The Team



Emily Avila is a director and producer based in Brisbane, Australia, who took over the reins of Heart of Gold for the 9th festival in 2016. She returns in 2017 to direct the 10th festival - a milestone for Heart of Gold and the Gympie region. 

In 2016, Emily made her short film directing debut with In a Cane Field, a meditative murder mystery shot on Super 16 in the sugarcane fields of south-east Queensland. Emily has worked extensively for various Australian production companies & film festivals including as assistant to Oscar-winning producer Emile Sherman at See-Saw Films in Sydney. In 2017, Emily was awarded the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship from the Sydney Film Festival to direct her new short film Fitting which will premiere at SFF in 2018.


CLAUDIA granshaw - chairwoman of the board

Claudia has an engineering degree in wood technology from Germany and 20 years experience in the timber manufacturing industry in Queensland. She is married with two children and together with her husband now operates a dairy business east of Gympie. She has been involved with the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival from its very beginning in 2006 in key roles and has first-hand knowledge of running the festival. She accepted the chairmanship in 2015 and has been an asset to Heart of Gold ever since. 


MICHAEL RANK - Head of The Volunteers

Michael has been a valued member of the Heart of Gold team since the very beginning. Starting out as a dedicated usher, he came back year after year, ready to take on more until he found himself on the board as Volunteer Coordinator. Having participated in almost every role of the festival, Michael brings with him a wealth of experience as well as unbridled enthusiasm for the 10th anniversary. Denying that he has any plans to attempt to run the entire eleventh Festival by himself, Michael can be found at the office at 232 Mary Street on a Monday and Tuesday busy assisting the preparation for the G150 tenth Festival in the role of Volunteer Coordinator while eyeing off Ticketing, Distribution, Younger at Heart, and Extras among other jobs.



Julie is relatively new to Heart of Gold, joining our team in administration in 2015. Married with 5 children and proud Grand Mother to 6, (her busy home life aside) her experience includes over 10 years managing staff and stock as a section manager for a major retail firm. Volunteering for over 10 “not for profit” volunteer organisations in varying roles. Her most recent 20 years as an administrator for a Zone sport organisations roles including, bookkeeping, secretary, and event management, first Aid/ sports medicine. Formal qualifications include cert 2 and 3 in Business administration.



Greg has a Diploma teaching maths and science, a Bachelor of Education Studies and a Graduate Diploma Teacher Librarianship. He retired from teaching after 42 years. During that time he had extensive experience in IT Support, network management and databsase development Married with four adult children, Greg coached junior soccer for eight years and was secretary of Gympie Lions Soccer Club for two of those years. Greg has been a volunteer for the festival since 2014 and was elected to the Board at the 2014 AGM and was secretary during 2015 and in 2016 took on the role of Treasurer.



Luke has worked in programming, planning, community engagement, events and festivals for the last 20 years. He has worked as Cultural Programs Coordinator for the Creative Communities Team, Brisbane City Council, a Producer for Brisbane Powerhouse, Box Office Manager for Gilded Balloon as part of Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a Production Manager for Winter Wonderland and Glasgow on Ice in Scotland. He has served on a number of boards of not-for-profit arts organisations and is currently on the national Performing Arts Touring Alliance Council. From 2011-2013 Luke lived in Helsinki, Finland with his family before returning to his home town Gympie where he was engaged by Gympie Regional Council to develop their Arts and Cultural Plan 2015 - 2025.

His current role is Creative Broker for arTour, Queensland’s peak touring organisation - a unit of Circa Contemporary Circus that’s funded by the Queensland Government to support venues and touring artists throughout Queensland. Luke works closely with managed venues, arts councils, local government, independent and funded arts organisations and individual producers across Queensland to support new, sustainable relationships, provide advice regarding programming and community engagement objectives and develop new touring activities. He joined the Heart of Gold board in late 2016.



Jeanette is a small business owner with her partner/husband. Their businesses include a Fruit Tree Propagation Nursery, a Persimmon Orchard, extensive exotic fruit tree orchards and a Bed and Breakfast. Responsible for the formation of a Rare Fruits Council in Gympie and local Orchardist group. A wife and mother of a son and daughter, and three granddaughters spread across the globe. On the Board of Persimmons Australia for 12 years and responsible for the introduction of levies. Jeanette conducted the Secretariat for the Australian Persimmon Industry and was their representative with Horticulture Australia. She is a qualified Rural Leader and has been involved in local farming groups. Previous employment was secretarial and clerical in Electrical Engineering, Government, Banking and a Dairy Cooperative. Previously a board member with Skillcentre, Gympie for three years and a member of various local organisations. Jeanette has been in a Screeners' Group for the past three years, and has volunteered in ticketing and other duties during the Heart of Gold Festivals. Jeanette joined the Board at the 2015 AGM




Scott has a BVSc from University of Queensland. He served in the Vietnam war in 1970. Over the next 40 years he worked in private practice and government veterinary clinics and was a political advisor in Borbidge government. He is married with two children and three grandchildren and currently grows lychees on his property east of Gympie. Scott has been involved with the Heart of Gold Festival as a volunteer for two years and is involved as a board member since January 2015