Sam Redston
Chief Executive Officer

It’s a privilege to be a part of the phenomenon that is MPavilion. While keeping art and architecture at the centre of its focus, MPavilion is a powerful catalyst—a responsive, ever-evolving space that speaks to the needs of the time with incredible public programs that generate ideas, support creatives and engage communities.”

Sam’s been with MPavilion from the start. As Operations Manager from 2014-17, and then as CEO since 2018, Sam is passionate about the pivotal role MPavilion plays in bringing design, architecture and art to the people of Melbourne.

Over the course of a career in senior roles at the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, White Night Melbourne & Ballarat, Flot & Jet, Creative Production Services, Federation Square, Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony, Keating! The Musical, and Jack Morton Worldwide, Sam feels the array of projects he has collaborated on all have a common thread: phenomenal creative vision, with extraordinary technical and operational challenges. Using the blend of production, business, logistics and operational skills he has developed over 20 years in event production and project management roles, Sam lives to bring outstanding creative concepts to life.

Jen Zielinska
Creative Director

“Each year I am taken by surprise by what we set out to achieve with the program and how it morphs and evolves over the season. MPavilion’s collaborators are paramount to this. It’s a place that fosters connections; a platform that releases and resolves ideas; a space to play and dance.” 

Jen’s work in public programming focuses on contemporary public concerns, and generating projects through collaboration and collective action. Jen’s interest is in the role of public spaces—their social histories, and the ways communities can engage with them through interventions and conversations.

Previously, Jen was at the Victoria & Albert Museum as part of the contemporary architecture and design team, curating the Friday Late program. She has worked across community engagement and arts education for organisations such as the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate and the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project.

Jen’s experience in public programming extends from the Tate London’s Late at Tate to the British Museum, and ‘PopRally’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Before Jen joined the team at MPavilion, she also worked with the National Gallery of Victoria and for the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Her creative and curatorial experience has led to Jen taking on roles in various cultural and design awards, including as a judge for the Melbourne Awards.

Paulie Douglas
Site Operations Manager

MPavilion is such an important civic space—one that allows for the free exchange of conversation and ideas. Working here allows me to actively collaborate with a group of humans around some of the biggest cultural questions facing our city today.”

A legend of the Melbourne arts scene, Paulie has been a member of the MPavilion family since 2016, starting in the front of house team before moving into the role of site manager. Before he came on board at MPavilion, Paulie worked as the event manager at the iconic Carlton venue, Bella Union. 

In between MPavilion seasons, Paulie can be found enjoying the quiet life in Castlemaine, or flexing his event management skills at Meredith Music Festival and Golden Plains. Wherever you find him, he’ll bring positive vibes, good music, and an excellent taste in socks.

Molly Braddon
Program producer

As an architecture graduate who ‘went rogue’ into the world of art in public space, I feel that MPavilion encompasses so much of what matters most to me. It brings solidarity and inspiration to people in all disciplines to challenge, question and change the way they work, while nurturing creativity, entertainment or simply offering shelter to any human who stumbles in its way.

Molly’s background in architecture has given her a particular passion for the power of space, and the ways it can bring people together.

A creative producer of public art events and projects, Molly is a seasoned player in the worlds of event production, community engagement, design and architecture. 

Before joining the MPavilion team as program producer, Molly was program producer at Testing Grounds, coordinator of RMIT University’s Contemporary Art & Social Transformation Research Group, creative producer of Gertrude Street Projection Festival and Bendigo Projection Festival, and a freelance producer for a range of public facing projects. 

Claire Curnow
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

“For me, MPavilion encompasses everything I love and hold dear about Melbourne—its culture, charm and creativity but most of all, the people.”

A true guru, Claire is a seasoned player in the marketing and communications game.

Before joining the MPavilion team, Claire managed social media for State Library Victoria, worked in communications and digital marketing roles for the swathes of sporting events at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and dabbled in seasonal social media work for White Night Melbourne and Ballarat.

Gabriela Holland
Office manager

For me, MPavilion immediately conjures all the very best ‘i’ adjectives: inclusive, inspiring, inviting, iconic, impassioned and intimate.”

As office manager of MPavilion, Gabriela catches everyone’s airborne ideas and arranges them into beautifully mapped-out plans. 

A master of multi-tasking and getting things done, Gabriela has dabbled in many fields, across many continents. She was operations manager at Fieldwork—an innovative and sustainably focused architecture practice—and before that, she co-founded Pop Plant, a plantscaping business, specialising in the greening up of urban spaces in Melbourne. Gabriela has worked as a producer on large-scale film productions in Peru and Bolivia, and has extensive experience in editing and translation. She has also free-lanced for various publications, including a stint as stand-in-editor for Assemble Papers, editor for the English version of the online cultural events magazine Le Cool in Barcelona, and contributor and researcher for Moon Handbooks in Peru.

Yasmine Sharaf
Music Coordinator

I believe MPavilion is all about potential. A rare gift of public space, MPavilion is a site for chance encounters and life-changing events. It’s a place to learn and grow, to challenge your expectations, or simply sit and be present in its beautiful environment.  

Yasmine is an ethnomusicologist, musician, and self-proclaimed vibe technician, who has spent most of her life working in, playing, or thinking about live music. Recently completing a thesis on music and physical space, her work focuses on the transformative ability of music to build and shape communities.

Starting her career in the industry as a live music photographer, she worked with organisations such as Liquid Architecture and Brunswick Music Festival, before moving on to book some of Melbourne’s most iconic venues. Outside of MPavilion you can find Yasmine working behind the desk at local record store Lulu’s, or DJing on the weekends.

Tom Abud
Production Manager

“As a space that facilitates connections, foments ideas, and gives expression of Melbourne’s identity – our ethos, our people, and our imagination – MPavilion has become a landmark in Melbourne’s cultural vista. Having spent years in the melting pots of Melbourne’s creative events, MPavilion is another exciting opportunity to immerse myself in the culture that so inspires me.”

Tom’s production management experience runs through Melbourne’s Festival calendar. From White Night, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Melbourne Writers Festival, through to Melbourne International Comedy Festival, he has helped stage events that give Melbourne its unique creative identity. In between times he has established an independent music venue, instigated a street festival, run front of house in theatres, and absconded from Melbourne to join festivals in Adelaide and New Zealand.

Sarah Lynn Rees
Program Consultant

Sarah is a Palawa woman descending from the Plangermaireener and Trawlwoolway people of north-east Tasmania. She is a Charlie Perkins scholar with an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Cambridge where she produced a thesis on Indigenous housing in remote Australian communities. Sarah is interested in the Indigenous design space and is currently working with Jackson Clements Burrows Architects and MPavilion. Sarah also sits on EmAGN, the AIA Editorial Committee, the National Trust Landscape Reference Group, the National Trust Aboriginal Advisory Group and is a director of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria. Sarah is MPavilion’s program consultant.

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the Yaluk-ut Weelam as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. Yaluk-ut Weelam means ‘people of the river camp’ and is connected with the coastal land at the head of Port Phillip Bay, extending from the Werribee River to Mordialloc. The Yaluk-ut Weelam are part of the Boon Wurrung, one of the five major language groups of the greater Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.