Our Team

We’re a bunch of creative misfits who make opportunities for children and young people to take part in and express, creativity. Meet the team that ignite the spark of creativity!

Creative Minds

Director of Children and Young People, Dr Sarah Rusholme Director of Children and Young People, Dr Sarah Rusholme

Sarah Rusholme

Director of Children & Young People – Experience Wellington

Sarah is Experience Wellington’s Director: Children & Young People. Based at Capital E, it’s her job to make sure that the youngest members of our audience feel welcomed, included and important whenever they encounter us. Sarah is the wrangler of a family of boys and dogs, a fencing fanatic and generally haphazard ukulele player.

She loves, loves, loves the capital.

Fundraising Coordinator, Ruby Armstrong-Kooy Fundraising Coordinator, Ruby Armstrong-Kooy

Ruby Armstrong-Kooy

Fundraising Coordinator

Ruby is a small ground-dwelling mammal frequently sighted in the wilds of Wellington. When she’s not coordinating fundraising at Capital E, she can be found running up hills and learning how to make beautiful things out of whatever materials she has at hand.

Capital-E-Staff-Kit-Benham Capital-E-Staff-Kit-Benham

Kit Benham

Digital Assistant

Kit is a Capital E Digital tutor who works hosting students in Capital E’s OnTV Studio, MediaLab digital suite and around the Capital through our mobile programmes. A self-professed technophile and with a background in computing and film and television, Kit also works as technician for the OnTV Studio. Outside of class contact, Kit works with the Digital team on programme development, liaising with teachers and is responsible for the media creation and editing requirements of the OnTV Studio and mobile programmes.

Creative Producer - Public Programmes, Karen Carey Creative Producer - Public Programmes, Karen Carey

Karen Carey

Creative Producer – Public Programmes

Karen is not only a super mum, but is also a super organiser. With her savvy skills in putting together new and exciting activities for children, Capital E is always buzzing with fun family events.

Amy Church

Public Programmes Coordinator

When Amy finished high school she moved down to Wellington from Hamilton with a big group of friends and was drawn to the vibe and diversity that the city has to offer. She’s always painted, drawn and done crafts and has been set on making a career of it, though that hasn’t always been easy. Amy has worked in many different creative fields; painting small artworks to murals, making designer rock candy, painting sets and making props, creating concept drawings and designing playgrounds both in New Zealand and Africa.

Head of Programming and Partnerships, Mel Conway Head of Programming and Partnerships, Mel Conway

Melissa Conway

Head of Programming and Partnerships

Mel leads the Live performance, Digital and Public Programming teams through the design, development and delivery of all our creative content and experiences for children and young people. Mel’s background is in education and moving image production – she has taught in schools in both Auckland and Wellington and has worked in a wide range of roles in the film and television industry, her most recent role previous was Creative Technology Manager for Capital E.

Delyse Diack

Marketing and Communications Manager

Delyse joins the Capital E team from Auckland, heading to the coolest little capital in the world for family, culture, and adventure. Delyse has marketing and communications experience in not-for-profit organisations and is passionate about sharing the message and knowledge of the cause. In her spare time, Delyse can be found with a good book, a crochet hook, and a cup of tea.

Head of Business and Development, Meredith Elley Head of Business and Development, Meredith Elley

Meredith Elley

Head of Business and Development

Meredith leads the development and delivery of the strategic business plan that maximises revenue generation, service quality and operational efficiency. She has a strong background in business development and opportunity identification having developed many growth strategies across a variety of sectors including economic development, not-for-profit, tourism, wine, retail and export. She also has strong operational experience having managed the Townsville Hospital Foundation and Sealink Queensland’s terminal operations.

Meredith is proud to call Wellington home and lives with her partner and two boys in the northern suburbs.

Ariane Galope

Marketing Coordinator

Ariane is a proud Wellingtonian and has been hanging around Capital E since she was in the single digits. Now well into the double digits, she uses her passion for all things digital to create social media content in the hopes of inspiring younger generations to develop an interest in art and technology.

In her spare time, Ariane spends her days attempting to finish her postgraduate study in the public library and giving pats to good dogs around the city.

Creative Producer, Peter Graham Creative Producer, Peter Graham

Peter Graham

Creative Producer – Digital

Not only is Peter a great advocate for children and technology, but he’s also super talented in the OnTV Studio. You can find him writing and developing programmes for schools about zombies, aliens, people who knit graffiti, the general news and weather – as well as editing and preparing the scripts students create themselves – then we make a show! Out in the community, he runs around with mobile technology and avoids the rain.

Associate Producer NTFC - Sonia van der Heyden Associate Producer NTFC - Sonia van der Heyden

Sonia van der Heyden

Associate Producer - National Theatre for Children

Sonia is the Associate Producer for our theatre team, coordinating all of the production elements of the show. You can contact Sonia for information relating to the many shows we have in our repertoire.

MediaLab Coordinator - Loren Kennedy MediaLab Coordinator - Loren Kennedy

Loren Kennedy

MediaLab Coordinator

Originally a Dunedinite, Loren worked in film and television in Auckland and then became a primary school teacher in Wellington. She then decided to combine all her talents at Capital E and help children discover their inner digital wizard. Her hobbies include watching horror movies, doing SFX zombie make-up on children, working on interminable, intricate embroidery and tapestry pieces and visiting NYC every two years or so.

Relationship Development Coordinator - Hana Makin Relationship Development Coordinator - Hana Makin

Hana Makin

Relationship Development Coordinator

Hana moved to NZ in 2016 from Yorkshire, UK and is still struggling to get her head around Christmas in summer and a mid-year winter! She loves travelling and eating, having been to amazing foodie spots in India, Morocco, Malaysia and Thailand with so many more on her bucket list! Hana trained in archaeology and has worked in the UK with children’s archaeology groups. She loves working with and being inspired by kids, so it’s great Hana can hang out with children and their parents here at Capital E.

Harriet Newman

Bookings Coordinator

Avid organisation queen by day, costume-making vigilante by night… Harriet is a double Toi Whakaari graduate (costume construction and performance design) and she loves making stuff – clothes, jokes, designs for shows, baking, conversation…. Much like her better half Joe (also featured on this page), she’s pretty passionate about awesome storytelling across multiple mediums - but her favourites are books. You can generally find her in the Capital E office juggling bookings and phone calls, or running ragged about Wellington in op-shops hoarding knick-knacks, trinkets and costumes for shows.

Production Technician, Joe Newman Production Technician, Joe Newman

Joe Newman

Production Technician

Since moving to New Zealand from England, Joe has worked with Capital E around the country on all things backstage. Now, as Production Technician, he is responsible for managing equipment and technicians on both local shows and national tours, making sure there are enough plugs and things to be plugged in.

Ashleigh Pearson

Visitor Services Host

When she’s not at Capital E, Ashleigh can usually be found hibernating under a pile of blankets with Netflix, or looking for cool socks to buy. Some of her favourite activities are going to the supermarket, kickboxing, and coming up with wacky film ideas.

Ashleigh is a free-range, organic, locally grown Welllingtonian, and is currently studying at Massey University.

When she’s finished university Ashleigh plans to make films, have lots of dogs, and be rich.

Kristen Rowe

OnTV Coordinator

Kristen is a born and bred Wellingtonian, who has spent over 12 years working in the local film and television industry. She’s an organisational whizz who has worked on a unique mix of productions over the years that have involved children, helicopters, explosions, dragons, puppets, seaghosts, hobbits, celebrities, and beyond! Kristen loves hanging out with young people – hearing their insights and creative ideas, and seeing them grow through stepping out and taking on new challenges. At Capital E, you’ll find her teaching groups of children behind-the-scenes and front-of-camera roles amongst the organised chaos that evolves into recording ‘live’ studio shows!

Creative Producer NTFC, Marianne Taylor Creative Producer NTFC, Marianne Taylor

Marianne Taylor

Creative Producer – National Theatre for Children

Marianne has worked in the performing arts sector in New Zealand, Australia and Canada as Producer, General Manager, Arts Funding Officer, Production/Tour Manager, Stage Manager and Lighting Designer for the past 25 years. Her qualifications include Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute, Graduate of the Banff Centre for the Arts in Lighting Design, and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Film. Marianne has recently returned home to Wellington with her family from Tasmania, Australia and is thrilled to be back in a city where she can feel the wind in her hair and live in a city full of action!

Fiona Tucker

Office and Visitor Services Manager

Fiona looks after all the customer service staff you may meet when you book in at Capital E or when you come to a show, event or the festival. You might see Fiona around helping out at some of our different events, and often she’s the one on the end of the phone when you make a booking.

Visitor Services host, Cara Waretini Visitor Services host, Cara Waretini

Cara Louise Waretini

Visitor Services Host

Cara Louise works part time in the public space as the Visitors Services Host. During the rest of her week, you could find her doing any number of her other jobs as a Costumier, Costume Designer or Producer for film and theatre. In her spare time, she loves to hang out with her family drinking tea and playing board games.

Creative Casuals

Casual Visitor Services host, Catilin Fitt-Simpson Casual Visitor Services host, Catilin Fitt-Simpson

Catilin Fitt-Simpson

Casual Visitor Services host
Casual Visitor Services host / Office relief, Jillian Davey Casual Visitor Services host / Office relief, Jillian Davey

Jillian Davey

Casual Visitor Services host / Office relief

Natalie Britten

Casual Visitor Services host
Casual Digital Tutor / Birthday Party Tutor, Barney Olsen Casual Digital Tutor / Birthday Party Tutor, Barney Olsen

Barney Olsen

Casual Digital Tutor / Birthday Party Tutor
Casual Visitor Services host/ Birthday Party Tutor, Sassy Shepheard Casual Visitor Services host/ Birthday Party Tutor, Sassy Shepheard

Sassy Shepheard

Casual Visitor Services host/ Birthday Party Tutor
Casual Visitor Services host, Carrie Green Casual Visitor Services host, Carrie Green

Carrie Green

Casual Visitor Services host

Adam Koveskali

Casual Visitor Services Host and Dance Extraordinaire

Elena Vassiliadis

Junior Party Host and Casual Visitor Services Host

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