AWUK | Board

Founded in 2013, AWUK exists to positively support, represent, celebrate and encourage women in the animation and VFX industries in the UK

We aim to change the gender landscape by building a vibrant network that facilitates mentoring, knowledge exchange and education resulting in women in fulfilling their potential.

We welcome members from all disciplines of Animation and VFX including, but not limited to: writing, storyboarding, concept art, production, 2D, 3D, stop motion, environments, design, HR, Finance, Marketing, IT, project management and R&D.

Membership is £30 per year and gives you access to networking and workshop events, exclusive discounts and, most importantly, a network of over 1,000 women across the UK.

Regional Chapters

Thanks to our volunteers, Animated Women UK has a regional chapter in Scotland.

If you are interested in brining Animated Women UK to your region, please contact us to find out what's involved.

AWUK Board

Louise Hussey | Co-Chair (VFX)

Louise Hussey | Co-Chair (VFX)

Louise is an Executive VFX Producer at ILM.  She began her career in TV Post and then into CG Animation. This led to Rushes where she was a VFX Producer for the Film & TV VFX department and in 2013, moved to Double Negative as part of the Senior team that set up the DNEGTV VFX division.

She was Executive Producer for the VFX teams on the BAFTA award-winning 'Metalhead' and Emmy Nominated 'Altered Carbon' and left in June 2018 to move to ILM.

Over the years, a desire to help develop new talent led Louise to the Creative Skillset Animation Council, and she is now on the BAFTA Learning and New Talent Committee, which supports new talent and education initiatives.

Dara McGarry | Co-Chair (Animation)

Dara McGarry | Co-Chair (Animation)

Dara started her career at Disney Feature Animation in 1997, and over the course of 13 years worked in a variety of departments including Production, Technology and Effects on films such as Dinosaur, Chicken Little, Tangled and Frozen.   But being a bonafide anglophile, she jumped at the chance to move to London in 2010, working as an Artist Manager for DNEG VFX.

A few years later, DNEG opened a Feature Animation division with Dara as the Artist Manager, helping to grow and shape the team from its nascent days of 12 people to a global team of 700.  She now serves as the Operations Manager for DNEG Animation.

A deep desire to support and grow the animation industry in the UK has led Dara on a quest to find and nurture young talent and ensure they have the skills and knowledge to succeed in our industry.

Debra Wootton | Director (Production)

Debra Wootton | Director (Production)

Debra Wootton founded Webra Multimedia Ltd in 2007 whilst at University, establishing the business at Pinewood Studios in 2008 going on to graduate as a digital animation specialist in 2009 when she was then invited to sit on the board on Alumni for UWL in January 2010.

As well as her philanthropic activities Debra has also gone on to build up a portfolio of businesses; joining Terry Ackland-snow at FDI (Art Direction Training) in 2009 and establishing Webra as a group with Webra Productions, Webra Training and Webra Events joining Webra Multimedia Ltd in 2013.

Helen Piercy | Director (Education)

Helen Piercy | Director (Education)

Helen Piercy is a multidisciplinary filmmaker, award winning children’s author and professional educator. With degrees in Graphic Design (BA Hons) and Animation Direction (MA-The National Film and Television School) Helen began her career working as a freelance animator in London before launching her own business as a filmmaking educator in 2012.

Her passion for supporting young people led her to become a student mentor for Central Saint Martins MA Character Animation Course. In 2016, she joined the BA (Hons) Animation Course at Norwich University of the Arts as a full-time lecturer. Helen completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2017 and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Astrid Bulmer - Advisor (Legal)

Astrid Bulmer - Advisor (Legal)

Astrid is an associate solicitor at Simkins LLP. She undertakes commercial work in the film and television sectors.

Astrid advises film and television clients at all stages of the production lifecycle, including in relation to the development, financing, production, licensing, distribution and exploitation of films, television programmes and other content across both traditional and new media platforms. Astrid advises a broad range of clients, including individual rights holders (such as writers and estates), production companies (of all sizes) and financiers (across both film and television).

Jennifer Pearson - Director (Finance)

Jennifer Pearson - Director (Finance)

As a media specialist senior manager at Moore Kingston Smith, Jenni looks after a portfolio of clients within the marketing, media and film sectors. Most of her clients are owner-managed businesses ranging in size from start-ups to international groups. Jenni enjoys the day-to-day challenges of working with businesses and individuals within the media sector and she offers advice that is tailored to each client’s specific need.

Jenni has a passion for developing the next generation of accountants and works closely with the trainees and junior managers, to develop them and guide them in their potential.

Jenni enjoys being part of an organisation which brings women together from a predominately male industry, allowing them to share knowledge, experience and nurture talent.

Debra Coleman | Director (Panel & Speaking Engagements)

Debra Coleman | Director (Panel & Speaking Engagements)

Debra is a VFX veteran and the founder of Open Frame Coaching, providing coaching and leadership training to VFX and screen industry professionals.

Debra has enjoyed over 25 years working in the Visual Effects industry, progressing from Runner at Cinesite to Global Head of Compositing at DNEG, compositing on 25+ films and closely overseeing delivery of 100+ projects by hundreds of artists. Along the way, she has been involved with winning 3 Oscars and 3 BAFTAs, worked overseas, been a craft judge for both British Arrows and the Royal Television Society, is a proud parent and an advocate for women in VFX/screen industries.

Niki Kehoe | Social Media

Niki Kehoe | Director (Social Media)

Niki is a London based 2D animation professional. She has a BA Hons Degree in 2D Animation. She started her career in Dublin, Ireland where she worked with studios like Boulder Media, Giant Animation, Jam Media, Treehouse Republic, and Kavaleer Productions working mostly as an animator, 2D character rigger and designer. She has worked in the UK multiple times and has most recently worked as Pipeline Director for Blink Industries in London and Assistant Director for Dog Ears in Derry on a Cartoon Saloon collaboration. Niki is currently back with Blink Industries working on their 2D projects.

Outside of work, Niki loves live music and theatre, finding great food spots and watching the rugby!

Nia Alavezos | Content

Nia Alavezos | Director (Content)

Nia Alavezos is an animation director, writer, and producer based in South Wales. Originally from America, she made the great pilgrimage across the pond in 2019 to pursue her dreams of living abroad. Previously working at DreamWorks Animation, you can now find her in the production trenches at Sun & Moon Studios as a Creative Production Manager.

Her first short film, Passenger, was commissioned by Ffilm Cymru Wales, BBC Wales, and BFI Network Wales in 2022. Just recently, Nia finished producing another Ffilm Cymru funded film, Spectre of the Bear, which is now making the festival circuit. When Nia isn't binge-watching anime, studying Japanese, or thinking about her next film idea, she continues to spend her time collaborating with local Welsh talent and helping them get their TV pilots and short films made.

Sueann Rochester | Regional Working Group Chair & Scotland Representative

Sueann Rochester | Regional Working Group Chair (Scotland Representative)

Driven by a love of all things animated and a need to organise things, Sueann was always destined to be an animation producer. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in Animation and moved into her first production role at Red Kite Animations. With over 20 years of experience in long form TV production Sueann has worked with clients including Cartoon Network, Disney, the BBC and DC Thomson and produced BAFTA and EMMY nominated shows ‘Dennis & Gnasher’ and ‘Ask Lara’. She also produced the BAFTA winning series The Brilliant World of Tom Gates for Sky Kids.

Sueann is Co-founder and Managing Director of Wild Child Animation. She is also on the board of Animated Women UK and Animation Scotland. As well as creating great content her goal is to nurture and develop new talent and to support the Scottish animation industry.

Advisory Group Chairs

Bimpe Alliu | Women of Colour Working Group Chair

Bimpe Alliu | Women of Colour Working Group Chair

Bimpe is a Concept Artist at Industrial Light & Magic in London. She started her career in VFX as a Runner before working her way up to the role of Concept Artist, working on films including Avengers: Endgame and Spiderman-Man: Far from Home.

She is passionate about continuing the important discussions surrounding racial diversity in the visual effects and animation industries and has participated in panels for Animated Women UK, Manchester Animation Festival, and podcasts for Access: VFX and Visible in Visuals.

Past Board Members

A huge thank you for all of their contributions over the years.

Anna Gregory
Beth Parker
Georgina Hurcombe
Helen North
Kavita Hayton
Lindsay Watson
Lucy Cooper
Rosemary Klein
Val Cazalet


Alison Doggett, Alison Warner, Amy Backwell, Carrie Mok, Kate Derrick, Lucy Crewe, Marcia Mihotich, Oana Nechifor, Ria Brown, Xenia Moliner-Roldan, Zoe Verrier-Stunt


X (Twitter)
Email Us

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Cookie Notice

This site uses Cookies to ensure the best experience. By continuing to use this website you agree to their use. To learn more please visit our Privacy Policy.