Kim has been working with First Nations communities for 27 years and has used arts, culture and community development practices to influence change, increase health and wellbeing for people and communities living under pressure. Kim worked for seven years alongside creative partner Phillip Crawford with the award-winning organisation Big hART, producing HURT and KNOT@Home before establishing BE in 2004 with Phillip. Kim has extensive expertise in facilitating collaborative practices across divided and multiply disadvantaged communities, enabling people to find new ways to work together. She is accomplished at designing collaborative, artist led projects and cultural processes to support healing for people living with intergenerational trauma. Her work is renowned for its resolute ethics, knowledge of and respect for cultural protocols and the self-determination of the people involved. Kim has been awarded for her collaborative practices and forging new partnerships across Government, Corporate, Philanthropic and Community sectors.
After several years of working in the community welfare sector, Phil moved from Sydney to Melbourne to complete a bachelor of Film and Television at the Victorian College of the Arts. In 1998 Phil started working with Big hART and over the following years he collaborated with communities across Australia on various performance, installation and multi-media projects included in the programs of major arts festivals across Adelaide, Melbourne and Ten Days on the Island in Tasmania.
In 2004, Phil and long-time colleague Kim McConville established Beyond Empathy where he now works alongside Gemma Parsons on BE’s Illawarra projects. Phil and Gemma focus on producing collaborative film works with community.
Phil has been doing this kind of work for quite a long time and his unique and unconventional approach to filmmaking and community work is exemplified by the unusual awards he been given for his work: an AFI (Australian Film Institute) Award for the ‘concept’ of the film HURT, a Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Innovative Combination of Documentary and Fiction for HURT, the Inaugural Arts Fellowship from the NSW Law Foundation and a special jury prize in the Free Spirit Competition at the Warsaw Film Festival (which recognises independent and rebellious films from around the world) for the film Rites of Passage – the jury noting its interesting approach to film making based on community work.
Films that Phil has directed have screened at national and international festivals, screened on Arte in Europe, Channel 4 in the UK, SBS and ABC in Australia and have won many nominations and awards for their distinct vision and process.
Effortlessly crossing genres from soul to hip-hop and beyond, Radical Son is a standout vocalist and songwriter like no other. His often-poignant lyrics chart a course from hopelessness to healing; mercilessly deconstructing what is, and forever imagining what could be. Radical Son’s music and stories are always guided by his Indigenous heritage from the Kamilaroi nation of Australia and the south pacific nation of Tonga. As a vocalist, Radical Son has a unique ability to deliver as a soul singer, rapper and spoken word artist. This natural dexterity defines his earned place and presence in the contemporary musical landscape. The back-bone of radical son’s stories continuously urge our human spirit to approach life through love and compassion.
Gemma has been running Arts based projects with BE since 2006. She started her work with BE drawing on her experience as a community artist, youth worker, community development worker and Hip Hop culture enthusiast.
BE gave Gemma an ideal space in which to utilise her skills and interests as well as a supportive and encouraging environment to help her develop and grow. Working alongside Phillip Crawford in the Illawarra, Gemma gained new skills in filmmaking and a new and refreshing way of working in community.
Having previously worked with larger groups on music, dance and visual arts projects, working in film lent itself more to smaller groups or one on one participation, where everyone had a specific role or job to do and you are able to give more of your attention to individuals.
In 2010, Gemma directed her first short film “2506” with an inspiring cast of teenagers from Berkeley, NSW and under the mentorship (and awesome editing skills) of Phil. The film won the Best Audience Reaction Award at the Margaret River Short Film Festival in WA and screened at festivals in New Zealand and Ireland. In 2013 Phil and Gemma completed the feature length drama film “Rites Of Passage” which screened all over the globe, won a dozen awards including a Special Jury Prize at the prestigious Warsaw Film Festival in Poland, aired on the ABC and most importantly gave some incredible opportunities to its young cast and crew.
Gemma has had the joy of working on numerous BE projects across NSW including 3Moree and Maven in Armidale. Gemma loves art and hates disadvantage and BE let’s her do something about it.
Shaniece Igano is a community filmmaker that resides in Illawarra and began working with Beyond Empathy while making ‘Rites of Passage’ in 2009. Her passion for working behind the camera grew as she learnt on set.
In 2012, she created her first piece of film called ‘Legoland’; an installation piece that spoke about her personal experience in living in her community. Her piece of artwork was awarded a place at ArtExpress; a NSW statewide exhibition showcasing the best of year 12’s artwork.
Due to this success, she has been awarded Cate Stevenson Scholarship (2013) at International Womens Day Illawarra, the special mention award at FlickerFest (2014) and at Short Soup International film festival (2014). Her film has also been showed in Austria (2014).
She began to pursue filmmaking at TAFE after she left school in 2013 and completed a Certificate IV in Screen and Media. As she finished, she found that her passion was also in communities and then completed a Certificate IV in Community Services.
Shaniece is now a leading producer in stART productions and has worked on several projects in the Illawarra; collaborating with several communities in creating promotional content and retelling of stories.
Shaniece also works on assisting in the filmmaking process as an editor for upcoming feature-length film, ‘Protection’. She loves the process of storytelling and loves empowering people to be the best they can be.
Minna is a creative with a background working in costume design and taxidermy. She is currently studying business online, with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. For most of her life she has been surrounded by artists, musicians, film-makers, theatre producers, designers, cultural workers and visionary leaders, sitting in on conversations with passionate, creative thinkers.
Minna has worked as assistant to the costume department at Belvoir St Theatre, under the mentorship of Judy Tanner on Angels in America Parts One and Two, Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, Hamlet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Stories I want to Tell you In Person and Forget Me Not. Her role included working with actors and directors and she was responsible for costume fittings, sourcing and buying costumes, organising costumes in order for back stage quick change and maintenance of the entire Belvoir wardrobe.
Minna worked as assistant to costume supervisor Lisa Javelin on the ABC TV drama, Carlotta, and was responsible for archiving costumes prior to fittings in accordance with the fitting schedule and runner for the creative team. She has worked at the BBC in London, assisting Mark Allet, Set Dresser and Prop Master, on a variety of BBC commercials.
Minna loves problem solving and using systems to create flow in creative environments. Minna is a committed yoga practitioner and practices Vipassna mediation.
Raphaela Rosella (Rosie) (1988) is an Australian photographer from Nimbin, NSW working in the tradition of long-form documentary storytelling. Rosie has been involved with Beyond Empathy since 2006. First as a participant through the BE Leadership Program and now takes on multiple roles as our photographer, community artist, mentor and online content manager.
Working closely with BE, Rosie uses visual storytelling as a device to question our readiness to stigmatise and to stereotype. Blending the conventions of documentary and art, Rosie has spent over 8 years documenting women in her life as they grapple with the complexities of motherhood, violence, and turbulent relationships. Each experience has been rewarding, complex, and at times heartbreaking. Rosie is committed to telling these stories in the hope that audiences begin to consider the cyclical nature of social disadvantage, and acknowledge the resilience of young women who share this lived experience.
Rosie has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and abroad and in 2014 she was one of 12 photographers selected worldwide to attend World Press Photo’s prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass held in Amsterdam. Furthermore, her work has received many distinctions including: First Prize (Portrait Singles Category) World Press Photo Contest (2015) and Australian Photobook of the Year (Momentro Pro) (2015).
Rosie holds a bachelor of Photography with first class honours from the Queensland College of Art (2012) and a diploma of Community Services (Case Management) (2014). She is represented by Australian photo collective Oculi and throughout Europe by Agence Vu.
Ned McDowell is Beyond Empathy’s All Abilities and Access Project Manager for the New England and North West NSW. He is also a visual artist, a participant in a myriad of art practices which contribute to the welfare and improvement in the lives of people who identify living with a disability.
Ned himself proudly lives with the disability of Bipolar 1. Ned believes that art is a powerful tool in the treatment of mental illness. Art is a means to reignite imagination, self-confidence and self-worth. Ned uses his arts project management, his own art practice and exhibitions as a nonconfrontational platform to generate greater dialogue, awareness, education and understanding of mental health issues across the wider communities.
Ned strongly believes that maximum participation across all demographics is inherent to the success of a project, whether defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, employment and disability. This greater participation contributes to a fuller picture, and that art itself can create a greater story, which otherwise could not be told.
Jo Davidson has worked for Beyond Empathy as an artist on the Mubali /Sea of Bellies Maternal & Early Childhood Strategy since it began in 2004 in Moree NSW. During this time Jo has developed and seeded this strategy in other places including Narrabri, Illawarra, Derby WA, Midnorth Coast -Nambucca, Bowraville & Coffs, Forster, Logan, Capalaba, Strathpine, Deception Bay and Sydney’s Rozelle and Redfern.
Jo makes belly casts of young pregnant Aboriginal mums-to-be, collaborating with local AMHS and Health organisations, training artists, midwives and health workers in belly, hands and feet casting as an inclusive engagement strategy, encompassing local Indigenous culture and language alongside health education. Jo works on project management and curated painted bellycast exhibitions in Moree Plains Regional Gallery, Logan Regional Gallery SEQ, Cleveland Performing Arts Complex SEQ and Great Lakes Library Forster. She is currently developing an online Sea of Bellies Toolkit share site for BE.
Jo Davidson has held 17 solo shows of her paintings, drawings and prints and numerous group shows. She makes sculpture and ephemeral works and has run workshops at festivals and regional galleries, completing Public Art projects around the Hastings region where she lives with her lifelong partner artist Stephen Killick. They have shared a number of residencies in Australia and Europe and both their children are artists in Melbourne.
Prior to working with BE, Jo was a p/t TAFE teacher on Aboriginal and Fine Arts courses around MNC NSW.
Valerie Quinlin is a Gumbayngirr artist from Nambucca Heads. Joining BE’s Leadership Program in 2007, Val began work with Beyond Empathy’s Young Mums program in the Nambucca region and has since been mentored by BE artist Jo Davidson.
Val has assisted and participated in numerous BE projects including BE camps, dance in Tennant Creek and mosiac workshops in Bowraville, Dorrigo, and Gosford. In addition, Val worked on the Ngarrwa Young Mums program in Bowraville for 5 years. During this time Val was mentored by artists Stephen Killick on a variety of sculpture projects and Guy Crossley in mosaics.
Val has since curated Naidoc Week Exhibitions of Gumbayngirr artists in the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and also held a solo exhibition ‘Terra Nullius’ of her own sculptures, reliefs and drawings in 2013. Furthermore, Val exhibited a major sculpture and installation in Bowraville in 2013.
Her work alongside Jo Davidson with the Sea of Bellies project continues in Moree and extends to Brisbane. She now manages BE’s belly casting project in Coffs and Nambucca in collaboration with AMHS and Galimbilla, and is currently studying Community Cultural Development at Coffs Harbour TAFE.
Val is passionate about her community, language and culture and proud to be working with young parents and children to connect arts and culture with early childhood learning.
Emma Korhonen is a photographer, artist from the Illawarra where she works closely with Phil and Gemma documenting BE’s film projects Protection and Blue Rose.
Emma grew up with several talented artists, photographers and musicians in her family, and was encouraged from a young age to be as creative as she can be. Facing multiple health issues, BE has provided Emma with a supportive environment to practice her art making. She is thankful to have several creative outlets to express herself through art and photography and is currently being mentored by BE photographer Raphaela Rosella.
Emma studied fine arts at West Wollongong TAFE from 2006-2011 and focused mainly on traditional media, but is particularly interested in wildlife illustration. She is a self-taught landscape photographer and has been taking photos in a variety of styles since 2006.
Emma also plays guitar, was once in a band, and enjoys having the occasional jam with her brother in his garage.
Daryl joined BE in January 2015 and brings with him a wealth of experience in financial management and planning.
Daryl has worked in Financial Planning and Accounting with one of NSW’s largest Regional Accounting Firms for 20 years and more recently as General Manager of a NSW Statutory Authority for 10 years.
Daryl possesses excellent communication skills which combined with his outgoing personality mean that he mixes well with people from all stations in life. He has proved to be a perfect “fit” for this expanding position within BE.