Dame Joan Sutherland Fund
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Dame Joan Sutherland Fund
Recipients 2015
Shevaun Wright
Visual Artist
Course/Project: Whitney Museum, New York

Shevaun is a practising lawyer and artist who is primarily engaged in an interdisciplinary practice that utilises the contractual medium and the notion of the ‘social contract,’ as well as re-contextualised dialogues as a tool for engaging in institutional legal and artistic critique. Informed by her Aboriginal heritage, Shevaun aims to extrapolate feminist and post-colonial critiques of the law and art as a means to access and reveal similarities in their discursive practices. Shevaun has a master’s degrees in law and art, undertaking the latter studies at the College of Art and Design as the first recipient of the Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Postgraduate Scholarship. 

Richard Symons
Opera Singer
Course/Project: Mannes College, The New School for
Music, New York

Born in England, Richard is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he performed in a variety of roles in opera and concert performances, including Tom Rakewell in The Rakes Progress, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and Laurie in Little Women.

In 2012 he was the recipient of the Sir Robert Askin Operatic Traveling Scholarship, to pursue further training in New York, and was an Emerging Artist with The West Australian Opera Company. Since then Richard has performed the roles of ‘The Singing Cricket’ in Western Australian Ballet’s world premiere of Pinnochio; The Soldier in Der Kaiser Von Atlantis and Jason in Medea with Lost & Found Opera; and the role of 1st Priest in West Australian Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.

Richard has now relocated to New York to study a Masters of Music at Mannes College. He is a member of Mannes Opera’s Young Artist Program, and has performed the role of Gherardo in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.”

Chelsea Kluga
Course/Program: Mannes College, The New School for
Music, New York

Chelsea is a mezzo-soprano from Perth, Western Australia and currently a 2nd year master’s candidate at Mannes College: The New School in New York City. During her first year, Chelsea was part of the Apprentice Studio performing scenes from Idomeneo (Idamante), Eugene Onegin (Olga), Le Nozze di Figaro (Marcellina) and Die Zauberflöte (3rd lady). She also performed the role of Lay Sister 2 in the Mannes main stage production of Suor Anglica. Prior to Mannes, Chelsea attended the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she completed a Bachelor of Music for Voice and Clarinet.  

Sebastian Dunn
Course/project: Northwestern University, Illinois

Growing up within a musical family in rural New South Wales, Sebastian was encouraged to pursue and perform on many instruments from a young age, including percussion, piano, guitar and French Horn. After school, Sebastian moved to Sydney to commence a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance on French horn at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Andrew Bain, now the current principal horn of the LA Philharmonic, and Ben Jacks, the current principal horn of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 Sebastian received a full tuition scholarship to pursue a Professional Performance Program at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Melbourne, which after completion saw him return to Sydney to work as a freelance musician.


Sebastian enjoyed success as a young freelance horn player, performing in a variety of different orchestral contexts including a three-month season of the musical South Pacific, pop concerts with Michael Bolton, Roberta Flack, the Wiggles and the Cinematic Orchestra, as well as symphonic concerts with the Melbourne, Sydney, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and Opera Australia. Sebastian also performed in a season of the Ballet Manon at the Sydney Opera House and a successful national tour with the Australian Opera in The Magic Flute, before moving to Chicago in 2014 to pursue his Masters of Music Performance with Gail Williams at Northwestern University.


Along with performing, teaching is one of Seb’s great passions and it is a long-term goal of his to move back home to share his international learning experience with the next generation of young Australian musicians.

Visual Artist
Course/project: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process, New York

Formed in Sydney, Australia in 2002, Soda_Jerk is a two-person art collective comprised of Dan and Dominique Angeloro. Working exclusively with sampled material, they create rogue histories and counter-mythologies in the form of video installations, cut-up texts, and live video essays. Recent exhibitions and performances have been held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Pioneer Works, NYC, Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin; The Substation, Melbourne; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. They have undertaken residencies at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2010-11), Flux Factory, NYC (2012-13), International Studio and Curatorial Program, NYC (2013-14), the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool (2015) and are currently artists in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space on Governors Island.

Andrea Lim
Course/Project: Seattle University, Washington
Andrea is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Art in Arts Leadership at Seattle University, Washington. In 2014, she founded “The Chamber Project,” an arts organization with the mission to change the way classical music is presented in today’s society, to support emerging musicians, as well as to include a wider audience. That same year, Andrea was appointed Co-Artistic Director of “Chronology Arts” - a not-for-profit contemporary classical new music company which commissions new Australian works by emerging composers. She is a recent graduate from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music majoring in the violin under the tutelage of the Head of Strings Prof Goetz Richter and later Dr Marina Robinson. Andrea is an active performer and has been involved in Opera and Ballet orchestras as well as contemporary music.

Besides performing, Andrea is also passionate about music teaching, street and portrait photography as well as having discussions about privilege, oppression and race. 
Shanie Klas
Course/project: Northwestern University, Illinois

Even before walking, Shanie would use kitchen utensils as sticks, and her brother's head as a drum. Shanie was destined to be a percussionist. Since then she has completed a Bachelor of Music on full scholarship from Monash University where she won the concerto competition in consecutive years. Other prizes include first place in the Australian Marimba Competition (2015), National semi-finalist in both the ABC Young Performer Award (2012) and the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition (2015, 2012). She has performed as soloist with the Adelaide Symphony and the Monash Academy Orchestras. Shanie has toured Europe as a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra, and regularly performs with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She is currently studying a Masters of Music Performance at Northwestern University. 

Elizabeth Nowell
Curator & Writer
Course/Project: Brooklyn Museum, New York
Liz is an independent curator, writer and project manager. She has worked for a diverse range of arts organizations including Country Arts SA, College of Fine Arts and Hazelhurst Regional Gallery. Currently she lectures in Contemporary Curatorial Practice at Sydney College of the Arts and manages a number of artist studios. Last year she co-presented SafARI, a major fringe exhibition of the Biennale of Sydney.
Morgan Balfour
Course/Program: Elevator Repair Service Theater, New York
Morgan graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, with a Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance, Classical Voice. Roles performed include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Sandrina from selections of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. Her concert experience comprises of the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Soprano I in Bach’s Magnificat, and Britten’s War Requiem.
Bridget Balodis
Course/Project: Elevator Repair Service Theater, New York
Bridget trained as a director at the Victorian College of the Arts, Australia. She is interested in new Australian writing and is co-director of experimental theatre company NO SHOW. In 2014 she was part of the MTC’s Women Directors Program. She has presented work with Next Wave Festival, La Mama and NORPA and been assistant director on work at the Malthouse, STC and with Bell Shakespeare.
Isabelle Freeman
Course/project: Mannes College, The New School for
Music, New York
Isabelle is a soprano from Perth, currently studying at Mannes College in New York City. Isabelle completed a Bachelor of Music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. During her first year at Mannes, Isabelle was accepted into the Young Artist opera program,
performing scenes from Verdi’s Falstaff (Alice), and the roles of Ciesca and Alms Collector in a double bill of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi & Suor Angelica. In
2014 Isabelle was an Emerging Young Artist with the West Australian Opera, and was the recipient of the Bendat Scholarship.
Jason Wing
Visual Artist
Course/project: Residency at International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York
Jason is a Sydney-based artist who strongly identifies with his Chinese and Aboriginal heritage. Calling into question our understanding of history and of our current socio-political reality, Wing repurposes everyday objects and imagery, creating works that are both visually confronting and deceptively simple. Jason holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Graphic Design, Sydney Graphics College. He has exhibited nationally and internationally.
Petrina Hicks
Visual Artist
Course/Project: Artist Residency at Kala Art Institute, California
Petrina Hicks utilises the seductive and glossy language of commercial photography to create artworks that probe at the false promise of perfection, exploring photography's ability to both create and corrupt the process of seduction and consumption. Petrina has exhibited widely though solo and groups shows in Australia, Europe, USA and Asia. Her work was recently selected to be shown at; Volta NY 2015, 17th International Videobrasil, Brazil, Pingyao International Photography Festival, China and Art Platform, Los Angeles. Petrina's works belong to various national and international collections including: National Gallery of Australia, AGNSW, Queensland Art Gallery, Tweed River City Art Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria.
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