Proudly born in modern day New Mexico in the American Southwest, as a teenager Chad moved to Bundjalung Yugambeh Country (Gold Coast), where he completed high school and tertiary studies at Griffith University. He has over 10 years industry experience in marketing, communications and events, mostly through his involvement in BLEACH* since the Festival’s inception in 2012. When he’s not at work or doing Jiu Jitsu, you’ll find Chad surfing or walking his dog around Palm Beach – the place he calls home.
“Mum’s side of the family has ties to the Northern Rivers, so I’ve always maintained a connection to the area. I’ve been very fortunate to travel throughout my life, and I can say with certainty how lucky I feel to live and work in such a special place.”
Claire moved to the Gold Coast from Brisbane 12 years ago, so is almost considered a local.
“I was born and raised in Brunswick Heads, so I’ve only ever lived about a 100kms either side of the city,” she says. “The Jellurgal ‘Oceanview Track’ walk is my favourite place on the Coast. It’s a beautiful walk through such a special, spiritual place. Take in the amazing view, hopefully spot a whale or some dolphins and finish up with a dip in Talle Creek.”
Claire has over 10 years experience working in an eclectic mix of events in a variety of industries, including universities, not-for-profits, craft beer and hospitality. Claire has been at Placemakers* Gold Coast for four years and has a passion for large-scale, site-specific work. Claire graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Applied Theatre in 2006 and returned to complete her Master of Arts and Media in 2015.
Jo has worked on the Gold Coast since 2014 alongside great creative industry professionals and key community members passionate about the arts and culture transformation throughout the city.
“Having been raised in Brisbane, frequent trips to the Gold Coast and surrounding hinterland areas were part of family life, and becoming independent with my own wheels, there were many more trips down the highway to go to the beach whenever I could.”
Between 2014 and 2019, Jo was fortunate enough to deliver the annual South Stradbroke Island Indigenous Artist Camp and have unique ‘on country’ experiences alongside the artists.
“If I can get back over to South Stradbroke regularly, I do, but I am happy to connect with other special places on the Coast, like Tallebudgera, Currumbin or Jellurgal (Burleigh headland) for a swim or walk throughout the natural areas.”
Jo has successfully worked across government for 25 years, including a photography cadetship completed in 1999 at the State Library of Queensland. She’s passionate about continuing to document people and places, especially through the arts. Later Jo worked in the City of Gold Coast Arts and Culture unit, and now she’s the First Nation Curator at Placemakers*.
“I love working in the creative arts industry and especially working in a city with a beach lifestyle.”
Jo grew up in Brisbane and spent most of her weekends on the Gold Coast before the pull of the Coast drew her here full-time.
“Our first place was overlooking Tallebudgera Creek and I fell in love with the lifestyle and everyday beach days!” she says. “I then moved to Mermaid Beach, which was amazing, being able to walk to the Nobby shops, restaurants and bars. I now live in Elanora, which is extremely centrally located so I can still enjoy the best of the Gold Coast. I love so many places on the Gold Coast but one of my favourite spots is Burleigh. There is always so much activity, there are places to eat and, of course, the surf to watch on the hill.”
Jo worked in an accounting firm for seven years before moving into providing accounting expertise to the Gold Coast’s leading arts organisations – Placemakers* Gold Coast, The Farm and Everybody Now, to name a few.
Kasmira grew up on the Gold Coast after her family took the leap over the Tasman from New Zealand. From schooling in Benowa to a Science degree at Griffith University, she always seemed to make new friends in the performing arts.
“After graduating I took to the skies and travelled through Europe, Asia and Canada but always called the Gold Coast home.”
Kasmira has over 15 years experience working in project coordination across a mix of industries, including event management, construction, tourism and community engagement. She has worked in varied roles within the Placemakers* Gold Coast and BLEACH* team, from volunteering in the early days to contracting as a stage manager and projects coordinator, and helping on various events over the years.
When Kasmira is not organising events, she is soaking up the beautiful landscapes of the Gold Coast, either from the ocean, surfing waves, diving or paddling down Currumbin Creek, or riding through the rainforests on her motorbike or camped out under the stars. She also helps to coordinate the Welcome Ceremony at Woodford Folk Festival, making fire props and working alongside Jinabara mob and local ambassadors to build large-scale outdoor community theatre in place.
Her passion for outdoor, site-specific work continues to grow with the awareness of the role of arts and culture plays in our community in telling stories of place, inspired by the landscapes of our coastline and country.
As a kid, Rosie Dennis moved between Pottsville and Murwillumbah on the NSW Tweed Coast and many of her adolescent adventures were played out on the Gold Coast. These days her favourite place on the Gold Coast is Natural Bridge, the spectacular natural rock and water feature in the hinterland.
After building her arts career in Sydney over the past 20 years, the last six as Director and CEO of Urban Theatre Projects, Rosie is loving re-discovering the Gold Coast as CEO and Artistic Director of BLEACH* Festival and Placemakers* Gold Coast.
“Creating new work with and for a place is something I really love to do and has been a part of my artistic practice for a long time.”
For more than 15 years, Rosie has curated and delivered large-scale cultural experiences with and for a range of stakeholders. She is a well-respected arts leader who is best known for developing and delivering projects in collaboration with diverse social and cultural communities. Her work has contributed to a national conversation about contemporary place-based practice, and the role arts and culture plays in building community and liveable cities.
Prior to joining Placemakers* Gold Coast, Rosie was the CEO/Artistic Director Urban Theatre Projects. During her tenure she curated the award-winning BANKSTOWN:LIVE, conceived and directed the theatrical triptych, Home Country, and directed two documentaries, Bre & Back and One Day for Peace.
Chris is most often seen on the Gold Coast overseeing staging, lighting and sound systems for any one of dozens of Bleach* and Placemakers* Gold Coast events each year. But when he’s not busily managing elaborate staging challenges, his favourite parts of the Gold Coast are the vibrant and diverse food scene of Broadbeach and the village atmosphere of Tugun. Chris has directed the technical requirements of Bleach* since its inception in 2012, overcoming any and all meteorological events and technical challenges to ensure the show will go on.
Chris hails from Brisbane but spends much of his time travelling around Australia with other festivals, such as Splendour in the Grass and Woodford Folk Festival, plus international tours with well-known contemporary Australian artists, including Safia and Set Mo. Chris spends half of his year connected to the Gold Coast through the management of Bleach* and other Placemakers* activations across the city.