Key People

  • Sonny Tilders

    Creative Director & CEO

    Sonny Tilders

    Creative Director & CEO

    Sonny is the Creative Director & CEO of Creature Technology Company, leading the team since its inception in 2006 when it took on the challenge of designing and building 16 realistic life-size dinosaurs for Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular. Since then the company has grown under his guidance and continues to be at the forefront of technologically advanced animatronic creature and puppet design. Sonny is recognized internationally for his work, more recently as creature designer of the incredible King Kong puppet for the Global Creatures theatrical production that opened at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in 2013.

    Sonny’s role at Creature Technology Company caps off a career spanning some 25 years in which he has designed and built creatures and contraptions, models and special effects for the film and theatrical industries. His work can be seen in US feature films such as Peter Pan, Ghostrider, The Chronicles of Narnia and Star Wars - The Revenge of the Sith. Television credits include multiple seasons of the US sci-fi series Farscape as lead animatronics engineer.

  • Tim Rolfe

    General Manager

    Tim Rolfe

    General Manager

    Tim is General Manager of Creature Technology Company overseeing our highly talented team as well as business development; marketing and promotion; strategic and business planning; client liaison and contractual negotiations. He has over two decades’ experience spanning both the commercial and cultural sectors. Amongst other things, he’s written for television; produced events for companies such as Nike, BMW and Air New Zealand; and was Head of Exhibitions at Museum Victoria – Australasia’s largest and most visited museum organization.

  • Marc Warshall

    Finance Director

    Marc Warshall

    Finance Director

    Marc joined Creature Technology Co. (CTC) in 2006. He has a double Bachelor degree of Business in Accounting and Banking & Finance from Monash University and is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA). As Finance Director he is responsible for overseeing the finance department that makes sure the cogs turn so that the rest of the team can keep producing amazing work. Marc has been involved in all of CTC’s projects from the start and loves the creative aspect it brings to the tasks of budgeting, forecasting and managing the balance sheet. He is also responsible for CTC’s Information & Technology. His experience before CTC revolved around the photographic and printing industry where his father runs several successful companies.

  • Richard McKenna

    Chief Engineer

    Richard McKenna

    Chief Engineer

    Richard is Chief Engineer at Creature Technology Company (CTC). He joined CTC in 2010 and has worked on all of the major projects since that time, including How to Train Your Dragon; King Kong and the Sochi Olympic Mascots.  He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering from Swinburne University and is certified as a “Chartered Professional Engineer” by Engineers Australia, registered on the National Professional Engineers Register (NPER). Prior to joining CTC, the majority of Richard’s time was spent in the defense industry, and he has also worked in special effects for film and television.

  • Malcolm Place

    Production Manager

    Malcolm Place

    Production Manager

    Malcolm is Production Manager at Creature Technology Company where he oversees the integrated project management process we employ on our productions, such as King Kong, How to Train Your Dragon and Lady Liberty. He has been part of the CTC team since the inception of the company and he is  part of the Executive Team. Previously, Malcolm worked in the theatre industry for more than 15 years. Other credits include Tap Dogs, Grease the musical, South Pacific, The Boy From Oz, The Secret Garden, The Lion King, Buddy and Oh What a Night.

  • Philip Millar

    Associate Creative Director

    Philip Millar

    Associate Creative Director

    Philip is Associate Creative Director at Creature Technology Co., having been involved since the inception on projects such as Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, How To Train Your Dragon – The Arena Spectacular, King Kong and Lady Liberty. One of Australia’s leading puppet artists, Philip has three decades of experience as a performer, designer, maker and director of puppetry for theatre, film and television.  Philip has been a presenter at Australian Puppetry and Animatronics Summits, at the AGideas Design Conference and is a former editor of 'Australian Puppeteer' magazine. Credits include: The Host, Charlotte’s Web, Farscape, Pig’s Breakfast, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Tyrannosaurus sex, Pure Puppet Palaver and The Hobbit.

  • Debra Berzins

    Head of Sculptural Fabrication

    Debra Berzins

    Head of Sculptural Fabrication

    Debra is the Head of the Sculptural Fabrication Department at Creature Technology Company. Debra joined in 2010 at the time How to Train Your Dragon was being developed and has lead the department through the creation of our other remarkable figures such as King Kong, Lady Liberty and the Sochi Olympic Mascots. Prior to joining CTC, Debra was freelancing in the arts and entertainment industry for over 30 years on productions such as Phantom of the Opera; Boy from Oz; Lion Witch and the Wardrobe; King and I; Myers Xmas Windows; Gypsy Moon; Federation Parade; Circus Oz; Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony; and Debra worked on the beautiful entrance features to the Australian Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

  • Chris Dardis

    Head of Digital Design

    Chris Dardis

    Head of Digital Design

    Chris is an Animator and Technical Director with 15 years computer graphics experience. He joined CTC as Head of the Digital Design department after a stint back in the games industry, but he was no stranger to CTC having developed a facial animation system for our Lady Liberty puppet, as well as animating her lip-sync performance. He also developed our in-house CTAM v2.0 GUI and interaction tools, and whilst in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics he worked on the performances of our amazing Sochi Mascots. His background includes visual effects, animation and character rigging. He has worked on TV spots for brands such as Honda and McDonalds; his game credits include ‘Armello’ and ‘Hurtworld’; and he is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School and the Animation Mentor Program.

  • Murray Rogers

    Head of Controls

    Murray Rogers

    Head of Controls

    Murray is Head of Controls at Creature Technology Company overseeing the operations of the department that supports the System Engineering, Equipment Manufacture & Testing, Installation, Programming and Commissioning for each of the remarkable Animated Figures that Creature Technology produces.

  • Chip Wardale

    Head of Engineering Fabrication

    Chip Wardale

    Head of Engineering Fabrication

    Christopher, better known as "Chip" is the Head of the Engineering Fabrication Department ensuring safe and efficient production of the metal 'skeletons' of Creature Technology Company's creations. A formally qualified Fitter and Turner, Chip completed his apprenticeship at the naval shipbuilding yards in Sydney. When he is not working on our creatures, Chip is an established music and visual artist who has previously worked on touring concert productions in various roles including Stage Tech, Live & Studio Sound Engineer, Production Manager and he was Director of the Cygnet Folk Festival from 1998-2003.

  • Kathy Fox

    Producer

    Kathy Fox

    Producer

    Kathy brings her considerable project management skills to ensure key CTC projects are brought to life on time and on schedule. With a Master of Design from RMIT University, Kathy previously worked at Museums Victoria coordinating major exhibition development projects, many of which that went on to be recognised with major national and international awards.

  • Peter Nielson

    Creative Producer

    Peter Nielson

    Creative Producer

    Peter is Creative Producer at Creature Technology Company having been involved with the company on and off since inception in many of its major projects, most recently ‘Jurassic World: The Exhibition’. Originally a performer, Peter’s fascination with how things work, led a migration to production management and technical direction while his love of the creative process saw him work as a freelance creative director, sound, lighting and screen media designer. Coupled with extensive experience in international arena touring and stadium spectacular style shows, Peter brings a unique perspective to the team at CTC helping to dream up new projects, manage them into existence and deliver them to the world.

  • Jo Banks

    Producer

    Jo Banks

    Producer
  • John Hempel

    Project Manager

    John Hempel

    Project Manager

    John is a Project Manager at Creature Technology Co, a role that includes overseeing individual animatronics projects as well as working closely with the Production Manager on major projects. John also is also our resident Return to Work coordinator and takes care of the company’s logistics requirements and the building services for our workshop. With a keen interest in theatre and arts he moved from the Melbourne Theatre Company to Creature Technology Co. in 2007. John is our in-house suit performer, and has appeared on television programs such as ABC3 TV’s Prank Patrol.

  • Sarah Wong

    Project Coordinator

    Sarah Wong

    Project Coordinator
  • Paul Fleer

    Technical Artist

    Paul Fleer

    Technical Artist
  • Ben Forster

    Animator/Designer

    Ben Forster

    Animator/Designer
  • Kelsey Birrell

    Junior 3D Artist

    Kelsey Birrell

    Junior 3D Artist
  • Avon Perera

    Senior Design Engineer

    Avon Perera

    Senior Design Engineer

    Avon is our Senior Design Engineer, who brings his outstanding creative and conceptual engineering design skills to bear on the development of our animatronic creatures at Creature Technology Co. Avon holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) from Monash University and is a Chartered Member of Engineers Australia. He is highly proficient in Solid Works, CAD and a range of other software packages. Avon joined us in 2010 after gaining several years experience in engineering roles.

  • Steve Wilkie

    Senior Project Engineer

    Steve Wilkie

    Senior Project Engineer

    Steve is a Senior Project Engineer who joined CTC in 2015 for the project Jurassic World: The Exhibition. Steve says over 40 years of engineering experience well qualifies him to be a ‘Dinosaur Engineer’.

    Previous relevant industry involvement includes engineering, management and design roles for large and small technical projects in rail, aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and special purpose machinery sectors, as well as animatronics for various interactive museum exhibitions and “Head Elf” for the Myer Christmas Windows display – a much-loved Melbourne institution.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), Mechatronics. Certificates of Technology in Fluid Power and Mechanical Design. Other qualifications in Management, Electronics and Training / Assessment. In a previous life he was Toolmaker and Production Technician by Trade.

  • James McDonald

    Senior Engineer

    James McDonald

    Senior Engineer
  • Josh Gallo

    Design Engineer

    Josh Gallo

    Design Engineer

    Josh works closely with Avon Perera and the Engineering team on the design of CTC’s animatronic creatures. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from Swinburne University, having previously worked primarily in the heavy vehicle and mining equipment industries, involved in both the mechanical and electrical design of project-based components and structures. Josh’s passion for engineering stems far beyond work: he enjoys designing, researching and building his own mechanical and electrical projects for home as well.

  • Leon Wong

    Project Engineer

    Leon Wong

    Project Engineer

    Leon’s role encompasses mechanical design, project coordination, design standard adherence, calculation and mathematics. With a Bachelors of Mechatronics Engineering (1st Class Honours), Leon enjoys the amount of mathematics and engineering involved in CTC designs, and the 'entanglement' of artistry and engineering in all of our creatures. Previously he has worked on building special purpose vehicles for Metro Trains, Yarra Trams, Sydney Trains and BHP. Leon is also passionate about Fine Arts and music, as well as being a science nerd, with dreams of travelling to Mars in the not too distant future.

  • Michael Bais

    Mechanical Designer

    Michael Bais

    Mechanical Designer
  • Hayden Zylberberg

    Design Engineer

    Hayden Zylberberg

    Design Engineer
  • Gus McLaren

    Design Engineer

    Gus McLaren

    Design Engineer
  • Sandrine Perera

    Design Engineer

    Sandrine Perera

    Design Engineer
  • Brian Helmkamp

    Engineering Assistant

    Brian Helmkamp

    Engineering Assistant
  • Alex Toa

    Leading Hand - Engineering Fabrication

    Alex Toa

    Leading Hand - Engineering Fabrication

    Leading Hand - Engineering Fabrication Alex Toa has been with Creature Technology Co. since 2007. Alex has over 15 years of boiler making & welding experience under his belt. He is certified in Heavy Fabrication and Welding, skills he has brought to bear on some our most complex projects, including Reign of Kong and the Sochi Olympic Mascots.

  • Tim Collard

    Mechanical Fabricator

    Tim Collard

    Mechanical Fabricator
  • Peter Betts

    Mechanical Fabricator

    Peter Betts

    Mechanical Fabricator
  • Sam Zanghi

    Parts Finishing and Assembly Mechanic

    Sam Zanghi

    Parts Finishing and Assembly Mechanic
  • Jacob Kyriakidis

    Parts Finishing and Assembly Mechanic

    Jacob Kyriakidis

    Parts Finishing and Assembly Mechanic
  • Wayne Starkey

    Mechanical Fabricator

    Wayne Starkey

    Mechanical Fabricator
  • Izzy Ebdon

    Apprentice Mechanical Fabricator

    Izzy Ebdon

    Apprentice Mechanical Fabricator
  • David Richardson

    General Hand

    David Richardson

    General Hand
  • Andrew Thilby

    Senior Model Maker

    Andrew Thilby

    Senior Model Maker

    Andrew is our Senior Model Maker at Creature Technology Company. After studying Graphic Design at Swinburne University, Andrew went on to work on projects within the TV and film industries. He joined Creature Technology Company in 2007 bringing his considerable expertise that he had established on projects such as Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith; The Matrix Reloaded & The Matrix Revolutions; Moby Dick; Legacy of the Silver Shadow; Stealth and Ghostrider.

  • Karen Souter

    Senior Systems Engineer

    Karen Souter

    Senior Systems Engineer

    Karen is a Senior Systems Engineer with an in-depth knowledge of Creature Technology Co’s creations, having worked on the very first generation of dinosaurs for Walking with Dinosaurs and toured with the production for some time.  Karen undertakes programming of PLC, HMI and show control systems, installation and commissioning of C-Tech as well as technical writing, drawing and software development and specification. Prior to joining CTC, Karen worked internationally  in theatrical automation on productions such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Lion King and Spamalot. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre) from Victoria University and is currently studying a double degree in Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics) and IT (Software Development) at Deakin University.

  • Luke Cartwright

    Systems Engineer

    Luke Cartwright

    Systems Engineer

    Luke is a Systems Engineer with Creature Technology Company. He undertakes programming of PLC, HMI and show control systems  as well as technical writing, software development and specification. Luke has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering from Swinburne University and prior to joining Creature Technology worked in industrial automation, specialising in servo motor and motion control.

    Qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Robotics and Mechatronics, Swinburne University of Technology

  • Josh Dandy

    Systems Engineer

    Josh Dandy

    Systems Engineer

    Josh has a Bachelor of Electronics Engineering (BEng) with Honours, as well as a certification in Functional Safety of Machinery (FSEng #10110/ 15) from TÜV Rheinland. Prior to joining the Controls team at Creature Technology, he worked as an electrical / automation engineer designing, building and supporting safety and control systems for facilities like sewerage treatment plants, aluminium, cement and fertiliser production, as well as butter, milk and beer production… even production of carbon fibre wheels. Now he is helping to breathe life into our giant creations. Josh enjoys weekly social basketball and (when work and bank permits) – travelling with his wife as much as possible. At home he enjoys hobby projects like his upright arcade machine and a bit of Nintendo!

  • Michael Larratt

    Senior Project Engineer

    Michael Larratt

    Senior Project Engineer

    With a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) Hons/Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Technology (Aviation) from Swinburne University, Michael is well qualified to work on the whole-of-system approach that CTC takes to complex animatronic figures destined for the theme park industry. Previously, he was responsible for electrical and control system design of manufacturing machinery and underground coal mining machinery. Michael has also implemented on-board gear tooth profile measuring systems for gear cutting machines in Australia and USA, and worked as an airline Pilot for Flight West Airlines in Queensland. Michael takes pleasure in playing tenor saxophone for a couple of community concert bands and big bands in Croydon.

  • Sue Wong

    Electrical Engineer

    Sue Wong

    Electrical Engineer

    Sue works in our Controls department focusing on Electrical Design, Schematic Diagrams and Specifications for our major projects. She has a Master of Science in Power Engineering from Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus–Senftenberg, Germany. Sue’s previous experience includes FAT, SAT, site commissioning and site training in Oil & Gas Power Plant. She was responsible for power management systems and communication integration between control systems and low/medium voltage switchgears, with experience working in Germany, Switzerland, Malaysia, and Australia in the field of Electrical Engineering. Outside of work, Sue is into singing (song recording), K-pop dancing, gadgets and nail art. She loves languages and can speak Mandarin, Malay, German, English and Cantonese. Very handy for a company that works all over the world!

  • David Barker

    Control System Architect

    David Barker

    Control System Architect

    David is a foundation member of the Creature Technology Company team and undertook the role of Head of Controls for 10 years. In mid-2016 David left to start Advantage Automation but he remains a key resource for Creature Technology for system design, R&D projects, commissioning and programming.

  • Denis Gatiatullin

    Senior Controls Technician

    Denis Gatiatullin

    Senior Controls Technician
  • Matt Cooper

    Controls Technician

    Matt Cooper

    Controls Technician
  • May Zhang

    Financial Accountant

    May Zhang

    Financial Accountant

    May is the Financial Accountant with our Finance Team. She has been working in accounting and finance in various regions such as China, Sydney and Melbourne since 2006 with a Master Degree in Professional Accounting from Macquarie University. She is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) with a passion for cultural and creative industries. Previous experience includes Auditor in KPMG China and Assistant Accountant in Melbourne University Publishing Ltd.

  • Sam Harding

    Purchasing Officer

    Sam Harding

    Purchasing Officer

    Sam has a background in Chemical Engineering and after moving from Scotland, found her way to Melbourne and joined Creature Technology Company in 2010 in the Finance Department. She is now the company Purchasing Officer.

  • Carly Davey

    Office Manager

    Carly Davey

    Office Manager
  • Nerissa Box

    Team Leader – Sculptural Fabrication

    Nerissa Box

    Team Leader – Sculptural Fabrication

    Nerissa is a Team Leader in the Sculptural Fabrication Department at Creature Technology Co. She has been part of the CTC team since the beginning with Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular and was lead fabricator for King Kong, the ape that stole the show in the epic theatre event that won a 2013 Helpmann Award. Nerissa has particular expertise in muscle bag technology and recreation of anatomy which also came to the fore on the remarkable Lady Liberty animatronic figure. Nerissa holds an Associate Diploma in Theatre Crafts from NIDA and her previous credits include work on Farscape, Star Wars – Revenge of the Sith, Ghostrider, Charlotte’s Web and Superman Returns.

  • Jenny O'Keeffe

    Team Leader – Sculptural Fabrication

    Jenny O'Keeffe

    Team Leader – Sculptural Fabrication

    Jenny is a Team Leader in the Sculptural Fabrication department at Creature Technology Co., having brought over 25 years of invaluable experience of working in the film and television industry to the first production of Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular overseeing the fabrication of our suit puppets. She has worked on all of our major productions since. Her previous credits include projects such as Babe, Buddy, Star Wars Episodes 1-3, Farscape and Racing Stripes.

  • Jody Overhill

    Senior Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Jody Overhill

    Senior Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Jody brings more than 20 years experience as a special effects costume and puppet maker to the CTC Sculptural Fabrication team. Previously based in London, her work has taken her to Scandinavia, Iceland, South Africa and much of Europe, creating everything from alien warriors to dancing milk cartons. For many years, Jody was employed at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop alongside her freelance projects, working on films such as The Fifth Element,  Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Where The Wild Things Are, Alice in Wonderland and Lost In Space. Jody has made costumes for the Royal Opera House and the English National Ballet, worked on theatre productions such as The Lion King and Cats, and made music videos and commercials for Moby, Nike, Blur, Abba and Supergrass, amongst others.

  • Gina Nomachi

    Colourist

    Gina Nomachi

    Colourist
  • Elin Soderlund

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication

    Elin Soderlund

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication
  • Courtney Clarke

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication

    Courtney Clarke

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication
  • Ruth Twardy

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication

    Ruth Twardy

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication
  • Aline Joyce

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Aline Joyce

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication
  • Bec Hilton

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Bec Hilton

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication
  • Eleanor Hutchison

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Eleanor Hutchison

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication
  • Amber Martini

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Amber Martini

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication
  • Melanie Miller

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication

    Melanie Miller

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication
  • Jack Milne

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication

    Jack Milne

    Practitioner – Sculptural Fabrication
  • Lexi Galexi

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Lexi Galexi

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication
  • Sarah Hall

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Sarah Hall

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication
  • Moya O'Brien

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication

    Moya O'Brien

    Practitioner - Sculptural Fabrication
  • Fiona Abicare

    Lead Mould Maker

    Fiona Abicare

    Lead Mould Maker
  • Peter Luscombe

    Vale

    Peter Luscombe

    Vale

    Pete was Head of  Engineering Fabrication at Creature Technology Company for 10 years. Pete was one of the first people that Sonny Tilders got in touch with in 2006 after having been charged by Gerry Ryan with the gargantuan task of building - in 12 months - a complete set of hyper-realistic, life-size, walking, roaring, ‘living' dinosaurs for the inaugural tour of Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular. The ingenuity and relentless drive that Pete brought to this task was a key reason that show got up and was the legendary success that it was. Pete has been a significant part of the CTC family for every one of the 10 years hence. With a first to clock on last to clock off work ethic and no task too hard/no problem too big attitude: it is fair to say that Pete’s blood, sweat and (famously) a single tear flowed through all of our creatures. Succumbing to cancer a few days short of his 54th birthday in January 2016, we plan to leave his profile here to acknowledge the immense contribution he made to CTC.