The Board of Directors controls the business of the company and acts to promote its objects and interests.
Specifically, the Board of Directors is responsible for:
- the financial accountability of the company
- fundraising from the private sector
- government liaison
- appointing the General Manager and the Director
- policy making
- fundraising for, and awarding student scholarships
- discipline reviews
- approving academic awards under the seal of the National Institute of Dramatic Art
- the maintenance and enhancement of the capital assets of the Institute
- overseeing compliance with health and safety legislation and regulations.
The Board of Directors comprises:
Ms Jennifer Bott AO (Chairman)
Ms Virginia Braden OAM
Mr Bruce Cutler
Mr Kim Dalton OAM
The Hon Justice Kathleen Farrell
Ms Judith Isherwood
Mr Peter Lowry OAM
Mr Garry McQuinn
Ms Heather Mitchell
Professor Elizabeth More AM
Mr Ralph Myers
Professor Prem Ramburuth
Ms Lynne Williams (Director/CEO, ex officio)
Company Secretary: Julia Selby
Board Member Biographies
Jennifer Bott AO
Jenny is a professional mentor, board member, project manager and consultant who has had extensive experience in arts management and governance. From 1999 to 2006 Jennifer was CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. Before joining the Australia Council, Jennifer spent seven years as General Manager of Musica Viva Australia. Previous to this she was National Director of AFS International Programs, an international student exchange program. She has also held senior management and Board positions at Opera Australia and the Arts Council of Australia. From 2006 to 2012 Jenny was Chief Executive of the University of New South Wales Foundation and was a member of the Executive Team of the University reporting jointly to the Vice Chancellor and to the Chairman of the Foundation Board (the Chancellor). Jenny was awarded an AO in 2012 for distinguished service to the arts through executive and leadership roles in national cultural organisations, and for her service to the development of policy reform initiatives promoting funding and best practise. Jennifer is Chair of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music based in Townsville, Vice President of Australians for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures and a Community Interest member of the Review Panel for the Royal Australian College of Physicians. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Her previous Board positions include as a Director of UNSW Press and a board member of Opera Australia and the Australian Institute of Arts Management.
Virginia Braden OAM
Virginia Braden has worked for over 30 years in the Arts, 29 years of which were running her firm, Arts Management Pty Ltd 1979-2008. Arts Management combined projects in all fields of the arts with the personal management of classical music performers and creative artists. With over 150 clients and projects such as administering the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Portia Geach Portrait Prize for Women as well as dance, theatre and visual arts projects, her experience in the Arts nationally and internationally has had a broad span. Throughout this period she has pursued her interest in developing the profession of arts management by giving professional development lectures and seminars to students at the Australian National Academy and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and mentoring a number of young arts managers.
She was Chairman of the UK based International Artist Managers’ Association (IAMA) from 2000-2003, having previously served as a Board member and Deputy Chairman for a number of years. She has represented IAMA at a number of meetings around the world most recently AAPPAC in Seoul 2008 and in Shanghai in 2009. She has served on a number of boards including the Australian Music Centre, the Seymour Group, Craft Australia, and The Song Company. She is currently a member of the board of Opera Australia. She is an honorary life member of IAMA and the Australian Music Centre.
Bruce Cutler is a former Managing Partner at the law firm, Freehills and is a Director of OzHarvest Limited. Bruce has a deep interest and understanding of the arts and arts organisations. In addition to his legal qualifications, Bruce has financial/accounting expertise and was a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for over 40 years.
Bruce served on the NIDA Board from 2003-2009 and again from 2010-2013. During his terms on the Board he has chaired the Audit, Finance, Administration and Remuneration Committee. He was a member of the Australian and International Councils of INSEAD (the international business school) for many years, the Board of the Law Council of Australia for four years, and a member of the President’s Council of the Art Gallery of New South Wales including being a member of the Audit and Finance committee of the Gallery for 11 years. He has been involved with the Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Theatre for Young People since January 2009 mainly negotiating commissions with creative artists and presenters of dance and theatre. For the last three years he has been a volunteer with Vision Australia audio describing plays and operas for vision impaired people. More recently he has been doing work with the community radio station, Fine Music 102.5
Kim Dalton OAM
Kim is a screen and digital content, broadcast and public policy professional. He has worked in the Australian and international film and television industry since 1973.Kim has been a practitioner and program maker producing a number of award winning television dramas and documentaries including two major television miniseries, In Between for SBS TV and The Magistrate for ABC TV. As an investment manager at the Australian Film Finance Corporation in the early ‘90s he was involved in the financing of numerous projects across documentaries, television drama and feature films including the hugely successful Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla.
In 1992 Kim joined Beyond International, one of Australia’s leading international film and television companies, and worked on the international financing, production and distribution of a large slate of television and feature films.
From 1999, as Chief Executive of the Australian Film Commission, Kim was responsible for overhauling its development programs, expanding its screen culture programs and ensuring the agency’s and industry’s engagement with digital and online technology, production and distribution. As CEO Kim led the policy debate around Australian content on television and was a spokesperson for the industry and a key advisor to government on the audio visual industries during negotiations on the Aust/US Free Trade Agreement.
As the Director of ABC TV from 2006 to 2013 Kim took ABC TV into the digital era and developed Australia’s most comprehensive and coherently branded suite of 5 free-to-air digital channels. During this time ABC TV also received increased funding and significantly increased its output of Australian content, in particular its drama and children's programming.
In 2007 Kim was awarded an OAM for service to the film and television industry in policy, in assistance to Indigenous producers and in the promotion of emerging visual technology.
Kim is the Chair of Freeview, the organisation established by Australian free-to-air broadcasters to promote and brand the digital free-to-air platform and Chair of the Asia Animation Summit, an initiative established by the ABC involving Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea to promote the co-financing and co-production of children's animation within the Asian region.
The Hon Justice Kathleen Farrell
The Hon Justice Kathleen (Kathy) Farrell was appointed to the Federal Court in December 2012. Prior to her appointment she was one of Australia’s leading lawyers in the area of corporate and regulatory law. She has practiced in the area of media and entertainment, including film and TV financing. From 2010-2012 she was President of the Takeovers Panel, the primary forum for resolution of disputes concerning corporate transactions in Australia, having been a member of the Panel since 2001. She is former chair of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and a continuing member of the BLS Executive. Kathy is an experienced company director and has had strong interest in the performing arts, including theatre and opera for many years.
From 2009 to late 2013 Judith Isherwood was the Chief Executive of The Arts Centre, Melbourne, a post she took up in late 2009 following nearly 7 years working the UK. Judith was the inaugural Chief Executive of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, overseeing both the construction and first five years of operation of this major new UK arts centre. Her interest in the role of performing arts centres developed during her time as Director of Performing Arts at the Sydney Opera House. Her time there included the period when Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympic Games, during which the Sydney Opera House not only played host to the Olympic Cultural Festival, but was also the site of a number of sporting events. Judith’s career in the performing arts developed following her graduation from NIDA in Technical Production. She has worked for a wide range of companies and organisations throughout Australia. She has a particular interest in developing the next generation of arts professionals and was a Board member of the UK’s Creative & Cultural Skills Council for a number of years. In 2009 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Wales Institute for outstanding and distinguished service to the university and the community at large.
Peter Lowry OAM
Peter Lowry OAM is the representative of the Seaborn, Walford and Broughton (SBW) Foundation on the NIDA Board. Peter is a Company Director and lawyer who has worked in urban planning, research and development for both government and private sectors, combining these skills with a passion for heritage. He has a longstanding interest in the arts and was closely involved with the restoration of the Independent Theatre in North Sydney. Peter is a Board member of the SBW Foundation and Ensemble Theatre. He is also a Board member of the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and of the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
Garry McQuinn is Managing Director of Nullarbor Productions, based in London. The company’s acclaimed production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, has been performed in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, London, New York, Sao Paolo, Milan, Rome, Stockholm and on tour in the UK and US. Future productions will be mounted in Korea, Japan, China and Germany, with a return to Australia planned in 2014. Previously Garry was Managing Director of Back Row Productions, and presented a a range of international touring productions including Tap Dogs, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Slava’s Snowshow, Mum’s the Word, Gumboots, Shaolin Monks of China, Circus Oz, Fosse, and Jerry Seinfeld’s one-man show in Reykjavik and Stockholm. Prior to joining Back Row Productions Mr McQuinn ran his own company, Stage Business, a production company specialising in mounting large-scale musicals such as Beauty and the Beast, Showboat, and The Boy from Oz. For nine years prior to this he was Head of the Technical Production course at NIDA, from which he had previously graduated. Following graduation he spent four years with the Melbourne Theatre Company’s stage management team. Mr McQuinn then worked on the West End and throughout the United Kingdom before returning to Australia and the next stage of his career, as director, tour manager, production manager and company manager on a number of national commercial tours.
Heather Mitchell is an actor, who has performed in more than fifty professional productions for all the major theatre companies in Australia. These include The History Boys (Dir: Jesse Peach/Sydney Opera House), Signs of Life (dir: Kate Cherry/STC), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (dir: Sam Strong/STC), True West (dir: Philip Seymour Hoffman/STC) Neighbourhood Watch (dir: Simon Stone/Belvoir), Hamlet (dir: Marion Potts/Bell Shakespeare), Tender (dir: Geordie Brookman/Hothouse/Griffin) and Burn This (STC). Her film roles include The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann, The Eye of the Storm directed by Fred Schepisi, Griff the Invisible directed by Leon Ford, Thank God He met Lizzie directed by Cherie Nowlan/Stamen Films, Rogue directed by Greg Maclean, Three Blind Mice directed by Matt Newton, Muriel's Wedding directed by PJ Hogan and Proof directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse. In 2011 she won the New York City International Film Festival Best Lead Actress Award for Afterglow and in 2012 she won the New York Los Angeles Best Actress Award for Red Valentine. Heather has appeared in numerous television programs, including Rake, Jack Irish, Spirited 2, Spellbinder, Janet King, A Place to Call Home, Crownies, Underbelly:The Man Who Got Away, All Saints, Chandon Pictures Series 2, The Pacific, G.P. and A Country Practice. Heather is currently a member of the Advisory Committee of the NSW Cancer Survivors Centre. She graduated from NIDA’s Acting course in 1980.
Professor Elizabeth More AM
Elizabeth More is Foundation Dean, Faculty of Business, Australian Catholic University. Prior to this appointment, she was Professor in Management, Director of Higher Degree Research and Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM). Prior to this Professor More was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Canberra and thereafter at Macquarie University, following her role as Director of the Graduate School of Management, Chair of Academic Senate at Macquarie University and Managing Director of MGSM Pty Ltd. Professor More is a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, and of the Australian Communication Association. She also has extensive experience in consulting to both private and public sector organizations and, over the past decade, has been called upon regularly for expert media comment on issues related to management practice and education. Before becoming a University academic, she worked as a classical ballet dancer in theatre and television, and in the advertising industry. Professor More is also a member of the Boards of the Sydney Dance Company and of the Sydney Film School. She specialised in Drama in her undergraduate degree, completed a PhD in nineteenth century English drama and also has postgraduate qualifications in management and law.
Ralph Myers is a theatre director, set and costume designer and the current Artistic Director of Belvoir. Ralph’s work has toured internationally and won several awards. He was Resident Designer at the STC for two years and has collaborated with most of the country’s leading performing arts organisations, including: Belvoir, STC, MTC, Bell Shakespeare and Opera Australia.
After graduating from NIDA’s Design course in 2000, Ralph has designed the sets of many theatrical productions. For Belvoir his design credits include: Death of a Salesman, The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, The Seagull, The Wild Duck, Measure for Measure, Toy Symphony and Parramatta Girls.
In 2008 his directorial debut Frankenstein, for the STC, was a critical success and he has gone on to direct Private Lives and Peter Pan for Belvoir.
For The Sydney Theatre Company he has designed many productions including A Streetcar Named Desire, which toured to Washington DC and at New York’s BAM in 2009. His design for A Kind of Alaska/Reunion won Ralph the award for Best Set Design at the Sydney Theatre Awards in 2006.
Ralph also designed the productions of Enlightenment, Cruel and Tender, Frozen and Dinner at Melbourne Theatre Company.
In opera, Ralph has designed the Opera Australia/Houston Grand Opera co-production Peter Grimes (which will play in Toronto later this year) Cosi Fan Tutte and The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Australia, La Boheme for the New Zealand Opera and Caligula for the English National Opera.
In dance he has designed for Chunky Move, Legs on the Wall and is currently in France with the Lyon Opera Ballet designing the set and costumes for a new work by Lucy Guerin.
Through his innovation both in set design and artistic leadership, Ralph continues to make unique contributions to the Australian theatre landscape and the fabric of the country’s creative culture in general.
Professor Prem Ramburuth
Professor Prem Ramburuth is the UNSW nominee on the NIDA Board. She is President of the UNSW Academic Board and Professor in International Business in the Australian School of Business. She has held several leadership positions at UNSW, including former Associate Dean Education, Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs and Head of the School of Organisation and Management. Prem is a member of UNSW Council and several of its committees, and serves on both the UNSW Executive Team and Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Prem’s area of expertise focuses on Cross-Cultural and Diversity Management in Business and Higher Education, and more recently, on Emerging Economies including Africa and China. She is an active researcher and has published in renowned international journals in Higher Education, International Business and Management. Prem is also recognised nationally and internationally for her scholarship in Teaching and Learning, and is the recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Enhancing Student Learning, Pearson ANZAM Management Educator of the Year Award, and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Prem has a Drama major in her first degree and a Licentiate (in Drama) from the Royal Academy of Music, London. She maintains a strong interest in the performing arts.
In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Lynne Williams has developed a significant breadth of arts practice and cultural entrepreneurship across not-for profit, government and commercial sectors.
Lynne was appointed Director/CEO of NIDA in May 2008 and since her appointment has been instrumental in enriching course offerings as well as developing a range of new industry partnerships and initiatives. Lynne is currently developing a concept for enhanced post graduate study and practice-based research within a Centre for Contemporary Performance Practice.
Prior to NIDA, Lynne held many arts and cultural leadership positions in the UK where she was resident for 21 years. She managed Culture, Ceremonies and Education for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), following her contribution to London 2012’s successful Olympic Bid as a Cultural Advisor/Creative Producer.
Lynne was also CEO of Cardiff 2008, the company bidding for Cardiff to be European Capital of Culture in 2008. She was responsible for developing an overarching cultural policy and strategy and leading a team in a bid on behalf of the whole of Wales. During the two years of the bidding process she led a high level stakeholders’ group and initiated over 300 projects across the country, 56 of them with international partners. She collaborated on impact studies of the bid and devised a long term business plan to prepare the city of Cardiff for cultural regeneration.
Her experience in performing arts began in Australia where she studied and worked as a professional singer specialising in contemporary music and music theatre and where she was instrumental in setting up a new Music Theatre Company for the Conservatorium of Music in Wollongong and a new Creative Arts faculty for the University of Wollongong. For five years at the university, she lectured in Education and then Performing Arts.
On moving to the UK in 1985, she extended her arts experience through her work as Director of Performing Arts for the East of England and as Artistic Director/CEO of the Eastern Touring Agency, an arts and audience development agency set up in association with the Arts Council of England, local authorities and international artists and promoters to pioneer new ways of commissioning, developing, producing, touring and supporting new work across all performing art forms.
As Interim CEO of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, she developed an organisational strategy and a more integrated approach to arts programming and management within the Institute, bringing together industry partners to explore synergies and plan collaboratively.
She expanded her own arts practice by writing opera libretti with a number of British composers. Her last piece was commissioned by English National Opera Studio and enjoyed London performances and a national tour. She also wrote music programs and presented for BBC Radio.
Lynne has a deep commitment to arts education and increased public access and has developed and promoted work across the full spectrum of the arts – from high art to popular culture. She served on the Arts Council England Touring Panel for many years and advised on a number of national audience development initiatives as well as being an Arts Council England advisor for contemporary music, opera, theatre and dance.
Lynne has been a chair and a board member of many arts companies including a foundation member of the board of Arts and Kids (a division of Arts and Business UK) and a member of the Fellowship Programme Committee for the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). As an advocate for the performing arts, Lynne has made many international presentations to key opinion formers and decision-makers.
Lynne has a DSCM (Sydney Conservatorium of Music), an MA (Hons) (University of Wollongong) and in 1998, she was awarded an honorary degree of Master of Letters by De Montfort University for her contributions to the arts and arts education. She has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the United Kingdom.