Andrew Gray - General Manager/Regional Arts Development Officer
Andrew has a diverse professional background working as a museum educator, exhibition curator and public program developer for national cultural institutions in Canberra. He has worked as a drama teacher and director for theatre companies and schools, and performed with Company Skylark as a puppeteer. Andrew is also a musician, writer and occassional visual artist.
Andrew has a long association with the South East region, starting in 1985 running drama classes for children and performing in numerous bands. Working with community artist extraordinaire, Oliver Sublette, Andrew helped establish the Candelo Arts Society, mount chaotic musical theatre productions and kick-off the Candelo music and variety nights. In the late 1980s, Andrew relocated to Canberra and started work at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA). A brief return to the Bega Valley in 1992 saw Andrew run drama and music classes for children and adults.
While back at the NFSA the following year, Andrew continued his interest in theatre, joining Company Skylark as a puppeteer and director, working on productions such as Charlotte’s Web and Pocket Size. In 1998, Andrew was part of the cast that presented the premier of Twinkle Twinkle Little Fish, a puppet theatre production celebrating the work of children’s author Eric Carle (of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame). The show opened at the Out of the Box children’s festival in Brisbane, and later toured the United States and Japan.
Throughout the 90s and early Naughties, Andrew continued his south east connection as artistic director of In Theatre in Bega. The company mounted a major production each year including memorable versions of Lysistrata, Under Milkwood, The Madwoman of Chaillot and Gormenghast. The company also presented original works including Hangin’ Out, Blossom Land and Season’s Cycle.
Somehow finding time to keep up his day job, Andrew began working in public programs at the NFSA and realised what he wanted to be when he grew up. Looking for exciting and innovative ways to engage visitors, Andrew initiated a range of theatrical presentations exploring Australia’s moving image and recorded sound history. He continued this approach as an education officer at Old Parliament House where he was best remembered for slipping into a very attractive safari suit to run Dismissal tours.
At the Australian War Memorial Andrew managed the development of a range of programs for students and general public visitors, including web-based resources such as the interactive site KidsHQ and a virtual diorama site. He has been the Memorial’s battlefield tour guide for the Simpson Prize students, travelling to Gallipoli for Anzac Day each year and curated the exhibition A is for Animals. Andrew recently curated the exhibition Mainland to Island for the Narooma Visitors Centre.
Throughout his work in cultural institutions, Andrew has been a keen supporter of museum theatre which uses performance as a way to engage visitors. In doing so he has worked in partnership with artists and community groups such as Shortis and Simpson, The Blue Grassy Knoll, Canberra Youth Theatre, Australian Choreographic Centre, Jigsaw Theatre Company, Music for Everyone and Erth Visual and Physical Inc.
Megan Luhrs - Communications and Development/Fundraising Officer
Megan Luhrs has worked for 20 years in marketing and advertising at McCann Erikson Worldwide and George Patterson Bates for clients including General Motors Holden, Ansett Australia, NAB and Myer. Megan also worked with Channel 9 and The Children’s Television Foundation as Producer’s Assistant on two 26 episode productions. Since relocating to the Sapphire Coast in 2001 Megan has worked as social media administrator for Sapphire Coast Tourism Cultural Heritage project and is the Public Program Coordinator (Acting) for the Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
Kim Aldridge - Aboriginal Creative and Cultural Engagement Officer
Kim Aldridge has worked as secretary of both Eden and Bega Local Aboriginal Lands Councils, an Aboriginal Education Assistant, a Direct Care worker for Eurobodalla Shire Council and most recently for the Twofold Aboriginal Corporation. Kim will be based at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre Monaroo Boberrer Gudu north of Eden assisting visual artists to exhibit their work and developing community cultural engagement in the Eden Whale Festival.