About Us

Our Committee

BLAKE ALLEN (Technology)

Since joining the committee after the 2019 festival, Blake has become an invaluable contributor. Blake’s expertise in the field of technology has helped fill a void the committee has struggled to fill over the years. Blake’s skill in this field has already made a positive impact and will further enhance the festival as we move forward. Blake is also a member of the Koroit Lions Club, showing his commitment to the community.

ANTHONY BRADY (Music)

As the festival music director, it is Anthony’s role to book acts to play at the festival each year. The growing reputation of the festival among Irish-Celtic circles has allowed the Koroit Irish Festival to attract some of the biggest names in this genre. The festival hopes to continue to have this range of talent journeying to Koroit.

BARRY BRODY (Infrastructure/ Street Procession)

If there is a heart and soul of the Koroit Irish Festival, Barry is certainly it. Barry was a volunteer for the festival over its first 13 years, before officially joining the committee after the 2009 event. His passion for the festival and all it brings makes Barry an inspiring figure and one all involved with the festival holds in high esteem. Barry is part of the infrastructure team and partners with Anthony Dowling to bring to life the famous Koroit Irish Festival Street Procession.

BARBARA BROOKS (Danny Boy)

Barbara joined the committee at our annual general meeting in 2019 as the Australian Danny Boy Championship director. It is a subject Barbara knows plenty about, as she was the winner of the nationally famous contest in 2003. Not only can Barbara sing, but she has exceptional organisational skills and creative flair and is shining in her role as Danny Boy director.

JAMES CALLINAN (Treasurer)

While the Koroit Irish Festival is run by an entirely volunteer committee made up of community members, the event carries a big budget, making the financial demands considerable. Over the course of its history, the festival has been fortunate to have some outstanding treasurers with James Callinan the latest on that list. James came on board for 2020 and has been rock solid in maintaining festival finances in uncertain times.

LEON CAREY (Vice-President)

Community is a passion for Leon and his quest to continue to be a strong leader comes through in his work on the festival committee. Leon is the festival vice-president and has extensive community connections, which helps provide the festival with a holistic approach. In the past, Leon has served as a sponsorship director, laying the foundation for some long-standing business and community partnerships.

NEALE DOBSON (Infrastructure)

An event the size of the Koroit Irish Festival just does not happen, it takes lots of hard work, most of it that goes unseen. Neale Dobson is one of the people that ensures the show goes on, with his work as infrastructure director, a role he shares with Jarrod Gleeson, vital to the festival’s success. This includes the coordination of setting up and packing up the festival under the pressure of a tight timeframe.

ANTHONY DOWLING (Street Procession)

Koroit is full of unique characters, none more so than Anthony Dowling. As one of the original committee members of the festival, Anthony has forever been part of the event’s journey and has played a telling role. Along with Barry Brody, he is the director of the Street Procession, which he also leads loudly and proudly. He is one of the most recognisable parts of the festival and a joy to behold.

ANTHONY EVANS (Health and Safety/ Secretary)

A Koroit man his whole life, Anthony has a deep love for his town and the people who call it home. Anthony joined the committee as our health and safety director, a task he still carries out with aplomb. He has also taken on the key role of secretary, keeping the large amount of correspondence, both in and out, in order. The Irish Stout Championship is his brainchild and under his guise as director has thrived and grows in popularity.

CHRIS EVANS (Kids Area/ Permits)

The immediate past president of the festival committee, Chris remains an important part of the team. Chris is responsible for organising the children’s entertainment area at the festival and also puts together arrangements for permits required for the festival to go ahead. Chris was president for seven years, from 2013-19, guiding the festival to new heights while building a tight-knit committee.

JARROD GLEESON (Infrastructure)

Alongside Neale Dobson, Jarrod shares the title of Koroit Irish Festival Infrastructure director. A builder by trade, Jarrod brings the hard work ethic and knowledge he has constructed a career on to his role at the festival. With Jarrod and Neale at the helm, the infrastructure team has built a large array of assets the festival now calls its own, with the need to hire or borrow diminishing each year.

KELLY-JANE GOOLD (Sponsorship)

In her first year on the festival committee, Kelly-Jane has been thrust into one of the toughest tasks on any community committee. Kelly-Jane is part of our sponsorship team and has taken on her role with gusto, excelling in her endeavours, quickly building trust with our business partners. Kelly-Jane has also played an important role in ticket sales, providing a cool head in the madness that is the opening day of sales.

DALLAS LUDEMAN (Sponsorship)

Dallas has been a long time member of our sponsorship team and continues to serve the festival in a grand way in this portfolio. A businessman of note himself, this knowledge of the business sector gives Dallas a strong insight into what our festival and businesses can achieve together and that these relationships can be continuously nurtured and grown to achieve positive outcomes for all.

ADELE MACDONALD (President)

A history-making figure, Adele is the first ever female president of the Koroit Irish Festival. Her first year in the top job, 2020, has provided perhaps the biggest challenge yet but she has only enhanced her leadership reputation, guiding the committee through the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing plans for the future. Adele has been an innovative force during her time on the committee as director of the Flaming Folk Parade, Irish Fashions, Irish Pizza Making and Irish Soda Bread Making.

PETER MCDONALD (Koroit Theatre)

The Koroit Irish Festival is so fortunate to have the Koroit Theatre. The theatre is an incredible venue to showcase the talent we bring to Koroit. Such is the importance of the theatre, we have committee member Peter McDonald managing the venue in the lead-in to and during the festival. Peter is outstanding in this role, he is held in high regard by all performers he deals with and presents as an impressive face of the festival.

JULIAN MCELGUNN (Spud Picking and Peeling)

Potatoes, sorry Spuds, have been the lifeblood of Koroit since the Irish first established the town in the 1850s. Each year the Koroit Irish Festival celebrates the humble spud with our spud picking and peeling championships. Julian McElgunn is the director of these activities, with his hard work and creative touch over the years having made the spud extravaganza a highlight of the festival and the place to be on the Village Green.

EMMA MOLONEY (Program Design)

Promotion is one of the keys to the success of any event and at the Koroit Irish Festival we believe this area is one of strongest. Much of this comes through the creativity and production skills of committee member Emma Moloney. Emma produces posters, flyers, banners, flags and all types of ways to promote the festival. But perhaps her biggest contribution is her production and design of the official festival program.

JANE MOLONEY (Sponsorship)

Dipping her toe in the water as a general festival volunteer in 2019, Jane quickly proved she was a dedicated and hard working community member. This contribution earned her an invite, which she accepted, to join the festival committee. Jane joined as part of the sponsorship team and has been an outstanding addition to that collective. Jane has become a proactive member of the committee, putting her hand up no matter the job.

NATARSHA O’DONNELL (Street Entertainment/ Choir Competition)

The quintessential quiet achiever, Natarsha has a reputation for getting done whatever job she does with a minimum of fuss and to the highest quality. In her time on the committee, Natarsha has worn many hats. In her role as street entertainment director, Natarsha has created a model that has transformed the streets, bringing vibrancy and colour. She has also driven the successful Sing for Ireland Choir Competition. Natarsha has also taken turns as director of the Australian Danny Boy Championship and the Beks Bowman Memorial Award for Emerging Talent.

HAYLEY PATON (Gaelic Games Carnival)

A Koroit girl with strong ties to the town, Hayley Paton has joined the committee as director of our Gaelic Games Carnival. Hayley has already proved herself to be a dedicated worker who gets whatever job done that needs to be done. Hayley is no stranger to working for her community, as she is a key member of the team behind the staging of the annual Koroit Sheepdog Trials.

SHARON WOHLERS (Stalls)

You can’t have a festival without stalls, everyone wants a souvenir or a bargain to add to their memories. Getting the stalls together is hard work and the Koroit Irish Festival is so lucky to have Sharon Wohlers carrying out that task as her role on the committee. Sharon is a no-fuss, go-getter who has built a great rapport with our stall holders and made the Koroit Irish Festival a sought after destination for those peddling their wares.