Kath Papas – Creative Producer

Kath is a creative producer and arts consultant. With special passions for dance and for fostering diversity, she thrives on to working collaboratively with artists and organisations to realise exciting projects which push boundaries and break new ground. Based in Melbourne, Australia, her work spans regional, national and international spheres.

Since establishing Kath Papas Productions in 2009, Kath has created projects, produced and toured work nationally and internationally, produced major national events, collaborated on festivals, written, curated, consulted and more. (See also Services). Her association with Tony Yap Company as producer and collaborator since 2010 has led her increasingly into Asia, a journey which deepened with an Asialink Residency in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2012.

Kath was Director of Ausdance Victoria from 2003 to June 2009, having previously been Administrator (from 1999 to 2002). During her directorship, Kath led a major period of strategic development and growth in the organisation, delivering many major projects, festivals, symposia and sector development initiatives. Some highlights in the latter period of her time included the Australian Dance Awards 2008 and 2009, where she developed a model that included public outreach and industry programs alongside the Awards Gala, and securing investment for the first regional dance map of Victoria. Kath was awarded an Honorary Life Membership of Ausdance Victoria in 2011.


Kirsty Ellem – Producer

Kirsty Ellem is a committed arts leader with significant cross sector experience. At the end of 2010 she left her role as Director of the Monash University Academy of Performing Arts to work full time in her organisation Artistic Merit which she founded in 2007, she brings a history of working with artists to produce and create work, to program work and to develop artistic enterprises.

In her work under the banner of Artistic Merit, she has produced the Arts About Us roadshow for VicHealth (in collaboration with Kath Papas), with projects across the state including participative projects like Stand Up Geelong, and toured programs from companies including, La Mama, Matlhouse Theatre, Short Black Opera amongst many others.

Kirsty works with independent artists and organisations to develop strategy, undertake reviews and look at organisational structure and capacity. Her clients include Back to Back Theatre, Ilbijerri, East Gippsland Shire Council, Little Black Bicycle, Gunyah and many others.

Kirsty was the inaugural manager of the Esso BHP Billiton Wellington Entertainment Centre which quickly established a reputation as one of the leading regional venues in Australia, with quality diverse programming and development of local works, particularly in the context of the water water festival which she co-directed.

Kirsty is a clear and strategic thinker and has provided consultancy in strategic planning, marketing and programming. She was the Chair of Polyglot Theatre through its significant transformation from a puppet company to a leading international company exploring children’s creativity. She is a fellow of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program and was awarded an Asialink Arts Management Residency in 2002. She has continued to maintain active networks in Asia, speaking at the 2nd Performing Arts Market Seoul on Asian Networking. She previously has worked for The Arts Centre, Arts Victoria, and Asialink among others.