Chief Executive Officer
“It’s a privilege to be a part of the phenomenon that is MPavilion. While keeping art and architecture at the centre of its focus, MPavilion is a powerful catalyst—a responsive, ever-evolving space that speaks to the needs of the time with incredible public programs that generate ideas, support creatives and engage communities.”
Sam’s been with MPavilion from the start. As Operations Manager from 2014-17, and then as CEO since 2018, Sam is passionate about the pivotal role MPavilion plays in bringing design, architecture and art to the people of Melbourne.
Over the course of a career in senior roles at the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, White Night Melbourne & Ballarat, Flot & Jet, Creative Production Services, Federation Square, Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony, Keating! The Musical, and Jack Morton Worldwide, Sam feels the array of projects he has collaborated on all have a common thread: phenomenal creative vision, with extraordinary technical and operational challenges. Using the blend of production, business, logistics and operational skills he has developed over 20 years in event production and project management roles, Sam lives to bring outstanding creative concepts to life.
“Each year I am taken by surprise by what we set out to achieve with the program and how it morphs and evolves over the season. MPavilion’s collaborators are paramount to this. It’s a place that fosters connections; a platform that releases and resolves ideas; a space to play and dance.”
Jen’s work in public programming focuses on contemporary public concerns, and generating projects through collaboration and collective action. Jen’s interest is in the role of public spaces—their social histories, and the ways communities can engage with them through interventions and conversations.
Previously, Jen was at the Victoria & Albert Museum as part of the contemporary architecture and design team, curating the Friday Late program. She has worked across community engagement and arts education for organisations such as the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate and the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project.
Jen’s experience in public programming extends from the Tate London’s Late at Tate to the British Museum, and ‘PopRally’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Before Jen joined the team at MPavilion, she also worked with the National Gallery of Victoria and for the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Her creative and curatorial experience has led to Jen taking on roles in various cultural and design awards, including as a judge for the Melbourne Awards.
Site Operations Manager
“MPavilion is such an important civic space—one that allows for the free exchange of conversation and ideas. Working here allows me to actively collaborate with a group of humans around some of the biggest cultural questions facing our city today.”
A legend of the Melbourne arts scene, Paulie has been a member of the MPavilion family since 2016, starting in the front of house team before moving into the role of site manager. Before he came on board at MPavilion, Paulie worked as the event manager at the iconic Carlton venue, Bella Union.
In between MPavilion seasons, Paulie can be found enjoying the quiet life in Castlemaine, or flexing his event management skills at Meredith Music Festival and Golden Plains. Wherever you find him, he’ll bring positive vibes, good music, and an excellent taste in socks.
“As an architecture graduate who ‘went rogue’ into the world of art in public space, I feel that MPavilion encompasses so much of what matters most to me. It brings solidarity and inspiration to people in all disciplines to challenge, question and change the way they work, while nurturing creativity, entertainment or simply offering shelter to any human who stumbles in its way.”
Molly’s background in architecture has given her a particular passion for the power of space, and the ways it can bring people together.
A creative producer of public art events and projects, Molly is a seasoned player in the worlds of event production, community engagement, design and architecture.
Before joining the MPavilion team as program producer, Molly was program producer at Testing Grounds, coordinator of RMIT University’s Contemporary Art & Social Transformation Research Group, creative producer of Gertrude Street Projection Festival and Bendigo Projection Festival, and a freelance producer for a range of public facing projects.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Claire is a seasoned marketing and communications specialist who has worked for some of Melbourne’s much-loved cultural institutions and events.
Before joining the MPavilion team, Claire managed content and social media for State Library Victoria through their Vision 2020 redevelopment. She has also worked in various communications and digital marketing roles for the swathes of sporting events at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and spent two years staying awake into the wee hours for White Night Melbourne and Ballarat.
“For me, MPavilion immediately conjures all the very best ‘i’ adjectives: inclusive, inspiring, inviting, iconic, impassioned and intimate.”
As arts administrator of MPavilion, Gabriela catches everyone’s airborne ideas and arranges them into beautifully mapped-out plans.
A master of multi-tasking and getting things done, Gabriela has dabbled in many fields, across many continents. She was operations manager at Fieldwork—an innovative and sustainably focused architecture practice—and before that, she co-founded Pop Plant, a plantscaping business, specialising in the greening up of urban spaces in Melbourne. Gabriela has worked as a producer on large-scale film productions in Peru and Bolivia, and has extensive experience in editing and translation. She has also free-lanced for various publications, including a stint as stand-in-editor for Assemble Papers, editor for the English version of the online cultural events magazine Le Cool in Barcelona, and contributor and researcher for Moon Handbooks in Peru.
Administration & Digital Content Coordinator
“MPavilion is a cultural hub of utmost importance to Melbourne. It captures all the characteristics about the city that I admire and have grown attached to since my move from New Zealand: art, design, culture, and the people who advocate these practices. Most significantly, MPavilion platforms the voices of emerging creatives, putting complete trust in the young people of Melbourne to sculpt each season, which I am super excited to see and be a part of!”
A graphic designer and illustrator, now MPavilion’s administration and digital content coordinator.
As MPavilion’s administration and digital content coordinator, Dawn is in charge of managing the administrative systems of MPavilion and the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, while also jumping across design tools to provide digital content and in-house design support.
Before joining the MPavilion team, Dawn was a designer at Self—titled and has also freelanced for various clients in the realm of arts and culture, such as the Australian Museum and Galleries Association (AMaGA) and Automotive Historians Australia.
“I am always surprised and excited by the contrasting approaches that selected architects bring to each iteration of MPavilion. As an initiative, MPavilion represents a unique opportunity for students, as both a showcase for contemporary design practices and a growing archive of architectural works within the City of Melbourne. Each year I have observed MPavilion celebrate architecture and allied design in a way that inspires and connects communities.”
Andrew’s work in education focuses upon the power of the direct encounter with works of architecture, art and design. His pedagogical approach involves providing learners with opportunities to experience new and unfamiliar forms and ideas within a supportive environment, with the goal of stimulating curiosity, experimentation and inquiry. Andrew is especially interested in public spaces as dynamic sites that reflect – through their combinations of architecture, design and art – the unique communities to which they belong.
Andrew has worked with students across early learning, primary, secondary, tertiary and adult education contexts. Previously, he held the role of artist educator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, producing resources, designing workshops and delivering educational programs.
He collaborated with experts from Project Zero and Independent Schools Victoria to contribute to Art as Civic Commons, a handbook published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He received the Marsh Award for Excellence in Gallery Education (International Category) in 2021 and, also in 2021, curated ‘Education Space: Creating Art in Public’ as part of the major exhibition ‘Who’s Afraid of Public Space?’ at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
Nathan is a Quandamooka man, a father of three, and a consultant with considerable experience in the health sector, local government, the primary/secondary education sector, and the Creative Industries. Nathan currently delivers multiple consulting services via Kitchen Table Projects – a niche Aboriginal company which focuses on seeking empowerment outcomes for communities and organisations with community responsibilities. This comes after more than fifteen years working with Aboriginal Communities across Victoria and Nationally, including as General Manager at Indigenous not-for-profit arts organisation, Barpirdhila Foundation, and a senior consultant for Indigenous-owned research and evaluation agency Social Compass.
Nathan has also been an active musician and visual artist for nearly 20 years, and has had his greatest commercial success in designing for fabric and apparel – including recent work for Trades Hall, Macedon Football Club, and via his own label Bananalands. Nathan maintains his strongest relationships via the creative industries, providing a significant level of context and access to leading edge artists and organisations, plus a crucial cultural perspective and experience. Although he considers himself an artist, Nathan’s most valuable contributions to the industry and community are via mentorship, management, and relationship brokerage.
Sarah Lynn Rees
Sarah is a Palawa woman descending from the Plangermaireener and Trawlwoolway people of north-east Tasmania. She is a Charlie Perkins scholar with an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Cambridge where she produced a thesis on Indigenous housing in remote Australian communities. Sarah is interested in the Indigenous design space and is currently working with Jackson Clements Burrows Architects and MPavilion. Sarah also sits on EmAGN, the AIA Editorial Committee, the National Trust Landscape Reference Group, the National Trust Aboriginal Advisory Group and is a director of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria. Sarah is MPavilion’s program consultant.