Artistic Directorate & Staff

Lily Shearer

Co-Artistic Director

Lily Shearer is a proud citizen of the Murrwarri Republic & Ngemba Nation (north-west NSW/south-east QLD) woman with 30+ years experience in First Peoples Cultural Development, Arts Management and in Theatre and performance making.

In co-founding Moogahlin Performing Arts, a First Peoples company in Redfern, Sydney NSW, Lily’s vision was to put in to practice the principle of ownership for First Peoples Australian communities by facilitating the handover of the final Gathering Ground project from Pact Youth Theatre to Moogahlin Performing Arts in 2010. A process outlined in Protocols of Engagement: 'Community Cultural Development' Encounters an Urban Aboriginal Experience (2009). This process provided leadership opportunities for local First Peoples Australian theatre practitioners and provided new opportunities for emerging local First Peoples Australian theatre makers and practitioners.

Currently Lily is a freelance-performing artist, cultural collaborator/ consultant/ educator, and member of Moogahlin Artistic Directorate. Recent highlights include:

  • 2016 Sydney Festival, Fire Bucket with Uncle Wes Marne.
    Press Release | Sydney Morning Herald
  • 2016 Ros Bower Award recipient for Community Arts and Cultural Development by the Australia Council for the Arts.
    Sydney Morning Herald | ABC | Video Stream
  • 2015 Sydney Festival, Bankstown: Live, Urban Theatre Projects Bre & Back film documentary.
    More Info
  • 2015 Lily produced and directed Moogahlins’ inaugural ‘pilot’ Festival of Baiame’s Ngunnhu in Brewarrina NSW.
    More Info
  • 2012 Lily was one of six recipients of the British Council’s Accelerate Indigenous Creative Leaders program.
    More Info
  • January 2011 to February 2014, Lily has held the position of CEO at Gadigal Information Service Aboriginal Corporation (incorporating Koori Radio /Kr00space digital Radio).
    Koori Radio | Contact Gadigal

Contact Lily at

Frederick Copperwaite

Frederick Copperwaite
Co-Artistic Director

FREDERICK COPPERWAITE is a Bunuba man from the South-West Kimberley, Western Australia. He has been active in the theatre since 1978.

He graduated as an actor from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and has extensive experience working in the Australian theatre, film and television industry. His most recent appearance was in The Gods of Wheat Street for ABCTV.

Frederick is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Moogahlin Performing Arts. He was artistic director of the company from 2009 to 2015. His directing work for Moogahlin includes The Collective (2016) in partnership with PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, This Fella, My Memory (2013), The Cake Man play reading (2012 Sydney Festival), Gathering Ground (2010) and Lessons in Flight (2008 Dreaming Festival). He is the artistic director of Yellamundie: National First Peoples Playwriting Festival (2017, 2015, 2013). In 2016 Moogahlin attended the Matariki Development Festival in Wellington, Aotearoa, New Zealand and the Weesageechak Begins To Dance Festival in Toronto, Turtle Island, Canada, where he directed readings of Cuz, by Redfern playwright Billy McPherson.

Frederick has taught acting to children, young people, acting students, emerging theatre artists and professional actors in a variety of training environments throughout Australia and Europe for over 35 years. He has worked extensively with young Aboriginal people and community, particularly in urban and regional NSW, The Kimberley (WA) and East Arnhem Land (NT). He was an arts educator for the Bell Shakespeare Company from 2007 to 2016, regularly working in urban and regional areas throughout Australia teaching Shakespeare and theatre arts related subjects to primary and secondary school students and teachers, special community groups and remote First Peoples communities. He was Head of Theatre and Screen Performance Studies at Eora College of Aboriginal Studies: Centre for Visual and Performing Arts from 2011 to 2015.

Contact Fred at

Dr. Liza-Mare Syron

Dr. Liza-Mare Syron
Co-Artistic Director

Liza-Mare is a Birripi woman whose custodial lands are situated on the mid-north coast of NSW. Liza-Mare is a director, actor, teacher, dramaturge and academic. She is a founding member of Moogahlin Performing Arts.

Liza-Mare also has just completed a three year research project on indigenous theatre making practices in Australia, New Zealand and Canada as part of an Indigenous Research Fellowship at Macquarie University. She has also worked in government as the Senior Aboriginal Cultural Development Officer for Arts NSW and as Head of Theatre Performance at the Eora College for Aboriginal Studies, Centre for Visual and Performing Arts in Redfern. Liza-Mare lectures on First Peoples theatre practices at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts NIDA and has worked as a cultural dramaturge on student productions.

For Moogahlin Liza-Mare has worked as a 2015 Yellamundie workshop director, as a key performer for the Broken Glass development on NSW Aboriginal women's mourning practices and in 2015 she delivered a intra cultural performance workshop with UK arts practitioner Kristine Landon Smith at Carriageworks. Liza-Mare also continues to teach theatre for Moogahlin in partnership with Eora College Redfern. Her latest directing role was for the new Aboriginal play The Fox and The Freedom Fighters, which premiered at Carriageworks Sydney in 2015.

Contact Liza-Marie at

Ali Murphy-Oates

Ali Murphy-Oates
Managing Director

Alison (Ali) Murphy-Oates is a Wailwan woman (Central-West NSW) who was born and raised on Darkinjung land (Central Coast NSW). Ali joined as Company Manager of Moogahlin Performing Arts in September 2015. She currently serves on the boards of BlakDance Australia and Theatre Network NSW, and has previously served on the Board of Moogahlin Performing Arts. In 2015 Ali co-produced the 4th National Indigenous Theatre Forum at the Judith Wright Centre in Brisbane, and as an outcome of the forum is now working with a national group of peers to develop a new peak body for First Peoples performing arts in Australia. Ali is also an amateur weaver, and has been studying and practicing Koori methods of grass weaving.

Contact Ali at

Rhanda Mansour

Rhanda Mansour CPA
Finance Officer

Rhanda began her involvement with the arts community in 2008 as a Finance Officer. Since 2008 Rhanda has worked with many of the leading arts organisations. Prior to this she had worked in the private sector in accounting and taxation for over ten years and continues to do so. Rhanda graduated with a business degree from the University of Technology, with a major in Accounting and sub-major in Small Business. She is also a Certified Practicing Accountant.

Corrine Shepherd

Corrine Shepherd
Assistant Producer

Corrine Shepherd is a Kuku Yalanji, Waanyi and Kalkadoon woman originally from Cloncurry, North West Queensland. She has a background in community theatre, events management, and arts administration, having worked with Big Eye Theatre in Townsville and on Festival 2018. Corrine joined Moogahlin Performing Arts as Assistant Producer in September 2018. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Arts Management from VCA and an Advanced Certificate in Aboriginal Musical Theatre from ACPA & WAAPA. Corrine is also an amateur singer who enjoys Tap and Ballet.

Contact Corrine at

Troy Russell

Troy Russell
Production Manager

Troy Russell is a Gamillaroi/Biripai man born in Redfern and bred in Marrickville, Sydney. He has a strong sense of identity and has strong cultural connections. He is a working musician, film maker and composer and has a very long history in a lot of differing fields. He is strongly connected to the art world through his mother Elaine Russell (deceased 2017).

Troy is an award winning film maker in documentary style films and short dramas and also in animation, with Laughing Zebras, as part of the Dreaming series.

Troy’s musical career is long and full playing with such musicians as: Glenn Skuthorpe, Troy Cassar-Daley, The Donovans, Radical Son, Dan Sultan, Renegades of Munk, The Black Turtles, Green Hand Band, and Elaine Crombie, Identity Crisis and Gii his own band.

Troy, in his first band Identity Crisis, has also supported Yothu Yindi, Cleopatra Wong, Microwave Jenny, Mixed Relations and with Janangali he supported Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter.

Troy has a residency with the Blacktown Arts Centre which will be performed by Ensemble Offspring in mid-October 2018.

Troy is currently Program Manager at Koori Radio and Production Manager with Moogahlin Performing Arts in Redfern.

Contact Troy at