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, project manager and consultant. She is currently Director, Innovation and Development at the Museum of  Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and Chair of the National Institute of  Dramatic Art (NIDA)

During 2013/14, Jenny served as Acting Director and then Special Advisor at 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.

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 $21M in 2011. Jenny 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 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. 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.

Jenny was elected Chair of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in May 2013. She is a Trustee of The Australian Museum in Sydney and also a Board member of the Sydney Orthopedic Research Institute, 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. Jennifer is also a community representative of the Review Panel for the Royal Australian College of Physicians.

From 2009 to 2013, Jenny was Chair of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music based in Townsville.  She was 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.

Suanne Colley

B A [Asian Studies] ANU, M Comm [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 & 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.

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.

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.

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).

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. 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.

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: Suanne Colley 

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