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.

Ingrid Torelli

Ingrid Torelli

Plays the role of Matilda in Matilda The Musical, for which she won a Robert Helpmann award.

Tamala Shelton

Tamala Shelton

Plays Alinta in the critically acclaimed series Cleverman for the ABC and Sundance TV. Mia in Nowhere Boys (all series, including current no. 3), Chloe in Upper Middle Bogan.

Kaiya Jones

Kaiya Jones

Played Sophie Ramsay in Neighbours, Jess Cooper in Saddle Club. Writer/director/actor in film Coping (Tropfest nomination).

Grace Rosebirch

Grace Rosebirch

Role of young Nancy in upcoming feature film The Dressmaker (with Kate Winslett, Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving). Several roles in short films, ads, music videos and as child actor in Wagner’s The Ring with Opera Australia.

Charlie Sturgeon

Charlie Sturgeon

Australian Shakespeare Company – Henry IV, Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatre credits include Seussical, Little Shop of Horrors and Camelot.

Kestie Morassi


Plays Maggie Astoni on Home and Away. Winners and Losers (2015). Major film roles include co-lead in Australian feature film Wolf Creek, Dirty Deeds (with Brian Brown and Toni Collette). Major TV credits include Zara in the Underbelly series, and Natalie in Satisfaction. Student at DWAD for several years in teens and twenties. Now staff teaching member.

Cassandra Magrath


Major film roles include Wolf Creek and Summer Coda. TV includes ongoing role of Miranda in Sea Change, Stephen Spielberg’s The Pacific, Utopia, Winners and Losers, House Husbands and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Sara Reed


Played Jane Banks in Australian Premiere season of Mary Poppins. Major TV roles in Are you smarter than a fifth grader?, City Homicide. US thriller The Knowing opposite Nicholas Cage.

Jane Allsop


Played ongoing lead role of Jo Parish in Blue Heelers. Other recurring major TV roles include Rush, Tangle, Underbelly Files: Tell them Lucifer was Here, House Husbands, The Slap, Last Man Standing and The King: The Story of Graham Kennedy.

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.

Teressa Liane

Teressa Liane

Played Rhiannon Bates in Neighbours 2012–13.

Alex Coppinger

Alex Coppinger

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

Eliza Taylor-Cotter


Played Janae Timmins in Neighbours. Films include Patrick (2013, alongside Rachael Griffiths). Other TV includes The 100 (series 2014–2016)

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.

Sarah Hallam


Sarah works as an actor and a casting director. Her casting credits include Blue Heelers and City Homicide, acting includes Fell (2014), Rush.

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.

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.

Georgia Bolton


Feature film Noise. Major role in online Girl Friday.

Jordan Quaresma

Jordan Quaresma

Played Jaia Johns in Neighbours. Other film and TV includes SF-1460kg, SF-Death in the Marvellous and Pharoahs Leap (lead).

Diana Glenn


TV includes Satisfaction (2007–09), Canal Road, Carla Cametti PD (title role), The Secret Life of Us, Home and Away, The Slap, Secrets and Lies and Underbelly: Squizzy. Films include Oyster Farmer, Somersault, Black Water and Cradlewood.

Simone Ray


TV/Film: Dogstar, Offspring. Theatre: Bell Shakespeare Co, Graduated from WAAPA.

Stephen Pilkington


Works as theatre actor in USA. Spent several years training at Drama With A Difference as a teenager and in his early twenties, after which he obtained a role in the Lady Windermere’s Fan in The West End, London (with Vanessa Redgrave) Trained in New York and Russia as classical theatre actor.

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.

Tatiana Quaresma

Tatiana Quaresma

Film: Love This Time – Winner of Berlin Film Festival.

Lara Sacher


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

Victoria Goldberg


Graduated from the Juilliard School of Drama (gained acceptance after attending classes at Drama With A Difference for several years).

Natasha Quaresma


Film: Wasted on the Young. Has written music for Sony. Author of The Elementals – Sansul.

Emily Milburn


Played Caitlin in Neighbours.

Michael Isaacs


Played Clancy throughout the run of Blue Heelers.

Lauren Hawker


Film: Dreams for Life, Mallboy.

Claudia Buttazzoni


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

Alex Marriott


Scooter in The Saddle Club (photo shows Alex as Scooter).

Nick Donaldson


Feature films include 48 Shades of Brown. TV includes lead in Pirate Islands.

Owen Lee


Played Zac Wentworth in Neighbours (photo shows Owen as Zac).

Adrian Foley


Played Luke Dawson and Travis Dean in Neighbours (photo shows Adrian as Luke Dawson in 2000).

Nathan Wentworth


Worked as a child actor in My Brother Jack, The Saddle Club, Thunderstone and City Homicide. Nathan has gone on to work in the production side of the film industry. Photograph shows Nathan as Kwan in Thunderstone in 1999.

David Donoghue


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

Ben Schmideg


Played Russell Skinner in Wicked Science from 2004–06 (photo shows Benjamin as Russell Skinner).

Keanu Quaresma

Keanu Quaresma

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

Martin Sharpe


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

Justine Puy


Plays Sillibub in the 2007 International tour of Cats.

Katie Campbell


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

Our students have appeared in major roles in the following:

FILM: The Dressmaker, Big Mamma’s Boy, Summer Coda, Life Swap, Travelling Light, The Vanished, Romeo and Juliet, Oyster Farmer, Thunderstruck, Fearless, Blame, The Wedding Party, Darkness Falls, Young Ones, 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 Hand, The Dead Letter Office, Amy. The Scase Chase, Beware Of Greeks Bearing Guns, and countless other short, award-winning films.

THEATRE AND OPERA: The Addams Family musical, Wicked The Musical, 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: Gallipoli (Mini Series 2015), Secrets and Lies, Wentworth Prison, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery, Mr. and Mrs. Murder, Winners and Losers, Offspring, House Husbands, The Slap, Rush, Real Stories, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Wilfred, Two Twisted, The Elephant Princess, Last Man Standing, Carla Cametti PD, The Killing Time, Jack Irish Black Tide, The Pacific, Underbelly, Canal Road, City Homicide, Satisfaction, The Saddle Club Series 3, 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.


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.