About Us


Westside Circus is a vigorous and inspiring youth circus for all Victorian youth, valued by its communities for the contribution it makes to arts and education.


We use circus and physical theatre to stimulate creativity and make a tangible difference to the lives of young people from diverse backgrounds.


Creativity and imagination are invaluable human assets that can be harnessed to positively change the world. Circus is an excellent way to learn them.

Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts...
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 27

01 How we work

We are excited by how each young person responds creatively to the world around them using circus.

Diversity and play unlock life’s richness. We work with young people aged 3–25 from a range of social, economic and cultural backgrounds, offering workshops, projects and performance experiences. Our programs build emotional and physical confidence in young people to assist them to develop positive relationships with peers, family and community. We focus on engaging young people in vulnerable or disadvantaged circumstances because we understand they have less access to activities we believe so vital. Our unique blend of contemporary circus, professional artists, and authentic community engagement is an artistic expression of the diversity and play that inspires us; circus embraces many art practices to tell stories, to entertain, and to develop the creative and social capacity of young people from diverse cultures. We use community-based decision-making supported by local skills, resources and knowledge. Our programs reach thousands of young people across Victoria each year.

Our Values


Play is serious artistic business. Every engagement we have with young people starts with play.

We adapt innovatively to unexpected circumstances through listening, empathy and respect.

Holding onto our dreams through difficult periods requires an inner strength to remain resolute and certain of our reasoning.


We seek beauty and grace in the world around us. We aim to present the ease with which we do things, not the effort.

When facing the unknown, we step boldly forward with an air of curiosity. Properly managed, risk is a powerful force capable of propelling us to greater possibilities.

Circus is universally accessible: people of all abilities discover that circus welcomes all, celebrates uniqueness, and expresses complex human experiences in exciting and meaningful ways.

02 Company Program Logic


03 Our People

Chair - Tony Nippard

Vice Chair - Tim Rolfe

Treasurer - Sanjay Gund 

Secretary - Alexia White

Anne Derham Zeb Hunter
Michelle Armstrong Olivia Allen


Chief Executive Officer - Simon Clarke

Program Manager - Jane Hartnell

Finance - Christine Ritter

Admin & Operations Coordinator - Jafar Abdus-Samad

Jade Borjesson, Mariana Iafelice

Merryn Chenoweth - Jarrad Cuff - Cleo Cutcher - Thomas Davis - Asmare Nega Dress - Karen Louise Edelenbos - Sebastian Edwards -Tara Gallop-Brennan - Scott Hone - Madhavi Hunt - Byron Hutton - Nathan Jones - David Joseph - Stephanie Dara Lewis - Scott McBurnie - Mark McLachlan - Sally Frances - Nikki O'Toole - Julian Ojeda - Jordan Pheasant-Kelly - Morgaine Presser - Ana Real - Emily Ross - Ruby Rowat - Bianca Sciarretta - Christopher Singer - Elizabeth Wendy Skitch - Rockie Stone - Kimberly Twiner - Vincent Van Berkel - Oliver Versteegen - Avan Whaite - Bradley Woodhead
Jade Borjesson, Samara Clifford, Grace Robins, Lucy Tan, Hamish Smithers, Jeremy Davies
Maalini Ellis, Esther Patullo-Chapman, Michelle Becerra, and other work experience

“I have learnt so many skills while being a part of the Westside crew. I’m now not afraid to stand in front of an audience and perform, and once you have finished the performance, you and the team you did it with feel like stars”
Participant, Altitude Shepparton

04 Our Sponsors & Partners


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Trusts and Foundations

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Program Partners

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Glenroy College

John Fawkner College

Shepparton Ace College

St Paul's African House


Local Government

International Partners

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