About Us

Students of Note

We congratulate the following students and ex-students, some of whom have gone on to be established professional actors. The school was their initial training ground and many of them were first seen at one of our performances. Others received their first audition/agent through our recommendation, or went on to study at prestigious full-time acting schools, here and overseas.

Tamala Shelton

Tamala Shelton

Mia in Nowhere Boys (current), Choe in Upper Middle Bogan.

Kaiya Jones

Kaiya Jones

Plays Sophie Ramsay on Neighbours. Played Jess Cooper in Saddle Club 3 (Australia 2009, USA 2008).

Vanessa Elliot

VANESSA ELLIOT

Trained at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the United Kingdom, and went on to play a wide variety of roles in theatre. Began at Drama with a Difference as a child, when she was cast as one of the lead roles in the children’s television series Guinevere Jones.

Charlie Sturgeon

Charlie Sturgeon

Performed with The Australian Shakespeare Company 2012 in Henry IV Part One and also in an earlier seasons of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Charlie also went on to study with professional adult training programs, after spending many years at Drama with a Difference as a child and later as a teenager.

Alex Coppinger

Alex Coppinger

Lead role in the ABC/BBC co-production Dead Gorgeous, ABC1 and ABC2, 2010.

Cassandra Magrath

CASSANDRA MAGRATH

Worked as full-time actor since age 11 in ongoing TV series, including Miranda in Sea Change. Lead role in Wolf Creek. Plays Ella in the film Summer Coda. TV includes Stephen Spielberg’s The Pacific.

Kodi Smit-McPhee

KODI SMIT-MCPHEE

Child lead in Romulus, My Father with Eric Bana. Major role in the Australian film Walkabout by Richard Franklin.

Georgia Bolton

GEORGIA BOLTON

Feature film Noise. Major role in online Girl Friday.

Keanu Quaresma

Keanu Quaresma

Lead in film Love This Time – winner of  Berlin Film Festival Award.

Tatiana Quaresma

Tatiana Quaresma

Lead in film Love This Time – winner of  Berlin Film Festival Award.

Martin Sharpe

MARTIN SHARPE

2007 member of the acclaimed Red Stitch Actors Theatre. Previous work includes lead in Scooter.

Justine Puy

JUSTINE PUY

Plays Sillibub in the 2007 International tour of Cats.

Eliza Taylor-Cotter

ELIZA TAYLOR-COTTER

Plays Janae Timmons in Neighbours; previous major roles in Sleepover Club and Pirate Islands.

Kestie Morassi

KESTIE MORASSI

Began as a child actor in a number of TV series. Film work includes Dirty Deeds and Wolf Creek (nominated for an AFI award). Recent TV includes Zarah in Underbelly and Natalie in Satisfaction.

Diana Glenn

DIANA GLENN

Played Sandy in The Slap (ABC, 2011). Also Canal Road, Satisfaction. Other films include The Oyster Farmer and Somersault. Played Jemima in The Secret Life of Us.

Kai Quaresma

Kai Quaresma

In TV pilot Pharoah’s Leap.

Sara Reed

SARA REED

Plays Stanley’s daughter in City Homicide.

Mark Wilson

MARK WILSON

Regular guest role of Bennie in Blue Heelers, in the movies Welcome to Woop Woop and Dead Letter Office (with Miranda Otto), and roles with Melbourne Theatre Company.

Sarah Hallam

SARAH HALLAM

Sarah was involved in the casting of City Homicide and recently appeared (as an actor) in several episodes of Rush. Sarah is also directing episodes of a new (yet to be released) TV series.

David Donoghue

DAVID DONOGHUE

Performed in 2006 with The National Theatre of Great Britain (Melbourne tour). In a number of well-known advertisements.

Sianoa Smit-McPhee

SIANOA SMIT-MCPHEE

Played Brie in Neighbours, and Jane in the film Hug.

Stephen Pilkington

STEPHEN PILKINGTON

Currently studying at prestigious schools in the USA and Russia. After training with Michele Williams, Stephen obtained a role in London’s West End with Vanessa Redgrave in Lady Windamere’s Fan.

Lara Sacher

LARA SACHER

Played Serena in Neighbours, and now runs her own production / theatre company ‘Applause for a Cause’.


Jane Allsop

JANE ALLSOP

Jane was first ‘spotted’ by a casting director in a performance with Drama with a Difference. She played guest roles in many television series, and went on to play Constable Jo Parish on Blue Heelers for five years. Recent work includes Tash in Rush, Diana in Neighbours, Carmel in Underbelly, roles in MDA, Last Man Standing and Noeline Brown in The King.

Richard Gray

RICHARD GRAY

Richard is the director/producer of the recently released feature film Summer Coda. After leaving high school and Drama with a Difference, he went on to study film making at the VCA and has directed several short and ful- length films, receiving funding from Miramax.

Michele Davis

MICHELE DAVIS

Recent script editor for the Australian feature film Summer Coda, Michele has also worked as an editor for a Miramax film, and has written several successful plays.


Torquil Neilson

TORQUIL NEILSON

Film roles including Amy, Love and Other Catastrophes, and He Died With A Falafel in His Hand, theatre roles with Melbourne Theatre Company, and lead roles with Playbox Theatre Company. Plays the role of Jake in The Secret Life Of Us.

Victoria Goldberg

VICTORIA GOLDBERG

Currently training at the renowned Juilliard Drama School in New York.

Victoria Goldberg

HANNAH ROWLANDS-TABERER

Obtained major agency representation in 2007 and currently in several ads.

Dorian James

DORIAN JAMES

Obtained major agency representation in 2007 and currently in several ads.

Alex Marriott

ALEX MARRIOTT

Played Scooter in The Saddle Club.

Simone Ray

SIMONE RAY

Bell Shakespeare Company, graduate of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Michael Isaacs

MICHAEL ISAACS

Played Clancy throughout the run of Blue Heelers.

Emily Milburn

EMILY MILBURN

Played Caitlin in Neighbours.

Leigh Bowman

LEIGH BOWMAN

Played Brad in the series Guinevere Jones.

Lauren Hawker

LAUREN HAWKER

Played the role of Sue in the Australian feature film Mall Boy.

Claudia Buttazzoni

CLAUDIA BUTTAZZONI

Played Lara in Home and Away and lead in feature film Beware of Greeks Bearing Guns.

Nathan Wentworth

NATHAN WENTWORTH

Started as a child actor in My Brother Jack and The Saddle Club. Other credits include Blue Heelers, City Homicide and Steven Spielberg’s The Pacific.

Adrian Foley

ADRIAN FOLEY

Played Luke Dawson in Neighbours.

Nick Donaldson

NICK DONALDSON

Played Nicholas Reading in Pirate Islands (Network 10, 2003). Lead role in the feature film 48 Shades of Brown.

Owen Lee

OWEN LEE

Played Zac in Neighbours.

Natasha Quaresma

NATASHA QUARESMA

Signed with Sony/BMG in 2007, currently in discussion with other record labels in the USA.

Katie Campbell

KATIE CAMPBELL

Played Wind in Guinevere Jones. Guest roles in Blue Heelers.

Ben Schmideg

BEN SCHMIDEG

Played lead in Wicked Science and High Flyers.

Our students have appeared in major roles in the following:

FILM: Romulas My Father, Noise, Wolf Creek, Ned Kelly, Love and Other Catastrophies, Dirty Deeds, Josh Jarman, Mall Boy, My Brother Jack, Welcome To Whoop Whoop, He Died With A Fallafel in His Hands, The Dead Letter Office, Amy. The Scase Chase, Beware Of Greeks Bearing Guns, and countless other short, award-winning films.

THEATRE AND OPERA: The Bell Shakespeare Company, The Melbourne Theatre Company, Playbox Theatre Company, Red Stitch, London's West End, The National Theatre Of Great Britain, Australian Opera, The Victorian State Opera, Handspan Theatre, Major tour of the musicals Cats, Les Miserables, Scrooge, The Wizard Of Oz.

TELEVISION: The Pacific, Underbelly, Canal Road, City Homicide, Satisfaction, The Saddle Club Series 3 (USA 2008), Sea Change, The Secret Life Of Us, MDA, A Country Practice, Blue Heelers, Home And Away, Neighbours, Round The Twist, Ocean Girl, The Wayne Manifesto, Crash Zone, Something In The Air, Janus, Stingers, Scooter Secret Agent, Pirate Islands, Good Guys Bad Guys, Fergus McNeil, Something In The Air, Heartbreak High – in fact, just about every Australian television series.

NEW ONLINE TELEVISION SERIES: Girl Friday.

NB: The teachers at Drama with a Difference are all friends and/or colleagues with most casting directors, many film producers, writers and agents who contact us on a regular basis for suggestions for various roles. However it is important to understand that, despite the success of many of our students, we cannot guarantee that any roles will come from attending the school. There is an enormous amount of “luck” involved where “being the right TYPE, at the right TIME and for the right PROJECT” is what gets you the job. Even those with major success stories must continually work in other jobs to sustain their lives as Australia does not have a big enough industry to support its artists. We encourage EVERYONE (especially those who are still at school) to make EDUCATION or the MASTERING OF SOME OTHER CRAFT/TRADE OR PROFESSION A PRIORITY.