groups in Mackay and the Whitsundays. Mathew’s artistic experience has developed through his voluntary and paid roles with Crossroad Arts and more recently by partnering with Art Battle International and self producing live competitive painting shows.
Mathew believes that art can change the world, particularly people’s perceptions of minority groups and the fear and misunderstanding that is often beset them. He is committed to making art that matters and to keep producing shows in regional Queensland.