Board of Directors

The Board of Directors controls the business of the Company and acts to promote its objects and interests.

The Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • directing and guiding the Company’s strategic direction
  • appointing the Director/CEO
  • maintaining and enhancing the role of the Company as a centre of excellence in the performing arts
  • monitoring and maintaining the financial integrity and viability of the Company.

Chair Jennifer Bott AO

Jennifer Bott

Jennifer Bott is a professional mentor, board member and consultant. She is the Chair of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and Artistic Director of the Canberra Writers Festival. She is a consultant in Innovation and Development at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. She also serves as a Trustee of the Australian Museum, a Director of the Bundanon Trust, a Director of the Australian National Academy of Music, a board member of the Sydney Orthopedic Research Institute and the NIDA Foundation Trust.

During 2013/14, Jenny served as Acting Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. Prior to this she conducted a major review of External Relations for the Art Gallery of New South Wales as well as the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. In 2017, she undertook a feasibility study, commissioned by the Townsville City Council for a new concert hall/cultural complex in Townsville.

She was Chief Executive of the University of New South Wales Foundation from 2006 to October 2012. The Foundation generates philanthropic income for the University from business, foundations, alumni and other sources and built its annual fundraising income from $5M in 2006 to over $24M in 2012.

Jenny was awarded an AO in 2012 for distinguished service to the arts through executive and leadership roles in national cultural organisations, and to the development of policy reform initiatives promoting funding and best practice.

From 1999 to 2006, Jenny was the CEO of the Australia Council, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. During her tenure as CEO, the Australia Council generated significant new funds for the arts through the Major Performing Arts Enquiry, the Orchestras Review, the Contemporary Visual Arts and Crafts Inquiry and new government initiatives such as New Australian Stories and Books Alive (now Get Reading). An important part of the Australia Council role was Australia’s international cultural program which included the Venice Biennale and the Musee du quai Branly project in Paris.

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 and intercultural learning program. She has also held senior management and Board positions at Opera Australia and the Arts Council of Australia.

She is a member of Chief Executive Women, Vice-President of Australians for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, a life member of the Opera Australia Benevolent Fund, a Life Member of Musica Viva Australia, a Friend of Carers NSW and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

From 2009 to 2013, Jenny was Chair of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music based in Townsville. She has been a board member of Opera Australia, UNSW Press and the Australian Institute of Arts Management, Deputy Chair of AFS International Programs (New York), Chair of Australasian Classical Music Managers’ Association and also participated in the Sydney Leadership Program 2002 (Benevolent Society of NSW). She was also Australia’s Cultural Commissioner for the Athens 2004 Olympics as well as a member of the Australia International Cultural Council.

An English and History teacher by training, Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (University of Sydney), a Diploma of Education (University of New England) and has trained extensively in organizational development, management and commercial mediation. She has studied counselling subjects to support her professional mentoring building towards a Graduate Diploma.

Jennifer has been Chairman of NIDA since 20 May 2013.

Suanne Colley

BA (Asian Studies), ANU; Masters of Communications (Marketing), UNSW is CEO of BrandPlus Asia and a brand and marketing strategist who has extensive background in industrial, professional, financial, corporate advisory and medical research services. Suanne is a leading adviser to clients in business to business markets in Australia and, through both her academic background and her practical experience, an Asian specialist. She has lived and worked in Asia for over ten years based in each of Hong Kong and Japan, speaks Japanese well and has completed many projects throughout the Asian region for a variety of clients. Suanne has a strong personal interest in the arts, including the arts of Asia.

Ian Collie

Ian Collie is a partner at Essential Media & Entertainment, one of Australia's best known television production companies. A highly experienced drama and factual television producer, Ian was the series producer of four seasons of ABC’s hit drama Rake, and was an executive producer on the United States version for the Fox Network. Ian produced the ABC’s Jack Irish series; The Principal for SBS; and is currently producing Channel Nine’s 10-part series, Doctor Doctor. His feature film producer credits include Disney’s Saving Mr Banks, and Ian has also produced a range of documentaries and telemovies. Prior to television, Ian worked as a solicitor for Slater and Gordon, and Cashman and Partners, before moving to executive director for the Arts Law Centre of Australia and the Australian Directors Guild.

Roger Hodgman

Roger Hodgman is a freelance theatre and screen director. He was Artistic Director of the Vancouver Playhouse for four years and Melbourne Theatre Company for twelve. He has worked in drama schools in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia – including five years as an acting teacher and director at the East 15 School in London, two years as Director of the Playhouse Acting School in Vancouver and four years as Dean of Drama at the Victorian College of the Arts. Roger has directed over 120 stage productions for numerous companies including MTC, STC, STC of S.A, QTC, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Shaw Festival (Canada), TML Enterprises, Australian Opera and Victorian Opera. He has received Green Room Awards for Best Director (Theatre, Opera and Musical Theatre) and a Helpmann for best director (Musical) and numerous nominations. Many of his stage productions have toured Australia including SkylightArtPrivate Lives and most recently successful commercial productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Fiddler on the Roof.  He counts numerous Shakespeare productions and a number of Stephen Sondheim musicals as highlights of his career, along with working in Canada with Tennessee Williams on two new plays. Since leaving MTC in 2000, he has also worked as a screen director, directing over 80 hours of TV Drama including Stepfather of the Bride (Chicago Film Festival Award for Best Telemovie), many episodes of A Secret Life Of Us (AFI nomination for Best Director), Lockie Leonard (BAFTA nomination and AFI Award for Best Children’s Series and, most recently, A Place To Call Home (first episode) and Wentworth. He has served on many committees including the Drama Committee of the Australia Council, Cultural Advisory Committee for Melbourne City Council (Chair), Advisory Committee to the Victorian Ministry of The Arts, Victorian College of the Arts Board and the Artistic Directorship of HotHouse Theatre. He continues to teach and direct when he can in Acting Schools – including most recently at NIDA, the VCA Music Theatre Course, and the Queensland Conservatorium.

Peter Ivany AM

Peter has been Chairman, NIDA Foundation Trust since April 2013. He is Executive Chairman, Ivany Investment Group and previously Chief Executive of Hoyts cinemas (1988 – 1999). Peter is also Owner/Director, IMAX Theatre Sydney and Board Member, Allied Credit. He has had and continues to have many roles in the community and is currently Chairman, Sydney Swans Foundation, Honorary Life Governor and Foundation Chairman, Jewish Communal Appeal, Advisory Council Chairman, Sydney Film Festival and Adjunct Professor, University of Technology Sydney. Peter was also on the Board of Events NSW (2007-11), Chairman of the Australian Film, Television & Radio School from 2006-09, and has been actively involved in many aspects of the film and radio industries throughout his career.

Ron Malek

Ron Malek has been a practising corporate and financial adviser for over 25 years. He graduated with commerce and law degrees from the University of New South Wales and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia. Ron was a co-founder of the firm Caliburn in 1999, which merged in 2010 with New York Stock Exchange listed Greenhill and was previously Co-Chief Executive of Caliburn and Greenhill Caliburn. In March 2014 Ron retired from his role as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Greenhill. Ron is also a director of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, a member of the Australian Takeovers Panel, a member of the UNSW Council’s Investment Committee and a member of the Australian Paralympic Committee’s Investment Committee. He has a longstanding interest in the arts and in educational organisations.

Professor Prem Ramburuth

Professor Prem Ramburuth is the UNSW nominee on the NIDA Board. Prem Ramburuth is Professor in International Business at the School of Business, University of New South Wales, Sydney. She has held leadership positions in the Business School as Associate Dean Education, Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs, Head of School of Management, and Foundation Director of the Education Development Centre. She is Chair of the NIDA Academic Board and a member of the NIDA Board of Directors. Prem is also immediate past President of the UNSW Academic Board, and was a member of the University’s Academic Governance Committees and UNSW Council. She serves on the Register of Experts for the Australian Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA); engages in Quality Assurance initiatives at the University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Malaysia and Fijian Higher Education Commission; and has been an active member of the Chairs of Academic Boards and Senates of Australia. Prem is also Chair of the UNSW Africa Strategy Group. 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.

The Hon Richard Refshauge SC

Richard Refshauge SC recently retired as a Judge of the ACT Supreme Court where he had served since 2008. Prior to his appointment, he had been a litigation lawyer in private practice specialising in commercial, criminal, administrative, insolvency and constitutional law in a leading Canberra law firm of which he was Senior Partner. He left that position on appointment as the ACT’s third Director of Public Prosecutions. Richard has had a long involvement in the arts having been a Director of the Arts Council of Australia and President of its ACT Division, member of the Canberra Theatre Trust, and Chair of the Boards of Fortune Theatre Company, the Australian Choreographic Centre and QL2 Dance. He was member and Chair of the ACT Cultural Council for 10 years and recently served on the ACT Cultural Facilities Corporation Board. He has wide interests in welfare, especially in the areas of HIV/AIDS and drug rehabilitation, as well as international development, judicial administration, legal education and the Anglican Church.

John Robinson

John Robinson is a Partner in EY’s Assurance practice with over 20 years’ experience in the media, communications and publishing sectors, John has served as the auditor of a number of not-for-profit entities in the child advocacy and arts sectors, including The Sydney Festival and the Sydney Story Factory. He is also the independent member of the audit and risk committee for the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and was previously the Deputy Chair of the NSW Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. John has had a longstanding interest in the arts with a family dedicated to visual art, performance and music.

Justin Ryan

Justin Ryan, BEc, LLB (Sydney), MBA (Wharton) FFin, FAICD is Director of Quadrant Private Equity since 2011. Prior to this Justin was Chief Executive Officer of Alesco Corporation Limited, an ASX 200 diversified industrial company which he joined in 2004 (and is which now part of Dulux Corporation Limited). Justin has been a Board member of the Benevolent Society since 2008 and is the Chairman of their People Learning and Culture Committee.

Noel Staunton

Noel Staunton, Technical Production (RADA), recently concluded a five year period as Artistic Director of the Brisbane Festival. His previous positions include CEO of Sydney Dance Company, Creative Executive Producer for a range of projects, Executive Producer for The Ring Cycle in Adelaide; Executive Producer for Bazmark Live and Technical Director, Opera Australia. Noel was previously a member of the (then) NIDA Board of Studies, serving from 1999-2002 and from 2005 to 2010.

Sigrid Thornton

Sigrid Thornton has had a significant career in theatre, film and television. In 2015/2016 she joined Anthony Warlow on stage in Fiddler on the Roof after her 2014 stage appearance as Blanche Du Bois in Black Swan's production of A Streetcar Names Desire. Sigrid starred in Simon Philips' production of The Blue Room, touring nationally in extended seasons. She also toured nationally co-starring with Oscar winner Brenda Blethyn in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. Sigrid played 'Desiree' in Sondheim's A Little Night Music with Anthony Warlow for Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne.

In film, Sigrid's credits include George Miller's classic The Man from Snowy River (Fox Classics), The Lighthorsemen (RKO) directed by Simon Wincer, Slate Wyn and Me (Hemdale) and The Man from Snowy River 11 (Disney – Touchstone) and Michael Rymer's Face to Face and Tara Karsian & Andrea Grano's BFF's.

Her television career highlights include the landmark series Seachange, All the Rivers Run, The Boy in the Bush (Channel 4 UK) opposite Kenneth Brannagh, the BBC/ABC co-production The Far Country opposite Michael York and 1915 for BBC/ABC. In 2015 she played Judy Garland in the mini-series Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door. In 2016 she appeared in ABC's The Code alongside Anthony LaPaglia and is starring in the Foxtel / Netflix series Wentworth.

In 2016, Sigrid was appointed as an inaugural director of Scripted Ink, a not for profit organisation that aims to invest in the writer's contribution to the Australian screen industry. Sigrid was a director of the Malthouse Theatre 2010 - 2016 and is currently a board member of the Pegasus foundation, providing scholarships for actors to further their professional development. Sigrid has been appointed twice to the board of Film Victoria and in 1999 was chair of the Victorian Government's Film & Television Taskforce, whose recommendations revitalised the Victorian film and television industry. Sigrid was appointed to the federal government's Commercial Television Production Fund in 1995. She was a founding board director of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, served several terms as a director of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and was patron of Women in Film and Television.

Kip Williams

Kip Williams is one of Australia's most exciting young theatre directors, and Artistic Director at Sydney Theatre Company. He graduated from NIDA in 2010, was made Directing Associate at STC in 2012, and has been Resident Director at STC since 2013.

While at STC Kip has directed many acclaimed productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream and revivals of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, and Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer, for which he won the 2015 Helpmann Award for Best Director of a Play. He staged Caryl Churchill's new play Love and Information, in a co-production with Melbourne's Malthouse Theatre, which garnered him a second Helpmann nomination for Best Director of a Play, as well as nominations for Best Director at both the Sydney Theatre Awards and Melbourne's Green Room Awards. Kip's other productions for STC include The Golden Age, Macbeth, Children of the Sun, Romeo and Juliet, Under Milkwood and Cyrano de Bergerac as Associate Director with Andrew Upton. Across these productions, Kip has directed some of Australia's leading actors including Hugo Weaving, Jacqueline McKenzie, Richard Roxburgh, Justine Clark, John Howard, Robyn Nevin, and Jack Thompson.

In 2017 Kip will direct for the Sydney Theatre Company, the Australian premiere of Lucy Kirkwood's Chimerica; Caryl Churchill's classic Cloud 9, and a reinterpretation of Chekhov's Three Sisters in a new adaptation by Andrew Upton.

Kip has also directed productions for Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse, Sydney Chamber Opera, Tamarama Rock Surfers, National Theatre, Melbourne and Princeton Theatre, New Jersey USA. 

  • Company Secretary: Julia Mant

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