Creative team

Neill Gladwin – Creative Director

Neill has worked in both the subsidised and commercial theatre and festival industries in Australia and internationally. In his freelance capacity, his work ranges from large-scale events, including Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies, to physical theatre, opera and Shakespearean adaptations.

Neill trained at Victoria’s Rusden State College and became half of comedy duo Los Trios Ringbarkus – the first Australian comedy act to win the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Perrier Award for Best Comedy (1983). His performance work also includes feature films and television. He has directed productions for many of Australia’s major theatre companies and independent theatres. His productions include Lano and Woodley – Fence and Curtains, Tripod, The Suitcase Royale and the Australian Outback Spectacular.

Simon K Patterson – Creative Producer

With a background in technical theatre and stage management, Simon worked on his first Spectacular in 2008 and has worked on every Spectacular since.

Simon continues to be in demand with many major events including White Night Melbourne and Ballarat, and touring shows with M2 Productions.

Chong Lim AM – Musical Director

One of Australia’s most experienced musicians, musical directors and composers for internationally renowned talents, Chong Lim AM came on board as the Victorian State Schools Spectacular’s Musical Director in 2011. 
He has been the Music Director for John Farnham, Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars, the Closing Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, The Logie Awards, Kylie Minogue’s Intimate and Live Tour, and the stage version of Dirty Dancing.

He has also worked on the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.

Deon Nuku – Dance Director

Deon has worked as a dancer and actor in film, television and theatre. His theatre credits include West Side Story, Fame, Footloose and Saturday Night Fever.

He has worked with international artists such as Macy Gray and Kylie Minogue. Deon’s television credits include the ARIA music awards, X-Factor (UKTV), Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Australian Film Industry Awards, The Good Friday Appeal, The Logie Awards, Fast Forward and Neighbours.

He was a featured dancer in the films Moulin Rouge and Scooby Doo. Deon is a member of the Wickid Force breakdance team, Australia’s leading breakdance champions.

Nathan Scerri – Associate Musical Director

Nathan is a professional violinist and educator living in Melbourne. He undertook a Bachelor of Music at the Monash University School of Music – Conservatorium, and completed his Honours in Violin Performance. Nathan currently teaches violin at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School. He has played with the likes of Tina Arena, Tim Rodgers, Josh Pyke and Paul Capsis.

The Victorian State Schools Spectacular is a project close to Nathan’s heart, as he has participated in every event since its inception in 1995, when he was a student violinist.

Yvette Lee – Associate Dance Director

Working for over a decade as a Choreographer, Creative Director and Creative Producer, Yvette Lee has solidified a strong place for herself in the Australian Dance Industry. Her television credits include Dancing with the Stars, X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Cosentino - The Grand Illusionist, Australian Idol, Neighbours, The Pacific and ARIA Awards.

Yvette has choreographed musical theatre productions such as Song Contest, Moonshadow (world premiere), Rock of Ages, The Little Matchgirl (Royal Albert Hall, London), Dusty - The Original Pop Diva and Sweet Charity.

Her music industry credits include choreographing, casting, staging and creatively producing for major labels - Sony, Universal and Warner - with artists such as Guy Sebastian, Samantha Jade, Bonnie Anderson, Cyrus Josh Groban and Ricki Lee. Yvette has toured numerous shows through South East Asia with the Walt Disney Special Events Group.

Rob Latham – Music Associate – Voice

Rob is a performer known for his versatility across a variety of genres including classical, opera, rock, pop and a cappella. He has been involved with many different performing groups, such as his main vocal group, Australia’s #1 male a cappella group, Suade. They have toured extensively around Australia and through many parts of Asia.

He is an opera graduate from the Melba Conservatorium of Music and regularly sings with opera companies around Melbourne. Prior to that he was part of the 2001 Victorian State Schools Spectacular as Principal Vocalist and in the mass choir in 1995. Rob teaches and has conducted school choirs, mentored music theatre students and directed community choral ensembles.

Jacinta Caruana – Music Associate – Vocal Ensemble

Jacinta has established a career in the music industry over the last 13 years as a performer on local and international stages and an ongoing singer/songwriter. As a session vocalist, Jacinta has recorded radio and TV ads and performed backing vocals for Havana Brown, Leo Sayer, David Campbell and many more.

Her first solo EP saw her writing and recording with Grammy nominee Phil Turcio and Gary Pinto, Gary also featuring on one of their co-written tracks, and the self-titled EP was released internationally. 

Jacinta completed a degree in education and holds an advanced diploma in Music Performance. She currently teaches voice and ensemble at JMC Academy.

Rebecca Sabatino – Music Associate – Choir

Rebecca has been a senior tutor and staff trainer for the Australian Girls Choir. She has also been a senior instructor and program administrator for a3 – Australian Arts Alive.

Rebecca was the Creative Director for ACTion Youth Theatre, and completed a Bachelor of Arts (Musical Theatre).

Isaac Lummis – Costume Designer

Isaac graduated in 2005 from Curtin University with a Bachelor Degree in Fashion and Textile Design. Since 2008, Isaac has been designing costumes for the Victorian State Schools Spectacular since 2008, in addition to the 2009 production of Barnum.

Isaac designed costumes for Georgy Girl - the Seekers Musical and the 2015 Asian Cup Opening Ceremony. His other costume design credits include Promises, Promises for The Production Company, Rush Hour for Victorian Opera, Oliver! and Anything Goes for WTG, As You Like It and Memmie LeBlanc for Deckchair Theatre. Isaac also created the Adorable Florable characters for Kings Park Botanical Gardens Wildflower Festivals.

Isaac worked as a maker and art finisher on other projects such as Flower Children for Magnormos, Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret for ACO, Singing in the Rain, The King and I and The Boy from Oz for The Production Company, The Drover's Wife for Steamworks Productions, Velveteen Rabbit for Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and The Odyssey for Malthouse Theatre and Black Swan Theatre.

Paul Jackson - Lighting Designer

Paul is an award-winning lighting designer whose work for performance includes designs for most of Australia’s major performing arts companies and festivals. He is a Churchill Fellow, an Associate Artist at Malthouse Theatre and has lectured extensively in design and associated studies at a number of universities.

Robert Cuddon - Lighting Designer

Robert Cuddon is one of Australia's leading lighting and projection programmers. He has worked extensively on major musicals, concerts, television shows, events and productions for most of Australia’s leading designers and companies. Robert has extensive experience as an associate designer and is an award-nominated designer in his own right.

Troy Phillips – Guest Choreographer

Troy toured nationally as the Resident Choreographer for the musical Hairspray and travelled to Doha as part of the choreography team for the Arab Games in December 2011. He won a Green Room Award for Best Featured Ensemble Performance for Guys and Dolls. His other musical theatre credits include: Hugh Jackman - The Boy From Oz, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, Singin’ in the Rain and We Will Rock You.

Troy has worked with Kylie Minogue, Christine Anu, Rhonda Burchmore, Vanessa Amarosi, Marcia Hines, Jackson Mendoza, S2S, Guy Sebastian, Delta Goodrem and Jade McCrae. He performed at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Manchester, and most recently Troy was part of the choreographic team for the Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. His film credits include Moulin Rouge, Scooby Doo and Happy Feet.

Troy is a graduate from the Dance course at the Victorian College of the Arts.