Penelope Southgate began her career in the film and television industry after receiving a degree in Interior Design at RMIT. In 1986 she joined the ABC design department in Melbourne. Whilst there she cut her teeth on a wide variety of programs gaining knowledge and experience working with some of the country’s best designers on programs including Period Miniseries, Contemporary Dramas and Award Shows.
In late 1990, Penelope began working mainly in the ABC comedy department, designing programs such as The Adventures of Lano and Woodley, The Micallef Program and the much awarded comedy series Kath & Kim.
Penelope left the ABC in 2000 to pursue a freelance career in production design continuing to amass a diverse and varied body of work. Amongst her film credits are The Craic (1998), directed by Ted Emery; Crackerjack (2001), directed by Paul Moloney; Takeaway (2002), directed by Marc Gracie; BoyTown (2005), directed by Kevin Carlin; Lake Mungo (2006), directed by Joel Anderson; Kath & Kimderella (2011), also directed by Ted Emery; Downriver (2014), directed by Grant Scicluna; and Undertow (2017), the debut feature of director Miranda Nation.
Her more recent television credits include two series of Please Like Me for the ABC & the USA network Pivot, the sketch comedy Open Slather for Foxtel, the Olivia Newtown John telemovie for Channel Seven, Back In Very Small Business which premiered on ABC’s Comedy Channel and How to Stay Married for Hell & High Waters Pty Ltd. Penelope recently wrapped on the miniseries Halifax Retribution for Nine Network