The Seesaw Team
Meet the people behind WA’s leading arts magazine
Seesaw – your WA arts playground – is an independent digital arts magazine co-edited by respected arts journalists Rosalind Appleby and Nina Levy.
Drawing on decades of experience in the arts, Nina and Rosalind lead a team of WA’s most diverse and authoritative arts writers to provide the most dedicated and comprehensive arts coverage in the State.
Rosalind Appleby – Co-Manager
Rosalind Appleby is a Perth-based arts journalist, author and speaker. She was music critic for The West Australian for 14 years (2002-2016) and has contributed to various national and international publications including The Australian newspaper, The Guardian and Opera magazine (London). From 2012-2018 she operated the blog Noted, providing insights into the Perth arts scene. Rosalind’s book Women of Note (Fremantle Press, 2012) reveals startling discoveries about Australian women composers, locating the missing jigsaw pieces in Australia’s music history. Rosalind advocates for the arts through her lectures, author talks, artist interviews, pre-concert talks and school seminars. She has presented at the Perth Writers Festival (2013, 2018, 2019) and at the national Women in the Creative Arts Conference (2017) in Canberra. For several years she produced and broadcast the experimental program Difficult Listening for RTRFM. She has been interviewed by Andrew Ford on The Music Show and for programs on 3MBS, 2MBS, Radio Fremantle and RTRFM. Her favourite pieces of playground equipment are the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.
Nina Levy – Co-Founder and Co-Manager
Nina Levy has worked for over a decade as an arts writer and critic. In May 2017 she co-founded Seesaw with Varnya Bromilow and has been co-editing the platform since it went live in August 2017.
Nina began her career as an arts journalist as editor of Ausdance WA’s dancewest magazine (2007- 2011). She started working as a freelance dance critic shortly after, writing reviews and features for Dance Australia, from 2007. In 2012 she became editor of online content for Dance Australia and continues in that role today. Nina was co-editor of Dance Australia from July 2016 to June 2019. Nina was also dance critic for The West Australian newspaper from 2009-2018.
Nina has worked extensively in arts education and advocacy. She has been teaching dance history and analysis at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts since 2011. Between 2007 and 2011 she was Communications Manager at Ausdance WA and she has worked casually in education at the West Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2007). Nina taught dance and drama at Applecross Senior High School from 2003-2006. From 2000-2018, Nina was co-owner, manager and principal of Classical Dance Studio, a private dance school.
Nina loves the swings because they take her closer to the sky.
Gabrielle Sullivan – Business and Marketing Manager
Gabrielle Sullivan has been a manager of performing arts projects and companies, working primarily in the areas of contemporary music and contemporary dance, for thirty years. She has extensive experience in the management and promotion of performing arts organisations, companies and projects, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. She is currently Director at Ausdance WA and a member of the Management Committee of Decibel New Music Ensemble. Joining the Seesaw Team has her collaborating with colleagues from the arts sector, many of whom, over the years, have become good friends. And it’s called work! Favourite playground equipment is the swing of course: rhythm and movement!
Xan Ashbury is a teacher who spent a decade writing for newspapers and magazines in Australia and the UK. She won the Shorelines Writing for Performance Prize in 2014-17. Her favourite piece of playground equipment is the flying fox.
Ron Banks has reviewed the arts in WA for more years than he cares to remember. A former arts editor of The West Australian, he has reviewed performances in spaces from a dozen seats to super-stadiums. His only time on stage was as a spear-carrier in the opera Aida at Singapore’s sports stadium. His favourite playground equipment is the flying fox.
Stephen Bevis is a former Arts Editor at The West Australian from 2006 to 2016. His career at The West Australian included previous roles as Editor of the West Magazine, Deputy Foreign Editor, Night Editor, Canberra correspondent and state political reporter. He once was a dab hand on the monkey bars but is more often found warming the playground bench these days.
Sandra Bowdler is an archaeologist who has been writing about music for some twenty years, most recently for Opera magazine (UK), Bachtrack and Handel News. She is also the author of “Handel’s Operas in Australia, a performance history” Händel Jarhbuch (2017). Her favourite piece of playground equipment would be the picnic bench with smoked salmon sandwiches and champagne.
Emerging writer Jess Boyce is an artist and curator with a passion for the promotion of Perth arts. Jess has worked in a range of community, commercial and artist run spaces across Perth and co-founded Cool Change Contemporary in 2018. She has joyful playground memories of the wombat shaped spring rockers.
Varnya Bromilow is a happy dilettante who has worked as a journalist, advocate, oral historian, teacher and train driver. She spent 15 years with the ABC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The West Australian and enjoys writing fiction. She loves guinea pigs and the thrill of a good slide.
Emerging writer Lauren Catellani is an independent artist based in Perth. She graduated from WAAPA in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance (Honours). She has since worked as a collaborator, performer, teacher and is a founding member of the dance collective Fonder Physical Theatre. Her favourite piece of playground equipment is the monkey bars!
Steve Cohen is a doctor, a philosopher and dreamer. Steve has ridden the rails, gotten off track, and lost his train of thought. Only to get back on again. He spends most of his spare time considering the follies of a certain 2 year old child and wondering what it would actually be like to be on stage rather than write about the stage. Favourite playground equipment? They all hurt.
Emerging writer Eduardo Cossio is a musician active in the Perth experimental music scene. He is a presenter on Difficult Listening (RTRFM), his music reviews appear on Realtime Arts and Cool Perth Nights and he runs Outcome Unknown, a concert series of exploratory music. At the playground he would try and get some percussive sounds happening.
Lydia Edwards is a fashion historian and author. Her first book How to Read a Dress was published in 2017 and its follow up, How to Read a Suit, will be out in February 2020. She lectures at ECU and WAAPA, and her favourite piece of playground equipment is the expression swing!
Emerging writer Patrick Gunasekera is a queercrip Sinhala artist working across performance, visual media, and writing. After reading a poorly written review on a show about disability, he got into arts writing to critically engage with touchy topics that affect him personally. He loved the monkey-bars as a kid because he wanted strong arms. Photo by Zal Kanga-Parabia.
Emerging writer Tiffany Ha is a pianist, composer, arranger, music educator and vocalist with a soft spot for anything acapella. She has degrees in Music (Composition) and Arts (English) from UWA and works as a freelance musician. Her favourite playground equipment is anything that involves climbing and balance: monkey bars, rope towers, trees, human pyramids!
Jan Hallam has been watching theatre for a living for the past 30 years. Working for both The West Australian and The Sunday Times, she has been lucky to have experienced just how diverse and talented the Perth arts scene is. When she’s not sitting in the dark, she’s staring at the light of a computer screen as editor and journalist. She’s the queen of the sandpit castle.
Belinda Hermawan is a Pushcart-nominated writer whose short fiction has been published in Australia and the United States. She has served on the Australian Short Story Festival committee and was formerly at Writing WA and Paper Mountain. Favourite piece of playground equipment: playground car on springs!
Erin Hutchinson is an actor, singer, theatre maker and teacher who is passionate about local arts. Whilst she wishes she could still be a ninja on the monkey bars, she’s content to enjoy a turn on the swings… easier to still hold a glass of wine.
Robert Housley returns to arts journalism following a 20-year hiatus managing performing arts venues. He was the last arts editor of Perth’s Daily News and has worked as a journalist in London, Cape Town and Amsterdam. Robert’s favourite item of playground equipment is the swing and its enduring challenge: how high can you go?
Ara Jansen is a freelance journalist. Words, bright colour, books, music, art, fountain pens, good conversation, interesting people and languages make her deeply happy. A longtime music journalist and critic, she’s the former music editor of The West Australian. Being in the pool next to the playground is one of her favourite places, ever.
Emerging writer Miranda Johnson is a curator and writer who has worked for various contemporary arts institutions, co-founded Cool Change Contemporary and co-hosts Fem Book Club at the Centre for Stories. Miranda’s favourite aspect of the playground is getting the chance to meet as many dogs as possible.
Emerging writer Isabelle Leclezio is currently very excited to be moovin’ and groovin’ again after a year away from the world of dance. This year she is back at WAAPA to complete her Honours degree, during which she hopes to learn more about the power of dance in marginalised communities. Her favourite pick-me-up activity is soaring on the swings in the park at night, watching the streetlights woooosh past.
Leon Levy‘s career was spent in commerce, but in retirement continues a lifetime’s interest in the arts generally and choral singing in particular. He enjoys occasional reviewing with its challenge of giving total focus to each performance. Leon remains attracted to playground slides under the cover of supervising his grandchildren.
Garry Lee has played jazz vibraphone and guitar for over 50 years. He was a founding jazz teacher at WAAPA has also been a jazz writer, jazz composer/leader, Churchill Fellow and artistic director. Born in Essex soon after WW2, his favourite playground equipment was dismantled tanks and cannons.
Craig McKeough is a writer and visual artist, with a lifetime’s experience in journalism, covering everything from the arts to horse racing, politics and agriculture. Craig has always been drawn to the swing; an egalitarian, grounding piece of equipment where you can go as high and wild as you want, but you’ll always return to where you started.
Dr Jonathan W. Marshall is postgraduate coordinator at WAAPA, Edith Cowan University. Jonathan has written for RealTime Australia, Big Issue, The Age, Theatreview NZ, IN Press, and presented on radio, since 1992. He grew up beside the Yarra River, near a long metal slide, set into the side of a rocky slope.
Mark Naglazas has interviewed many of the world’s most significant producers, writers, directors and actors while working as film editor for The West Australian. He now writes for STM, reviews films on 6PR and hosts the Luna Palace Q & A series Movies with Mark. Favourite playground equipment: monkey bars, where you can hang upside and see the world from a different perspective.
Jo Pickup is an arts writer, lecturer & manager. She has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian Newspaper. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre and STRUT dance. Her favourite piece of playground equipment is the seesaw (of course!).
Emerging writer Tanya Rodin is a WAAPA dance graduate who enjoys sitting under a tree. She has been working independently in Perth, Regional NSW, and as an artist with Co3 Australia. The good old swing was one of her favourite pastimes in a playground, and still is.
Emerging writer Daisy Sanders is an independent artist, 2017 WAAPA graduate (BA Dance, First Class Honours) and proud member of Sensorium Theatre. Her practice includes an enduring, embodied exploration of rest and generating creative spaces focused on care and critical dialogue. Daisy recently worked internationally with Teać Damsa and Geoff Sobelle. She loves the merry-go-round and its centripetal force!
Jenny Scott received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from the University of Western Australia, and has spent the past ten years working and volunteering in the arts sector on Whadjuk Noongar boodja. She has fond memories of the dangerous thrill of the playground roundabout.
Claire Trolio completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at UWA. She writes about Western Australia for various digital and print media and owns a shop with her sister. For her, the spider swing is the ultimate in playground fun.
Emerging writer Bourby Webster is the Founder and CEO of Perth Symphony Orchestra one of WA’s newest and fastest growing arts companies. She is a graduate of Oxford University in Music and the Royal College of Music and is a professional violist, lecturer, presenter, and producer. She can’t even look at a playground as she suffers chronic motion sickness.
Michelle White is a Yamatji storyteller with more than 30 years writing and producing for televison, radio, print and online. She has extensive experience working in the arts and currently serves as Partnerships and Platforming Manager for Community Arts Network. Favourite part of the playground? The flying fox or wherever the food is!
Amy Wiseman is a WAAPA dance graduate who enjoys working in a variety of roles as a teacher, projects manager, performer/collaborator with Unkempt Dance and occasional writer. Her favourite piece of playground equipment is the triple horizontal bar.
Emerging writer Jaimi Wright is your friendly neighbourhood art historian. She has just completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at UWA and dabbles in curating, local arts writing, and 19th Century French history. Her favourite piece of play equipment is the roundabout even though her stomach should know better.
David Zampatti has been a student politician, a band manager, the Freo Dockers’ events guy, a bar owner in California, The West Australian’s theatre critic and lots of other crazy stuff. He goes to every show he’s reviewing with the confident expectation it will be the best thing he’s ever seen.
The Seesaw board
Rosalind Appleby, Stephen Bevis, Ruth Callaghan, Shane Colquhoun, Natalie Jenkins, Nina Levy, Janelle O’Hare, Michelle White.