Our Team

CAPTIVATE is home to a diverse and exceptional range of Australia’s leading industry professionals and specialist teachers. They know precisely how to share their passion and knowledge of techniques, style and performance expertise with our students, also showing them how to break into the creative and performing arts world. They focus on making creative and performing arts enjoyable to everyone, in a supportive and professional environment.

CAPTIVATE is committed to nurturing and developing student confidence and unlocking potential.

Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins - Head CAPTIVATE

Mark Hopkins has over 20 years’ experience in secondary performing arts education. He has led large performing arts faculties at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, The McDonald College and before coming to CEDP, as principal of the Australian International Performing Arts High School, then at Harris Park.

Mark’s background is in the commercial media and professional theatre, having worked as a radio producer, actor, dramaturge and director in Sydney and Melbourne. He remains closely involved with the professional performing arts community and has written as a theatre critic for The Sydney Morning Herald. Mark is passionate about all young people being given access to an arts-rich education that unlocks their full potential, inspires a lifelong love of learning and creates the confidence to contribute to society in a rapidly changing world.

David Russell

David Russell - Artistic Director

David Russell has been part of CAPTIVATE since its inception in 2008. He completed a Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In his first and final years he was the recipient of the Horace Keats Memorial Scholarship for Singing. He also completed a Master of Music Studies (Conducting) in 2011 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he was the recipient of the Eugene Goosens Fellowship. He has attended masterclasses and summer courses in the USA, UK and Europe.

David manages the performance programs and overall planning for CAPTIVATE including linking performance opportunities to system/diocesan events and the wider performing arts industry as well as co-constructing the School-Based and Masterclass components of the CAPTIVATE program.

Francoise Marrier d Unienville

Françoise Marrier d’Unienville - Music 

Marie-Françoise Marrier d’Unienville completed a Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has been teaching for 20 years in primary and secondary schools both in Australia and overseas. She was Head of Creative and Performing Arts at Nagle College for 6 years, where she directed 3 musicals, implemented an instrumental program and expanded their co-curricular

She has extensive experience in HSC marking both practical and written.Francoise’s main instrument is cello and she performs with the Balmain Sinfonia and as part of a string trio for events. Françoise oversees the Band program and creates extension and inclusive music programs for Secondary Music students under CAPTIVATE.

Melinda Tyquin

Melinda Tyquin - Dance

Melinda Tyquin graduated from UNSW (2006) with a BA (Dance/English)/BEd. She is a CAPTIVATE Dance Program Facilitator and joined the permanent CAPTIVATE team in 2016.

Her professional dance credits include: ‘Briwyant’ (Van Hout 2011/2012), ‘Table for One’ (Van Hout 2012), ‘Game of Seven’ (Chester and Champion 2013/14), ‘Cultivate/Culminate’ (Force Majeure 2013/14), ‘In Transit’ (Vassallo 2014), ‘Winds of Woerr’ (Gela 2014-16), ‘The Likes of Me (Shilcock/Walsh 2015), ‘Catalyst’ (Accessible Arts 2015), ‘Tangi Wai - Spirit Tears’ (Hunt 2015/17), ‘Mura Buai’ (Gela and Micich 2015), ‘Fragments of Malungoka - Women of the Sea’ (Gela 2016).

She is actively engaged with the Sydney-based dance company DirtyFeet, taking on the role of Program Manager and Artist Support Worker for The Right Foot - dance workshops for artists with and without disability. Melinda is a 2015-17 Artist in Residence with the integrated dance company Murmuration, fulfilling roles of Artist/Deviser and Rehearsal Assistant.

Lucinda Armour

Lucinda Armour - Drama

With over 25 years’ experience as a drama tutor (primarily with the Australian Theatre for Young People), actor and producer Lucinda has also worked on both sides of the camera as an actor in productions including Home & Away, All Saints, It Goes, Petals, Walking on Water and as a casting and production coordinator for Network Ten and the ABC series Race Around The Corner. She has worked nationally with companies including Bell Shakespeare, The Sydney Theatre Company, the WA Theatre Company, Belvoir St., HTVC, Riverina Theatre Company, amongst others.

Lucinda co-wrote, produced and performed multiple roles in The Tannii-Marie Show which had successful seasons both in Sydney and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. After working with an award winning corporate communications company for 6 years across Australia and internationally, Lucinda joined CAPTIVATE to promote creativity and arts opportunities in our schools

Natasha Beaumont

Natasha Beaumont - Drama

Starting her voiceover career back in 2003, Natasha’s unique delivery and sharp ear ensured she quickly rose to being one of the country’s leading female talents.

Having worked with actors and directors including Leonardo Di Caprio, Christopher Nolan, Cate Blanchett, Rowan Woods and Alex Proyas, Natasha has a wealth of acting experience and an aptitude for accents and character work. She has appeared in leading roles for both the Sydney Theatre Company and the Birmingham Stage Company in the UK and been fortunate enough to work extensively in numerous TV series, including Eastenders, Peep Show, My Spy Family, Farscape, All Saints and Water Rats.

William Haškovec - Music

William completed a Bachelor of Music Performance (Bass Guitar) at the Australian Institute of Music and a Graduate Diploma of Education at Southern Cross University.

William has been deeply involved in all facets of the contemporary Australian music industry for over 10 years. He has performed in and led many professional ensembles in a live setting, recorded as a session musician, worked as a sound engineer and facilitated song writing and ensemble masterclasses in schools throughout NSW. As well as this, William is a composer, currently scoring Australian media including feature length films and video games.

In 2012 William founded ‘Solar Music’, a company which provides musical solutions for all occasions while ensuring as many talented musicians as possible are provided with industry experience, with a focus on establishing early career opportunities.

Tim Martin - Drama

Growing up in the country town of Dubbo, Tim Martin developed a passion for performing arts, taking the stage in numerous school productions. He followed his dreams to Sydney in 2000, pursuing a Theatre Degree followed with a Bachelor of Teaching.

Tim has been working with CAPTIVATE for almost 10 years as part of the Drama Literacy team. Tim’s work involves deepening student’s and teacher’s experiences in the classroom through embodied activities and imaginative play. He currently works with staff and students at various primary schools across the diocese.

Natalie Pelarek - Dance

Natalie Pelarek has been a regular artist with DirtyFeet, working across all programs. She has danced internationally in Los Angeles, New York, Milan and Berlin. A highlight for this year includes touring to Canada to perform [MIS]CONCEIVE by Thomas E.S Kelly, which premiered at the 2016 Next Wave Festival and has also received a Green Room Award.

As a Sydney-based dance enthusiast and educator, Natalie has developed an interest in sociology and theatrical performance. She has invested her career in teaching dance as an art-form and hopes to continue empowering students through the arts.

Kim Howes - Administrator

Kim has recently joined the CAPTIVATE team having worked in the Events and Conference Industry for over 6 years, organising large conferences for university students around Australia and the South Pacific. After completing her Masters in Events Management at the end of 2017 she is excited to have the chance to work within the creative arts industry.



The teachers are really caring and nice to you and the rehearsals are really good as well - Sammuel, St Paul’s Catholic College


The best part of Immersion being able to work with professional choreographers and connect with others schools - Angela, Caroline Chisholm College


I especially like the teachers because they’re so experienced and they know what they’re doing and they’ve been in the industry for a very long time - Amanda, McCarthy Catholic College


I liked learning new types of songs and how to read different time signatures and just getting to know the other students - Lachlan, St Thomas Aquinas Springwood


I really enjoyed the clowning workshop we did with Naree Shields. I learnt about collaborating and taking into account everyone’s ideas and working together. - Krystal, Delany College Granville