Mara Macs


Mara has been working as a circus trainer for nearly 20 years, with extensive experience in the Castlemaine/Daylesford region. Mara is a dedicated and active community member coordinating and organising many community events, festivals, and performances in particular involving young people and their engagement in these events with circus.

Mara has a wide range of interests including promoting the arts and cultural activites, tolerance, sustainable practices and promoting a healthy environment. After many years of dedicated training in several acrobatic forms of martial arts (Free Form, WuSu, and Capioera), family life refreshed her focus towards engaging children in physical activity through acrobatics and circus. At first the change was made in an effort to provide an appropriate physical practice for children that offered a wide range of physical challenges, and the Daylesford Community Circus School was born. But soon the potential for the positive ways the children could contribute to their community through performance, and the strong, trusting, creative friendships that were developing between children of varying ages and schools, hooked Mara into committing to providing circus in our communities for the long term.


Eric Jarlaud


Eric was born in France and came to Australia when he was 4 years old. Having a strong background in outdoor adventures throughout his younger years kept him busy with trips to Nepal Mountaineering.

Eric The Red has toured across Australia, New Zealand and France with his original set of juggling tricks and balancing feats. Eric The Red has performed at prestigious art festivals including the Perigueux Mime Festival and Avignon Festival in France and Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals. Based in Daylesford he lives with his partner and 4-year-old daughter.


Ivo Iliev


A vice world champion in acrobatics by the age of 15, Ivelin Iliev initiated a prestigious career in show business with both performing and teaching. Ivelin’s achievements and qualifications in the world of acrobatics have seen him achieve great success in his two homes in Europe and Australia. Ivelin was the first acrobat in Bulgaria to achieve a press to handstand on one arm, becoming a pioneer in the art of handstands and having a huge influence in the future development of one arm handstand work.

Having  worked in the biggest and best institutions in Australia including Circus Oz, National Institute of Circus Arts(NICA), South Australian Circus Centre, several dance schools and gymnastic clubs in Melbourne, his coaching skills created many medal winning champions.  Having developed his coaching skills of over 25 years into the world of acrobatics and its varied genres, he has the ability to break down a high level skill to one that is achievable. He is a charismatic teacher who makes disciplined training fun.


Sam Thomas

Sam 2

A true international traveller and performer, Sam Thomas has spent many years touring with The Chipolatas and working as an artistic director and creative producer as well as a performer. Sam Thomas has a proven track record in professional and high quality arts provision, committed to inclusion and equal opportunities. His repertoire includes a wide range of educational projects, prioritising the passing on of skills to new generations.

Sam’s work focuses on traditional street theatre, combining it with contemporary movement, original live music, circus imagery and classic comedy. Sam enjoys creating engaging, inspiring and relevant workshops for a wide audience, adapting to, and entertaining people of different ages and cultures by continually evolving his performance and teaching techniques, consistently devising and developing original work.


Mandy Field


Mandy is a producer, director and multi platform artist. After completing a Graduate Diploma in Performance Making in 2005, Mandy has focused on creating cross-platform outcomes, and producing events and initiatives that reflect local identity and place, drawing on a synthesis of physical theatre, visual theatre and interactive video to create live arts experiences for audiences.

Mandy has trained extensively in Butoh and Dance Theatre with Kazuo, Yoshito Ohno and Min Tanaka in Japan; in Physical Theatre and Circus with the Angry Mime, Spaghetti Circus, Theatre of the Ordinary, Brin Prichard and Simon Adams; and Visual Theatre with Sue Giles and Philipe Genty.

Mandy worked for 3 years as Program Manager with Polyglot Theatre (2007-2010), where she managed lengthy creative developments, festivals tours and seasons at the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Singapore Arts Festival, and has directed and produced large scale outcomes for The Village Festival (2005-2013), The Big West Festival (2005), Yalikut Wilam Ngargee Indigenous Arts Festival (2010), The Friendship Djerrip Festival (2007), The Woodford Folk Festival (2001-2006), The Falls Festival (2008-2013), This Is Not Art Festival in Newcastle (2006), The Regional Arts Conference in Launceston (2010), and The Castlemaine State Festival (2011 & 2013).

She has worked as artistic director, creative producer, tour manager, event manager, and has most recently spent 2 years as Creative Producer with Outback Theatre for Young People (OTYP), working with regional and remote communities of Outback NSW. Mandy is currently working as a Director of a new work for young audiences for Outback Theatre for Young People, is Producer on the award winning Marruk Project (Swan Hill, Vic) and The Book of Shadows (Darwin/Indonesia), and is the co-founder and Chair of the newly established Castlemaine Circus Inc (Vic).

Margaret Kirby

Margaret Kirby

Margaret has 35 years experience in acrobatics, gymnastics and circus instructing. She has performed and taught with Circus Oz and the Women’s Circus. Specialising in trapeze, Margaret has co-devised aerial performances for international festivals and events.

Margaret has taught hundreds of students aged 3 – 83! She is a Graduate of VCA in Performing Arts. A stickler for technique, Margaret also believes ‘wherever you are at is perfect’

Margaret is teaching our Circus Fit classes- body conditioning, pair work, handstands, balances, flexibility and basic tumbling. This class is also tailored to participants preferences.


Freya Bjaaland

Freya has 20 years of experience performing and teaching a variety of disciplines including acrobatics, adagio, aerial arts, yoga, contemporary dance and even the can-can. Freya truly believes in the power of physical activity and am passionate about assisting people to stay active and strong and also to form great relationships with their bodies and their fellow artists and students.

Freya has a diploma in contemporary dance, Cert 4 in personal training and is qualified as a Gymnastics Australia coach.

Freya currently teaches at Jets gymnastics, Zfit aerials studio’s in Bendigo and Sprung Circus Daylesford and is thrilled to be joining Castlemaine Circus and to bring her work into her home community.


Flynn Patrao

Flynn Patrao is a Parkour Practitioner, Instructor and Gymnastics Coach based in Bendigo. Flynn has been practising Parkour and Freerunning for 10 years and has been involved in the Australian  Parkour movement since its beginnings. Flynn is head coach at Jets Gymnastics in Bendigo where he coaches children of all ages in the various gym sports and runs the school’s gymnastics program. Flynn has a passion for movement and educating others in new and creative ways to use their bodies and safely push the limits of their own experience.

Cameron MacLeman