The Board

Jenny Boden

Speech and Drama has always been a big part of Jenny’s life. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Natal in South Africa, majoring in Speech and Drama and English. She then completed a Higher Diploma of Education. Jenny has over 25 years of teaching experience in South Africa, Australia and Guam, USA. She has taught Speech and Drama and English to all grade levels, directed a number of full-scale productions and coached students for Eisteddfods in South Africa and Australia, and the National Forensic League in the USA. Most recently Jenny has taught English as a second language to adults. She is also a qualified Oracy Australia Assessor.

Cate Cassarchis (Chair)

Cate has more than 30 years’ experience in the Government and not-for-profit sectors with a strong background in governance and accountability, strategic planning and policy setting, program development, fundraising, community engagement, advocacy, negotiation and public affairs.  An English and Speech and Drama graduate, Cate is Chief Executive Officer of The Perth Blood Institute Ltd. She previously served as a council member of the Institute of Public Administration WA (2014-2018), whose purpose is to advance excellence in the public sector.

Marian Cockcroft (Treasurer)

Marian is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and qualified tax agent with a Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Commerce. She has run her own accounting and tax practice in Perth for the last 14 years. Marian completed her articles with Deloitte firm of international accountants and then worked as the head office accountant for Nampak and Tiger Foods, both listed companies in South Africa. Marian has acted as treasurer for a number of not-for-profit organisations such as Save the Children and the Hale School rugby club.

Mary Firns

Mary graduated from Graylands Teacher College in 1969 with a major in Drama and minor in spoken English. She completed a conversion qualification to Bachelor Degree in Education majoring in Spoken English Language and Drama and Special Needs Education in 1995. Mary began submitting students for the ESB assessment in 1973. She began assessing students for Oracy Australia in 1994. Mary has served on the Board of Oracy Australia since 2014.

Jane Gibbs

Jane is committed to enhancing effective oral communication, particularly in young people.  With this in mind, after a professional career as a plant scientist both in university positions and in the commercial sector, Jane pursued her passion for the spoken word, and in 2018 received a Diploma in Performance and Drama (Teacher) from the AMEB, for which she was awarded the 2018 AMEB Award for Excellence in Speech and Drama (Drama and Performance) and the Speech and Drama Teachers Association WA Award as Best Drama and Performance Diploma candidate.  Jane has a doctorate from The University of Western Australia, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has experience as a director on the boards of several private plant science companies.  She is a qualified Oracy Assessor and a member of the Council of the Speech and Drama Teachers Association WA. She narrates audiobooks for Visability, WA and audio-describes theatrical works for the Perth Theatre Trust.

Andie Holborn

In her capacity as a Speech & Drama teacher and examiner Andie is involved in developing the creativity and communication skills of her students. She has been teaching Speech & Drama in Perth for 24 years, through her own practice – Expression Drama Studio. She also runs a Drama Club at St Mary’s Anglican School for Girls as well as an Oracy training programme for teachers and students. Andie is an active member of the Speech & Drama Teachers’ Association of WA, and has previously served as President and Committee member. Andie is also an Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) examiner and a qualified Oracy Australia assessor.

Jess McCarthy

Jess has over 15 years’ experience in brand, marketing and communications and loves making ideas happen. She holds a Masters in Human Rights and qualifications in marketing, brand design and photography. She is passionate about digitising businesses and harnessing emerging technologies. Jess is currently the Growth Manager for an international tech start-up with a focus on brand, user experience and strategic growth. Outside of the office she has a small dog photography business, Portraits for Dogs, and is on a quest to find the best Australian Shiraz.