Who We Are

Darwin Film Society Management Committee

The Darwin Film Society has an elected Management Committee of volunteers who oversee the management of the Deckchair Cinema and other Darwin Film Society projects such as Flix in the Wet, the Darwin International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Northern Territory Travelling film Festival (NTTFF). These dedicated volunteer Management Committee members are:

Jeff Coulter (Chair)
I have been on the DFS Committee for 8 years with the last 3 as Chair. The vitality of the people that surround the operation and the beauty of the cinema and its location make it a real pleasure to volunteer our time to ensure a successful and viable Deckchair Cinema and its other events and festivals. Darwin International Film Festival, Northern Territory Travelling Film Festival and Spark are fantastic achievements of our staff and committee all involved to benefit the NT film Industry. Our over 1000 members is the backbone that underpins all our efforts and thank them very much. Long live us.

John Schier (Deputy Chair)
I have been a member of the Darwin Film Society Management Committee since 2002, and Chair for 11 of those years. I was a co-founder of the Darwin International Film Festival (DIFF) chairing the Committee from 2010 to 2013, and will again do so this year. I am an active member of many community committees, have a background in tourism operations, and am currently an account manager specialising in freight handling and logistics.

Lee Upton (Secretary) 
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Lex Silvester (Public Officer)
Deckchair’s Public Officer and Committee Member is Lex Silvester, a now retired barrister and lawyer who practised law in Darwin from 7 November 1970 until mid 2015. Somehow he survived Cyclone Tracey, and all the others that followed. His vision and capacity for getting things done are legendary. He won Australian and International recognition for conceiving, designing, building and creating ‘Seven Siprit Bay’ wilderness lodge in Gurig National Park. To Deckchair Cinema he brings knowledge and experience.

Shashank Laroiya (Treasurer)
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Di Koser
I have been a Committee member of the Darwin Film Society since the mid-80s. I was Chair for over 15 years from several years before the first Deckchair Cinema began (at Mavie St in 1994) until after the opening of the current Cinema (at Jervois Road). I love the continuing community involvement in all aspects of the Cinema – from the programming to gardening and weeding and highly skilled areas as projection and architectural design. I believe the reason the Deckchair has continued to thrive is that it truly reflects the community from which it grew.

Harry Abrahams
I became a Darwin Film Society (DFS) member almost immediately on my arrival in Darwin. The place, the films and, strong community nature of Deckchair and DFS are unequalled. The working bees, special events and fundraiser evenings all provide great opportunities to be involved in more than just watching the great films. I joined the DFS Management Committee in 2011 and have enjoyed the opportunity to deal with a wide range of issues, be involved in the daily business of the Deckchair, meet the celebrities is fantastic but most importantly is the joy I get from assisting in special events, such as the Darwin International Film Festival (DIFF), never ceases to be rewarding.

Laura Berta
I joined the Deckchair programming committee in 2016 and the Darwin Film Society management committee in 2017. I love being a part of the DFS community and want to make our cinema and events inclusive and welcoming to everyone who is lucky enough to be in Darwin. 

Phil Hickey
I recently became a Committee member of the Darwin Film Society after being a regular Deckchair patron and DFS member since the mid-90s. The Deckchair and the films it presents have been an ongoing joy in my life throughout that whole time, as a committee member I’m really pleased to be able to offer something in return. My main interests are in maintaining and improving the Deckchair experience for members. I think the Deckchair represents the best of what’s good about Darwin.

Deckchair Cinema Staff

The Darwin Film Society appoint and employ a team to manage the daily operations of the Deckchair Cinema and associated projects being:

  • James Parker (General Manager)
  • Blandine Ruffo (Manager of the Darwin International Film Festival)
  • Damien Johns (Operations Manager)
  • Box Office, Kiosk & Duty Manager staff each dry season program.