About Us

The principal purpose of Newcastle Fringe is to support independent artists and promote independent arts in Newcastle. The aim of the not for profit is to be the best little fringe that we can be, connecting to the global fringe movement and encouraging visitation to Newcastle by artists and audiences alike.

The goals of Newcastle Fringe are:

  • To provide leadership and a focus for the independent arts community in Newcastle;
  • To facilitate the development, production and presentation of independent art;
  • To organise, promote and present an annual independent arts festival, the majority of which is open access participation;
  • To facilitate networking and development among like individuals, organisations and collectives from around the world;
  • To develop and present professional development opportunities, activities and programs for independent artists, producers and arts workers;
  • To be a platform for acts and audiences to travel to Newcastle for this must-see event.

Volunteer Board of Directors

Phil Aughey

Responsibilities: Creative Direction, Programming, Event Planning and Judging

Phil Aughey is the Founder of Newcastle Fringe. He is also the administrator and director of Anvil Creek Theatre, author of The Red Dust published through Black Cockie Press, and a writer, actor and director of successful theatre works such as The Exchange, Chopin’s Last Tour and Islands in a Sea of Confusion. Phil also wrote, directed and acted in the Rothbury Riots Re-Enacted in 2019. He performs piano recitals for charity and is currently working on a script for tv. Phil has a BA in Communications from Charles Sturt University majoring in Performance Art (Acting).

Brooke Twyford

Responsibilities: Board Governance, Contracts, Venue Management, Event Planning and Management

Brooke Twyford is an accomplished and passionate multi-media executive with oodles of operations management experience and proven success across world-class brands and startups. She spent eight years in New York, where she was a key member of the leadership team for the News and Sports Group at Time Inc, working on iconic magazines including Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated. She was featured as a distinguished graduate at the University of Newcastle’s Celebrating 50 Years Exhibition at Newcastle Museum; lucky enough to be an international leadership finalist in the UoN Alumni Awards and is a previous winner of Time President’s Entrepreneurship Award. Brooke completed Time Warner Board Assist Training in NYC and back home joined the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is an experienced board member focussed on the not-for-profit sector and is a founding board member of Newcastle Fringe.

Rebecca DuBery

Responsibilities: Budget and Finance, Accounting and Bookkeeping

Rebecca is a qualified Certified Practising Accountant with over 10 years’ experience in the commercial and corporate sector, partnering with large organisations in various industries and not-for-profit organisations in Newcastle.

Currently, Rebecca has a large financial portfolio in a fast paced and leading organisation in the environmental sector, supporting the Senior Executive Committee and the Board, as a Finance Director. Rebecca has a passion for the environmental economy and sustainable development reporting where she continues to make a difference to an area she personally truly appreciates.

Rebecca proudly holds an MBA from Charles Sturt University. She is honoured to be a part of the Newcastle community and is extremely excited to contribute to the success of the Newcastle Fringe Festival through her strategic finance thinking and commercial acumen.

Rebecca Fitzgibbons

Responsibilities: Risk Management, Grant Applications and Acquittal, Community Engagement

Rebecca is a born and bred Novocastrian with a passion for performing arts. She comes to the Newcastle Fringe with over 15 years experience in governance, enterprise risk and operational management. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Economics with a Graduate Certificate in Risk Management and is a Fellow of The Governance Institute, Australia. Rebecca loves working with Boards to create companies that hold a strong vision with a focus on delivering tangible, successful outcomes.

Frances Burns

Responsibilities: Marketing, Communications, Brand Strategy, Promotion, PR and Sponsorship

Frances has over 10 year’s experience working in specialised advertising agencies, marketing, and consulting roles across a huge range of local and national brands, she brings a keen eye for strategic thinking and a thorough understanding of everything ‘Brand’ to the Newcastle Fringe. Client Services Director at local Design Agency Engineroom Design, she is passionate about connecting with people and helping brands capture exactly who they are to tell their story through effective communication design.

A born and bred Novocastrian, Frances is an avid local music fan and supporter of the Newcastle Arts community and is excited to bring her experience in brand design, creative thinking and advertising to the festival.

Nikki Abercrombie

Responsibilities: Destination Strategy, Tourism Industry Liaison and Volunteer Engagement Program

Nikki is a newly appointed Board Member of the Newcastle Fringe and is the owner and Director of Abercrombie Management, a global events management company. Nikki has over 15 years of experience in event design and production and is passionate about creating events that connect people, inspire ideas, and improve lives. She enjoys helping build and support her local community as a Board Member of the Lake Macquarie chapter of the Awesome Foundation and is an active member of the Newcastle Tourism Industry Group.

Isabelle Hazell

Responsibilities: Board Governance, Legal and Compliance, Public Donation Campaign and Social Media

Isabelle is proud to have grown up in Newcastle where she was a part of the city’s community theatre scene, performing in several productions with Young People’s Theatre. Currently, Isabelle is a pro bono lawyer specialising primarily in advising not-for-profit organisations and charities on corporate structuring, corporate governance, eligibility for tax concessions and fundraising obligations. Isabelle is passionate about the arts community in Newcastle and has assisted a number of arts organisations in her professional role. In her spare time, Isabelle volunteers on the fundraising committee for Arts Law Centre Australia, a community legal centre that provides pro bono legal advice to artists and musicians. She is also the co-founder of triple thread, a conscious living platform publishing the latest in ethical and sustainable fashion news. Isabelle looks forward to her new role on the Newcastle Fringe board.

Sub-Committee Contributors

Helen Hopcroft

Helen Hopcroft is an artist, writer and performer based in Maitland, NSW. She holds a MA in Painting from London’s Royal College of Art, and a Creative Writing PhD from the University of Newcastle, Australia. She has just been shortlisted for Spineless Wonders and Newcastle Writers Festival’s 2022 Joanne Burns Microlit award. Helen is the vocalist for The Majishans, who are due to launch their Nashville show at Newcastle Fringe Festival in March 2022.

Dave Young

Dave Young is the principal owner of What does dave think? an e-business consulting company that advises multinational corporations on digital business transformations. Dave has 25 years of experience running digital marketing efforts for Fortune 500 companies and has been named a Top 100 E-Business Executive and Top Commercial Web Innovator. A strategist with success and recognition in E-business and E-commerce, extensive combined experience in marketing, web and IT project management and execution across graphic design and Internet development disciplines. Born in the United States he has worked for international companies and taken work assignments in France and China. He has been a resident of Newcastle for the last 5 years gaining Australian Citizenship in 2022. In addition to his consulting business he also performs the role of Business Manager for the recording artists Makeout.