Image by James Penlidis

Tim Ferguson

Tim is a comedian, screenwriter and director. He has created, written and starred in many TV series in Australia & the UK. Recent credits include: co-writing (with Edwina Exton) co-directing (with Marc Gracie) the rom-com feature film Spin Out (Sony Pictures) which opened in cinemas nationally in September 2016.  Tim was also Series Script Editor for the ABC1 sitcom Ricketts Lane (2015), The Legend of Gavin Tanner (2016) and the feature film The BBQ currently in production.

Tim is a member of the international comedy success trio the Doug Anthony Allstars (D.A.A.S with Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler) since 1984.  They reformed in 2013 (with Paul ‘Flacco’ Livingston) and have since enjoyed many sold-out major theatre tours nationally, including the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a series of shows in London.

Tim wrote the bestselling memoir Carry a Big Stick which details his career and battle with MS and the bestselling comedy screenwriting manual The Cheeky Monkey – Writing Narrative Comedy.

Tim is Australia’s foremost teacher of screen comedy, consults for international production companies and networks. Tim conducts his own Cheeky Monkey Comedy Courses worldwide. He currently lectures in comedy & screenwriting at the Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS), RMIT University, Victorian College of Arts (VCA) and the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Tim is also a highly experienced keynote speaker and corporate event host, and an ambassador for the Screen NSW ScreenAbility Initiative.

Alex Blackwell

Alex is a professional cricketer who has played more matches for Australia than any other female cricketer in history.  Alex is captain of one of the most successful sporting teams in Australia, the Lend Lease NSW Breakers. In January 2015 the Breakers won their tenth consecutive Women’s National Cricket League title. Alex was one of the only two players to feature in all ten consecutive wins and was captain in the last five. Standout moments in Alex’s career include captaining Australia to World Twenty20 glory in 2010 and reclaiming the Ashes against England in 2011 as Australian Test captain. Alex is captain of the Sydney Thunder WBBL team and she led this team to victory in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League in January 2016.

For many years Alex has successfully combined elite sport with academic pursuits. She studied medicine at the University of New South Wales from 2002 to 2005 before making a difficult decision to leave the course to pursue her cricketing dreams. Alex left UNSW with a bachelor of science in medicine and became a lecturer in Anatomy and Physiology at the Australian College of Physical Education. While working as a lecturer Alex completed a graduate diploma in genetic counselling by distance through Charles Stuart University. She worked as a genetic counsellor in prenatal screening at Sydney Ultrasound for Women for three years before becoming a full time professional cricketer in October of 2014.

Through her various ambassador roles Alex advocates for equal opportunity and inclusion for all people within our society. She has a particular focus on breaking down barriers to participation, especially within sport and the workforce, for people living with disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQI.

Jacob Liddle

Jacob is a professional NRL player who has had a stellar season for Wests Tigers in 2016, sharing his time between Holden Cup and Intrust Super Premiership duties, while also making his NRL debut.

Jacob has a strong history of performing sports at an elite level as he played representative football in the 2014 Australian Schoolboys team.

He went on to win the Player’s Player award in the 2015 Holden Cup and continued his strong form through to the next season.

Jacob has the ability to catch opposition defenders out from dummy-half with his great speed and vision.

After a strong run of performances throughout the year, Head Coach Jason Taylor called on Jacob in Round 18 against Canterbury-Bankstown with the Club granted a one-off salary cap exemption. The Wyong Roos junior scored a try on debut through great support play and looks set for more NRL appearances in 2017.

Jacob is one of a number of exciting Holden Cup graduates to join the NRL squad this year, with teammates such as JJ Felise, Junior Tatola and Esan Marsters also making the transition.

Jacob successfully finished the year by being crowned the Wests Tigers Rookie of The Year at their 2017 presentation night.