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 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.

President, Kuringgai Community Orchestra.

Anne Cawrse is an Adelaide-based composer of acoustic orchestral, chamber and vocal music.

She completed her PhD in Composition in 2008 at the University of Adelaide, having studied primarily with Graeme Koehne. Anne’s penchant for text setting has made her the most commissioned composer of the award-winning Adelaide Chamber Singers (five commissions since 2005) and a highly regarded art song composer. Recent commissions include works for the Australian String Quartet, the Benaud Trio, Sharon and Slava Grigoryan, Claire Edwardes, Katie Noonan (for the Australian Vocal Ensemble), Bowerbird Collective, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, who premiered her Cor Anglais Concerto The Rest Is Silence in June.

Anne has twice been a finalist in the APRA/AMC Classical Music Awards, winning the State award in 2018. She will be self-releasing an album of her chamber works in the second half of 2021.

Director of Music, Melbourne High School; private studio teacher

Anthony Brandt is Associate Professor of Composing and Theory and Chair of Composition at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, Texas.

Anthony Linden Jones composes concert pieces, film scores, songs, music for theatre and dance, and electronic works. He has written works for solo instruments up to full orchestra and written songs in many genres. As a performer, he covers broad range of genres on violin, voice, guitar, double bass, keyboards and percussion. Anthony is a coordinator of the Hawkesbury National Fiddle Festival, and formed the Fiddlefest String Quartet. He conducts the Chorella a cappella choir, based in the Hawkesbury region on the northwest fringe of Sydney, with an interest in Renaissance, folk and gospel music. He also directs world music vocal ensembles.

National President, Australian Society for Music Education

Art Phillips is a music composer, guitarist, record producer, arranger, orchestrator and musical director - and delivers original music with a distinctive approach to enhance the stories you want to tell.

Art is also owner and director of 101 Music Pty Ltd - a creative production music label.

Asher Christophers is a passionate musician & environmentalist, who runs (eco CD packaging & printing). Asher is also a LED lighting specialist for (energy solutions) & co-founder of - a NPO founded to make the music industry more sustainable.

Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet is Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and Deputy Director (Research) at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Australia. She has worked on a range of national and international projects in community music, arts-based service learning with Australian First Peoples, intercultural community arts, and arts programs in prison. Many of these projects have been realised in partnership with a wide range of NGOs, arts and community organizations, and colleagues across Australia and the Asia Pacific. She has worked on four successive ARC Linkage projects, led a major OLT Innovation and Development project, secured over a million dollars in research funding, and produced well over a 100 research outputs. In 2014 she was awarded the Australian University Teacher of the Year. She was the Co-Chair of the International Society for Music Education’s Community Music Activities Commission, co-founder of the Asia Pacific Community Music Network, and serves on the Board of Music Australia. She is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Community Music and serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Music Education – Practice. As a community music facilitator she has conducted bands, orchestras, choirs, and jazz ensembles from Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. To view her latest work, visit:

Commonwealth’s arts funding and policy advisory authority.

Australian national government arts funding and policy agency

Aviva Endean is an artist dedicated to fostering a deep engagement with sound and music, with the hope that attentive listening can connect people with each other and their environment. She works as a composer, clarinettist, improviser, and performance-maker, and creates unusual, spatially engaged, and participatory contexts for listening.

Her debut solo album cinder : ember : ashes was released in 2018 to critical acclaim, with reviews speaking to Aviva’s innovation and virtuosity, and describing the work as ‘captivating, ‘sophisticated’, ‘miraculous’ & ‘trance-inducing’.

Aviva has been awarded a Greenroom Award for sound design for Token Armies (Chunky Move), the Freedman Classical Fellowship, The APRA/AMCOS Art Music Fund, and was a finalist for the Melbourne Prize 2019. She was the inaugural recipient of the Australian Art Orchestra’s Pathfinders Associate Artist position, and is in residence at the Peggy Glanville-Hicks composer’s house in 2021.

Azeb Amha is a Researcher, language and culture in southwest Ethiopia, Leiden University and has received funding from Volkswagen Foundation under its Documentation of Endangered Languages (DoBeS) programme.

Barney McAll is a Grammy nominated, ARIA winning pianist and composer. Barney lived in NYC from 1994- 2015 and has toured or recorded with Gary Bartz, Fred Wesley, Billy Harper, Dewey Redman, Josh Roseman, Peter Apfelbaum, Maceo Parker, Vernel Fournier, Jimmy Cobb and Kurt Rosenwinkel.  He won the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composer Residency in 2015. Barney also worked as musical director for international sensation Sia Furler. Barney has twelve solo albums and has appeared on over one hundred albums as a sideman. He has also written scores for numerous award winning political documentaries. Barney's best and most beautiful musical works however, are the two children he wrote with his wife.

Baron Vaizey of Didcot is a former culture minister of the United Kingdom. 

After studies with Peter Sculthorpe (1965–69) in Australia and with Toru Takemitsu (1970) in Japan, Barry Conyngham is known nationally and internationally with premieres in the last few years in Palma, Hong Kong, Boston, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Vienna, and St Petersburg. He has received many awards, including Churchill, Harkness, Australia Council and Fulbright Fellowships, an Aria and two Sounds AustraliaN Awards. He is a Member of the Order of Australia. Over his career he has published over 100 works (Universal Edition and Hal Leonard) and over 50 recordings. In his academic career he has been a Dean at both the University of Wollongong, Creative Arts (1989–1993), and the University of Melbourne, Fine Arts and Music (2011–2020), was also the first musician to be appointed as a Vice Chancellor, Southern Cross University (1994–2000) and to hold the Harvard Chair of Australian Studies (2000–2001). In 2021 he was appointed Redmond Barry Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Melbourne.

Belinda Webster OAM is the founder of Tall Poppies Records which has issued almost 250 CDs in its twenty-six year history. She functions as recording producer and engineer, and designer. She lives in Kangaroo Valley in NSW, Australia, and has been Artistic Director of Arts in the Valley, the biennial arts festival, for the last 10 years. She has presented her photographs in nine exhibitions. She has also made several short art films.In 2012 she gave a course called “How to be a Music Producer” as part of the Music & Technology course at the School of Music at the Australian National University.

Benjamin Northey is Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor in Residence of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.  A graduate of the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and Finland’s Sibelius Academy, he is a regular guest conductor with orchestras and opera companies in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Dandenong Ranges Music Council.

Brad Haseman is Professor and Assistant Dean (Academic) for the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology. Previous positions include Assistant Dean (Research), 2006 to 2011, and Head of Postgraduate Research Studies, 2001 to 2005. He also served as Head of Drama in the Academy of the Arts from 2004-2007.

Brianna Roberts is the Media Manager at the Australia Council for the Arts

Dr Brydie-Leigh Bartleet is a Senior Lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. She is Deputy Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, convenor of the Music and Communities Strand and convenor of the Bachelor of Music Honours Program. Her current research includes an Australia Research Council funded project Captive Audiences (2012-2013), which explores performing arts rehabilitation programs in prisons. Prior to this she worked on the Australia Research Council funded project Sound Links (2007-2008), which was one of the largest studies into community music in Australia. She is also Project Leader of an Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching funded project Enhancing Indigenous Content in Performing Arts Curricula Through Service Learning with Indigenous Communities (2011-2013), which focuses on community service learning with universities and Indigenous communities. Recently she was awarded a Visiting Fellowship from the University of Cambridge to work on a new Commonwealth intercultural arts project in 2013. In recent years she has secured over half a million dollars worth of competitive grants, and has over 90 publications on topics such as community music, intercultural arts projects, service learning, conducting practice and music autoethnography. Dr Bartleet also serves on a range of international and national boards, including the International Society for Music Education’s Community Music Activities Commission, the Board of the Music Council of Australia (MCA), the editorial board for the International Journal of Music Education — Practice and the International Journal of Community Music, and the Asia Pacific Community Music Network to mention a few. As a community music facilitator Dr Bartleet has conducted bands, orchestras, choirs, and jazz ensembles from Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan.

Caerwen Martin is a composer and cellist, based in Melbourne. Her composition career output is extensive, reaching international artists, audiences, and media. Their work has included compositions for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo artists, choir, film, dance and theatre. Recent works include ACO Collective Stars Come Out in a Midnight Sky for the Hush Foundation, and The Leaf Remains for Living Lovers (NY) – Brandon Ross (Harriet Tubman, Cassandra Wilson, Lounge Lizards, Bill Frisell) and Stomu Takeshi.

Caerwen is the artistic director of Silo String Quartet, founded in 1998. They have over 20 years international touring experience performing new works of highly regarded Australian contemporary composers. Tours include USA, Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Balkans, South Africa, Japan, Taipei, New Zealand, and extensively across Australia. Caerwen also works in theatre, film and television as a composer, cellist and actor. They have composed for feature film and art house short films, some of which have won international film awards.

Music awards include the Catherine Mary Sullivan Scholarship for excellence, The Orloff Family Trust Scholarship, The Guitar Perspectives Award for Excellence, the Sir John T Reid Scholarship, The RTP Scholarship, and the Athenaeum Prize.

Cameron Undy carved out a career as a bassist in the 1990’s in Australia playing with luminaries of the day from Mike Nock to James Morrison. In the 2000’s he travelled and performed throughout Europe with the ‘Nu Jazz’ wave of artists, returning to co-found Venue 505 in 2004.

His own music draws on musical experiences in jazz, rock, funk, afro-beat, dance and world music. In recent years he has played with legendary American saxophonist, Pharaoh Sanders, Australian Jazz icon, Paul Grabowsky, world wide number one selling songwriter, Passenger, Los Angeles based electronic music producer, Mark de Clive Lowe. He released his album Bone in December 2016 to rave reviews.
Sydney Morning Herald’s Annual 100 Most Influential and Inspiring People List of 2011.
Co-founder and inaugural President of The Jazzgroove Association.
Co founder, Director and artistic curator of Venue 505. ‘Top Jazz Clubs in the World’, Downbeat Magazine 2012-2019.