Co-Founder of Kids Thrive, Dr Andrea (Ande) Lemon leads the organisation as a creative strategist, bringing together people, ideas and approaches from the creative, welfare, educational, community, philanthropy and social justice sectors to find new solutions for old problems. However her primary strategy is to constantly learn from the kids we work with – and not take life too seriously.
Ande is a leading Australian playwright, theatre director and community cultural development artist, with over 50 scripts and productions produced and toured through Australia, Britain, Europe and the US. She is also an ethnographer, dramaturge, curator and author. Ande was Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Women’s Circus – for women who identify as survivors of sexual abuse or assault; Coordinator of the Royal Children’s Hospital Wyndham region Arts and Mental Health program; and has been a researcher for Australia Post – researching and designing postage stamps.
Ande is the recipient of numerous awards including Australian Writers’ Guild, Victorian Green Room and Edinburgh Fringe awards, and the Centenary Federation Medal for Services to Society. She has been the recipient of an Australia Council Senior Artist Fellowship; and was nominated for a University of Melbourne Chancellor’s Award for her doctoral thesis examining community and belonging in the context of nomadic Australian circus communities. Her research included oral histories and photographic portraits with elderly circus performers throughout Australia, and formed the basis for a major exhibition, The Circus Diaries at The Arts Centre, Melbourne.