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our team

We are very proud of the amazing team we have built here at Circus Ipswich, giving young people access to circus trainers, artists, and creatives that have worked around Australia and the world.

Dr Meg Hooper

senior trainer

More info coming soon

VANESSA THOMAS

Senior Trainer

(she/her)

Vanessa has been part of the Circus Ipswich team since its development in 2017. Her circus journey started in 2009, when she picked up a hula hoop for the very first time. Vanessa has literally jumped through hoops to explore the world of circus, leading her to a dramatic career change. In 2010 she left her 15-year career as a zookeeper to pursue her newfound passion of circus.

Over the past 10 years, Vanessa has completed formal coaching training with Circus Training Australia and Gymnastics Queensland. Her experience includes Head Coach for the Gym for All program at PCYC, Sporting Schools provider, and as a Children’s Trainer for Vulcana Circus.

Since 2010 Vanessa has provided professional interactive circus-based workshops for community and private events including at festivals, schools, parties, and corporate events.

In 2020 Vanessa completed an associate degree in Recreation and Leisure Therapy. This, coupled with her background in Circus and Allied Health therapies, supports the quality goal-based programs that Circus Ipswich provides for all its participants.

Vanessa values the power that circus has to empower individuals and communities. This shines through in both her professional roles as a circus trainer and as therapy assistant.

CHELSEA McGUFFIN

senior trainer

(she/her) 

Chelsea has a continued commitment to the highest standard of Contemporary Circus from Australia and, for the past 15 years, has been a pioneering leader of this form.

Her career started in Sydney then led to touring with Circus Monoxide, Tony’s Imaginary Circus, the Queensland Theatre Company, and a nine-year partnership with CIRCA.

In 2008 Chelsea Co-founded Company2, which co-produced the award-winning production Cantina that successfully toured the globe. Company2 went on to create Scotch & Soda, She Would Walk the Sky, Perched, Kaleidoscope and Le Coup. Other works include Wunderage with Circus Oz and Chelsea worked alongside Rhoda Roberts and a leading team of First Nations artists to direct Natives Go Wild, a Sydney Opera House production.

Over her career Chelsea has maintained a strong commitment to the community, ensuring the next generation of circus performers are inspired, represented, and can see a place for their own voices on the contemporary circus stage.

In 2021, Company2 rebranded under Chelsea’s own name, Chelsea McGuffin, and has been commissioned by Arts Queensland, Backbone and HOTA to develop three new works: Hysteria, Azul and Wired Moon and the Ice Cream Floor. Chelsea is also collaborating with David Hart, an iconic Australian Visual artist on a new work, Bogart, and is working with Circus Ipswich to bring performance outcomes to the local community.

Matilda Hendrie

Trainer

(she/her) 

Tilly is a circus artist and trainer.
She began performing at the age of 6 when her mum put her into dance classes. From then on, she knew that the stage was her happy place. A few years down the track she started trampolining and tumbling classes and found her love for being upside down. Her parents often joked that she would run away to join the circus, and so when she was accepted into the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australia’s national youth circus school, she did just that. Moving 15 hours from her parents at the age of 16 was tough, but the amazing experiences and opportunities made it all worthwhile.

Whilst at the ‘Fruities’, she performed in the award-winning production of Junk, performing across Australia and New Zealand including at Sydney Opera House, Auckland Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne. Additionally, she appeared in the ABC documentary series taking audiences behind the scenes of the project inspired by childhood stories told to them by elderly residents of regional Australia.

Graduating in 2018, Tilly continues to teach and perform, and is currently engaging students through parkour and acrobatics, in the Backflips Against Bullying schools touring program, with Action Education.

Tilly loves how circus is a combination of artistry and self-expression, but also discipline and hard work. She believes circus truly has something for everyone, and she love watching each person find their own unique passion for circus.

TBC

COMPANY ADMINISTRATOR and

COMMUNITY COORDINATOR

 

More Info Coming Soon