People behind Brand X

Brand X Productions Incorporated is a not for profit arts organisation run by Artists for Artists and is governed by a Board of Management made up of industry peers.

James graduated as an Actor from the Centre for the Performing Arts (Adelaide) in 1993 before performing for Magpie Theatre Company, Springboard, Queenbitchery, Fleshdollies, Not So Straight and Brand X. As a Theatre Director, James has worked for the State Opera Company of South Australia, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Restless Dance Company, Urban Myth Theatre of Youth, AIT Arts, Shopfront, Ashfield Youth Theatre and The Studio at the Sydney Opera House. He has been Artistic Director for Brand X Theatre, D Faces of Youth Arts and Ashfield Youth Theatre, along with being the Associate Director for Urban Myth Theatre of Youth. His Community Cultural Development (CCD) experience includes theatre projects that engage communities with physical and intellectual disabilities, street dependent, same-sex attracted, drug dependent, sex-workers, remote indigenous communities, juvenile justice clients, incarcerated youth, refugee, recent arrival and dual diagnosis. James has also worked in Cairo (Egypt) with African artists in exile to establish self-determining community cultural development projects that include micro-business, cultural events, cultural policy, performance, networking and profile initiatives.
John O'Callaghan
John is an urban planner specialising in social activation, community engagement and new media. He is passionate about positive behaviour change and making our cities more liveable. John has worked on projects in and outside of Sydney and has recently completed a Community Development Program for UrbanGrowth NSW at Penrith and a Social Activations Program for City of Sydney at Green Square. John is also the founder of Trending City, a collaborative blogging platform capturing great ideas from across the globe, and co-founder of Idea Bombing Sydney, a creative meetup focused on turning ideas into action. John is also a regular contributor to the Planning Institute of Australia’s New Planner magazine with a column focusing on technology, new media and urban planning. He was recently appointed to the board of Brand X, a not for profit arts organisation based in Sydney, and is a lecturer at the University of New South Wales and University of Western Sydney College teaching geography and urban planning.

MARK THOMAS – Treasurer
Mark Thomas
Mark is the Managing Director of Inspirational Leaders Pty Ltd, Professional Mentor and Non-Executive Director. Since the early 1990’s, Mark has built businesses and careers. More recently, Mark has actively pursued opportunities to help businesses and individuals to gain focus, communicate their message, and achieve their goals. Mark has worked with individuals and businesses from across the economy; finance, investment, banking, arts, film production, internet entrepreneurs, sporting clubs, and associations. Mark specialises in developing newly established firms and firms that have had better times. In a career spanning more than twenty years in financial services, Mark has worked in many roles, including; futures trader, portfolio manager, relationship management, and more recently business leadership. Prior to entering the finance industry Mark enjoyed a career as a Chemical Engineer. Mark is; a regular speaker at industry events, a lecturer, a mentor, a writer / blogger, and is actively involved with several industry bodies.

JAIN MORALEE – Secretary
Jain Moralee
Since June 2013 Jain has been the Executive Director of Sydney based arts organisation Underbelly Arts that supports and presents emerging and experimental inter-disciplinary artists. The 2013 Underbelly Arts Lab & Festival on Cockatoo Island was the largest in the organisation’s history, with 130 artists presenting 30 projects to an audience of close to 7000 people. Prior to this Jain was the Festival Director at Queer Screen and the 2013 Mardi Gras Film Festival having been the General Manager at Queer Screen from 2009. She has also worked with Screen Australia (Australian Film Commission), working in marketing Australian films and practitioners in the international marketplace and festivals. She is currently developing a television documentary as producer for ABC TV about bigger bodied dancers working with Sydney based theatre/dance company Force Majeure.

Catherine is a Senior Manager and Senior Legal Counsel at the ASX, one of the world’s leading financial market exchanges. Catherine has always supported and participated in Sydney’s cultural life, she is currently the Chair of Critical Stages, the national professional platform for independent theatre that nurtures and supports independent theatre artists by providing expertise and infrastructure, working as partners in the development, staging and touring of their productions. Catherine believes that Brand X’s support of Sydney’s creative community helps make Sydney a great city to live and work in.

Hugh Nichols
Hugh has worked in cultural grants and funding, sector development and policy at the City of Sydney since 2008. Until 2011 he played a key role in the development and implementation of projects providing space for the cultural sector. Between 2011 and 2013 Hugh worked as a cultural policy researcher and advisor as part of the project team that delivered Creative City – the City’s first cultural policy – and from 2013 has worked exclusively on matters affecting live music and performance in Sydney. This included project managing the City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Taskforce project, and co-authoring the City of Sydney Live Music and Performance Action Plan. In his current role as Strategy Advisor – Live Music and Performance he provides guidance to the sector on regulatory and governance matters, and is responsible for internal process reform, strategic research, sector development projects and advocacy to other levels of government. Outside of his work at the City of Sydney Hugh has been a freelance arts and music writer with work published in Un Magazine, Ampersand, Kill Your Darlings and others. He was also Chair of Accessible Arts’ Supported Studio Network and an Editor at Das Platforms.

Rani profile pic
Rani is currently Head of Marketing and Digital at Australia’s largest annual literary event, Sydney Writers’ Festival. Previously she was the Senior Marketing Manager for New York City’s leading not-for-profit theatre producer, Roundabout Theatre Company. In Sydney, Rani has also led marketing and communications teams at the Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has worked extensively as a marketing consultant to arts and cultural organisations, and as a lecturer in arts marketing, in both Australia and the United States, and previously served as a director on the board of Sydney-based dance-performance company de Quincey co.
Craig works as both a General Practitioner in the inner city of Sydney (East Sydney Doctors) and as a staff specialist in Addiction Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst. He previously worked at The Kirketon Road Centre, Kings Cross for 13 years where he specialised in providing health care to people who inject drugs, sex workers and ‘at risk’ young people. He has been a keen follower of Brand X since meeting its current Director, James Winter when he first arrived in Sydney in 2002. While not a current performer he does have a background in singing and has been a strong supporter of the developing theatre industry since he undertook an acting course with Darlinghurst Theatre Company in the early 2000s. He is extremely privileged to be involved with this unique organisation as Chair of the DGR committee.

Eva works in Public Affairs in the Australian communications industry. She holds a Ph.D. in Media from the University of New South Wales. Her research explores the relationship between broadcast media and nationalism in emerging new media contexts, with a focus on gender and Mexican TV melodrama. She has published her research in international academic journals and has taught in the fields of Media and Film Studies at the University of New South Wales, and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. Eva has an Honours degree in performing arts from the Flinders University Drama Centre. She is excited to be involved with the important work of Brand X, doing her bit – now behind the scenes – in support of Sydney’s arts community.

Amanda Bennett
Amanda has recently started her own conveyancing business having previously worked for the past 10 years for several high profile law firms in Sydney CBD. She holds a Bachelor of Business and is a licensed conveyancer and Justice of the Peace. Amanda has long been interested in and a passionate supporter of the arts community and especially enjoys supporting her friends in their artistic endeavours. She joined the Brand X DGR committee in 2013 as a way to give back to a community through an organisation that supports the artists that continue to inspire, provoke and generally bring enjoyment to and are an important part of our community.