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Sydney Symphony Orchestra performs on the renewed Concert Hall stage
Sydney Symphony Orchestra performs on the renewed Concert Hall stage Image: Daniel Boud

Our People

Sydney Opera House is a statutory body established under Sydney Opera House Trust Act, 1961, and operates as one of the State's cultural institutions within the Arts portfolio. The Opera House is managed by a Trust and an Executive team.

The Sydney Opera House Trust

The Sydney Opera House Trust consists of 10 members appointed by the Governor on the nomination of the Minister for the Arts. A Trustee holds office for three years and is eligible for reappointment for no more than three consecutive terms. The Trustees must include at least two persons who have knowledge of, or experience in the performing arts. 

The Trust’s objectives are:

  • To administer, care for, control, manage and maintain the Sydney Opera House building and site
  • To manage and administer the site as an arts centre and meeting place
  • To promote artistic taste and achievement in all branches of the performing art
  • To foster scientific research into and to encourage the development of new forms of entertainment and presentation (excerpt from Sydney Opera House Trust Act, 1961)
Lucy Turnbull

Lucy Turnbull AO

Joined the Trust on 1 January 2021 as Chair. She is serving her first term to 31 December 2023.

Qualifications: MBA (University of NSW), LLB (University of Sydney)

Lucy is an urbanist, businesswoman and philanthropist with a longstanding interest in cities and technological and social innovation. From 2015-20, she was the inaugural Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, tasked by the NSW Government to assist in delivering strong and effective strategic planning for metropolitan Sydney. Lucy was the first female Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney from 2003-04 and in 2011 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to the community, local government and business. She has served as a board member of multiple not-for-profit cultural and not for profit institutions.

The University of NSW awarded Lucy an honorary Doctorate of Business in 2012 and appointed her an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Built Environment in 2016. In 2017, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Western Sydney University for her substantial and sustained service and contribution to the University and Greater Western Sydney region.

Chris Knoblanche

The Hon. Bruce Baird AM

Joined the Trust 1 January 2020 and is serving his first term to 31 December 2022.
He is a Member of the Visitor Experience Committee.

Qualifications: BA (Sydney), MBA (Melbourne University), PhD (Honorary – University of Newcastle), GAICD

Bruce has extensive leadership experience in tourism, business and infrastructure. He is Chair of Business Events Sydney and the Kamay 2020 Project. He is Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of Screen Producers Australia, Deputy Chair of the National Apology Foundation and Acting Chair of the Tourism and Transport Forum (previous Chair 2008-14). He is a Board Member of Cubic Transport Systems International Advisory Board and the Heart Research Institute. He was previously a Board Member of the Sydney Theatre Company (2012-18) and Managing Director of Tourism Council Australia (1995-98). Bruce had a lengthy career in NSW (1984-95) and federal (1998-2007) politics. In NSW, his Ministerial portfolios included Tourism, Transport, Roads and Sydney’s Olympic Bid. In 2007, he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia, and to the community of NSW through a range of business, tourism and welfare organisations.

David Campbell OAM

David Campbell OAM

Joined the Trust on 1 January 2022 and is serving his first term to 31 December 2024.

David is a highly accomplished singer, stage performer and television/radio presenter. He was a founding member of the Hayes Theatre Co and has served as Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. He has won four Helpmann awards, as well as ARIA and Sydney Theatre awards. David co-hosts the Nine Network’s national Today Extra show, as well as the annual Carols by Candlelight broadcast. In 2019, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to entertainment and the arts.

Michael Ebeid

Michael Ebeid AM

Joined the Trust 1 January 2018 and is serving his second term to 31 December 2023.
He is Chair of the Visitor Experience Committee and a Member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Qualifications: BBus (Charles Sturt University)

Michael is a strategically focused leader with a 30-year career across the technology, telecommunications and media sectors. He has a successful track record in leading organisational transformation and is passionate about workplace culture, leadership and diversity. In 2017, Michael was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the broadcast media and multicultural affairs and named CEO of the Year at CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards.

He was previously Group Executive, Telstra Enterprise (2018-20). In this role, he was responsible for revenues in excess of $8 billion and for Telstra Enterprise’s international operations, with about 3,500 people in 20 countries and the largest subsea cable network in the Asia-Pacific region.

Prior to Telstra, Michael was the CEO and Managing Director of SBS (2011-18), where he significantly evolved the public broadcaster's portfolio with four distinctive TV channels, an extensive in-language radio offering and new market-leading digital services like SBS On Demand.

Kathryn Greiner

Kathryn Greiner AO

Joined the Trust 1 January 2018 and is serving her second term to 31 December 2023. She is a Member of the Visitor Experience Committee. 

Qualifications: BSocWk (University of NSW), LittD hc (University of NSW)

Kathryn has held a wide range of leadership positions in public and private companies, the government sector and non-profit organisations. She has participated in or led education inquiries (including the Gonski Review and NSW Catholic Funding Review) and led a review into the NSW retirement village sector. Kathryn’s professional career has included social work and early childhood services, as well as media roles at Radio 2UE and Channel 10. Kathryn was an elected Councillor to the Sydney City Council from 1995-2004. In June 2001, she was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to early childhood education, philanthropy and local government in Sydney.

Kathryn is Chair of Paediatrio Ltd, Pennington Institute, Ministerial Advisory Council on Aging, Lifestart Co-op Ltd. She is a Director of Paul Ramsay Foundation, the Menzies Foundation and Relationships Australia (NSW).

Deborah Mailman

Deborah Mailman AM

Joined the Trust 18 February 2015 and is serving her third term to 31 December 2023. She is a Member of the Visitor Experience Committee.

Qualifications: BA (Queensland University of Technology)

Deborah is one of Australia’s most highly respected actors. Her career in the performing arts began in 1992. Since then she has worked extensively in theatre, television and film, performing in productions for the Actors Company for the Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir St Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Melbourne Theatre Company, Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts, La Boite Theatre and Queensland Theatre Company, as well as having toured nationally and internationally. Deborah’s work has been recognised with many awards, including Helpmann, AACTA, Logie, AFI and Deadly awards. She was NAIDOC Person of the Year in 2003. Deborah was awarded an Order of Australia medal for her significant service to the performing arts as an actor, role model for Indigenous performers and to the community. 

Kevin McCann AO

Joined the Trust 1 January 2019 and is serving his second term to 31 December 2023.
He is a Member of the Audit & Risk Committee.

Qualifications: BA, LLB (Hons) (Sydney University), LLM (Harvard University), FAICD

Kevin is Chair of Telix Pharmaceuticals and China Matters. He is a Presiding Pro Chancellor of the University of Sydney as well as a Member of Champions of Change, the Council of Barker College and the Tennis Australia Nomination Committee. Kevin is a Director or the Origin Foundation Pty Limited, Sydney Harbour Conservancy Limited, the Australian Haydn Ensemble and E & P Financial Group. He is a former Chairman of Macquarie Group Limited and Macquarie Bank Limited, Origin Energy Limited, Healthscope Limited and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. Kevin was a Partner of solicitors Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens) and Chairman from 1995 to 2004. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the law, business and the community in 2005.

Kylie Rampa

Kylie Rampa

Joined the Trust 1 January 2018 and is serving her second term to 31 December 2023. She is Chair of the Building & Heritage Committee.

Qualifications: BBus (Queensland University of Technology)

Kylie has more than 25 years of experience across the real estate sector, having held senior positions throughout Australia and the US in funds management, investment banking, real estate asset management and development. Kylie commenced as the Chief Executive Office of QIC in April 2022. Prior to joining QIC, Kylie was Group Head of Investments at Lendlease, and a member of the global leadership team and global investment committee, with responsibility for driving the group’s strategy to grow Lendlease’s funds under management and strategic capital partnerships. Before joining Lendlease, Kylie was CEO of the Gandel Group and held a variety of senior roles in Macquarie Group, AMP and Schroders.

Kylie is Director and Vice-President of Property Council of Australia and Director of the Committee for Sydney.

jillian segal

Jillian Segal AO

Joined the Trust 1 January 2014 and is serving her third term to 31 December 2022. She is Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and Development Fund.

Qualifications: BA, LLB (University of NSW), LLM (Harvard University), FAICD

Jillian has a legal, regulatory and governance background, having been a partner at Allens Linklaters and Deputy Chair at ASIC. She was on the NAB Board (2004-16), on the ASX Board (2003-15), and a director of ASX Compliance. Jillian was a member of the Australian War Memorial Council (2014-17) and was Deputy Chancellor of the Council of UNSW Australia (2010-19).

Jillian has a strong commitment to social impact and philanthropy and is involved with a wide range of community organisations: Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce NSW (Chair); General Sir John Monash Foundation (Chair), Executive Council of Australian Jewry (President); Board of Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Director); The Grattan Institute (Director); International Board of the Weizmann Institute of Science (Member).

Jillian is currently a Director of Rabobank Australia Limited and Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA). She is a member of the Council of the Order of Australia. She has also served as a member of the Federal Government’s Remuneration Tribunal (2010-14), President of the Administrative Review Council (2005-09), and a member of the Major Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council (2002-08).

Jillian received the Centenary Medal in 2003, Member of the Order of Australia in 2005, UNSW Alumni Award in 2005 and Officer of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Phillip Wolanski

Phillip Wolanski AM

Joined the Trust 1 January 2014 and is serving his third term to 31 December 2022.
He is Chair of the Conservation Council and a Member of the Building & Heritage Committee. 

Qualifications: BEc (University of Sydney)

Phillip is the Managing Director of Denwol Group, a property development and investment company. He was a Director of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (2001-07) and served on the Sydney Opera House Trust Library Committee for a number of years before becoming its Chairman (1992-97). Phillip was a Board Member and the Vice-President of Hakoah Club (1997-2006), Director of Football Federation Australia Limited (2003-15) and Head of Delegation for the Socceroos (2004-14).

Phillip was awarded an Order of Australia in the General Division in 2008 for service to the community through executive roles and philanthropic contributions to a range of arts, sporting and cultural organisations. In addition to his commitment to the Wolanski Foundation, in recent years he has provided financial support to the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney Opera House and several other community and cultural organisations.

Phillip is a retired member of the Governing Committee of the Temora Aviation Museum 

Sydney Opera House Executive Team

The Sydney Opera House Executive Team works in partnership with the Trust and is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring the organisational strategy. The Executive Team comprises portfolio directors working to the Chief Executive Officer.

Louise Herron

Louise Herron AM - CEO

Qualifications: BA, LLB (Sydney University), LLM (London University); Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors

Louise Herron was appointed CEO of the Sydney Opera House in 2012, having previously been a lawyer and corporate adviser. She was chair of Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre for 10 years. Louise has led development of the Opera House’s Renewal program to ensure this World Heritage-listed icon and one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres meets the needs and expectations of 21st-century artists, audiences and visitors.

Stage 1 of Renewal includes more than $275 million in capital works to upgrade performance halls and open new spaces to the public as well as improving the artistic and visitor experiences for the Opera House’s 10.9 million annual visitors and the more than 1.5 million people who attend a performance each year.

Fiona Winning

Fiona Winning - Director, Programming

Qualifications: BA (University of Queensland)

Fiona has had a diverse career in independent and commercial performing arts across contemporary performance, theatre, dance and festivals. She was Sydney Festival Head of Programming from 2012 to 2017, presenting works by inspirational Australian and international artists in venues across the city. Previously, Fiona worked as a dramaturge and producer in contemporary arts, curating the Australian Theatre Forum in 2011 and co-convening the Bundanon Trust’s annual Siteworks event in 2010-11.

From 1999 to 2008, Fiona was Director of Performance Space, a national contemporary arts hub based in Sydney. In this role, she collaborated with artists and communities to conceive and produce events in theatres, galleries and public spaces, as well as developing a range of festival, training and residency programs. She was instrumental in the development of Carriageworks, collaborating with the arts sector, Arts NSW and architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. Fiona is also a lecturer and co-designer of NIDA’s landmark Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) course.

Hannah Mason

Hannah Mason - Director Production & Events

Qualifications: BA Hons (University of Cardiff) 

Hannah joined the Sydney Opera House in 2021 as the Project Lead for the Opera House’s 50th anniversary, and in 2022 was appointed Director, Production & Events. Her portfolio includes Venue & Event Sales, Production Services, Event Operations & Planning and Recording & Broadcast.

Hannah has more than 30 years’ experience across the arts, talent management, digital marketing, and production and stage management fields. From 2015 to 2021 Hannah was General Manager at Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (a Sydney Opera House resident company) and her earlier roles have included Group General Manager at talent management company, Artist & Entertainment Group, General Manager at web and digital marketing agency, The Web Showroom. Prior to emigrating to Australia, Hannah spent 10 years working in stage and technical production management roles in the UK, including London’s West End.

Hannah was a non-executive director of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs from 2011 to 2015 and is a current board member of Ensemble Offspring.

Jade McKellar

Jade McKellar - Chief Customer Officer

Qualifications: BSc (University of Sydney), BComm (Macquarie University), Post Graduate Certificate, Business Practice (Kingston University, London)

Jade was appointed Chief Customer Officer in January 2022 to drive exceptional end-to-end customer experience and strategy spanning all customer touchpoints.

As Chief Customer Officer, Jade is responsible for extensive tour operations, ticketing, visitor services, access, retail, and the Opera House’s award-winning bars and restaurants. She also leads marketing and communications for Australia’s most valuable brand.

Jade first joined the Opera House in 2013 and has held several senior positions including General Manager, Tours and Retail, and Director, Visitor Experience.

Before Sydney Opera House, Jade’s 20-year career in tourism, attraction management and customer experience has included roles as the General Manager, Sydney Aquarium and General Manager, Sydney Tower, before being appointed Head of Sydney Attractions for Merlin Entertainments Group where her responsibility broadened to include the management of six attractions drawing more than 2.5 million paid visitors annually.

Since 2014, Jade has served as a councillor on the Tourism Industry Councillor, is a founding member of the Sydney Visitor Collective, and a member of the 24 Hour Economy Advisory Group (Creative Industries). 

Portrait of Jessica Gooch facing the camera. She wears thick-framed black reading glasses and has her hands on her hips

Jessica Gooch – Director, Strategic Engagement

Qualifications: BA (University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne), DELF (École Suisse International Paris) 

After joining the Opera House in 2015, Jess worked in several senior communications roles before being appointed Acting Director, Engagement in June 2020, overseeing the marketing, communications and strategic events teams during a time of significant challenge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a newly created role, Jess leads strategic engagement activities as the Opera House approaches the end of its Decade of Renewal and milestone 50th anniversary year. This includes championing the Opera House’s commitment to the UN Global Goals and to inspiring positive change in areas including: environmental sustainability; diversity, inclusion and belonging; accessibility; reconciliation; and education.

During her career, Jess has worked in London and Sydney with a wide range of businesses, from world-renowned cultural institutions and multinationals to challenger brands. Before joining the Opera House, Jess led communications for TEDxSydney and was instrumental in establishing one of Australia’s fastest-growing independent PR agencies, Fuel Communications, now part of the HerdMSL group. Jess’ work has won awards from the Public Relations Institute of Australia, the B2B Marketing Awards in the UK and the prestigious international Cannes Lions.

Ian Cashen

Ian Cashen - Executive Director, Building, Safety & Security

Qualifications: BEng (Civil) (University of Wollongong)

With formal training as a civil engineer, Ian has more than 20 years’ experience in construction and asset management. Ian’s experience spans the asset lifecycle including the development of strategies, planning and delivery of capital projects, and operations and maintenance management.

Ian joined the Sydney Opera House in 2016 after 12 years with infrastructure advisory firm Evans & Peck (now known as Advisian). Ian was a Principal of the firm responsible for providing a range of high value advisory services to clients as well managing the operations of the NSW branch comprising of 70 consulting staff.

Ian’s earlier career included experience in design and project management of high profile projects including a number of the Sydney Olympics venues. With this as a foundation Ian developed broader expertise, fulfilling leadership roles for delivery of major projects as well as reform initiatives for improving operations and maintenance of major assets.

Jon Blackburn - Executive Director, Corporate Services & CFO

Qualifications: BBus (Kuring-gai CAE), Member Institute Chartered Accountants

Jon joined in the role of Chief Financial Officer in November 2017 and was appointed Executive Director Corporate Services in September 2018.  He is responsible for the finance, technology, legal, and enterprise risk and program management teams delivering corporate services across the Opera House.

Jon has over 30 years global experience in the financial, property and professional services sectors. After starting his career at Price Waterhouse he moved into financial services with senior roles at Macquarie Bank and later CFO for Lloyds Bank businesses in Asia. Most recently he was the global CFO at Unispace, a family owned global design and build services business.

Hugh Lamberton – Director, Office of the CEO

Qualifications: BA Hons (University of Queensland)

Hugh joined the Opera House in 2013 as Head of Strategic Communications, before becoming Executive Officer in 2014 and Director, Office of the CEO in 2018. The role supports the CEO, Executive Team and broader organisation in the development and achievement of strategic priorities and coordination of day-to-day operations, and oversees communications between management and the Board. His previous experience included 20 years as a senior journalist, including at The Australian Financial Review and The Australian, as well as campaign and lobbying work in the US. He was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University.

Kya Blondin – Executive Director, People & Government

Qualifications: BA Communications (University of Technology Sydney), Juris Doctor (Hons) (University of NSW)

Kya joined the Opera House in 2012 as Head of the CEO’s Office and Government Relations and later took on responsibility for renewal stakeholders, policy, planning and heritage before being appointed Director, People and Government in 2018. Kya leads the development and implementation of people strategy, and oversees the Opera House’s relationship with government, corporate policy development, management of the planning and heritage framework and the internal audit function.

Kya started her career in the media and screen sectors and has more than 16 years’ experience in arts-based public sector entities, including in governance and policy, stakeholder management, government relations, and screen-based production, audience and industry development.

Jemille King – General Counsel and Director, Risk

Qualifications: BLegS (Macquarie University), LLM (University of Technology, Sydney), AMICDA

Jemille has more than 25 years legal practice experience spanning private practice and senior inhouse legal roles, including at Qantas Airways Limited and the Council of the City of Sydney.

Jemille joined the Sydney Opera House in 2015 as Head of Legal, became General Counsel in 2018 and in 2020 was appointed General Counsel and Director, Risk.  She is responsible for the legal, enterprise risk, program management and internal audit teams.

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