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Our People

Heloise Pratt
Founding Patron


“Given actors hold the flame as society’s storytellers, we should encourage and support their contributions in every way. I believe passionately that training more actors here and

overseas is an investment that adds real value to our society"


Heloise Pratt, the Pratt Foundation’s Chair is the major donor to 16th Street Foundation’s inaugural Lindis Krejus Actors Scholarship.


Although Heloise is private about the many charities and causes she supports, she is happy to talk about her family connection to the Arts. Her late father, Richard Pratt toured London and New York starring in Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Her mother Jeanne Pratt AC is the Founder of the highly successful musical theatre venture, The Production Company.

Heloise herself is known to hold a tune with some enthusiasm and has captivated her audiences on the special occasions when she chooses to share her talent.


Heloise’s love of the Arts and how they contribute to our society led to her to support 16th Street Foundation.  She thinks and dreams with an expansive vision, we thank you Heloise.



Kim Krejus

Kim is the founder of 16th Street Actors Studio. She is known and respected as one of Australia’s most esteemed acting teachers.


Kim began her career as an actor in film receiving an AFI Best Actress nomination and has worked for all major television networks and theatre companies across Australia including Nimrod, MTC and QTC. Kim has also worked in theatre in the United States, including touring Broadway productions and in repertory theatre across the United Kingdom.


Kim was a student at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney, The HB Studio (NYC), The Atlantic Theatre School (NYC) and is a graduate of the Drama Centre, London. Kim received a Churchill Fellowship and has trained under some of the most highly regarded acting teachers in the world including Yat Malmgren & Doreen Cannon in London, Uta Hagen in New York and Ivana Chubbuck in Los Angeles; Kim is accredited to teach the innovative Chubbuck Technique.



Tom Burstall

Tom Burstall is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art at the University of New South Wales where he completed a BA course in Dramatic Arts. Since then Tom has focused on producing as either a Producer, Line Producer or Co-Producer on several Australian productions including Duet for Four, Midnite Spares, Neil Lynne, Devil in the Flesh, Slate Wyn and Me and Great Expectations. Tom has served as a consultant for both the West Australian Film Corporation and Film Victoria and on the Studio City project for Coopers and Lybrand.


After working on dozens features and several series and mini-series shot throughout Australia he then worked as a Completion Guarantor Representative for Motive Picture Guarantors Ltd on numerous Australian and Overseas Productions. In 1993 Tom was appointed Vice President of Pacific Rim and was instrumental in risk management of multiple media projects such as on Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners and on MGM’s Crocodile Hunter.  He also runs a Melbourne based Production Company, Umbrella Film Services Pty Ltd. As a Director of Pegasus Tom brings with him his leadership experience, advice and skills he has acquired from his consultancy work, producing features and documentaries and working on a diverse slate of projects.


Leora Givoni

Leora Givoni has worked in the field of Marketing and Communications for over 25 years. She worked with some of Australia’s largest private and public companies ranging from banks, airlines, legal firms to packaging companies.


Before starting her own marketing and communications business, she worked in PR and headed up the marketing team at Visy Recycling for over eight years. Understanding that every business in every industry has its own story to tell, Leora revels in the opportunity to assist companies to have their brand, products and services stand out in front of their desired audiences.


In addition to running communications projects for both large and medium-sized businesses, she coaches and mentors executives and leaders from a diverse range of industries. Leora has been nominated for three Telstra Business Awards, holds a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Communications, has a Certificate in Executive Coaching and recently completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. She also has a strong background in Corporate Social Responsibility and contributes her time and expertise to a variety of charities on an annual basis.


Leora is passionate about bringing opportunities to people from all sectors of the community so they grow and flourish. It is with this in mind that she is a proud Director and

supporter of 16th Street Foundation.



Peter Richards

Peter Richards holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Jurisprudence from Monash University in Melbourne and is admitted to practice as a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of Victoria and Western Australia and the High Court of Australia. He has practised law in Australia and the UK for over three decades whilst concurrently being a principal or owner in a variety of areas in trade and commerce, e-commerce and financial services in Australia and China.


In 2002 Mr Richards established the Australian subsidiaries of IG Group Limited, a UK listed entity with a market capitalisation of some US$5 billion and remained the sole Australian equity partner from February that year to 2006. In 2009 Mr Richards became Vice Chairman of the Australia-China Business Link in Beijing and also the Chief Representative of IG Markets Limited in its Beijing Representative Office and head of the Beijing Office.


Currently, Peter Richards works as an Australian Representative of the Dalian China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation. Mr Richards looks forward to taking the many business skills he has acquired throughout his years of business and legal work in order to act as Director of 16th Street Foundation.




Selection Committee

Sigrid Thornton

Sigrid Thornton is an icon of Australian cinema. She has starred in many of the films now regarded as classics of the Australian cinema, including The Man From Snowy River, The Light Horsemen and The Man From Snowy River 11. Her stellar television career has spanned over thirty years.


Sigrid has received multiple awards, award nominations and honors for her work in front of and behind the cameras as well as onstage.


Sigrid has served several terms as a director of both the Australian Film Institute and Film Victoria and was patron of Women in Film and Television. In 1999 she was invited by the Premier of Victoria to chair the Victorian Film & Television Taskforce, whose recommendations revitalized the Victorian film and television industry. Sigrid serves as a director of Malthouse Theatre.


Deborra-Lee Furness

Deborra-Lee Furness is an internationally acclaimed actress as well as a passionate advocate for vulnerable and abandoned children.  Deborra-Lee is the patron of 16th Street Actors Studio.


A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York Deborra-Lee has won many awards including Best Actress awards from the highly regarded Film Critics Circle of Australia, the Variety Award and Best Actress at Seattle International Film festival for the movie SHAME.  She received a Best Actress Award at the San Sebastian International Film (Spain) Festival for her role in WAITING. Deborra-Lee has appeared in many movies and worked extensively in television and on stage. She was nominated by the Australian Film Institute for her Guest Starring role in SEACHANGE, and for Best Supporting Actress in the Ray Lawrence directed JINDABYNE.  She won the FILM CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD OF AUSTRALIA a second time for her portrayal of Jude in JINDABYNE.


Deborra-lee’s humanitarian work for children is a driving force in her life, She is Patron of THE LIGHTHOUSE FOUNDATION for displaced children in Melbourne Australia; Patron of the BONE MARROW DONOR INSTITUTE for children with leukaemia. Patron of INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION FAMILIES OF QUEENSLAND.  She is on the board of WORLDWIDE ORPHANS AUSTRALIA.


Deborra-Lee founded NATIONAL ADOPTION AWARENESS WEEK AND ADOPT CHANGE in Australia, focusing on improving adoption programs, procedures and legislation, raising awareness and understanding of the issues of vulnerable children. In 2014 NAAW achieved the goal of new legislation being passed by the Australian government to greatly approve procedures surrounding adoption.  


For her advocacy work she has been honoured by WORLDWIDE ORPHANS in New York, THE JOINT COUNCIL USA and in 2013 was given the prestigious award of ANGEL IN ADOPTION by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in Washington DC.  HARLEM VILLAGE ACADEMIES honoured Deborra-Lee and her husband Hugh for their philanthropy work in 2012.


She was presented with 2014 INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AWARD in Utah by Mentors International.  Also in 2015, Deborra-Lee was honoured in Washington as Advocate of the Year by KIDSAVE. And more recently was named NSW Australian of the year, 2015.


Deborra-Lee is the co-founder of HOPELAND, a platform that has been established to raise awareness around vulnerable and abandoned children.  The mission of HOPE LAND is to put this issue front and centre on the political and human rights agendas, globally. Mobilizing and influencing leaders across government, business and civil society, to create innovative solutions and policies that will ensure children will belong in a safe loving home.  


Alkinos Tsilimidos

Born in Melbourne,  Alkinos has been described as one of Australia’s most important contemporary film directors. He has a reputation for being an actor’s director and is

renowned for his uncompromising approach to stories of social relevance.


He graduated from Swinburne School of Film and Television (now VCA) in 1988. His début feature film Everynight…Everynight (1994) won international critical acclaim. It was awarded Best First Film (Prix D’Montreal) at the Montreal World Film Festival and was in Official Selection at the Venice International Film Festival.


Silent Partner (2001) was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the AFI and Film Critics Awards and was in Official Selection at the Toronto, Montreal, Newport, US Arts Comedy, Athens, Singapore and Bangkok International Film Festivals.


In 2004, Tom White was released to extensive critical acclaim. It received thirty-one Australian feature film award nominations, Colin Friels winning the FCCA and the IF AWARD for Best Actor. Tom White was invited to participate at many international events including Montreal, Hof, and Pusan International Film Festivals.


Em 4 Jay (2006), his fourth feature, participated at Melbourne, Brisbane, Athens, Mostra De Valencia – Spain, Newport Beach – US, Titanic - Hungary and New Zealand International Film Festivals. Variety said: 'Authenticity makes EM 4 JAY a Down Under low budget TRIUMPH.'


Alkino's  current works include, The Mountaintop by Katori Hall and Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet for The Melbourne Theatre Company.

Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair is one of Australia’s finest, award-winning theatre directors specialising in new writing and contemporary international work. Iain is the Head of Acting at 16th Street Actors Studio.


Iain established the critically acclaimed theatre company Elbow Theatre in Canberra, where he received four Critics Circle Awards. He received a Sydney Theatre Award for his production of The Seed and is also an AWGIE Award-nominated director.


He has directed a number of highly praised main stage productions in Sydney including Our Town for The Sydney Theatre Company, which was described as “a triumph”. His production of Arthur Miller’s, All My Sons was described as “A rock-solid production of a play that makes you shake your head in wonderment”. Iain has also directed for The Melbourne Theatre Company, The Queensland Theatre Company, Belvoir and Sport for Jove.


Iain graduated with distinction from the RADA Masters Program and Kings College, London. He is the associate artist and resident dramaturg of Playwriting Australia and has been assistant director to Cate Blanchett and Max Stafford Clark. Iain was invited by Max Stafford Clark to tour the UK as a member of his company “Out of Joint” teaching principles of new playmaking and Max Stafford Clark’s legendary process based on actioning.


Iain continues his work as a dramaturg and has worked with the following companies; ASK Los Angeles, New Dramatists New York, The Traverse Scotland, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court and The National Theatre England.


He also directed a developmental workshop of Blood and Gifts with celebrated New York playwright J.T Rogers that has just completed a Broadway production at the Lincoln Center. He was also dramaturge on the recent Patrick White Award-winning play Little Borders by Phillip Kavanagh.


“Playwrights are the parent material of our storytelling ecosystem. Without them and without the complex provocation that their plays provide, our art form cannot grow to its full potential, let alone renew itself.”


– Iain Sinclair



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