Who we are

Our Mission

‘It’s harder to hurt someone if you know their story’. Our work sheds light on invisible stories, bringing hidden injustice into the mainstream. These stories make it harder to hurt someone - on an individual, community and policy level. Our work demands best practise, and we strive for generational change.

Our History

27 years ago, Big hART was set up as an innovative experiment to find new ways of dealing with disadvantage. Motivated by the closure of a paper mill in the industrial town of Burnie, Tasmania, Big hART began working with the community, creating high quality art to transmit their story. This began a journey that has taken the Big hART model to over 50 communities nationwide.

BIGhART Approach

We are
content
producers.

Authentic, high-quality art made by professionals, with communities.

The themes we tackle are big – the art is moving, funny, intimate and grounded in the community. We love film, theatre, documentary, events, music, podcast, apps, digital media and more. We employ innovative, emerging and established artists to mentor participants and create award-winning work.

We are
community
builders.

Strong, thriving communities through evidence based approaches.

The communities we work with may be in the middle of the desert, isolated in the city, or enslaved on the world’s oceans. Everyone, everywhere has a right to thrive, and we love to collaborate with communities, seeing ‘what’s strong’ rather than ‘what’s wrong’ – and working together to strengthen it. We employ talented community builders, designing award-winning projects.

We are
change makers.

Positive, transformational project designs – that are cost effective.

The issues we assist communities with always involve both a problem and an opportunity. These opportunities give rise to Big hART projects. The projects are deeply embedded in cultural activity. Everyone, everywhere has the right to be involved in culture, because a cultural voice gives communities the chance to participate in imagining a more positive future, and driving change to get there.

Our team

Big hART is project based. Our core staff deliver these projects in the field, working alongside a large pool of skilled, highly regarded professionals.

Scott Rankin

Scott Rankin

Creative Director + CEO

National Projects

Scott co-founded Big hART with friend John Bakes in 1992. As CEO and Creative Director, Scott leads the overarching vision for all Big hART projects – from pilot through to legacy. A leader and teacher in the field of social and cultural innovation, Scott provides daily mentorship and knowledge transfer to all Big hART staff so that they can in turn lead our projects with confidence.

An award winning writer and director in his own right, Scott’s works have been included many times in major arts festivals. His reputation is built on a quarter of a century of work, creating, funding and directing large-scale projects in diverse communities with high needs, in isolated settings.

Big hART is Scott’s passionate contribution to the arts and society.

To contact Scott please email Lucy Harrison: lucy@bighart.org

Sam Hawker

Sam Hawker

National Producer

National Projects

Sam works nationally on Big hART projects, collaborating closely with producers to ensure a high standard of leadership across the company. Bringing a solid background in arts and production management across many different mediums, and a deep interest in art for change, Sam’s skills provide crucial support for Big hART’s layered approach. Sam’s background as a stage manager, production manager and producer encompasses theatre, comedy, dance, outdoor spectaculars and more. Sam is also the Producer for the SKATE Project – Big hART’s ground-breaking new work in development.

sam@bighart.org

Andrew Viney

Andrew Viney

National Programs Manager

National Projects

Andrew works nationally, overseeing the reporting responsibilities for all projects, maintaining government funder relationships and ensuring producers remain on track with contract delivery. Andrew is the Big hART Board Secretary and Public Officer, keeping board members informed and connected with company activity.

Andrew also oversees all Tasmanian activity, and since 2014 has produced Acoustic Life of Sheds. Prior to joining Big hART in 2010, Andrew had an extensive music career, and worked in the commercial entertainment industries. Andrew grew up in Burnie, Tasmania and is now Melbourne based. He has been involved with and inspired by Big hART since its establishment.

andrew@bighart.org

Genevieve Dugard

Genevieve Dugard

Associate Creative Director

National Projects

Genevieve works across Big hART projects ensuring a high level of quality and consistency is maintained in our many artistic outputs.  Working closely with producers and our community programs, she also creatively directs our company branding, project identities and web presence. With a background in set design, Gen has designed most of Big hART’s theatre productions since 2001, and continues to collaborate and create design works from the ground up – driven always by the power of good art to create empathy and action. Gen is also the National Director for Project O, Big hART’s primary prevention program.

gen@bighart.org

Sophia Marinos

Sophia Marinos

Consultant

National Projects

Sophia has worked with Big hART since 2007 across many projects and as National Producer. Passionate about the capacity of art to spearhead positive social change, this has included work on numerous social impact campaigns, on issues as diverse as slavery at sea, Indigenous languages policy, cultural diversity and Indigenous incarceration. Sophia produced the highly successful Namatjira Project beginning in 2009, including its award winning theatre production, feature documentary, community development project and its legacy project – the Namatjira Legacy Trust. Sophia maintains a close relationship with the Namatjira family, ensuring a high integrity in the wider project’s trajectory. Sophia continues to work with Big hART as a consultant on developing Big hART projects.

sophia.marinos@gmail.com

Piers Ramsay

Piers Ramsay

Finance Guy

National Projects

Piers ensures all is ‘neat and tidy’ in this key area. From the day to day accounting and logistics, to the CFO and Board Accountability responsibilities, Piers leads this department with expertise. He has over 35 years’ experience in the Banking and Finance industry, including senior management and executive roles in major Banks and Non-Banks. His breadth, and depth, of experience across the commercial environment provide us a reliable foundation in this crucial aspect.

piers@bighart.org

Angela Prior

Angela Prior

TAS + WA State Manager

TAS & WA

Angela lived and worked in the heart of the Pilbara for three years, producing several legacy projects as part of Big hART’s extensive residency in Roebourne, WA. She is now based in Tasmania as Big hART’s TAS and WA State Manager, and frequently visits WA to oversee all Roebourne projects, and manage stakeholder relationships. With a background in festivals, performing arts, communication for social change, and media she brings 10 years of experience delivering art projects with communities across regional NSW. Angela is driven by strong community cultural development principals and creativity. She is strongly committed to good practice, is passionate about people and driving change.

angela@bighart.org

Mark Leahy

Mark Leahy

Associate Artist

National Projects

Mark began working with Big hART in 2016 applying his musical direction skills to the SKATE project, and has since expanded his work for the company by working across projects, including steering the NEO-Learning project and also delivering music based skills workshops and mentoring in communities. Mark has performed onstage in Big hART productions and continues to provide musical direction for Big hART outputs. As an experienced musician and educator Mark has conducted workshops across Australia, with a particular focus on a deep human connection to rhythm, original composition and found sounds.

mark@bighart.org

Allery Sandy

Allery Sandy

Cultural Consultant

Roebourne, WA

Allery has been working with Big hART in Roebourne for 6 years, as a key elder on the project and a cultural consultant. Allery helps to keep the project safe, by advising on community needs, and providing a high level of mentorship to our young participants. Allery has been on stage for Big hART, performing in Hipbone Sticking Out alongside her grandsons, and singing in Murru. The daughter of Sandy Andrews and Lila King, she was born in Roebourne, the fourth of eleven children. She has a family of two daughters and a son – Joanne, Donna and Bobby Willis. Her work background includes community welfare, Yindjibarndi language education, and work for the ministry of the Aboriginal Church.

Bettina Richter

Bettina Richter

Media and Communications Manager

National Projects

Bettina first began working with Big hART in 2016, after almost 10 years of running her own successful publicity firm specialising in the arts, festivals & books promoting award-winning authors such as Bruce Pascoe, Matthew Condon and Frank Brennan and music and film festivals including the National Folk Festival. Bettina’s always had a love for the arts, and was heavily involved in youth theatre as a teenager, then completed her BA Communications in Theatre/Media at Charles Sturt University and went on to work at the ABC, working in TV and radio, and also has a Masters in Writing.  At Big hART, Bettina is the go-to person for all media requests, and manages the social media channels, Big hART Blog and EDMs, communicating Big hART to the world from her piece of paradise on the far south coast of NSW.

bettina@bighart.org

Aaron Hopper

Aaron Hopper

Music Programs

Tasmania

Aaron is an accomplished musician who led our music programs on the New Roebourne project for three years, and is now involved with Big hART projects in Tasmania. In Roebourne, Aaron worked inter-generationally across diverse groups, creating music with: local young women in a One String Guitar band, inmates in Roebourne regional prison, and the local choir made up of many key community elders. Aaron also composes music for Big hART films and theatre productions. He has dedicated his career to creating original music and sound that interprets culture and the textures of nature. Aaron tours his own work internationally, and brings this experience back to community as a passionate music mentor with a focus on youth.

aaron@bighart.org

Lucy Harrison

Lucy Harrison

Partnerships Manager & Executive Assistant

National Projects

Lucy began working with Big hART in 2016 as a stage manager for Murru and Tjaabi productions in Roebourne WA. As the Partnerships Manager, Lucy works closely with partners, donors and corporate supporters across the country who support the work of Big hART. As Executive Assistant Lucy manages company administration, working closely with Big hART CEO Scott Rankin. Lucy also conducts workshops with young people across Australia focusing on leadership, public speaking, performance, events and stage management. With a background in drama and communications, Lucy has toured many productions nationally and overseas, but she always returns to work for Big hART because of its commitment to social change and equality.

lucy@bighart.org

Rachel Small

Rachel Small

Producer

Tasmania

Starting with Big hART in 2017, Rachel facilitated creative workshops with Project O in NW Tasmania, producing a short documentary for the Cape Grim Project, and facilitated a digital media podcast project with young people in the Pilbara, WA. Now as the Producer of Project O Tasmania, Rachel brings her specialised skills in Applied Theatre, education and facilitation. Having worked with young people in the UK, Guatemala, Nepal and across Australia, Rachel is passionate about the role of theatre and arts in crossing cultural and social boundaries, and connecting people.

rachel@bighart.org

Patrick Churnside

Patrick Churnside

Cultural Advisor

Roebourne, WA

Patrick is a Traditional Owner from the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Language Groups and a gifted performer and has worked with Big hART leading intercultural workshops for many years. To Patrick, arts and culture is about connection and community. It’s a way of life and a sense of identity. Patrick is also a board member of the State Government Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee and City of Karratha Arts & Cultural Advisory Group.

patrick@bighart.org

Michelle Adams

Michelle Adams

Cultural Advisor

Roebourne, WA

Michelle is a Yindjibarndi woman from Roebourne, WA and Cultural Advisor to Big hART, working with the organisation for many years to ensure the program is safe culturally. A passionate advocate for change and an innovator in her community, Michelle shares a wide range of skills and knowledge to support young people to maintain their cultures and heritage. Michelle has been a senior government adviser in Indigenous Affairs and the Department of Communities, and is a trained language specialist with over 20 years experience in community development and education.

michelle@bighart.org

Nat O'Donnell

Nat O'Donnell

Producer, Project O

Geelong, VIC

Natalie has established an extensive career as an actor both nationally and internationally. She began her association with Big hART as an actor/mentor and performed with the company as a part of the Yijala Yala project ‘Hip Bone Sticking Out’. Witness to the company’s incredible work and long term positive impacts, she has since extended her role with Big hART as the Victorian Producer of Project O and is passionate about the arts as a platform to empower communities, create empathy and drive change.

Amy Morcom

Amy Morcom

Producer, SKATE

Sydney

Amy is a creative producer interested in bringing diverse people, forms and ideas together to create memorable live experiences. As the Producer for SKATE, Amy is applying her experience in commercial theatre, creating new work, and international touring to facilitate the development an impressive theatrical product that will support meaningful change. She comes from the rich theatre-making community of Theatre/Media (Bathurst) graduates and has worked in various contexts in theatre and events, including new writing theatre, highly visual and visceral performance, children’s theatre, national and international touring, and large-scale outdoor events.

amy@bighart.org

 

Lincoln Smith

Lincoln Smith

Community Producer, SKATE

Sydney

Lincoln is a social worker with over 10 years experience in the community sector in roles ranging from case management to managing community development projects with social housing communities. With previous work in carpentry, Lincoln is passionate about working with individuals to build resilience by learning new skills and creating opportunities for intergenerational connection. Lincoln is new to Big hART but is passionate about using the power of quality artistic work to give voice to hidden stories and empower communities to re-author their future. As a former skater, Lincoln will identify talent and engage with the skate community of Greater Sydney – building networks and partnerships that will support the project in its creative development.

Clare Spillman

Clare Spillman

Assistant Producer, Project O

Tasmania

Clare joins Big hART as Assistant Producer on Project O with over 15 years’ experience working in commercial theatre, the education sector and youth at risk. After graduating from the University of Surrey, Clare’s career includes stage managing for Deafinitely Theatre; Producing comedy and cabarets; and production management for Edinburgh Festival, Prague Fringe festival, Poznan Festival and Sibenik’s International Festival. Once in Australia she continued her career producing events, new work and cabarets in Adelaide, Melbourne, Wollongong, and Parramatta. Clare has devised and implement complex creative programs for young people, artists and community participants in the UK and Australia. 

clare@bighart.org 

Maggie Abraham

Maggie Abraham

Community Producer, Project O

Frankston

Maggie Abraham is a Tasmanian-based contemporary percussionist who has played extensively around the state in different groups and as a solo artist, including at festivals such as The Falls Festival, MONA FOMA, and The Taste of Tasmania among many more. Seeking to constantly develop her own sound and voice as a musician she is inspired by her experience in the Tasmania landscape. Maggie came on board with Big hART as a community producer for Project O Frankston, and has performed at Big hART’s Acoustic Life of Sheds shows in Tasmania. As Community Producer, Maggie works alongside artists to facilitate workshops for young women from schools in Frankston. Drawing on her skills as a musician,  Maggie is passionate about mentoring the upcoming generation of young women to become change makers in their communities.

maggie@bighart.org

Patrick Wundke

Patrick Wundke

Community Producer, New Roebourne

Roebourne, WA

Pat has spent most of the last 10 years straddling the fields of community development, social inclusion and the arts. He has worked in complex social environments in Colombia, Chile, Ethiopia, the UK and most recently in Lebanon delivering a diverse range of projects from psychosocial and education programs for refugee populations to social integration programs for multicultural urban youth. As a visual artist and musician, Pat is particularly excited to be working with Big hART in Roebourne and seeing the intersections between community development and creative practice.

pat@bighart.org

Aimee Kepa

Aimee Kepa

Producer, New Roebourne

Roebourne, WA

Aimee’s initial foray into professional life saw her working as both a lawyer and anthropologist with Aboriginal communities across South Australia. Following a life-long passion for movement, Aimee moved to London in 2013 to complete a Masters of Dance Anthropology and subsequently spent the next 5 years working for leading dance organisations in the UK and Lebanon. A strong believer in the transformative potential of the creative fields and the power of a narrative, Aimee is excited to be joining the Big hART team in Roebourne.

aimee@bighart.org

Leith Alexander

Leith Alexander

Digital Producer, New Roebourne

Roebourne, WA

With almost a decade of experience sound recording in film and television across Australia, Leith has worked for ABC TV, Channel Nine and Fox Sports as well as short films and feature films. In more recent years Leith’s work has focused on developing radio content, producing and scripting three documentaries for ABC’s Radio National. In February 2019, Leith made the move to Big hART in Roebourne. As the Digital Lab Producer, Leith works closely with young people to create digital stories driven by family and the young people themselves.

leith@bighart.org

 

 

Big hART board

John Culley

Chairman

Education: With 30+ years in his field, John has long-term experience in working with poverty and disengaged students. He is currently state school principal in a highly disadvantaged community. His key areas of experience are in HR, counselling, and policy.

Andrew Viney

Public Officer, Treasurer

Entertainment: Andrew has 20+ years in the private sector, and the music and entertainment industry. He is experienced in logistics, financial planning, and HR management.

Barbara Baikie

Member

Justice & Gender: Barbara has held 20+ years of senior positions in juvenile justice, disability, child protection, and policy. She is currently President of the National Council of Women of Australia. Her key experience includes strategic planning and consulting.

Scott Rankin

Member

Community Development & Arts: Scott is Big hART's Co-founder, CEO, and Creative Director, with additional roles as Writer, Director, Executive Producer, essayist and public speaker. He is a leader in CCD project design, consulting to Government and the corporate sector.

Allery Sandy

Member

Community Development & Arts: A Yindjibarndi leader and artist, Allery has been working with Big hART in Roebourne for 6 years, as a key elder on the project and a cultural consultant. Allery's background includes community welfare, Yindjibarndi language education, work for the Aboriginal Church and she is also a Director on a number of boards.

Sandra French AM

Member

Local Government: Sandra is a businesswoman with previous experience as a Mayor, and is highly skilled in senior management. She has sought after board experience including: Tasmanian Police, Tasmanian Community Fund, and Tasmanian Local Government.

Neal Rodwell

Member

Disability: Neal is the Manager of North West Residential Support Services Inc., with 30+ yrs experience in disability and the not-for-profit sector. He is highly skilled in the areas of financial management and policy development.

Wendy Page

Member

Media: Wendy has 25+ years experience as a television journalist with ABC TV, including nearly 20 years with Australian Story where she was one of the founding producers.

Carla Wall

Member

Technology: Carla is the Managing Director of COINS Australia. She has 20+ years’ experience driving the vision, business strategy and growth in the software and construction industries; ensuring organisations deliver successful transformational change.

Patrick Churnside

Member

Community Development & Arts: Patrick is a Traditional Owner from the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Language Groups and a gifted performer and has worked with Big hART leading intercultural workshops for many years. Patrick is also a board member of the State Government Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee and City of Karratha Arts & Cultural Advisory Group.

Michelle Adams

Member

Community Development & Arts: Michelle is a Yindjibarndi woman from Roebourne, who has worked with Big hART for many years to ensure the program is safe culturally. Michelle has also been a senior government adviser in Indigenous Affairs and the Department of Communities and is a trained language specialist.