Melbourne Fringe appoints three new directors to the Board

AAR-Melbourne-Fringe-Joel-BrayMelbourne Fringe has announced the appointment of three new directors to the Melbourne Fringe Board in Joel Bray, Rupert Sherwood and Sonia Lindsay.

Melbourne-based artist, Joel Bray is a proud Wiradjuri man who trained at NAISDA and WAAPA and is an ongoing performer with CHUNKY MOVE. Joel’s practice springs from his Wiradjuri cultural heritage. His first solo performance BILADURANG was commissioned as part of Deadly Fringe in 2017, when it won three Festival awards and went on to national and international touring and acclaim.

The work was re-invented for the digital space as BILADURANG 2.0, which premiered at Melbourne Fringe’s VCR Fest in July. Joel has toured to the Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin, Midsumma, Auckland and Dance Massive Festivals and to Arts Centre Melbourne.

Sonia Lindsay has over 20 years’ experience in HR, change and management in the arts sector, not for profit organisations, government, and the private sector. She works at her own consulting practice as a change strategist and management coach, as well as pursuing her passion for community development in Melbourne’s Western suburbs. Sonia is interested in intersectionality and expressions from the margins.

Rupert Sherwood is a fundraising professional with over 20 years’ experience working in marketing, corporate partnerships, and philanthropy in an arts context. He has worked with organisations including the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Australian Youth Orchestra and is currently Director of Development at Melbourne Theatre Company.

Rupert is passionate about creating opportunities for donors and corporate partners that help them forge deep and long-lasting connections to the arts, and in turn strengthen our artistic community to foster a more creative and empathetic society.

 “I am delighted to welcome Joel, Sonia and Rupert to the Melbourne Fringe Board,” said Sam Strong, Chair of the Melbourne Fringe Board. “They bring a wealth of experience and talent, from strategic thinking, to fundraising, to human resources, to community development, to creating acclaimed First Nations art works. And they are united by their commitment to the spirit of Fringe – its championing of diverse voices and independent artists.”

“It is a watershed moment for the performing arts as we all navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19. With the addition of Joel, Sonia and Rupert to the Board, Melbourne Fringe is even better placed to sustain Victorian creativity through 2020, 2021 and as we move toward our 40th year in 2022.”

Last year the Melbourne Fringe Festival enjoyed a 15% increase in ticketed attendance, with an audience of 382,166 people, across over 450 shows.

2020 sees the Festival continuing to play a leading role in the support of development of independent arts, presenting a completely COVID-safe festival of digital and socially-distanced art (in line with restrictions and government guidelines of the time) from 12 – 29 November 2020. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Joel Bray (supplied)