Patrons         Team         Board 


Dame Kate Harcourt and Taika Waititi (actor, 1995 festival) 


Diana Cable (Programme & Partnerships Manager)

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 04 385 8227 

Diana has many years experience as an arts administrator. Her roles have included Production & Company Manager for the Wellington City Opera, a Music Producer at Radio New Zealand Concert, Artistic Administrator of the New Zealand International Arts Festival, Operations Manager at Chamber Music New Zealand and she worked for seven years as an independent producer.

Natasha Thyne (Programme Administrator | Y&H Tours)

Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 04 385 8227 

Natasha joined the office team at the start of 2018. She is a Y&H Alumni having been involved in two Festivals (stage manager 2016, costume designer 2017) and is extremely passionate about all things theatre and dance. When she is not in the office she can be found backstage working on various productions and events around Wellington, at the gym or catching up on the latest reality TV craze.  


Deirdre O’Sullivan (Chair)

Deirdre is the Chief Executive for Parkinson’s New Zealand and comes to the Young and Hungry Board with strong experience across not-for-profit and government organisations.  She has a proven track record developing strategic and creative initiatives and her key areas of expertise are marketing and fundraising, financial management, strategic planning and policy and procedures amongst many others. Deirdre has three young children and is co-owner of Gymbaroo Wellington childcare centre.  She has a great interest in the arts and in supporting young people.                                          

Vicki Cooksley (Trustee)

Vicki has spent the last 18 years working as an Event, Project, Production, Stage, Company and Venue Manager for councils, companies and festivals including the Hutt City Council, Auckland Writers Festival, Auckland Arts Festival, WOW and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.  Since 2011 Vicki has been co-owner of Entertainment Production Services through which she contracts these services within the event and entertainment community.  Vicki is currently President of Entertainment Technology NZ (ETNZ).  Vicki is also a member of the sector reference group that has developed and launched new NZQA Event and Entertainment Technology Qualifications over the last seven years.

Diana McAlpine (Trustee) 

Diana currently works at Z Energy Ltd as their Head of Organisational Development. Her background in performing arts is as an enthusiastic amateur regularly attending theatre and live performance.  She was drawn to Y&H as she is passionate about providing young people with opportunities to engage in the performing arts after being heavily involved herself when younger, where she gained skills that have served her well through her life.   She still keeps her toe in the water with singing when she’s not being run off her feet as a busy mum.

Hilaire Carmody (Trustee)

Hilaire currently works for NZ On Air. She was previously EA to the CE and Secretary to the Board at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. Her background is in performing arts and festival management having worked for organisations such as the Royal New Zealand Ballet, The NZ Fringe Festival and the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Theatre and Film Studies as we as a Graduate Diploma in Event Management.

Paula Granger (Trustee) 

Paula Granger is the Director of Ipsum Group, a Christchurch-based boutique communications consultancy that manages content and large-scale communications and outreach projects. Paula has strong strategic planning and relationship management skills, honed through marketing, communications, outreach and sponsorship roles in the arts, culture and heritage sector including for the New Zealand Festival, Canterbury Museum, Antarctic Heritage Trust and the Imperial War Museum, London. With a love of the performing arts (nurtured at an early age) Paula has a genuine interest in putting creativity centre stage, contributing to the Young and Hungry team and New Zealand’s cultural vibrancy.

Brendan Sweeney (Trustee) 

Brendan has an accountancy degree and is an experienced finance professional and consultant who specializes in financial management and reporting and operational efficiencies. Placements have included management consultant positions at Bank of New Zealand and Placemakers, analysis work for BBC London and an extended role as Finance Manager for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.  Brendan has a passion for enabling opportunities for young adults and supporting entities in the Not-for-Profit sector.

Alex Birch (Trustee) 

Alex is a Communications Executive for Silvereye, a boutique Government and Public Relations consultancy in Wellington. With a background in digital marketing, Alex has worked in fashion, travel, recruitment and as a freelance copywriter. She has travelled extensively, twice studying abroad in France and volunteering with NGOs in Cambodia and Bolivia. Raised in Melbourne, she grew up immersed in the Arts and attended comedy, literary and theatre festivals throughout the year.