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“Aardvark made me happy when I was the most unhappy I’d ever been. Not only did Aardvark encourage me to express myself, it allowed a space where judgement and self-criticism did not impede that expression” Eva – Aardvark Alumni

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About Us

  • Young people who have completed the intensive Aardvark Sessions program go on to become Aardvark Alumni. There are a number of opportunities for Aardvark Alumni to stay involved and connected in the Aardvark community. They can participate in our Alumni program – Dig Days on an ongoing basis. They may also volunteer their time to participate in the Aardvark Sessions as mentors. Mentors play an important role, offering peer support, song writing experience, and a connection for new participants with the wider Aardvark community.

    We are also fortunate to have a number of experienced Aardvark alumni who have already been involved in volunteering as mentors in the Aardvark sessions, and are seeking further, structured leadership experience. We aim to provide opportunities for these young people to receive work experience as co-facilitators in Aardvark projects, working alongside program leaders. This is an alumni pathway that Aardvark is currently developing.

  • Volunteers are over the age of 24 and assist Aardvark by supporting the young people, the program and the organisation as a whole. Volunteers can help with event management, sound, recording, admin, program support and in many other ways. Many volunteers have come from the Aardvark Alumni once they transition from the program after 24 years of age. All volunteers are passionate and committed. Aardvark is fortunate to have a wonderful team of volunteers who give so much of their time and talent to help Aardvark thrive.

  • Gotye

    Gotye

    Stonefield

    Stonefield

    Monnique Brumby

    Monnique Brumby

    Gotye

    Wouter "Wally" De Backer known professionally as Gotye is a Belgian-born Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. Wally’s musical projects are varied and eclectic and his talent is formidable. Wally has topped charts and won awards worldwide, including multiple ARIAs and Grammys.In 2011 Wally co-facilitated the Aardvark Sessions with Monique Brumby and has since been involved with Aardvark as a sponsor and an official ambassador. Wally’s formidable talent and generous and relatable character have bought so much to the Aardvark Sessions program and the organisation as a whole. We can not thank Wally enough for his continued involvement and support. 

    Stonefield

    Stonefield is an Australian rock band made up of four sisters: Amy, Hannah, Sarah, and Holly Findlay. Stonefield is from Darraweit Guim, a small town in rural Victoria. The band won the 2010 Triple J Unearthed High contest in 2010 and was subsequently placed on high rotation. Since then they have gone from strength to strength performing far and wide from the famous Glasonbery festival in the UK to the MCG in Melbourne. Stonefield's third album 'Far From Earth' will be released in April 2018. Stonefield have been working with Aardvark since 2014. They began by visiting the young people at the Aardvark Sessions, helping the Aardvarkians shape their songs. Later on, Hannah and Sarah joined the Aardvark Board until their touring and band commitments saw them on the road a lot more. We are delighted now to have Stonefield as our Ambassadors and look forward to working with them more in 2018.

    Monnique Brumby

    Monique Brumby is a much celebrated, Aria award winning singer-songwriter and producer. Monique began as volunteer facilitator with Aardvark in 2011 with Wally De Backer. She gave an incredible amount of her time and talent to the program and had an extremely positive impact on the young people she worked with. Monique then moved to Creative Director, lead Songwriter and Facilitator between 2013 and 2015, again taking the organisation from strength to strength. Monique is now a wonderful Ambassador to Aardvark and her passion and commitment contributes greatly to the Aardvarkian community.

  • Meagan Hunt
    Meagan Hunt
    Sarah Summers
    Sarah Summers
    Tristan Goodall – Artist in Residence
    Tristan Goodall
    Elly Scrine
    Elly Scrine

     

     

    Meagan Hunt – Creative Director

    Meagan Hunt, Creative Director is a Registered Music Therapist with who is passionate about the use of music and creativity to assist young people to find their full potential and has designed and implemented sustainable music therapy programs in different settings in Brisbane, Dublin, Romania and Melbourne. For the past 12 years Meagan has concentrated on working with adolescents and young adults who have chronic illness, eating disorders and mental illness. During this time Meagan also completed a Research Masters Degree investigating the use of group music therapy to foster a sense of belonging in young Sudanese refugees.

    As well as being the Creative Director of Aardvark, Meagan is senior clinician for the Chronic Illness Peer Support Program (ChIPS) at the Royal Children’s Hospital where she has been for the past 10 years. Career highlights also include convening four Australian Music Therapy (AMTA) conferences, one AMTA Professional Development seminar and one National Youth Health Conference and Youth Forum. Meagan has been involved with Aardvark since 2009 first as a Board member, then as the music therapist before stepping up into the Creative Director role in 2015.

     

    Sarah Summers – Operations Manager

    Sarah Summers is a pianist and singer songwriter with a Bachelor of Performing Arts and Music Composition. Sarah's musical pursuits have included composing for film and stage, writing and recording albums and performing her own original contemporary music. For a number of years Sarah worked as Captain Starlight for the Starlight Foundation entertaining hospitalised children across Australia with poorly executed magic tricks and silly dancing! Her passion for this role and the inspiring young people she met, combined with her musical background and observation of the amazing work of music therapists, led her to become a Co-Founder and then Artistic Director of Aardvark. After having time off raising two little ones Sarah is very excited to be back at Aardvark in 2018.

     

    Tristan Goodall – Artist in Residence

    Tristan Goodall is well known as a principal songwriter and guitarist for the Australian band The Audreys and has a long history in the music industry with three Arias and a gold record under his belt. He has run songwriting groups for Wild at Heart and APRA among others. He has also written music for film, TV and theatre. When not writing or performing he likes to watch horror movies and play backgammon. Tristan joined Aardvark at the beginning of 2016 as the Resident Songwriter. He brings extensive experience in songwriting, performing and recording with 20 years in the music industry. His talent shines in inspiring the young people in Aardvark to create lyrics and songs that they are proud of and come directly from their life experience.

     

    Elly Scrine – Music Therapist

    Elly Scrine is a Registered Music Therapist, PhD researcher at the University of Melbourne, and songwriter/producer. Elly’s experience as a music therapist has centred on working with young people, working and researching across clinical and community contexts. Her research investigates music therapy as a space to explore gender with young people in schools, and how anti oppressive approaches to practice can support young people to work through both personal trauma and structural violence. Elly is also a touring artist in several Melbourne bands, coordinates feminist music industry organisation ‘LISTEN’, and is particularly interested in the ways music and the creative arts can better support inclusivity and accessibility. Elly begins as Aardvark’s Music Therapist facilitator in 2018 and we are thrilled to have her.

  • Andrew Dillon

    Andrew Dillon

    Chris Klingbeil Chair

    Chris Klingbeil Chair

    Sophie Coleman

    Sophie Coleman

    Alistair Brown Treasurer

    Alistair Brown Treasurer

    Cameron McFarlane

    Cameron McFarlane

    Mary Robb

    Mary Robb

    Chris Klingbeil: Chair

    Founder and Managing Director of Touchstone Consulting Executive Search, Chris Klingbeil is one of Australia's leading senior executive search consultants. Chris has worked with several top 100 and multinational corporations, federal government departments, and not for profit organisations in Australia and the USA, including CEO, VP and Director level searches for Microsoft and Amazon. Touchstone's clients include major corporations in the FMCG, industrial, financial services, construction, wood products/forestry, utilities, and technology industries. Chris holds a BA - Comm from Washington State University, USA. Chris is a dedicated music fan, a guitarist and hails from the grunge music capital of the world, Seattle.

    Alistair Brown: Treasurer

    Alistair is the CFO for Save the Children Australia. A finance executive with over 25 years experience in a variety of senior finance related roles in Australia and internationally, particularly Asia. Alistair spent the first 10 years of his career in Chartered Accounting at Deloitte, has a Bachelor of Commerce and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia. Alistair also enjoys playing keyboards with his band Epstein's Mother.

    Andrew Dillon: Board member

    Andrew is the General Counsel and General Manager of Legal, Integrity & Compliance for AFL Victoria. Andrew Completed Articled Clerkship at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and then worked as an in-house legal counsel at Village Roadshow Limited prior to joining the AFL in August 2000. Was appointed AFL General Manager Legal & Business Affairs in June 2004 with responsibility for legal and business operations of the AFL. From November 2011 to July 2013 was AFL General Manager – National and International Development & General Counsel before taking us his current role in July 2013. Current board member of Champion Data Holdings Pty Ltd, AFL Northern Territory, Australian Football League (Victoria) & AFL Sportsready.

    Cameron McFarlane: Board member

    Cameron is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of The Bucha of Byron. He has 23 years global marketing experience in FMCG food and beverage companies including Bacardi, Fosters, Heinz, Nestle, General Mills. Cam's last role in corporate was as the Regional Marketing Director - APAC for Bacardi, based in HK. Cam has also spent two years working in a health and well-being start up brand.

    Sophie Coleman: Board member

    Sophie is a lawyer who works with Save the Children Australia, one of Australia's largest aid and development agencies dedicated to helping children. Sophie made the move from a commercial law-firm because she believes that every child has the right to be protected from harm, and to access quality education and health services. Sophie holds a Bachelor of Arts/Law with Honours from Monash University, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Melbourne Business School (University of Melbourne). In 2011, Sophie co-founded School's A Gift, a not for profit organisation helping to increase school enrolment and attendance in deprived areas of Ethiopia. In her spare time, Sophie is an avid and long-suffering Melbourne Demons supporter, who is cautiously pessimistic about their chances in the next few years.

    Mary Robb: Vice Chair

    Mary is an experienced community development practitioner who champions, leads and drives change. For over 30 years Mary has worked across a wide number of organisations, groups, local government and the education sector to achieve systemic change, build capacity, create opportunity and achieve equity. Mary is passionate about working in communities, facilitating and enabling people to work together and decide how to move forward. Mary loves to create opportunities for people to shape the ways in which their community responds to the needs and aspirations of local people. Mary is an experiential learner and strategic thinker whose skills and knowledge include community governance, facilitation, project management, negotiation, consultation, influence and partnership management. Some recent projects Mary has worked on are: The design and introduction of strategic community place based engagement programs at the University of Melbourne, to achieve social, economic and cultural impact and a successful state-wide Neighbourhood House campaign, achieving a recurrent budget increase of over 100% and the first capital works allocation for purpose built facilities and upgrades.

  • The Aardvark Program would not be possible without the help and support from the generous sponsors listed below.

     

    Current Sponsors

    Arts Centre Logo
    Jim Stynes Foundation Logo
    Liberty Financial
    Milo And Co Logo
    NaMTRU Logo
    Thiry Mill Studios
    BEAM Creative
    TSES LogoGreenLarge
    Helen Macpherson Smith Trust
    Olive Grove IT

     

    Past Sponsors

    LKA2
    Matons Logo Plain
    Mali Sponsors Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation Logo2 Web1601
    KCH Logo Colour 160x160
    Aesthetic
    BellImagingLogo
    Arts Victoria Logo21

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