You have a long and rich history working in theatre, comedy, film and television. How did it all start?
I was born in Oxford, England and my family migrated to Australia when I was 11. While I was at University in Perth, studying to be a doctor, I discovered drama. I left Medicine behind and began work at Perth’s first children’s theatre company. Later, I secured a position at the Victorian College of the Arts Drama School and after graduating, I became a director of live comedy working with some of the biggest names in comedy at the time. I also completed a Post Graduate in Film and Television at Swinburne and my short film won the Best Short Film at the Melbourne Film Festival in 1983. Still in the 80s, I moved to directing and writing for TV including directing ‘Let the Blood Run Free’ and the popular comedy series ‘Full Frontal’.
What made you become a teacher after so many years of writing and directing for Comedy, Film and Television?
As a writer, I found that I was spending more and more of my time in front of a computer and missed the collaboration and contact with others. I wanted to impart my knowledge about drama to young students so I decided to go back to study and become a drama teacher.
How do you think Drama benefits students?
Drama is a compulsory subject at Fintona to the end of Year 8 and then becomes an elective. I believe that Drama benefits students in four major ways:
Develops confidence and expressive skills.
Teaches students to work in groups.
Stimulates students’ imaginations.
A time to have fun and let off steam.
What has been your favourite movie?
I saw Avatar with my son which we really enjoyed and were able to talk at length about what it all meant afterwards.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love to go to the cinema and spend time with my wife, son Angus and our dog Sparky. I also enjoy playing indoor cricket, cooking and dining out. We have a place at Phillip Island and I enjoy spending time with my family there.