About the Board
The Big West Festival is governed by a dedicated and hard working voluntary board of directors.
Wil Stracke - Chair
Wil is currently employed as Lead Organiser at the Australian Services Union. Prior to this she was an Associate at Slater & Gordon, solicitors. She is also a professional actor, having graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1993. She has performed on stage, TV and film in both scripted and improvised productions.
Wil moved to the West 15 years ago and immediately traded in half hearted family allegiance to Collingwood for full time membership to the Western Bulldogs.
She hasn’t had any regrets.
Lucy Evans - Treasurer
Lucy is an Accountant and Arts Manager. Currently, Lucy is a Resource Manager with Austin Health. Her previous roles include: Deputy Managing Director at the Victorian Opera (2006 – 2010); General Manager / CEO of the Women’s Circus (2005); Project Accountant at the Royal College of Music, London (2003-2004); and, Company Manager at PACT Theatre, a contemporary performance space for young and emerging artists (1999-2001).
As an Independent Producer, Lucy produced the Apocalypse Bear Trilogy for Stuck Pigs as part of the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival; , Rawcus’ collaboration with the MSO for the 2007 Melbourne International Arts Festival; and, COME HOME (2007), a community arts project in Townsville with young people aged between 10-12 years and their beloved elders.
Lucy is a CPA and holds a Masters of Commerce from Deakin University and a BA (Arts Admin and Theatre) from QUT.
Zoe Burton - Secretary
Zoe has been involved in the Arts and Entertainment industry for over 18 years, since graduating from The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) as an actor in 1992. She co-founded a theatre company with a number of other VCA graduates named Ranters Theatre, which is now in its 17th year of operation. Ranters’ devises and produces new Australian plays and has toured nationally and internationally. As a performer with Ranters, Zoe performed as part of The Adelaide Festival, The Melbourne Festival, Playbox, Belvoir Street, Theatreworks, La Mama Theatre and toured to Portugal, Berlin, Wales, and the UK. Concurrent with her Ranters work, Zoe has also performed with The Melbourne Theatre Company and Griffin Theatre Company (Sydney). Zoe has worked as a publicist for the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Moonee Valley Festival, Warburton Winterfest and acted for television, radio and film.
In 2009 she completed a Masters Degree in Arts and Entertainment Management at Deakin University.
Susannah Goddard - Director
Susannah Goddard is a Campaign Manager with Millmaine Entertainment, managing a portfolio of of clients including the Melbourne Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Theatre Company, ACCA and the Clunes Booktown Festival. Over the last 20 years Susannah has worked as a freelance writer and editor, and as a producer with independent theatre companies. During this time, she spent 6 years with the Victorian Arts Centre (now Arts Centre Melbourne), initially as Public Affairs Coordinator, growing to be Corporate Relations Manager. There she had responsibility for the Arts Centre's government, corporate and internal communications, as well as its international programmes. She was on the core team that established the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres (AAPPAC) and concurrently developed the Arts Centre's own international exchange programme with arts centres across Asia.
Lisa Heap - Director
Lisa Heap is a lawyer by profession who has worked as a senior manager in trade unions and as a consultant in the area of staff development, workplace change, conflict resolution and risk management. Lisa became the Executive Director of Australian Institute of Employment Rights (AIER) in February 2007, an independent think tank that works from the view that the public interest is best served by the creation of positive work place relationships. Lisa combines her work with AIER and consulting with organisations interested in achieving sustainable workplace relationships. As a practicing solicitor, Lisa worked for the plaintiff law firm Slater and Gordon in its Industrial and Public Interest Unit.
Mirah Lambert - Director
Mirah Lambert is the Program Manager of Community Engagement at the Immigration Museum, Museum Victoria. In this role she develops partnerships and liaises with various cultural communities and multicultural sector representatives to facilitate the development and presentation of community festivals and other public programs. For the past fourteen years Mirah has worked in the museum and gallery sector including at regional galleries in a local government context (in Goulburn and Campbelltown in NSW), with sector development organisation Museums and Galleries NSW and with State Government agencies (Historic Houses Trust of NSW and Museum Victoria). In these roles Mirah has developed and presented programs for education and general audiences, coordinated large scale events attracting thousands of people and managed partnerships with stakeholders from government, community and internally. Recently, Mirah has been involved with strategic development for Museum Victoria in areas of community engagement, early learning and disability access. Mirah has a Masters of Arts Administration, Bachelor of Art Education and Fine Arts from College of Fine Arts, University of NSW.
Hoang Tran Nguyen - Director
Hoang Tran Nguyen is a media artist whose work explores migration and diaspora. He has realised numerous projects in and around Footscray including: Bilo Artspace (2001), a temporary shop-front gallery in Little Saigon; Karaoke Caravan (2001), a participatory mobile karaoke lounge; Open For Inspection (2002), a home installation; and Local Migration (2005), a video installation in multiple properties on the real-estate market. He co-founded FauxPho Artspace (2003-08) where he currently has a studio. Hoang lost three years in migration paperwork. He enjoys weekend train rides.
Kristie Walker - Director
Kristie Walker has been involved in festival and event management for over 14 years. After completing a Masters of Business in Event Management in 2004 she founded an event consultancy business specialising in developing and strengthening the strategy, structure and support for festivals and public events. Her projects are varied but have included Meredith Music Festival, Chinese New Year Festival, Manningham Spring Festival, High Vibes Festival, Golden Plains Festival, Spring Fling Street Festival as well as sensitive work for the Victorian Reconstruction and Bushfire Authority Community Re-building workshops and Black Saturday Anniversary events. Recently Kristie co-founded an online event mentorship business to help make event planning easier for event organisers.
Cr Martin Zakharov - Director
Martin Zakharov is the current councillor for Sheoak Ward for the Maribyrnong City Council. He has been an active member of numerous community groups including: Skyhigh Working Group (President), Friends of Stony Creek, MTAG and Yarraville Festival committee. Martin has been a professional musician since 1973 and plays saxophone, woodwinds, keyboards and works as an arranger, composer and teacher. He has performed and worked with numerous artists in Australia, Europe and North America including Powderfinger, the Temptations, Harry Belafonte, James Morrison, Vince Jones, Paul Grabowsky, the Wolfgang Lindner Orchestra and the Konstanz Stadttheater. Martin currently performs with Relax with Max, The Grand Wazoo and the George Kamikawa Band. He is Vice President of Musicians Union of Australia (Melbourne Branch) and a member of the ALP State Advisory Committee on Culture, Sport and Tourism.