The STEAMworks Team

Our Team

STEAMworks is supported by a Board of Directors made up of local representatives from schools, businesses, industry, arts, and other local community stakeholders.

Community development and engagement with the people of the local region is core to the success of STEAMworks and the Board of Directors has been carefully selected and invited to be part of this initiative. Each Board Member that has been engaged brings knowledge, talent and a strong network of community relationships to the table and together, this Board will be a powerful team to drive STEAM education and innovation to this region.

All STEAMworks board members have been actively involved in delivering successful events, STEAM initiatives and other activities in the region, and specifically at The Foundations site since 2019. This team of Rich Evans, Martin O’Connell, Sedrick Dahdah, Joanna McNamara, Luke Steller, and Harrie Fasher have collaborated and developed the vision of STEAMworks and what opportunities could be offered to the young people of the local region. With a need and appetite for more of this identified within the local community, and more currently planned for the future, this team has established STEAMworks as a registered entity, and engaged more local, highly skilled and knowledgeable representatives to assist them in continuing the development and delivery of the STEAM initiatives. The core team will continue to be part of STEAMworks and are committed to creating positive perceptions of STEAM subjects and opportunities for people in this region.

STEAMworks recognises the ancient and rich Indigenous culture of the region we are working in, and showcasing Indigenous science and arts is a key goal for this organisation. Through collaborating with local Indigenous science groups, it is committed to empowering local Indigenous communities and creating a platform for Indigenous voices and culture to be heard.

Luke Steller

Science Educator

Luke Steller is a science communicator and current PhD candidate with over 7 years’ experience in STEAM engagement. Luke has produced and delivered STEAM engagement projects for a wide range of audiences, including running remote community STEM workshops for Engineers Without Borders, co-organising NASA led field trips for local Pilbara students, and hosting workshops for Sydney youth centres and STEAMWORKS Portland. Luke is the Co-Founder and Director of Praxical, a collective of science educators who have created a series of online STEAM workshops that have been used by over 1500 students.

Rich Evans

Technology and Business Advocate

Rich Evans moved to Portland in 2012 after a successful career running a web-design and marketing agency. As the founder and editor in chief of Central West Media he has helped create a strong narrative of change and advancement in the region.

Rich has been the Reactivation Manager at The Foundations since 2018. During this time Rich has used his expertise in design, marketing and event delivery to help establish the venue as a cultural and arts hub in the Central West.

Rich is a Board member of RDA Central West and was one of the team members on Lithgow Council’s Transition Working Group that published a report for Council in 2020 on the transitioning of the local economy.

Rich has interests in a number of businesses and continues to follow his entrepreneurial passion to help others create businesses in everything from technology start-ups to creative projects.

Geoff Welsman

STEAMworks Public Officer

Geoff Welsman has been a resident of Portland for over 10 years. Prior to his retirement Geoff had a long and varied career working in the church as an Anglican Chaplain, developing and delivering programs for vulnerable youth in a range of communities, working with the community through his role as Deputy Mayor on Manly Council, creating and running the Manly Summer Festival for a 10 year period.

Geoff has held various roles advising all levels of government on issues affecting youth and family, he has been a public speaker at seminars and conferences and also conducted a range of media interviews over the years for various projects and programs he has been involved with. Since moving to Portland he is semi-retired and works as a Funeral Celebrant part time. He has also held roles on The Portland Community Group.

Martin O’Connell

Engineering & Circular Economy Expert

Martin O’Connell is a Civil Engineer with over 25 years experience running mid-tier businesses in the construction, property and resource recovery industry. These businesses have delivered initiatives in both the public and private sector, and employed up to 150 full-time staff. Martin seeks to add value over all stages of a project life cycle, with a passion for rehabilitation, remediation, reactivation and sustainability.

Harrie Fasher

Artist in Residence, The Foundations

Harrie Fasher is a highly accomplished metal sculptor who produces contemporary works on a large scale. One of her most recognisable works is ‘The Last Charge’ which has been installed onsite at The Foundations. Harrie is a previous winner of Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe, has held residencies all over the world, and has her work represented through King Street Gallery in Sydney.
She has a long and distinguished career in the arts with a number of solo and collaborative exhibitions. Her works feature in collections at a number of respected galleries and in private collections. Harrie is instrumental in building the arts programs at The Foundations.

Joanna McNamara

STEAMworks Development & Delivery

Joanna McNamara is a senior Marketing, Strategy and Communications Manager with more than 25 years’ experience working in diverse industries including IT, professional services / consulting, environmental services (waste and recycling), and most recently, education.
Previously working at Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Joanna managed the Eco House & Garden Education Centre and its team, increasing the range of services and educational opportunities offered by this centre. Bringing in over 5,000 people of all ages to the education centre each year, facilitating educational workshops for adults and school children, Kimbriki successfully broadened the local community’s understanding and awareness of environmental services and sustainability.