People

Will McRostie – Director

Will has been involved in theatre since the age of seven, when he hit the boards in the Hills Youth Theatre’s production of Anne of Green Gables. Ever since, he’s been obsessed with the arts and how participation in creative practice creates better lives.

Will trained in audio description in 2013 with Access2Arts in South Australia, going on to work with most of the state’s arts institutions. Will has also worked in administrative and production roles with Access2Arts, Regional Arts Victoria, Melbourne Theatre Company, Creative Partnerships Australia, Freerange Future, and the Adelaide Festival Centre.  A participant in the 2018 Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders Program, Will is an active contributor to the discourse around our arts and cultural sector who has convened and facilitated conversations for the inaugural Creative State Summit, Melbourne Fringe, Victorian Touring Workshop, Adelaide Festival of Ideas amongst others.

With a personal interest in art, ambition, and radical inclusivity, Will sees audio description as a practice of meaningful outreach, and a means for empowering a marginalised audience to participate in creative practice as both audience and artist.

@WillMcRostie

Ross de Vent – Audience Advocate

Ross de Vent is a musician and multi instrumentalist with experience in singing, trumpet, piano and percussion.

Ross’s recent credits include :

  • Singing at, and panellist, in 2017, for Vision Australia’s ‘Dinner in the Dark’
  • Co-producing and performing in a concert of vocal duets and solos, in 2016.
  • Ross made his solo vocal debut, in Rossini’s ‘Petite messe solennelle,’ In 2015, with ‘Latrobe Chorale’.
  • Since 2013, Ross has been involved with church music, singing regularly at ‘Saint Mark’s Fitzroy,’ but also at various other churches around Melbourne.

Playing music from a early age, Ross holds a music degree from Monash University. Ross has played with community music ensembles For many years including playing ‘the Last Post,’ on trumpet, at local ANZAC and Remembrance Day commemorations.

Ross is totally blind and has right-sided paralysis, resulting from a stroke he suffered when he was a child.

Ross’s advocacy work takes various guises which include:

  • Teaching at the ‘National Braille Music Camp’ for many years, and in January, this year, he attended the inaugural ‘Braille Music Retreat,’ in New Zealand.
  • Audio description for live theatre, in Victoria, as audience advocate, at ‘Description Victoria’.
  • Ross transcribes printed sheet music into braille for blind musicians.

Current committees

  •  The ‘Australian Braille Authority,’ for which Ross is currently setting up a ‘Regional Braille Forum,’ in Melbourne.
  • ‘All Abilities Consultative Committee,’ Through Metro Access, for Mornington Peninsula Shire.

You can follow Ross on twitter @rossdevent, and his blog at https://rossdevent.wordpress.com/

Audience Reference Group

We have a group of arts lovers who are blind or have low vision that meets regularly to give feedback on the development of professional audio description. Members of this group also collaborate on the process of creating descriptions and accessible experiences. Current members include:

Ross de Vent,
Janene Sadhu,
Vildana Praljak,
Bernadette Jolley,
Peggy Soo,
Dr Kevin Murfitt AM,
Francois Jacobs.

If you are interested in joining this group we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with Will at will@descriptionvictoria.com.au to learn more.