CinefestOZ is a production of the Geographe French Australian Festivals Incorporated (GFAF) whose Board of community volunteers is dedicated to producing one of the nation’s top film festivals and attracting audiences and the film community to the shores of South West Western Australia.
The festival is now the fastest growing film festival in Australia, screening over 200 sessions across four locations with connected events. A team of professional staff and 250 volunteers help the festival deliver its outstanding program each year.
CinefestOZ is a not-for-profit entity.
B.Econ. MLC, JP, Member for the South West Region.
Barry is the sitting Liberal Member for the South West Region in the Legislative Council and continues to-date. Born in Busselton and raised on a farm in Yallingup, Barry is the South West’s greatest supporter. Barry has fulfilled many roles in parliament, government and the community and he is a wonderful advocate of CinefestOZ.
Actor David Wenham is a household name in Australia, due to his depiction of an eclectic range of characters in feature film, television and stage productions. His international film credits include roles in Lord of the Rings, Cosi, Moulin Rouge, Van Helsing and Public Enemies. His directorial debut was one of the 17 interconnected stories filmed as The Turning, which premiered in WA at CinefestOZ in 2013. David’s involvement with CinefestOZ since 2011 and role as Patron since 2012, has been pivotal to the Festival’s success.
Myles has a Bachelor of Arts in Education (Secondary) from Edith Cowan University and a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Acting degree from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art). He has appeared in many Australian television series including McLeod’s Daughters, Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly and Rescue Special Ops. His feature film credits include Wolverine, Drift (which he also produced), The Turning, The War That Changed Us and has just completed a role in the feature film Looking for Grace starring Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell.
Myles has worked as an actor with respected Australian theatre companies including Ensemble, Black Swan and Bell Shakespeare, a company he also teaches for Australia wide. Myles is currently directing short films for the Creative Arts Initiative, a Murdoch University program that aims to develop positive aspirations for WA high school students.
Myles has been a great supporter of the Festival over many years and became involved as the Schools Program Patron in 2014.
Originally from Busselton, Helen has Honours degrees in History and Art History and a Masters in Industrial Relations. She spent 20 years in senior positions in the public service before setting up a business consultancy operation and her much loved olive grove. Helen’s involvement with the community includes five years’ service on the Busselton Shire Council, Chairing the Committee responsible for designing the refurbishment of the Busselton Foreshore and Chairing the Busselton Wetlands Committee. She is also currently the Chair of Busselton Water Corporation. In 2012 Helen was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in recognition of her services to the Busselton community. Helen is a co-founder of CinefestOZ and has been the festival’s Film Director since it started in 2008.
Margaret Buswell is an accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce from UWA. From 1992 until today she has successfully managed and grown a regional tourism venture into a major tourism company. She has a proven background in fundraising and charity events and a keen interest in film and is dedicated to advancing CinefestOZ and tourism in the South West region.
David Barton is Director of Renascent Health Care and Busselton Physiotherapy and Allied Centre. He has an MBA in addition to his health profession qualifications. His vast community, governance and development experience includes time as a Shire Councillor, local and state government board roles and roles with a variety of community, health, economic development and arts groups. David co-founded CinefestOZ in 2008.
Jen brings a wealth of experience and skills to the Board from a range of industries. She returned to Busselton as a resident in 2002 with a Bachelor of Business in Marketing. Jen’s knowledge in the fields of marketing, event co-ordination, hospitality management, and business administration assists in Board matters. Jen is passionate about enhancing Busselton’s cultural potential.
Stephen is the owner of Bon Marche Mensland in Bunbury. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from UWA and brings a lifetime of business experience to the CinefestOZ board. After eleven years as a Bunbury City Councillor and four years as Deputy Mayor, he retired from the Council in late 2013. He has served as President of many community organisations including the Bunbury Tourist Bureau. Stephen joined the CinefestOZ board in late 2013 and is keen to see the potential of CinefestOZ further developed in his home town of Bunbury. His wife, Maria, is a French teacher and assists with the CinefestOZ Schools Program, Cinesnaps.
Robyn is a tourism and marketing specialist who has provided a wide range of services to State government, statutory authorities and the private sector through Edge Tourism, the business she started in 1998. She has broad ranging experience in strategic and business planning, tourism concept planning and evaluation, operational and management planning, feasibility assessment, market planning, industry and community consultation. Robyn will assist with forming strong tourism and sponsor partnerships to grow the festival over coming years.
Warren has owned and driven a nationally recognised and award winning graphic design and marketing business. His expertise in the areas of marketing, public relations, graphic design, web design, sponsorship, web direction and ticketing is highly valued by the CinefestOZ team. He can mostly be found writing books and riding his Harley.
Jennifer Gherardi has first class Honors in Media at Murdoch University. As Principal of Jag Films in Margaret River, Jennifer has broad film industry experience. Her company makes documentaries and works with new media, 3D animation and drama productions. Her documentary Spirit Stones (ABC) received broad industry recognition and awards and she is known for producing media with social impact: Choice Funerals, Birthrites, My Nan and the Yandi, Amy goes to Wadjemup. She is currently developing a dramatic feature film and multi media project. Jennifer contributes in many insightful ways to CinefestOZ.
In addition to running his accounting practice supporting many local businesses, Con also owns the local Soils Ain’t Soils business in Busselton. Con is a keen sailor when time permits. He provides the financial oversight for CinefestOZ and enjoys the opportunity to introduce his family to this area of the arts in such a unique way.
Malinda Nixon commenced her role as Festival Manager in 2009 and has been instrumental in the success of CinefestOZ. With a Bachelor of Business and broad experience in public sector management and as general manager and CEO of the public and private sector, she brings a depth of knowledge and understanding to the role. Her business development and tourism marketing skills have helped propel CinefestOZ to the fastest-growing film festival in Australia.