The Team

Behind the scenes of the Veterans Film Festival is an experienced team of real people who are dedicated to producing an event that will educate, illuminate, and entertain.

The team comes from a diverse range of professions and takes a proactive and creative approach to developing and enhancing film culture

They are also passionate about community engagement and reaching out to all creatives in screened based entertainment.

The Veterans Film Festival is a not-for-profit incorporated association cultural organisation, whose aim is to raise awareness and contribute to our understanding of veterans’ experiences before, during and after service, their families and the impact war has on society.

Veterans Film Festival is organised by Veterans Film Festival Incorporated INC1700737 not-for-profit organisation which operates under the NSW Fair Trading – Model constitution of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009…. To read the constitution of an incorporated association… Click Here

The annual governance cycle for 2016 has now completed.  We are looking additional board members who believe in our mission and are willing to be active in their governance roles.  For further information contact: Tom Papas, Festival Director, Email:

Damien Thomlinson, President is an Australian veteran of the war in Afghanistan, former special forces, author, motivational speaker, actor and Brand Ambassador. Despite losing his legs in the Afghan war, he has never lost his energy and enthusiasm, which he now channels to helping inspire people from around the world.

Talissa Papamau, Vice President is an Afghanistan Veteran, and former Australian Army Combat Medic. Following her medical separation from Defence, Talissa founded the online veteran support group Modern Soldier and is the Executive Director of the Remembrance Foundation. Talissa is a consultant to various Government departments and has had numerous engagements with journalists and the media industry.

Theo Papas CPA & JP: Treasurer/Public Officer – has over 20 years experience in the corporate and not for profit sector. He is a Certified Practicing Account with a Bachelor of Business, Registered Tax Agent, Fellow of FINSIA and is a Justice of the Peace. He also mentors Junior and Intermediate Accountants and helps them rise through the ranks.

Tom Papas, Secretary and Festival Director – has a background in creative design, project management and stakeholder engagement in the arts and media. Tom’s event management, programming and marketing experience over a 19-year period has contributed to his successful history of creating unique film festivals, since 2008. These initiatives, coupled with Tom’s involvement in the Not-for-Profit festival sector, encourage talent and the development of filmmakers, actors, their careers and the broader film industry.

Stephen Henderson – has over 25 years experience in media industries both in Australia and the United Kingdom with across-the-board experience in television, radio, print and electronic media environments. He has have a proven track record of initiating and developing traditional and new media business concepts, and securing local, regional and national broadcast platforms for the projects I have produced.

Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Ret’d) served as a Nursing Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force for 16 years, with deployments to Timor-Leste in 2000 and 2004; Afghanistan in 2008 as Officer-in-Charge of the Australian Medical Task Force in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. Sharon was seriously injured in a helicopter crash in Timor-Leste in 2004, but successfully fought to continue to serve, despite her injuries. As a result of her personal experience of service and her role in providing care for Australian Defence Force personnel and their families in Australia and overseas, Sharon is a passionate advocate within the field of Military and Veteran’s Health. Sharon is the author of One Woman’s War and Peace: a nurse’s journey in the Royal Australian Air Force, and is a Member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial.

Stephen Liddell – has more than 32 years experience in Film, Television and Interactive Media as a Cinematographer, Commercial Director, Web Designer and Creative Director. Currently Stephen is the Creative Director for, which is a film development business.

Stephen Davie – He has been delivering quality and affordable marketing solutions and branded product to government, corporate and private clients for more than 30 years. Stephen has created award-winning marketing campaigns and developed many strategies aligning products with marketing objectives to achieve the best results.

Adam Goodrich – is an award-winning technologist with thirty years commercial experience in the IT industry, more than half of this in technology start-ups in Australia and Silicon Valley, USA. He is a commercially oriented visionary who thrives on challenge, is people focused, and loves leading teams to envision, create and operate technology solutions that deliver real value to the biggest brands and their customers.

Tony Chu: Is the Founder of Networking Action for Filmmakers & Actors, NAFA. For 12 years, he has convened their monthly educational forums [Choc Tops] and yearly short film festival, Show-Fest International. Tony is an accomplished actor (TV guest roles on ‘Packed to the Rafters’, ‘Wild Boys’, ‘All Saints’). He is also an award-winning Director-Producer (35+ short films) and screenwriter (three feature films in development).

Morgan Lean – is the CEO of Epiphany Games, and has taken the company from a small four person team to 10-20 person studio, developing in-house and outsource projects, for clients as large as the BBC. Currently, he is also the director of Epiphany’s currrent original project “Majestic Nights”. With a background in programming, Morgan has also worked on raising capital and acting as technical director for a start-up which was purchased by Motorola. Previous to this he ran a small ISP and created games and technology for Amnesia Creative

Tim Lea – With an MBA, nearly 20 years professional experience in the Corporate Finance sector with such institutions as HSBC, GE Commercial Finance and the Lloyds Bank International Banking Group. Tim is now dedicated to writing and film production. Just released the first feature, ‘54 Days’, which had its Australian premiere at our own Science Fiction Film festival in November 2014. The film has won 6 awards on the International Film Festival circuit.

Joshua Hoareau – a multi-award winning Director from Melbourne, Australia, completed a Bachelors Degree in Film and Digital Media with a Major in Film. Joshua went on to enter one of his own films, ‘Arrival’, into the 2013 WD Project Sci-Fi Film Competition. This film and won Best Film, Best Cinematographer and Best Editing and went on to win a multitude of awards internationally. In 2014 Joshua entered ‘Peacekeeper’ in Project Homeless short film competition, winning both Best Film and Best Film on Returning War Veterans. ‘Peacekeeper’ is now airing internationally in several languages and in pre-production as his upcoming début feature film.