Yvette is a theatre director, producer, educator, and cultural leader in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA). She initiated the launch of ASSITEJ South Africa in 2007 and leads the organisation as Director. In 2008, at the 16th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival for Children & Young People, she was elected to the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International as Treasurer. In 2011, at the ASSITEJ World Congress in Copenhagen & Malmö, she was elected President. She held office for ten years until the postponed 20th ASSITEJ World Congress in 2021.
Combined with her presidency, she envisioned and led the realisation of the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa (2017). The Congress was the first such ASSITEJ International event to take place on the African continent and created a significant impact on the South African and African TYA landscape. She also developed the African network of TYA by serving as Deputy Chairperson of African Children and Youth Theatre Arena (ACYTA).
During her presidency, ASSITEJ International started to organise annual events between the congresses, with the first taking place in Okinawa, Japan in 2012. Together with these ASSITEJ Artistic Gatherings, as they were later called, the ‘Artistic Encounters’ were born, becoming a major event at any ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering or Congress.
A focus during her presidency has been to increase the accessibility of the Association through developing new pathways to engagement. For example, the ‘Next Generation’ Programme was embedded in the annual event to introduce young and emerging artists to the Association. International ASSITEJ Professional Networks were created as full members to develop exchanges in specific areas of TYA. Individual membership status allowed participation from those where forming a National Centre was difficult.
During the last year of her presidency, she led the Association through the COVID-19 crisis with responses like the online ASSITEJ Coffee Sessions, the ASSITEJ Manifest, and the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival for Children & Young People that took place in a blended format in Japan and online. She has worked to link ASSITEJ International with like-minded international associations and serves on the Advisory Board for the UNESCO / ITI World Performing Arts Capitals.