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Sydney Festival Board


His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd),
Governor of New South Wales


Chair - Sam Weiss

Sam is Chairman of Altium Limited, a global provider of software for electronics design, 3PLearning, the innovative developer of the online learning program Mathletics, and a Non-Executive Director of Oroton Group Limited, Breville Group Limited and Ensogo Limited.

He is a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of The Sydney Institute.

Sam is passionate about education, broadening access to the performing arts, reducing disadvantage in Australia and increasing the competitiveness of Australian organisations in global markets.

Prof. Larissa Behrendt

Professor of Law and Director of Research
University of Technology, Sydney

Prof. Larissa Behrendt is the Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney.

She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. Her most recent book is Indigenous Australia for Dummies. Larissa wrote and directed the feature film, Innocence Betrayed and has written and produced several short films.

Larissa won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel Home. Her second novel, Legacy, won a Victorian Premiers Literary Award. She is the former Chair of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and a board member of NSW Museums and Galleries.

She is the Ambassador of the Guwara Aboriginal Campus at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney and a board member of the Sydney Story Factory, a literacy program in Redfern. She was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year.

David Borger
Western Sydney Director
Sydney Business Chamber

David was appointed by the Chamber in 2012 to advocate for the needs of leading businesses in the Western Sydney area.

In this role David sets the policy agenda by promoting discussion on issues that contribute to economic activity and growth in Western Sydney. He has been instrumental in the Badgerys Creek Airport, Powerhouse to Parramatta, and Sydney Olympic Park to Parramatta Light Rail advocacy conversations.

Prior to this, he served as and Minister for Roads, Minister assisting the Minister for Transport and Roads in the NSW Government, Minister for Housing, as well as Minister for Western Sydney in the NSW government.

Paddy Carney
Partner - Retail and Consumer
PwC Australia

Paddy is a registered company auditor, a partner at PwC and is also a member of its Board of Partners in Australia. She has over 20 years' financial experience with PwC in the UK and Australia across a broad range of clients with a focus on the retail and consumer sector. She is also a Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW and a governor of the Sir David Martin Foundation.

Angela Clark
Director, Digital Network
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Angela Clark is currently Director, Digital Network at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Angela joined the ABC Executive as Director of the Innovation division in March 2012. Angela started her career as an investment analyst before joining JCDecaux Australia at 26 years old to become its first Managing Director and launching the company's operations across four states. Seven years later Angela joined Macquarie Radio Network as CEO, leading the company for five years before leaving radio to pursue her passion for digital media, founding a number of start-ups in citizen powered and local news. Angela has previously held Directorships across arts, media and sporting organisations including; South Sydney Football Club, Biennale of Sydney, Bundanon Trust, Performing Lines and Commercial Radio Australia.

Angela holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.

Simon Corah
Growth Mantra

Simon joined Saatchi & Saatchi as a graduate in 1983 and spent 5 years in London on a wide range of clients.

Simon moved to the Sydney agency as a senior executive in 1987, followed by MD/CEO roles in Taiwan and Ireland, returning to Australia to found M&C Saatchi in May 1995, as CEO.From 1995-2007 Simon grew the business into a top 3 Australian agency with 275 staff, income over $50 million and a blue chip client list.

Simon set up Growth Mantra in 2007, a boutique strategy consultancy focused on growth. Simon is married to Monique and has three sons, Nicholas, Marcus and Oscar.

Darren Dale
Blackfella Films

Since joining Blackfella Films in 2000, Darren has produced many award winning productions including the landmark multi-platform history series First Australians, feature documentary The Tall Man, factual series First Contact, and the tele-movie Mabo commissioned to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the landmark High Court decision.

In collaboration with acclaimed UK writer Jimmy McGovern, Darren has also produced two series of the Logie Award-winning Redfern Now for ABC1, with a final tele-movie to screen in 2015.

He is currently Executive Producer on the factual series DNA Nation for SBS and the ABC3 teen drama series Ready for This.

Darren currently serves on the board of Screen NSW and is the Deputy Chair of the Council of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), and in 2012 was the recipient of the prestigious AFTRS Honorary Degree.

The Hon. Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer AM

Born in Sydney, Ashley Dawson-Damer (Mann) graduated from Sydney University in Economics. She was married to the late Hon. John Dawson-Damer and has two children. She has a keen interest in the Arts and is a former board member of the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

She is currently a Trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW and a Director of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation where she was previously a Council Board Member. Ashley is a Director of Opera Australia Capital Fund and supports other Arts, medical and educational projects.

Her published works are Ripe Energy and The Particular Woman.

Diana Eilert

Diana Eilert is a professional non-executive director. She is currently a director of ASX listed companies Veda and Navitas as well AMP Life, Networks NSW (the “poles and wires”) and Queensland Urban Utilites (water). Diana also has extensive executive experience running large businesses - such as Suncorp’s entire insurance business - as well as recent digital experience gained in her 3 years with Newscorp where she was also a director of real-estate.com.au.

Diana has a long held enthusiasm for the Sydney Festival and in her executive career was one of the major sponsors under the GIO brand.

David Kirk
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Bailador Investment Management

David is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Bailador Investment Management and Chairman of listed companies, Bailador Technology Investments, Trade Me and Kathmandu. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Media. His previous experience also includes a period as an advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. He is currently the Chairman of Trustees of Sydney Grammar School and sits on a number of other Boards and charitable organisations.

David enjoyed a highly successful rugby career and captained the All Blacks to win the World Cup in 1987. He was awarded an MBE in 1987 and now lives in Sydney with his wife and three sons.

Matthew Melhuish
Enero Group

Matthew has over 30 years' experience in the advertising and marketing industry across a range of roles in Australia and the UK. Prior to Enero, Matthew was a founding partner of BMF and was CEO for 15 years from its inception through to BMF being named as ‘Agency of the Decade'.

Matthew was Chairman of the EFFIE Advertising Effectiveness Awards for 10 years and spent 15 years as a National Board member of the peak industry body, The Communications Council and the Advertising Federation of Australia (AFA). He also served as National Chairman of the AFA. Matthew was a Board member of the international aid organisation Médecins San Frontiérs/Doctors without Borders (MSF) for 10 years.


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