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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)

Nicholas Moore

Joined the Trust in 22 July 2015

Chair of the Trust. He is serving his first term to 31 December 2017.

Qualifications
BCom, LLB (University of NSW), FCA

Background
Nicholas was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Group in May 2008. He joined Macquarie in 1986 and led the global development of its advisory, funds management, financing and securities businesses. He is now leading the continued global growth of Macquarie Group as it builds on its financial services strengths.

Government and Community Involvement
Chairman of Screen Australia, Chairman of the University of NSW Business School Advisory Council, and a Director of the Centre for Independent Studies.

The Hon. Helen Coonan

Joined the Trust 1 January 2012

Chair of Conservation Council and Member of Visitor Experience Committee. Helen is currently serving her second term to 31 December 2017. She was acting Chair of the Trust from 1 January to 21 July 2015.

Qualifications
BA, LLB (University of Sydney)

Background
Former Senator in the Australian Parliament representing NSW from 1996-2011 and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. Held several Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial portfolios, including Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer. She has served in Cabinet as the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Helen was previously Chair of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, Chair of the Law Foundation and a Director of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. Prior to entering Parliament, Helen worked as a lawyer and mediator in Australia and New York.

Government and Community Involvement
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (Chair), Crown Resorts Foundation (Chair), Obesity Australia Limited (Non-Executive Director), Stone & Chalk (Mentor), and Chief Executive Women (Member).

Other Directorships
Crown Resorts Limited (Non-Executive Director), Snowy Hydro Limited (Non-Executive Director), Aon Risk Services Australia Ltd (Board of Advice), Snowy Retail (Red Energy, Lumo companies) (Chair), GRACosway (Co-Chair and Non-Executive Director), J.P. Morgan Advisory Council (Member). 

Matthew Fuller

Joined the Trust 1 January 2016

Chair of Visitor Experience Committee and Member of Building and Heritage Committee. He is serving his first term to 31 December 2018.

Qualifications
GAICD, FWCMT

Background
Matthew is the Director of the Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo, Regional NSW’s largest, most visited paid tourist attraction, and one that shares several key priorities with the Opera House including: destination development and visitor experience, renewal and investment in a NSW public attraction, work health and safety, along with tourism. Matthew has an extensive career in tourism, hospitality and leisure-related business, both public and privately-owned and has led operations to multiple State and National awards. In 2011 Matthew was awarded as a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Government and Community Involvement
Senior Executive Member of Taronga Conservation Society Australia, NSW Selection Panellist – Land, Commerce and Logistics, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Brenna Hobson

Joined the Trust 1 January 2014

Member of Audit and Risk Committee. She is currently serving her second term to 31 December 2019.

Qualifications
MM (Arts Administration) (University of Technology, Sydney)

Background
Brenna’s career in theatre management and production began in 1994. Since then she has been Production Coordinator and Production Manager at Belvoir, Production Manager at Bangarra Dance Theatre and General Manager at Jigsaw Theatre Company in Canberra. She is currently the Executive Director at Belvoir. As an independent producer, Brenna has produced plays including Vital Organs (B Sharp), The Suitors (Old Fitzroy Theatre) and the documentary With Hearts and Hands.

Other Directorships
Arts on Tour (Board Member), Belvoir (Executive Director), Seymour Centre’s Artistic Advisory Panel (Member), Arts NSW (Peer Assessor), Belvoir St Theatre Limited Board (Secretary), Walsh Bay Precinct Steering Committee (Member).

Chris Knoblanche AM

Joined the Trust 4 October 2013

Chair of Building and Heritage Committee. He is currently serving his second term to 31 December 2019.

Qualifications
BCom (University of Wollongong), ACA, FCPA

Background
Chris served as Board Member and Chair of the Australian Ballet (2001-13). Principal – Advisory & Capital Pty Ltd. Chris was Managing Director and Head of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking Australia & New Zealand (2005-12). He was previously CEO of Andersen Australia, CEO of Andersen Business Consulting Asia Pacific and Regional Managing Director of Deloitte Management Solutions, Asia. Prior to Citigroup, Chris was a Partner in the boutique Investment bank Caliburn Partnership, now Greenhill Caliburn. Chris was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Federal Government for services to business and the arts in 2003. He was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia in 2014 for significant services to arts administration, to the community and to the business and finance sector.

Other Directorships
Norton Rose Fulbright (Advisory Board Member), Enlighten Pty Ltd (Advisory Board), Whistles Fund Management (Board Member), La Caisse de Depot et placement du Quebec (Adviser), I-MED Pty Ltd (Board Member and Chair of Audit & Risk committee), iSelect Ltd (Chairman), Advisory & Capital Pty Ltd (Director), Soils for Life (Outcomes Australia)(Director), Latitude Financial Services (Director), Greencross Limited (Director), Finance Audit Risk Committee of the Environment Protection Authority NSW (Independent Board Member & Chair).

Deborah Mailman

Joined the Trust 18 February 2015

Member of Visitor Experience Committee. She is currently serving her first term to 31 December 2017.

Qualifications
BA (Queensland University of Technology)

Background
Deborah Mailman 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.

Peter Mason AM

Joined the Trust 1 January 2012

Chair of Audit and Risk Committee. He is currently serving his second term to 31 December 2017.

Qualifications
BCom (Hons), MBA , Hon.DBus (University of NSW), FAICD

Background
Peter is Chairman of AusNet Services Ltd, a Director of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel), and a Senior Adviser to UBS Investment Bank. He was Chairman of AMP Limited from 2005-14 (a Director from 2003), Chairman of David Jones Limited from 2013-14 (a Director from 2007), and previously a director of a number of public companies. Peter has been a member of the Council of the University of NSW, a Director of the Children’s Hospital in Sydney and Chairman of the Children’s Hospital Fund, and a Director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (Headspace).

Government and Community Involvement
The Centre for Independent Studies (Chairman), Centre for International Finance and Regulation (Chairman), UBS Australia Foundation (Chairman), The University of New South Wales Foundation (Director), Adara Partners' Panel (Member), The Great Barrier Reef Foundation (Director).

Other Directorships
Taylors Wines (Chairman).

Catherine Powell

Joined the Trust 1 January 2016

Member of Visitor Experience Committee. She is serving her first term to 31 December 2018.

Qualifications
BA (Hons) (Oxford University)

Background
Catherine currently serves as the Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company, Australia and New Zealand. Catherine is responsible for driving the company’s strategy across all business divisions. She has led the development and implementation of multiple Disney consumer activations with organisations such as Tennis Australia, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and Melbourne, the Domain and the State Theatre. Catherine recently has been named President of Euro Disney S.A.S., the management company of Disneyland Resort Paris, and will relocate to France to join the Parks and Resorts team in July.  Catherine was previously based in London and led Disney’s European media distribution unit. Before joining Disney, Catherine worked for BBC Worldwide for seven years, where she held various senior TV sales roles across territories including Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Germany and Spain/Portugal.

Government and Community Involvement
Member of Chief Executive Women.

Jillian Segal AM

Joined the Trust 1 January 2014

Member of Audit and Risk Committee. She is currently serving her second term to 31 December 2019.

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

Background
Jillian has a legal, regulatory and governance background, having been a partner at Allens Linklaters and Deputy Chair at ASIC. She was on the ASX Board (2003-15), was Chair of the Remuneration Committee, a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and Nomination Committee, and a director of ASX Compliance. 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 and UNSW Alumni Award in 2005.

Government and Community Involvement
The Observership Program (Board Member), Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce NSW (Chair), General Sir John Monash Foundation (Chair since 2010, Director since 2008), Council of UNSW Australia (Deputy Chancellor), Board of Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Director), Australian War Memorial Council (Member).

Other Directorships
National Australia Bank Limited (Director). 

Phillip Wolanski AM

Joined the Trust 1 January 2014

Member of Building and Heritage Committee. He is currently serving his second term to 31 December 2019.

Qualifications
BEc (University of Sydney)

Background
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).

Government & Community Involvement
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.

Other Directorships
Governing Committee of the Temora Aviation Museum (Member). 

Sydney Opera House Executive Team

The Sydney 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 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 $250 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 8.2 million annual visitors and the more than 1.5 million people who attend a performance each year.

Fatima Abbas - Director People & Culture

Qualifications: BSc/Psy (Hons), MPsy (Org), MPA

Fatima has executive level experience in human resources management, corporate planning and strategy, and organisational change management. Fatima has been with The Sydney Opera House since October 2016, having previously worked in the financial services (superannuation) industry for several years.

Fatima oversees our human resources, industrial relations, organisational development and learning, and change management teams.

Ian Cashen - Building Director

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.

Natasha Collier - Chief Financial Officer

Qualifications: BCom (University of Western Australia), Professional Year Program – Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

Natasha was appointed in 2014 to the role of Chief Financial Officer at the Opera House, where she is responsible for the technology and finance functions including payroll and procurement. Natasha has 23 years’ experience in the entertainment sector including roles in television production and broadcasting, music promotion and touring, sports and technology, as well as extensive international experience, and Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) foundation training. She has held senior finance roles in government; not-for-profit, private and publicly listed companies; start-ups; and wind-ups. She has had exposure to Australian Stock Exchange and foreign-listed company environments including as public officer.

Michelle Dixon - Director Safety, Security & Risk

Qualifications: BA LLB (Macquarie University), Grad Dip Legal Practice (University of Technology), GAICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors)

Michelle is the Opera House's Director Safety, Security & Risk and General Counsel. Michelle joined the Opera House in 2008 and as General Counsel has led the legal, company secretariat, policy, insurance, government relations and risk functions. In 2015 she also assumed oversight for the Emergency Planning and Response Group along with the safety team. Michelle is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of state and national security advisory groups and risk committees, the Law Society of NSW and the International Association of Venue Managers.

Michelle was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia in 1995 and then practiced in the public and private sectors. Before joining the Opera House Michelle was a Senior Associate at commercial law firm Ebsworth & Ebsworth specialising in international maritime and aviation law, representing clients in domestic and international jurisdications.

Jade McKellar - Director, Visitor Experience

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

Jade studied Science and Commerce with post-graduate studies in Business Management. Jade joined the Opera House in 2013 as General Manager Tours and Retail and was appointed Director, Visitor Experience in October 2015. Jade’s portfolio incorporates Ticketing, Front of House, Food and Beverage, Tourism and Retail.

Jade has 17 years’ experience in Tourism and attraction management and her previous roles include General Manager Sydney Aquarium, General Manager Sydney Tower and Head of Sydney Attractions for Merlin Entertainments Group responsible for the management of six attractions drawing more than 2.5 million paid visitors annually.

Brook Turner - Director, Engagement & Development

Qualifications: BA, LLB (University of Sydney)

Brook joined the Opera House in 2013 in the newly created role of Director, External Relations. Among his responsibilities were oversight of communications, philanthropy, partnerships, access and special events. In 2016 his portfolio was expanded to include marketing. After an early career in law Brook joined Fairfax, where he worked for nearly 25 years. Among many roles he was Cultural Editor of The Australian Financial Review newspaper and Contributing Editor to AFR Magazine, of which he had previously been Editor and Managing Editor. He established the magazine’s signature Power, Design and Wealth issues.

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