Carly Findlay is an award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist. She is Access and Inclusion Coordinator at Melbourne Fringe – educating artists to make their shows more accessible and working with disabled and Deaf people put on shows and attend the Festival. Her first book, a memoir called Say Hello, was released in January 2019. She is also working on editing Growing Up Disabled in Australia with Black Inc Books. She writes on disability and appearance diversity issues for news outlets including the ABC, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and SBS. She was named as one of Australia’s most influential women in the 2014 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She has appeared on ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask That and Cyberhate with Tara Moss, and has been a regular on various ABC radio programs. She has spoken at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the University of Western England and Melbourne University – to name a few. She organised the history-making Access to Fashion – a Melbourne Fashion Week event featuring disabled models. She has a Masters of Communication and Bachelor of eCommerce. Carly identifies as a proud disabled woman – she lives with a rare, severe skin condition, ichthyosis. She also co-hosts a funny podcast called Refreshments Provided that could do with a few more listeners.
Sarah is a cabaret artist, actor and writer. Creator of cabaret character Yana Alana and Queen Kong, Sarah was awarded a Helpmann and along with her creative team have 11 Green Room Awards, the Adelaide Fringe Award and the Melbourne Fringe Award for cabaret. Sarah’s passion is in the creation of subversive, political work that challenges gender stereotypes and the status quo through her larger than life stage creations. Outside of her own work Sarah was MC for Circus OZ and has worked with La Soiree, Finucane and Smith, Retro-Futuristmas, Yummy, Arena Theatre Company, Melbourne Works Theatre and The Women’s Circus. Sarah was co-creator of cult hip-hop cabaret act, Sista She, which was popular in the early 2000s for creating feminist, queer, hip-hop shows. Sarah is a columnist for the Australia Education Union magazine.
Bec is a percussionist, drummer, performer, teacher, musical director, composer, sound designer and noisemaker. She is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts where she studied orchestral percussion. Bec toured as a permanent member of the Circus Oz ensemble from 2010 to 2014, Swinging in the air from Arnhem Land to New York. Bec is co-creator of the multi award-winning act Yana Alana and Tha Paranas and has worked with the MTC ‘Peddling’, Women’s Circus, Melbourne Workers Theatre, Musica Viva, VCA, George Dreyfus, Anya Anastasia and Reuben Kaye. Bec was the sound designer for The Funatorium’s circus cabaret ‘Capatin Hook’s Pirate Party’ at the Sydney Opera House and was sound designer for The Flying Fruit Fly Circus’ award winning production ‘Junk’. Bec is currently Musical Director, Sound Designer and Access Coordinator for Queen Kong and the HOMOsapiens.
Emma J Hawkins
Emma is more than a triple threat performer, a little outside of the box, with a bag of tricks bigger than herself. Performing since the tender age of 10, her first memory of being onstage was chasing a boy with a frying pan! Since then she has performed across Australia in many events, festivals and productions, from Shakespeare to Burlesque and all things in between. She has won over the hearts of children in Big Bad Wolf as Heidi Hood, which toured internationally. She featured in the Malthouse play The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man. She has been nominated for a Green Room award for her role as Fleck in Love Never Dies and as a dancer in White Day Dream (Weave Theatre Movement). She has even run away with the circus as a tap dancing, stilt walking acrobat (CircusOz). Emma has produced her own award winning productions, including her one-woman show I am not a Unicorn! Emma has been a keen advocate for fair representation for artists with a disability in Australian theatre, film and tv, a member of the newly formed Performers with Disability Committee through equity. A proud member of the Equity Diversity Committee, which actively promotes the many faces of performers in Australia and currently the secretary of the People with Disability committee as part of MEAA. She recently completed her studies in Advanced Diploma in Accounting and runs her own bookkeeping business ‘Small Fortunes’. She is also the ongoing bookkeeper for the Women’s Circus. Currently the Treasurer of the Victorian Actors Benevolent Trust, a charity that has been providing emergency financial assistance to those in the entertainment industry who, through poor health or ill fortune, find themselves with nowhere else to turn. She is a self confessed chocolate, coffee and murder mystery afficianado.