The Maids

I felt instantly at ease upon entering the Woolangabba Art Gallery for the closing night of The Maids, as part of The Anywhere Festival.

The instant rush of comfort stemmed from the sweet welcome, Stephen Nothling’s magical art, and the structural historical nuances of the building.

I had recollections of my elaborate catholic all girls’ boarding school as I walked up the stairs to the garret of the Woolangabba Art Gallery.

The character, Claire (Amy Hauser), of The Maids was walking, humming and ahhing while waiting for the audience to settle in.

On time, Solange (Re’anne Duffy) entered dressed as a maid and the corresponding scenes covered Claire as the Madam and Solange as the maid.

These scenes were alive, real and compelling and erupted to a crescendo, as the elaborate ‘red dress’ was unveiled.

The maids, Claire and Solange were on a path to destroy their ever-elegant Madame (played by Caitlin Hill) while destructing themselves.

Madame swaggered into the room, styled in a gorgeous sequined hounds tooth gown, and immediately sets forth her opinions, lack of empathy and hellish truth upon the fragile maids.

The Maids was directed and constructed to use every tiny bit of space of the upstairs of the Woolangabba Art Gallery with minimal props and appealing over the top creations of wardrobe by Harpi designs.

The actor’s portrayed their characters in realistic and captivating real time.

Spittle, tears, sweat and laughs were authentic and harrowing.

Genet’s The Maids is very much a parable for today with its brutal conflict played out between the haves and have-nots, and it challenges the audience to think about the possibility of change.

The Maids hits Brisbane in style

It is seventy years since Jean Genet’s The Maids was first performed at the Theatre de l’Althenee in Paris and it is now Brisbane’s turn to observe this modern classic.

Theatrical devotees are invited to attend the 2017 Anywhere Festival’s up close and personal version of Genet’s The Maids.

The Maids will be presented upstairs at the Woolloongabba Art Gallery from Tuesday 9th to Saturday 13th of May.

Anatoly Frusin, theatre and opera director and acting teacher at Southbank TAFE (where he is currently directing second year students in A Midsummer Night’s Dream), describes The Maids as a ritualistic and satirical examination of the power structures within society.

Frusin said, “It is wonderful to revisit this intense, confronting and passionate play again, I directed The Maids about 25 years ago in New Zealand, and felt the time was right to have another go with some of the incredible graduates from our Acting and Performance Program.”

“I was then introduced to a fabulous designer and recent graduate from the Fashion Program at TAFE and decided that the production must happen,” said Frusin.

The designer of the moment is Kristy Power of Harpi Designs, and her extravagant creations are crucial to the games of identity that lie at the heart of the play.

“Kristy’s amazing gowns are almost like characters themselves, and are integral to capturing the ritual masquerade of The Maids.

“Being in the non-traditional space upstairs at the Woolloongabba Art Gallery the audience will feel like they are both in the maids’ garret and at an intimate fashion show.

“Plus there is a cool bar downstairs!”

The rest of the creative team that is Mad Women on the Shore consists of Amy Hauser, Re’anne Duffy and Caitlin Hill.

The actors are several generations of graduates and Anatoly is very excited to be working with actors he has helped train and seen develop over the years.

Amy Hauser is an emerging Actor and Performance maker who has recently graduated from the Bachelor of Acting and Performance program at TAFE Brisbane.

She has a particular interest in creating, developing and performing works that are intelligent and are relevant to serious topics in today’s society.

Amy has done the majority of her creative work for stage theatre, some of her work includes, The Frogs (Xanthias), Mother Courage and her Children (Kattrin) and The Skriker (Josie).

She is currently involved in the ongoing performance art project House of Milkand has worked with multiple directors and mentors including Brian Lucas, Norman Price, Lisa O’Neill and Anatoly Frusin.

Re’anne Duffy graduated from Brisbane TAFE in 2014, she has worked with Metro Arts and was granted a two week Short Fuse residency where she created her solo piece Jar’d.

Since graduating, she has been involved in the 2high and FAST festivals.

In 2016, Reanne and Anatoly formed Mad Women on the Shore and debuted their first production One Women Wouzeck for the MELT Queer Artist Festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Caitlin Hill graduated from Brisbane TAFE, studying acting in 2014, she has played Justine in Sven Swenson’s Tiptoe, Willow in Girl cried Wolf’s The Wives of Wolfgang, Ensemble for Belloo Creative’s Hanako and Juliet for Share House Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet.

Caitlin created Boys Taste Better with Nutella with Peter Wood for Short & Sweet Theatre Festival, winning Best Script, Best Actress and Best Overall Production whick led to a development at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Genet’s The Maids is very much a parable for today with its brutal conflict played out between the haves and have-nots, and it challenges the audience to think about the possibility of change.

In this theatrical and dangerous game, will it be the Maids or their Mistress who comes out on top?

Death Shrouds - Latest Collection by Harpi
Death Shrouds – Latest Collection by Harpi. Photography by Nick Green and Bella Cullen

Wynnum Central State School

MOVE CONCERNS: Gabriel Ellis with her daughter Jaimie at Wynnum Central School (My sister and neice).  December 10, 2010.  Picture: Liam Kidston Source:
MOVE CONCERNS: Gabriel Ellis with her daughter Jaimie at Wynnum Central School (My sister and neice). December 10, 2010. Picture: Liam Kidston Source:

When Wynnum Central State School was operating. 2010.  Sourced from
When Wynnum Central State School was operating. 2010. Sourced from

Wynnum Central State School was opened in 1894 and unfortunately closed its doors in 2010.

The Wynnum Central State School badge, now located at Wynnum State School.  Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis
The Wynnum Central State School badge, now located at Wynnum State School. Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

Many of the memorabilia has been moved to the newly formed school, Wynnum State School.


The old Wynnum Central Gates at the new Wynnum State School.  Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis
The old Wynnum Central Gates at the new Wynnum State School. Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

The beauty of the old Wynnum Central State School gates. Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis

Old gates at the new school.  Photography by Julie-Ann Ellis.
Old gates at the new school.

Feb, 2013 Comm Report for Foodbank Queensland

Communication Monthly Report

(As at 29thFebuary, 2013)

During the previous month, Julie-Ann has carried out the following tasks:

  • Made amendments to Appendix B (timeline), C (Job description & specification) D (protocols plus the meaa code of ethics) of the original communication plan
  • Please find attached the Protocols and job description for further use by Foodbank, I will also send them in e-mail form so that you have an electronic copy
  • I have taken to daily social media updates as I believe that keeps the Foodbank Qld word out there (with particular attention to mornings)
  • The LinkedIn account is progressing but needs more work
    • I have added as many employees to the site as possible
    • Please find attached an evaluation of LinkedIn’s usage
  • The Pinterest site is progressing but I am open to suggestions of new boards (groups of locations??? etc)
  • The Facebook site has expanded with leaps and bounds, with more and more likes and views each day
    • Please find attached the “View Insights”
  • The Twitter account is progressing but needs a little more work
    • Please find attached
  • The google + account is under way, though I am having a few administration problems but am working on it

Discussion topics

  • I would like to start a competition on facebook within the next week so that we may have further social media interaction and a wider audience
  • I am working through the (other) communication plans, taking notes for our use and making recommendations for Gus.
  • Any ideas for stories for social media sites will be greatly appreciated.

Foodbank Communication Progress Report (31.01.2014)

Communication Progress Report

(As at 31st January, 2013)

Referring to the comprehensive Communication Plan (and specifically Appendix B – the timeline), Julie-Ann (the Communication Officer) has carried out the following tasks:

  • Made amendments to Appendix D and E of the plan (see attached)
    • Please make any additional comments to Appendix D – Protocols
  • Survey
    • Constructed a survey and e-mailed it to every business in the salesforce database
    • Correlated all responses, entered them into a database and came up with some figures (see attached survey responses)
    • Correlated all social media responses and promoted each organization accordingly (see attached survey responses)
  • LinkedIn account
    • Updated LinkedIn regularly with stories and links to welfare agencies and food sponsors
    • An evaluation of LinkedIn’s usage (see attached)
      • An “Impression” is the number of times the update has been viewed. “Engagement” measures how people react to the update.  The calculation is “Engagement”/ total “Impressions” = measurement (the analytical data appears about 24 hours after the update is posted and will be posted and will be updated daily)
    • Pinterest site
    • There are three boards; welfare recipients, food sponsors and 2013 floods.
  • Facebook site
    • “View Insights” (see attached)
  • Twitter account
    • All social media sites are linked with each other


  • Need employees to link their personal LinkedIn accounts with Foodbank Qlds’ account, so everyone can have access to it.
  • Is it possible to somehow link the social media sites to the website (pinterest, facebook, twitter and LinkedIn)?
  • Impact Church (Springwood) would like to receive the Foodbank Qld’s newsletters and so on.
  • Is it possible to do a competition on facebook, so that we may have further social media interaction and a wider audience?
    • A prize of a food hamper for a welfare agency?


Other topics of discussion

  • Gus, can I look at the other communication plans you have been given and maybe I can use some of the ideas for implementation.
  • Have had a problem with creating a Google + account as I believe it is related to Gus’ google account(?)
  • What do you think of the idea of a blog?
    • Do we need it?
  • Is it possible to plan an event that helps promote Foodbank Queensland?
    • A sausage sizzle for sponsors and welfare agencies?
    • That produces cross media coverage,
    • And networking amongst stakeholders.


Survey results of Foodbank Queensland

Results of Survey

(as at 17.01.2013)


Foodbank Queensland received ninety three (93) replies to the survey from food sponsors and welfare agencies throughout Queensland.

  1. The first question is as follows – How did you become aware of Foodbank Qld?
  • The answers were
    • Newspapers or magazines
    • Online
    • Welfare Agencies
    • Food Sponsors
    • Other
  • The responses were as follows;
    • 11 respondents said Newspapers and Magazines
    • 3 respondents said online
    • 32 respondents said welfare agencies
    • 6 respondents said Food Sponsors
    • 41 respondents said Other (please see database for detailed messages).
  1. The second question is as follows – Are you aware of Foodbank Qld’s current publications?
  • The responses were as follows;
    • 49 Yes’
    • 45 No
  1. The third question is as follows – Do you read Foodbank Qld’s current publications?
  • The responses were as follows;
    • 48 Yes’
    • 42 No
    • 4 Sometimes
  1. The fourth question is as follows – Do you peruse Foodbank Qld’s internet sites?
  • The responses were as follows;
    • 25 Yes
    • 63 No
    • 5 Sometimes
  1. The fifth question is as follows – Are you aware of Foodbank Qld’s social media sites?
  • The responses were as follows;
    • 29 Yes
    • 64 No
  1. The final question is – Would your organization like to affiliate with Foodbank Qld’s social media sites?
  • The responses were as follows;
    • 46 Yes (Julie-Ann has added them to Foodbank Qld’s social media sites, see table below)
    • 34 No
    • 13 Not sure (Julie-Ann has e-mailed these organisations explaining what it is and how they can help – waiting on responses)

Below is a comprehensive table of various organisations and how they are linked to Foodbank Qld’s social media sites (in relation to question 6 on the survey).

Name of Organisation Linked In facebook Piniterest Twitter
139 Club Yes Yes Yes
Abbotsleigh Citrus Yes Yes
Acacia Care and Omega International Church Yes Yes
Access Street Vans Yes Yes
Annerley Church of Christ Yes Yes
Aussie Helpers Yes Yes Yes
Australian Fresh Salads Yes Yes
Australian Tongan Association Inc
Brisbane Foster Care Support Group
Brisbane Markets Yes Yes
Burnie Brae Centre -Project Pantry Yes Yes
Caboolture Community Action Yes
Catspaw Farm
Chermside Anglican Welfare Ministries Yes
Community Action in Carole Park Inc Yes
Education Queensland Yes
Family Haven Yes
Global Care Yes Yes
HelpForce Yes
HOPE Community Care Yes
Hosanna Church Brisbane Yes
Ipswich Region Community Church Yes Yes
Impact Church, Springwood Yes
Inala Youth Service Yes Yes Yes
Just Squeezed Fruit Juices Yes Yes Yes
King International Operations Yes
Lighthouse Community Care Yes
Logan East Community Neighbourhood Centre Yes
Micah Projects Yes Yes Yes Yes
NerangNeighbourhood Centre Yes Yes
Perfection Fresh Yes Yes Yes
Reach Out Community and Family Care Inc Yes
River City Church Brisbane Yes
Ronald McDonald House – Mater Yes
Ronald McDonald House – SEQ Yes Yes Yes
Salvation Army – Street Level Mission Yes Yes
Salvation Army – Brisbane Yes Yes
Sandgate House Youth Emergency Services Yes Yes
Sandhurst Fine Foods Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scripture Union Yes Yes Yes
Set Free Care Yes Yes
Shine Community Care Yes Yes
Sisters Inside Yes Yes
St Bartholomew’s Youth Accommodation Yes
St Vincent de Paul Yes Yes Yes
Steric Trading Pty Ltd Yes Yes Yes
Suncoast Care Yes
Teen Mission International Australia
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Independent School Yes
The Exchange Church Yes Yes Yes
The Rock Family and Community Support Inc ( the welfare arm of the Rock Christian Church) Yes
Twin Rivers Food Co-op Yes
Uniting Care Community Refugee Claimant Support Service Yes
Vibe Care Ltd Yes
Vita Coco Blue Oxygen Yes Yes
We Care 2 Inc
Wickhams Farms Killarney Yes
Wodonga Park Fruit and Nuts Yes
Youth Housing Project Yes Yes

Additionally, while thanking the following sponsors on social media sites (23rd January, 2013), they have been added to the following sites:

Acacia Ridge Community Support Incpinterest –

Brisbane City Council Libraries          Linkedin-  facebook – pinterest – twitter

Goodman Fielder                                Linkedin – facebook – pinterest

Jupiters Casino                                    Linkedin – facebook – pinterest

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk                 facebook- piniterest

SA Contingent Scouts                          Linkedin – facebook– pinterest -twitter

Communication Officer Job Description and Job Specification @ Foodbank Queensland

Communications Officer 

The role involves a range of communications to promote a positive image of Foodbank Queensland  including organising advertising, online and digital work, plus various other tasks such as media releases and developing communications plan.  The Communications Officer must work alongside management and administration to aid in the media development of Foodbank Queensland.   Currently this position is voluntary. 

Some key responsibilities: 

  • CoordinateFoodbank’s internal and external communication channels 
  • Develop a communication plan
  • Carry out key actions within the communication plan, such as;
  • Assisting with online and social media
  • Writing media releases.

Essential Criteria: 

  • Relevant tertiary qualifications or equivalent previous experience in a communications role
  • Demonstrated experience in sourcing material and writing copy for publications,promotional material, sponsorship proposals and other strategic initiatives 
  • Demonstrated professional writing skills
  • Develop, implement and maintain strong and effective communications with key stakeholders
  • High-level written and verbal communication skills with the ability to translate complex issues into simple messages
  • Demonstrated organisational and time management skills, and the ability to manage multipleprojects with competing deadlines 
  • Commitment to the philosophy ofFoodbank Queensland and the ability and desire to uphold these values. 


  • Demonstrated experience in event promotion
  • Demonstrated experience liaising with media.

Written applications which detail compliance with the essential and desirable requirements should be forwarded to

Protocols for the Communication Officer @ Foodbank Queensland

Protocols for the Communication Officer 

  • Any form of publications (particularly online) must be approved by management of Foodbank  
  • The Communication Officer must deal with all stakeholders (stakeholders being; Foodbank Qld Staff, Foodbank Qld donors, welfare groups, volunteers and the general public) in a professional manner at all times. 
  • The communications officer needs to be aware of the sometimes sensitive nature of stakeholders and their needs.
  • The communications officer will act in appropriate and professional manner, particularly online (keeping in mind the MEAA code of ethics – 
  • The communications officer will not use offensive language and will not voice negative opinions (about any individual or organisation).

Initial proposal for Foodbank Queensland

Julie-Ann Ellis

42 Bellevue Parade

LOTA  4179



179 Beverley St


07 3395 8422

RE: Public Relations Communications Proposal

As of Tuesday twenty-seventh of November, 2012, I intend to carry out the following tasks for Foodbank Queensland.

  • Create an extensive communication plan (that is negotiable) for reference to my current role within Foodbank Queensland, and for the future use by Foodbank Queensland.
  • Meet and interview volunteers, food doners and recipients, with the intention of creating profiles for the use on social media sites and any other publicity needs.
  • Look into current Foodbank Queensland social networking sites and spruce them up before Christmas.
  • Research food doner organisations and look into their social media sites, with cross media promotions in mind.
  • Create a few more social media networking sites relevant to the needs of Foodbank Queensland.
  • Create a competition online to get more attention online.
  • Create an event (longterm) to enhance media coverage, community support and thanks to volunteers, sponsors and recipients.
  • Approach media outlets about Foodbank Queensland; before Christmas and for event
  • Carry out at least six hours work per week

It is noted that the fore mentioned points are not extensive and are negotiable depending on the needs of Foodbank Queensland.

Yours sincerely

Julie-Ann Ellis

Ron Cushing

Before his death, Ron Cushing’s passion was to visit his old school, some people believed that he was lonely and just needed a chat.

The children of Wynnum Central State School learnt a realm of things, like, what it was like to go to school in the 1930’s and what it was like to be in a war.

Ronald Frederick Cushing was born in Brisbane on November 19, 1926 and died alone in Brisbane on March 29, 2003.

Ron grew up in the Wynnum/Manly area and was eight years old when he first attended Wynnum Central State School, “… when the butcher and baker came around on a horse.”

“Children would go down to the beach at Wynnum or Manly at night, both girls and boys, get together to talk and often get into mischief but not destructive mischief, only mild.

“Those of us who got together on the beach were often chased by a local policeman, as there was a police station at Manly and one at Wynnum and if you were caught, you got a kick in the pants, which to those not caught was funny,” said Ron (from the Wynnum Herald).

At school, Ron played sports such as rugby league, hockey and athletics.

He also played in the school FIFE band and was the first student to use double bass drum sticks (from Wynnum Central State School, Celebrating over 100 years of Education. 1896-1996).

Ron (who could be called a skylark at times), would replace the wrapped lollies on the teachers desk (gifts from the school girls) with soap.

“He [the teacher] went straight out the door and we found a chewed up bit of soap at the bottom of the steps,” said Ron (from the Wynnum Herald).

In 1941, Ron Cushing failed his scholarship year (senior primary) and decided to turn his attentions to the army.

At the age of 13 years, he had talked his mother and local doctor into signing the necessary papers for joining the army.

He recalled the shocked faces of his fellow pupils when he turned up to school in army uniform (from the Wynnum Herald).

It is believed that he only served a short time in the army at this time.

While waiting in the inoculation line at Redbank training camp he was spotted coincidently by his unsuspecting father.

His father (who knew nothing of his son joining the army), pulled Ron out of the inoculation line, by the ear, and took him home to his mother.

Ron was subsequently discharged from the army.

Ron joined the army again, in November 1950, but this time, his musical talents were recognized early and he was posted to the Northern Command Band until he was sent to Korea (from the Australian War Memorial Collection Database).

Ron was placed with the Regimental Band of 2RAR, where during the heavy fighting at The Hook, members of the drum corps and the bandmaster acted as the local defense section at the battalion command post (from Australian War Memorial).

Ron served 320 days in Korea and joined the Citizens Military Force in 1956.

Current Wynnum Central State School student, Liam Clark, remembers Ron attending  the school for the 2002 ANZAC Day celebrations.

“He stood on the front stairs of the school and told the story of how he enlisted when he was thirteen years old,” said Liam.

  1. Cushing was an avid roller skater and every Saturday morning was found at the Cleveland Roller Skating Rink, teaching children how to skate.

He was awarded with a Senior’s Award for his work with youth (particularly the skating) by ex Federal Member for Bowman Mr. Con Sciacca (from the Wynnum Herald).

Many of the staff and students of Wynnum Central State School remember Ron fondly.

Parent, Annette Rolley, recalls his ANZAC Day contribution but also that he was a “lovely man.”

“Ron would be here by morning tea and at lunch he would sit with the children and tell them stories about Wynnum Central State School.

“I think it is very important for the children to realize that their history is vital for growth,” said Nola Schmidt, Teacher Aide.

Current Teacher, Mr. Greg Johnston said, “As well as every ANZAC Service, Ron would make it a ritual to participate as a guest presenter for the end of year award ceremonies.

“Before he passed away, we had an annual Ron Cushing Award for the Highest Achiever.”

“I believe he must have been a very lonely man and he just needed the company,” said Mrs. Schmidt.

Sadly, Mr. Cushing passed away in 2003.

Though, he left a generous donation to the school, which has enabled them to get some badly needed multipurpose courts.

Principle of Wynnum Central State School, Mr. Peter James, said, “Ron made it explicitly clear that his wish was for the proceeds of his estate were to go towards a facility the school children could use.”

The children of Wynnum Central State School will now play happily on their new courts and I am sure Ron Cushing’s spirit is playing with them.

(Please note (27 August, 2014): This article was written in 2006, it is the addition of an assignment submitted to UQ newspace (an online portal).  I will post the entire assignment in the following days and touch on the subject of Wynnum Central State School. Additionally, what a pity I did not source my in-text references correctly, as we don’t get the full range of dates and so on to go with the history of the story.)

For extra information on Ron Cushing, go to;


Australian War Memorial Collections Database (1953). “Ron Cushing.” (Accessed April 24, 2006)

Clark, Liam (2006).  Personal Interview 23 April.

Elwell, Grant (Education Queensland) (2006).  Telephone Interview 19 April.

Rolley, Annette (2006). Personal Interview 24 April.

Schmidt, Nola (2006). Personal Interview 24 April.

Johnstone, Greg (2006).  Personal Interview 24 April.

___ (1996), “Wynnum Central State School: Celebrating over 100 years of Education, 1896-1996.” –n.p.

___ (1996), “Ron ‘rocked up’ in uniform.” Wynnum Herald 21 Febuary, Edition 1.

___ (2000), “Rolling Ron Remembers School.”  Wynnum Herald 12 January, Edition 1.

___ (2000), “Briefs.” Wynnum Herald 25 October, Edition 1.

___ (2000), “Special award to seniors.”  Wynnum Herald 01 November, Edition 1.

___ (2005), “Funds boost sports plans.”  Wynnum Herald 05 January, Edition 1.

Ron Cushing

Second version 

Julie-Ann Ellis


(First version


1072 words