Our Committee

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Pamela Creed

Chair since 2015 - Joined 2013

Pam is a passionate advocate for the arts, education and training. She was the founding Director and CEO of the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) Head of Visual and Performing Arts at Swinburne University, Acting Director Academy of Design, and founding Director, CityArts, As a creative producer,in partnership with Circolombia she produced circus shows for Carnival Australia, P and O cruise ships. Consultancy work includes projects for Her Place Women’s Museum, Australia and Circolombia. Pam was a  Victorian finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year, and  previous Board appointments include the Next Wave, Victorian Arts and Entertainment Training Board, Theatreboard of the Australia Council, Victorian Ministerial Drama Advisory Panel, and Live Performing Arts Awards- Helpmann Panel. She is currently on the Board of ABC Friends, Victoria.

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Helen Selby

Secretary - Joined 2019

Helen has spent most of her working life in the health care, humanitarian and philanthropic sectors, in Human Resources/People and Culture and Work Health and Safety. Her experience working with people from a range of cultural backgrounds has strengthened her belief that everyone has a story to tell. She has been attending Boîte events since the 1970s, and enjoys the awesome breadth of music and song that is shared and celebrated, and how that builds respect, harmony and community. Helen has had a life-long love of music, starting with folk music of the Anglo Celtic revival in the 1960s, and spent much of her youth enjoying music in pubs and festivals. She has participated in the Melbourne Millennium Chorus, Big Sing in the Desert, as well as various community choirs and singers workshops.

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Daniel Saraev

Treasurer - Joined 2020

Daniel is a CA with over 8 years of experience working with CFOs and the Controllership of both non-for-profit and ASX100 organisations. Currently, he is an experienced manager in Finance Consulting at Deloitte where he helps builds finance functions for business’ undergoing a transaction. Being brought up in a musical environment and hailing from a Chinese-Russian cultural background, he is passionate about the arts, cultural inclusion and community development.  

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Mardi Stow

Joined 2004

Mardi is the General Manager Community Capacity Building Program at the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, a non-government organisation providing assistance to refugees who settle in Melbourne. She also has considerable experience in managing service delivery teams and governance of organisations.  Previous areas of work include child and family welfare, foster care and video production. Mardi was born and grew up in Fiji and has lived in the USA, UK, Japan and Australia. Through her own experiences of migration, Mardi has experienced a wide range of music and seen the capacity of music to build bridges between people and to contribute to individual and community well-being. She has instigated some of The Boîte's projects with refugees where music contributes to the journey of healing. Mardi also loves being part of a community choir. 

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Therese Virtue OAM

Joined 1984

Therese Virtue taught in the Western suburbs of Melbourne for more than 10 years before working as a singer and then an organiser with The Boîte. She has sung with some of Melbourne's most adventurous folk ensembles including Il Gruppo Folcloristico Italiano and the award-winning Petrunka. She has been involved with The Boîte since 1984, and as Boîte World Music Cafe Co-ordinator for the past 22 years has organised and presented over 1500 intimate concerts featuring artists from 35 communities. For 20 years she has been a presenter of the Boîte World Music radio programs on 3PBS and 3CR. A warm and approachable person with a formidable knowledge of the Australian music scene, she is highly respected by artists from many communities.

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Ernie Gruner

Joined 2015

Violinist Ernie Gruner is one of Melbourne’s most active and versatile musicians.  Specialising in klezmer, he has studied in the USA and Europe. He was originally mentored in classical violin by his Vienna Conservatorium-trained Polish grandmother. Ernie also plays styles including Russian, Hungarian, French, Italian, Balkan, Sephardic, Middle-eastern, tango, jazz and improvisation with bands including Bohemian Nights, Saray Iluminado, Klezmeritis, and Bowlines. Ernie has participated in six album launches with The Boite, including the award-winning Fig Tree, as well as as teaching at Daylesford Singer’s Festival, and performing in three Millenium choruses, including Gurrong. As an organiser for Turramurra Music Camp for 25 years, he often liased with The Boite for programming ideas. He works as a musician in Melbourne Playback Theatre Company, as well as theatre productions with Italian, Russian, and Balkan themes, including the popular Café Scheherezade at fortyfivedownstairs. He has appeared on TV’s Spicks and Specks with Klezmeritis and Yalla! He appeared in Seth Jordan’s book World Music: Global Sounds in Australia, which profiled performers who have significantly contributed to Australia’s world music scene. Ernie has more than 75 recording credits.

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Nela Trifkovic

Joined 2015

Nela Trifkovic is a Bosnian-Australian artist whose multi-faceted practice includes the disciplines of music, theatre, performance and installation art. She studied music (composition, piano and voice) at WAAPA and VCA, where she completed her doctoral studies in 2012. A recipient of several grants and scholarships, Nela has performed and presented her research in Australia, Asia, Europe and USA. In the realm of folk music, Bosnian Sevdah and Sephardic Jewish songs are Nela's greatest passion, and have been an integral part of her life and upbringing. These musical genres have inspired the formation of her ensemble SARAY Iluminado, allowing Nela to gather a curious bunch of like-minded musical travellers, and pursue life away from home by finding her home in song.

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Liliana Hajncl

Joined 2020

Lilliana Hajncl is the child of post war migrants from Croatia and the Czech Republic and the UK. She grew up bi-lingual in multicultural Australia which was slowly beginning to recognise the value that came with the many post war arrivals. Lilliana has worked in secondary and adult education in France, Croatia, French Polynesia, Timor L'este as well as Australia. For more than twenty years she has produced award-winning educational and training resources for adult culturally and linguistically diverse communities. She has managed a three year state-wide work readiness training program for newly arrived migrants and refugees. She currently works in curriculum and program development with AMES Australia, supporting both teachers and trainers and new arrivals.  

Lilliana is on the organising committee of the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia. She is a long-standing member of the Victorian Electoral Commission Multicultural Advisory Group. Her commitment to the arts and the environment included a decade as a committee member of RGT, a voluntary organisation whose aim was to responsibly recycle clean manufacturing waste into affordable arts materials for primary schools. Lilliana’s passion for music has made her an enthusiastic participant in and advocate for The Boite for many years. She also sings in community choirs here and in Caucasian Georgia.

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Merren Ricketson

Joined 2019

Merren worked as a sessional Educator at the National Gallery of Victoria for over 30 years using the collections to enhance students’ written and oral communication skills. She was the Curator of Top Arts for 16 years and managed the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s Season of Excellence Festival working closely with student artists, designers, performers and musicians for over a decade. More recently she studied Auslan and pre-Covid worked with Deaf artists on monthly public tours at the NGV, and as a sessional teacher at the Victorian College for the Deaf. Merren has sung and danced through many Daylesford Singing Festivals, originally with her children. She has been a member of  the Millennium Chorus off and on for years and is now a member of the Ukelele Songbirds

- an enthusiastic group of friends who share a love of singing and playing together.

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Daniel Jauregui

Joined 2020

Daniel Jauregui is a multiple Latin Grammy Award winning musician, artis and educator based in Melbourne Australia. Born in Caracas Venezuela, his professional career began at age 14 in Venevision Chanel 4, a prominent Venezuelan TV station. With an active career as an international session musician, Daniel has performed at many of the most important venues around Latin America, Spain and the USA.  He has shared the stage with many top international artists such as Shakira and Juan Luis Guerra. Since 2012, he has quickly risen to a key role in the Australian music and artistic scene.   His musical passions centre around Latin, jazz, blues, pop, rock and world music. As a producer, composer, and session player, Daniel’s sound is the result of the melding of multi-disciplinary perspectives with multicultural backgrounds resulting in a refined and mesmerising experience. His name has been credited in over 80 releases in a variety of genres, many of which hit top spots in charts around Latin America, Spain and USA.