Belvoir Board

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PATTY AKOPIANTZ (Deputy Chair)

Board Patty

Patty is the Deputy Chair of Belvoir.  She has over 20 years of non-Executive Director experience on a range of large corporations including Coles Myer, AMP Limited, Ramsay Healthcare and Energy Australia. Her earlier executive career included working for both McKinsey & Company and David Jones. She has a broad range of philanthropic interests and has served on a number of not-for-profit organisations including the NSW State Library Foundation and the YWCA NSW. She is a member of Chief Executive Women and received the Centenary Medal for Services to Australian Society in Business Leadership.  Patty has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College.

RAJI AMBIKAIRAJAH

Dr Raji Ambikairajah has a PhD in electrical engineering and has spent most of her career in the technology start-up and venture capital sectors.

She is an experienced board director and is currently a Non-Executive Director across a range of boards including the NSW State Library Foundation, UNSW Foundation and the NSW Circular Economy Innovation Network.

Raji is an Ambassador for Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation that provides children in low-income communities with access to education. Before this, Raji was Room to Read’s Sydney Chapter Leader for seven years. Under her leadership, the chapter reached 116,480 children, grew to be the biggest in the world in terms of number of volunteers and was in the top five globally for fundraising.

In 2018, Raji was awarded the NSW Woman of the Year Award in the Community Hero category and in 2019, Raji won the Chief Executive Women’s scholarship to study strategic innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

KATE CHAMPION

Kate was the founding Artistic Director of Force Majeure (2002-15), a revolutionary dance theatre company based in Sydney. She has worked in theatre, dance, film, circus, opera and musical theatre with arts companies and institutes including Belvoir (Under The Influence, Cloudstreet, Food, My Urrwai, A Taste of Honey, Every Brilliant Thing), Sydney Theatre Company (Never Did Me Any Harm, Spring Awakening), STCSA (That Eye The Sky, A View From The Bridge), The English National Opera (The Prisoner, La Strada), Opera Australia (Bliss, The Ring Cycle, La Boheme), The Hayes (Evie May), NIDA (Not Who I Was, Meat Eaters), National Theatre of Parramatta (Swallow) and DV8 Physical Theatre – London (Strange Fish, Happiest Day Of My Life, Can We Afford This). Kate also choreographed the original stage version of Dirty Dancing (Australia, UK, US, Europe).

She has created and performed two critically acclaimed solo shows, Face Value and About Face. As Artistic Director of Force Majeure, Kate directed Same, Same But Different, Tenebrae – Part 1 and 2, Already Elsewhere, The Age I’m In, Not In a Million Years, and Nothing to Lose. Kate has been awarded Helpmann, Green Room and Australian Dance Awards.

SUE DONNELLY

Sue was appointed Executive Director of Belvoir in August of 2017, having first worked at the company as General Manager from 2004 to 2006. She was Executive Director of Queensland Theatre (2012-2017), and Executive Director of the national lobbying and advocacy organisation Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG). With more than 25 years of experience in arts and cultural development, health and social policy, Sue has held a diverse range of senior executive positions including Director of UNSW Foundation, Director of South East Arts (UK), Public Affairs Manager for Sydney Symphony, and Director of Arts Development, Arts NSW. She has consulted and lectured in business development and management, and served on wide-ranging Government advisory boards, funding committees and tribunals, as well as the boards of numerous arts and not-for-profit companies. Sue holds a Master of Social Work with Merit and a Bachelor of Social Studies from the University of Sydney and is an alumnus of the Asialink Leaders’ program. She is also a member of Live Performance Australia’s Executive Council.

JOHANNA FEATHERSTONE

Johanna Featherstone is the Founder and former Artistic Director of Red Room Poetry where she established a national poetry education program for schools and correctional centres in New South Wales. Her poetry has been featured in a range of journals and anthologies, with her second collection forthcoming in 2020. She is currently Director of the Oranges & Sardines Foundation and on the Biennale of Sydney board. Johanna is an honorary associate of the University of Sydney’s School Arts and Media and has judged a number of awards including the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism.

EAMON FLACK

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Eamon is Belvoir’s Artistic Director. He was born in Singapore and grew up in Singapore, Darwin, Brisbane and Cootamundra. He trained as an actor at WAAPA from 2001 to 2003 and has since worked as a director, writer, actor and dramaturg around Australian and overseas, from Milikapiti on the Tiwi Islands to London. For Belvoir, Eamon has directed Counting and Cracking (with Associate Director S. Shakthidharan), Angels in America, The Glass Menagerie, Life of Galileo, Ghosts, Ivanov, BabyteethAs You Like ItThe RoverTwelfth NightThe Blind Giant is Dancing and The End. He was Associate Writer with S. Shakthidharan on Counting and Cracking. He co-adapted Ruby Langford Ginibi’s memoir Don’t Take Your Love to Town with Leah Purcell, and co-devised Beautiful One Day with artists from ILBIJERRI, version 1.0 and Palm Island. His adaptations include Chekhov’s Ivanov, Gorky’s Summerfolk, Sophocles’ Antigone and Ibsen’s Ghosts. Ivanov won four Sydney Theatre Awards including Best Mainstage Production and Best Direction. The Glass Menagerie and Angels in America both won Best Play at the Helpmann Awards. Counting and Cracking won Best Play, Best Direction and Best New Work at the Helpmann Award, and won the Victorian Literary Prize and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Drama.

ALISON KITCHEN

Alison is the National Chairman of KPMG Australia. She is also a member of KPMG’s Global and Regional Boards and is Chair of KPMG’s Global Audit Quality Committee.  In this role Alison is responsible for the overall governance and strategic positioning of KPMG in Australia.

Alison has held a variety of management and governance roles within the partnership, as well as serving as External Audit Partner for a range of major ASX listed companies, 5 of those have been on ASX’s Top 50 listing.

Outside of KPMG Alison has held a number of external board appointments in the not for profit sector across the mining, safety and education sectors and has served as auditor to numerous charitable organisations.

Alison has a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Sheffield.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, England and Wales.  Alison is also a Registered Company auditor and a Member of the Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women.

MICHAEL LYNCH CBE AO

Michael Lynch was Chief Executive of London’s Southbank Centre from 2002 until 2009 and was responsible for the major renovation of Royal Festival Hall and the transformation of the Southbank cultural precinct. Previously, Michael held positions as Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera House, General Manager of the Australia Council and General Manager of the Sydney Theatre Company. From 2011 to 2015 he was Chief Executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District, an ambitious project which will see a huge arts precinct built on the shores of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. Michael is currently Chairman of Circa, Chairman of the Sydney Community Foundation, and a Board Director of Belvoir Theatre and Ted X Sydney.

SAM MEERS AO (Chair)

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Sam is Executive Deputy Chairman of property and investment group the Nelson Meers Group, and Co-founder and Trustee of the Nelson Meers Foundation. Her current board appointments include Chairman of Documentary Australia, Belvoir St Theatre and the Brett Whiteley Foundation; Deputy Chairman of the Federal Government’s Creative Partnerships Australia; a Trustee of the Art Gallery NSW; and a Director of the State Library of NSW Foundation. Sam also sits on advisory boards for the University of Sydney and the Centre for Social Impact at the University of NSW. Sam began her career as a commercial lawyer with Mallesons Stephen Jacques (now King and Wood Mallesons), and her executive career included senior management roles in the media sector. Sam is a member of Chief Executive Women and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

STUART O’BRIEN

Stuart founded Houston in 2011 after previous roles as CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Sydney and 12 years as CEO and partner at Moon Design. Houston, in an exceptional timeframe, has built an unprecedented list of iconic clients with large-scale brand projects. These include the Qantas Group, Caltex Australia, Charles Sturt University, Toyota, Lendlease, NBN, UTS, Macquarie Group and NRMA to name a few. They also host a number of key non-for-profit organisations such as Luke Batty Foundation, Princes Trust Australia and Wayside Chapel. He worked across eight Sydney Theatre Company seasons and four seasons of the Sydney Symphony. Since selling Moon to STW Group (now WPP) in 2008, Stuart has also been an active investor in a number of successful start-ups and digital disruptors including SocietyOne, Prezzee, and ROKT.

MARK WARBURTON

Mark has been working in investment banking for over 30 years in Australia, Asia and Europe. He is a Managing Director and Head of Australia Equity Capital Markets at Bank of America. Prior to this he spent 24 years at Macquarie Group where his roles included Head of Asia Equity Capital Markets and Head of Australia Equity Capital Markets.

Mark was previously Chairman of The Australian Theatre for Young People. He has been a member of Belvoir’s Development Committee since 2013.

Mark has a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University, is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and is a Graduate Member of the Institute of Company Directors.