The Team

Charmaine Barnett

Charmaine initiated Mixit in 2005 and in her position as a trustee of the Fledgling Trust has worked closely with Wendy guiding the project from strength to strength. Over the years Charmaine has worn many Mixit hats. Alongside developing the philosophical foundations and future possibilities for both Mixit (and Mixers) she has also steadily supported the project in a myriad of ways – from stepping up to the BBQ at fundraisers to advocating for the project and reaching out into networks which can support Mixit participants find their way. Charmaine recognises the needs of vulnerable youth in our communities and is actively committed to supporting positive changes that build stronger more resilient people.

Francoise Byamana

Community Facilitator & Performer

Originally from Rwanda Francois has broad involvement with many diverse communities here in NZ. He is often called upon to MC community events and currently runs ‘Afro-Beats’ for Ponsonby Radio. He is interested in media and communications, loves drama and is a committed Mixit member. He was a member of Zoh Zoh Drum ensemble and takes every opportunity to perform on both stage and screen. Francois recently performed in ‘A Thousand Hills’ a performance devised around his life experience and journey to NZ, and has roles in several NZ short films.

Katy Dugdale

Katy graduated from Art school in Sydney in the 1980s and has spent many years working in various creative fields. She trained as an art teacher and has been teaching Visual Arts at Auckland Girls Grammar for the last seven years where she is also the Head of Art Dept. Katy has been a committed and staunch believer in the power of Mixit since its inception. She has steadily helped with the development of the project and continues to front up with advice and practical support.

Margaret-Mary Hollins

Theatre Director

Margaret-Mary has worked as a professional theatre director, actor, tutor, producer and writer for over twenty years. She has worked extensively with youth as both a tutor and director and is interested in physical theatre – developing new work and exploring the classics with both youth and experienced performers. She is currently the Venue Manager for TAPAC (The Auckland Performing Arts Center) and is actively engaged in supporting community theatre. In 2011 Margaret-Mary directed ‘A Thousand Hills’ a performance that grew out of meeting Francois Byamana at Mixit.

Ben Crowder

Theatre Director

Ben is a drama graduate from University of Otago, University of Auckland and the John Bolton Theatre School in Melbourne. He is a director of Theatre Stampede where he works as a director creating works that are known for their theatricality, bold physicality and visual flair. He also works as a performer, drama tutor and creator of community events and directs for Auckland Theatre Company.

Susan Haldane

Theatre Director

Sue is a freelance actor, director, singer and teacher. As Artistic Director for ‘Theatre Frontier’ – a touring Theatre-In-Education Company – for 20 years she created and performed innovative and contemporary theatre for young people throughout NZ. Sue specializes in creating dynamic visual theatre incorporating animation of extraordinary props. Sue is also a Director of ‘Boiler Room’ a company specializing in creating industrial art furniture.

Brook Shiferaw

Former Mixit Project Co-ordinator

Biruktayet (known to us all as Brook) is originally from Ethiopia. The daughter of a political refugee her family ended up in New Zealand when she was 14. Brook graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam, University of Auckland, together with an interest in film and multi-media art forms. Brook was closely involved with the development of Mixit from the very first research stage and was Project Co-ordinator for 5 years. During this time she also directed many short films and videos for Mixit, along with handling all the graphic design and the first web site development. Brook has departed for Melbourne (and a challenging job) from where she continues to inspire and support the project.

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