Biographical information given below dates from the time of publication of an article.

About A New Approach (ANA)

Australians from every walk of life participate in and benefit from arts, culture and creativity. Australia’s leading arts and culture think tank, A New Approach (ANA) makes this evident through independent research and analysis.

Our work informs discussion, inspires public policy and brings together decision makers and industry leaders around evidence-led ideas and pathways for pragmatic action. Our staff, board, expert advisory and philanthropic partners are driven by a shared vision of a cultural life that emboldens Australia.

Adam Gibson is a Sydney performer, lyricist, musician, and artist whose work covers music, spoken word storytelling, songs, installation art, performance works, sculpting, video work, painting, and photography. His work is fundamentally ‘landscape-based’, being influenced by the land and travel and the sense of being ‘in’ and/or part of different environments, and the stories of the people who inhabit such land, with Australian stories, language, and vernacular turn of phrase being very important. He is lead vocalist for the band The Aerial Maps, who have released three albums, plus he has released two albums with Adam Gibson and the Ark-Ark Birds. The most recent Aerial Maps album, Intimate Hinterland, was released in late 2021 to critical acclaim.

Adam Simmons redefines the term ‘multi-instrumentalist’, stretching the boundaries of modern composition and infusing a sense of childlike wonder and playfulness into musical art forms better known for their gravitas. An award-winning and world-renowned musician, he has a reputation as one of Australia's most prolific and eclectic musical artists, appearing on festival stages and recordings with some of the world’s finest classical and jazz musicians. He was recently named co-artistic director for the 2017 Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival and participated in major European jazz festivals, where he helped facilitate new performance opportunities for Australian musicians.

Entertainment Assist and the Victoria University

Alan Harvey is Winthrop Professor of Neuroscience at the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, University of Western Australia. He was born in London, UK. He has BA and MA from the University of Cambridge, PhD in visual neurophysiology from the Australian National University, Canberra. After time in the USA and at Flinders University in Adelaide, Alan Harvey came to UWA in 1984 and was promoted to Professor in 2001. As well as his active research in a broad range of topics including methods of repairing the central nervous system and caring for Alzheimer's disease, he has an interest in the evolution and neuroscience of music and is beginning to publish in that field (UWA staff profile accessed March 2014).

Alessandra Pucci obtained degrees in science from Pisa and Florence universities, a PhD. (medical research) from The University of Sydney; Biotechnology pioneer and entrepreneur; Business Woman of the Year 1986; AO for services to Science and Industry; Centenary Medal; Member of Science and Technology Councils, including the one attached to the PM&C; Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering; Author of “The Scientist: A short Essay and Two Stories (2012) and “DEVOLUTION: The Young Self in the Face of Technology” (2018).

Alex Masso manages MCA's Music in Communities Network. He is a Sydney-based drummer, educator, advocate and managed the events program at Wollongong Conservatorium of Music before joining MCA in 2012. Alex plays with The Vampires, Slide Albatross, Kinetic Jazz Orchestra, The Splinter Orchestra, and others.

University of Melbourne

Alexandra Wake is the Program Manager, Journalism, RMIT University. Before becoming an academic, Alexandra Wake was a senior journalist and trainer with the ABC in the 1990s. To maintain her industry skills as a journalist while working as an academic, Alex worked as a freelance journalist in the ABC’s international division between 2008-2015

Pianist and composer Alister Spence is acknowledged as a significant contributor In contemporary original jazz and improvised music in Australia.

The Alister Spence Trio with Lloyd Swanton (the Necks) and Toby Hall (ex Mike Nock trio) has enjoyed critical acclaim both nationally and internationally, being nominated twice for Best Australian Jazz Album at the ARIA Awards (2004/2007). The trio’s most recent CD, Not Everything but Enough was voted in ‘Top 10 Jazz Albums 2017’ in Music Magazine, Japan, and also received an ‘Honorary Mention, Best of 2017’ in the New York City Jazz Record.

He is a founding member of Clarion Fracture Zone, Wanderlust and The Australian Art Orchestra.

Alister has toured extensively over the last 25 years, performing at major festivals and clubs in Australia, and also in countries such as U.S.A., Canada, Japan, U.K, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, Russia, India, China and Taiwan.

Since 2008 Alister has toured and recorded with fellow pianist/composer Satoko Fujii. He has performed and recorded duo projects since 2009 with Scottish sax player Raymond MacDonald (Stepping Between the Shadows, Rufus Records, 2012). Everything Here is Possible, recorded with US pianist Myra Melford, was awarded an APRA/AMCOS Art Music Award for ‘Excellence in Jazz’ in 2014). In 2014 Sensaround (Spence, MacDonald, Ahmad) launched their electro-acoustic trio and released Isotropes: followed up byTravelogue in 2016. In 2015 Alister released Begin with Joe Wlliamson and Christopher Cantillo (double bass and drums, Sweden). Begin was nominated for an APRA/AMCOS Art Music Award 2015.

Alister Spence in a Lecturer in Music at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Allan Patience is a Principal Fellow in Political Science at the University of Melbourne.

Amanda Belton is a data creative working with education and arts researchers to visualise research information. She works with playful approaches and empathetic design principles to communicate research data visually into the digital realm. Amanda’s work combines an obsession with gifs, a keen interest in animation and mixed reality with interactive information design. Amanda is on Twitter @DataCreative

Ameena Payne teaches within the disciplines of social science and business in both higher education and vocational education at Swinburne Online. She is a fellow of Advance Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE) and the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA). For any further discussion, Ameena can be contacted at or on Twitter – @ameenalpayne


Andrea Keller was born of Czech parents. A pianist and composer, Andrea grew up in Sydney, attending the Conservatorium of Music High School. Since moving to Melbourne in 1993 where she attended the Victorian College of the Arts studying improvisation, she has been dedicated to the performance and creation of contemporary, original jazz and improvised music. Her work has been recognised through three ARIA Awards, four Australian Jazz Bell Awards, an Art Music Award, and fellowships from the Freedman Foundation and the Australia Council. She is the mother of three children and a sessional staff member at the University of Melbourne’s faculty of VCA and MCM, Melbourne Polytechnic and Monash University.

Melbourne-born musician Andrew Byrne has lived in New York for more than two decades. He is Carnegie Hall's Director, Festivals and Special Projects. As a composer and an arts programmer at Carnegie Hall, he has a unique perspective on the arts scene in the city. His letters from New York Letters are published monthly on the Knowledge Base. See archive at New York Letters for details.

Andrew J. Martin, Scientia Professor and Professor of Educational Psychology, UNSW


School of English, Media and Performing Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Andrew Snell was born in Taunton, Somerset, and started playing trombone at the age of 10. After completing tertiary study he was offered the position of Bass Trombone with the world-renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

Leaving Grimethorpe in 2002, after 11 years as a member, Andrew emigrated to New Zealand where he was engaged as Musical Director with Waitakere City ‘Trusts’ Brass. Since leaving NZ for Australia in 2004 he has worked as Lecturer in Brass and Musicianship at Charles Darwin University, Orchestra Manager for the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and as Chief Executive Officer of the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music. In October 2013 he took up the position of Managing Director of Victorian Opera. Andrew is also currently Musical Director of Darebin City Brass - Preston Band.

Prof Andy Arthurs, Queensland University of Technology.

Angelina Hurley is an Aboriginal woman from Brisbane, Australia. Her heritage is of Jagera, Gooreng Gooreng, Mununjali, Birriah and Kamilaroi descent. She is the daughter of renowned Aboriginal visual artist Ron Hurley. Her writing debuted with her short film Aunty Maggie and the Womba Wakgun, 2009. A Fulbright Indigenous Scholar in 2011, she’s undertaking a PhD at Griffith University, entitled Pointing the Funny Bone: Blak Comedy and Aboriginal Cultural Perspectives on Humour, and writing an Aboriginal comedy television series. Angelina was also co-host of the popular radio show Wild Black Women on Brisbane’s 98.9fms Let’s Talk Program.

Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Canberra. Specialising in how neuroscience offers a better understanding of the human brain's structures and functions, focusing on music education.