Wendy Gillett has had a diverse career working across education, health, community services and sport and recreation, however the themes across all settings has been to deliver system change and improve outcomes.
She has worked at senior executive levels both within Government and the not-for-profit sector and won both public sector and industry awards for her work.
She is a strong advocate for women and girls, and is passionate about the transformative power of the arts, sport, and recreation.
Wendy currently runs her own management consultancy in addition to CommitteeOf Management and Advisory roles with Kids Thrive, Special Advisor for Oceania for The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA), Board member Women’s International Stone Alliance, and advisor to Bluearth Foundation.
Fred has been a Victorian school principal for more than twenty-five years and served for five years as a Senior Education Officer. He has been a head teacher of small rural primary schools, a leading teacher in a large metropolitan school and principal of medium and large primary schools.
In 2019 Fred retired as College Principal of Northern Bay P-12 College, a large multi campus school in Geelong. It was during this time at that he became associated with Kids Thrive, through the Geelong Kids as Catalyst program.
Fred is currently a school reviewer for Monash University, an Intern Facilitator for the Bastow Unlocking Potential program and a principal mentor under the DET Principal Health and Wellbeing Strategy. He is also an accredited GROWTH Coaching International coach, working with secondary school teachers under the Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support initiative.
Dr Andrea (Ande) Lemon is the Co-Founder CEO and Creative Director of Kids Thrive, Victoria’s leading arts and community development organisation committed to child-led community change.
Andrea is at heart a story-maker and director in her roles as playwright, theatre director and community cultural development artist, working with communities throughout Australia, and touring professional productions through Australia, Britain, Europe and the US; and as an ethnographer, historian, dramaturge, curator and author.
Her talent to write and direct stories is what drives the creation and success of Kids Thrive as a ‘new cultural work’ being written and directed in the creative gaps of hybrid, cross-sector, co-design space. She has built Kids Thrive from an initial, disruptive concept to a resilient, innovative and robust organisation. She leads Kids Thrive as a creative strategist, bringing together people, ideas and approaches from the arts, health, social welfare, education, community development, philanthropy and social justice sectors to find new solutions for old problems.
Andrea has been a freelance Writer, Director and Dramaturge developing and touring award-winning performance projects across Australia and internationally. She was Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Women’s Circus – for women who identify as survivors of sexual abuse or assault. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Centenary Federation Medal for Services to Society through her contribution to the Arts; Third Sector Board Director of the Year Award (Finalist 2017); VicHealth Improving Mental Wellbeing Award (Kids Thrive 2017); NAB Schools First – Schools and Community Partnerships Awards (2014 and 2015); plus gold and silver awards from the Australian Writers’ Guild (Theatre and Film), Victorian Green Room (Theatre) and Edinburgh Fringe (performance).
She was recipient of a multi-year Australia Council Senior Artist Fellowship; and nominated for the University of Melbourne Chancellor’s Award for her doctoral thesis: Tough as Buggery – Traditional Australian Circus, Community and Belonging. Her research, including oral histories and photographic portraits with elderly circus performers throughout Australia, formed the basis for a major exhibition, The Circus Diaries at The Arts Centre, Melbourne.
Andrea Rieniets is the Co-Founder, Programs Director /Lead Artists of Kids Thrive, Victoria’s leading arts and community development organisation committed to child-led community change. A singer, songwriter, composer, musical director and community development artist, Andrea leads development and delivery of arts for social change programs and approaches with, for and by young children.
She was the first Australian composer to be an Australian Antarctic Fellow; is a recipient of the Centenary Federation Medal for Services to Society in Theatre, and was awarded the Australian Arts Business Foundation Community Award for Good Practice in Partnership. In her music performance role Andrea was drummer for Templedance, and in her solo persona was one of the first Anglo Australian artists to acknowledge the traditional caretakers at the beginning of each performance and to hold smoke-free gigs to mainstream music audiences. Her performance was a mix of Atari computer on an Art Deco stand with live all women band.
Andrea was founding Director of Adelaide’s Before You Were Blonde contemporary community choir, and Guest Director of Sing It Up Big Australian Indigenous Choir.
Her compositional works and concerts have featured in the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide festivals, ABC radio and television, Opera SA and The Finnish National Opera. She has created recordings for solo, stage and film works, and is founder of Gorgeous Girl Records, Cha Cha Sam music for big-spirited kids and their grownups, as well as Kids Thrive. Andrea performs for adults under her own name, and for children as Cha Cha Sam.