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

Carolina is an experienced project manager specialising in the arts, culture and community development sectors. She has held a number of positions in a wide range of government and not-for-profit organisations, including Musica Viva, Sydney Latin American Film Festival, Sydney Story Factory, and the Ministry of Culture of her native Colombia. Carolina is the Arts and Culture Coordinator at Settlement Services International, a state-wide organisation that provides services in the areas of humanitarian settlement and asylum seeker assistance in NSW.

Carolina holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Salamanca University (Spain) and a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management from the University of South Australia.

Cat Hope is a Civitella Ranieri and Churchill Fellow, and her opera Speechless won an Australian Art Music Award in 2020. Her 2017 monograph CD Ephemeral Rivers (Hat[Art]Hut) won the German Record Critics prize that year, when Gramophone magazine called her “one of Australia’s most exciting and individual creative voices.” She has been awarded the Hamburg Institute of Advanced Studies 2022 Research Fellowship, and is the Australasian partner in the worldwide European Research Council Digital Scores project. Cat is Professor of Music at Monash University in Melbourne.

Catherine Lyons is Chair of the School Music Action Group in Victoria.

Catherine Strong has a PhD in Sociology from the Australian National University Her thesis looked at grunge music and collective memory, and has since been published as Grunge: Music and Memory with Ashgate (2011). She has published on the gendered aspects of popular culture, and has also done research on the women's movement in Australia. Her current research is on cultural memory and gender in Australian popular music. She is currently the Chair of the Australia-New Zealand branch of IASPM. Her most recent book is the edited collection Death and the Rock Star (with Barbara Lebrun, Ashgate 2015.).

Cathy Stone is Conjoint Associate Professor, School of Humanities & Social Science, University of Newcastle. Cathy Stone consults with Country Universities Centre in her capacity as an independent consultant and researcher. She is also a researcher/author in other work cited within this article.

Celia Craig is the Principal Oboe of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Past President of the Australian Double Reed Society and Lecturer in Oboe at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide. She often performs as guest artist in other major Australian symphony orchestras. Before moving to Australia with her family in 2006 she was Principal Cor Anglais of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and performed regularly as guest principal with most UK symphony orchestras.

Board member DRMC, journalist AAP.

Chris Bonnor is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development.

Chris Bowen is the CEO of Music Australia

Chris Cody is a pianist and composer who has performed and recorded extensively around the world for the last 30 years while based in France. He has headlined at many international festivals and a vast array of concert venues throughout the USA, Europe, Africa and Australasia. He has worked with musicians including Roy Hargrove, Herb Geller, Sunny Murray, Carla Bruni, Michel Jonaz, Marcel Azzola, Tina Arena, Annie Whitehead, Rhoda Scott, Rick Margitza, and Jason Marsalis.

He has released eleven CDs of his music on international labels and collaborated on over thirty other international albums. He has written for theatre, dance, cinema, radio and TV.

His latest work Astrolabe, a jazz suite for 12 instruments was released in March 2020.

Simpsons Solicitors, Sydney.

Christopher Nicholls is the CEO of the Symphony For Life Foundation, which has the purpose of establishing El Sistema programs nationally in Australia. As of October 2016 it is working towards establishing its first programs, in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Christopher Sainsbury is Senior Lecturer Composition, Australian National University

Entertainment Assist and the Victoria University

Education Editor, The Conversation

Internationally acclaimed percussion soloist, chamber musician and artistic director of Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes has been described by the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion performing with ‘spellbinding intensity’ and ‘graceful virtuosity’. Her award-winning performances combine a theatrical energy with charismatic and original interpretations bringing to life the varied array of music she performs. Claire is the only Australian musician to win the ‘APRA Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual’ three times (2016, 2012, 2007), was the recipient of a recent Australia Council and a Freedman Fellowship and the winner of numerous European (resident there for seven years) instrumental and percussion competitions as well as 1999 Australian Young Performer of the Year. Recently appearing as soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Myer Music Bowl and on Play School to an audience of thousands of children, Claire is passionate about percussion and new sounds being widely disseminated.

Colin Offord is an inventor and builder of musical instruments, a composer, a performer.

Daniel Gregory completed a PhD in philosophy at the Australian National University. He now holds a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in Germany.

Daniella’s research applies philosophy and theories of ethics to teacher education and draws from a wide range of empirical and scholarly sources to explore pre-service and serving teacher beliefs about and experiences of (1) moral complexity in teaching and (2) programs, policies and pedagogies to develop educative dialogue about the ethics of teaching in the profession. She leads the Educational Ethics: Dilemmas of Diversity group ( Her most popular paper, Codes of Ethics in Australian Education: Towards a National Perspective can be found here:

Saxophonist, educator, bandleader, festival director, composer, and jazz protagonist, David Theak has enjoyed an exciting and dynamic career at the core of the Australian jazz scene since the 1990’s. As artistic director of the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, David collaborated with a who’s who of international jazz musicians while touring ensemble nationally several times. David is currently a Senior Lecturer in Jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Artistic Director of the Australian National Jazz Orchestra, an advisory panel member of the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra, President of the Sydney Improvised Music Association and Artistic Director of the Sydney Con Jazz Festival.

Dr Dawn Bennett is a Research Academic in the Division of Humanities, Curtin University of Technology, Perth.

She holds postgraduate degrees in education and music performance and has worked as a primary and secondary teacher in the UK and Australia, and as a violist, researcher and lecturer. Her research has largely focused on creating sustainable professional practice within the cultural industries, with a special emphasis on the effectiveness of related education, training and policy.

Dawn’s monograph Understanding the Classical Music Profession: The Past, the Present and Strategies for the Future was published by Ashgate in 2008.

Prof. Deborah Cheetham AO DUniv, BMus Ed, AmusA

Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for “distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance”.

In 2009, Deborah Cheetham established Short Black Opera as a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous singers. The following year she produced the premiere of her first opera Pecan Summer. This landmark work was Australia’s first Indigenous opera and has been a vehicle for the development of a new generation of Indigenous opera singers.

In March 2015 she was inducted onto the Honour Roll of Women in Victoria and in April 2018 received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia for her pioneering work and achievements in the music. Ms Cheetham’s Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace, premiered to sold out audiences on-country at the Port Fairy Spring Festival in October 2018 and at Hamer Hall in Melbourne with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on June 15, 2019.

Deborah Cheetham’s list of commissions for major Australian ensembles including works for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australia String Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Rubiks Collective, The Sydney Philharmonia, Plexus Collective, the Goldner Quartet and Flinders Quartet. In 2019 Deborah Cheetham established the One Day in January project designed to develop and nurture Indigenous orchestral musicians. In this same year she received the Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award for service to music in Australia, the Merlyn Myer Prize for Composition, was inducted onto the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll and received Life Time Membership at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Deborah Cheetham is the 2020 Composer-in-residence for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and commenced her appointment at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University as Professor of Music practice. Deborah is the 2019 winner of the prestigious Melbourne Prize for Music and was named Limelight Magazine’s Critics Choice Artist of the Year for 2019.

Deborah Mills has worked for many years in arts and cultural policy: as Senior Project Officer and then Director of the Australia Council’s Community Cultural Development Board, as a Director in local government managing a range of regional cultural facilities and services and as a freelancer working with local government and with small to medium not-for-profit arts organisations and on behalf of The Institute for Creative Health facilitating sector involvement in the development of a national arts and health policy framework. She is co-author with Dr Paul Brown of Art and Wellbeing: a guide and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at The University of Sydney.

Secretary ACMF.

A/Prof Diane Hughes is a researcher and lecturer in Vocal Studies and Music at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her research areas include the singing voice, vocal health for singers, vocal pedagogy, sound, recording practices, songwriting, the music industries, and popular music and song. She is co-author of The New Music Industries: Disruption and Discovery (Hughes, Evans, Morrow & Keith, 2016, Palgrave Macmillan). She is an advocate for music education and for voice studies in school education. See

Elaine Chia, whose career spans music, theatre and visual arts, is a passionate advocate for the arts. Prior to her current role as CEO of City Recital Hall Limited, Elaine was the Director, International Signature Projects at the Australia Council for the Arts. Elaine has held senior roles at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Belvoir Street Theatre and the Australian Youth Orchestra. She has worked on numerous international projects and led orchestral tours to Asia, Europe and South America.

Elliott Gyger studied composition at Sydney University with Ross Edwards and Peter Sculthorpe, and at Harvard with Mario Davidovsky.  He is currently Associate Professor in Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Among his recent works are an hour-long solo piano cycle inspired by Dante, Inferno (2013); concertos for tenor saxophone (Smoke and Mirrors, 2014) and prepared piano (From Joyous Leaves, 2015); and Acquisition (2016) for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Awards include the Sydney Symphony Orchestra 80th Anniversary Composition Prize (2012) for on air, and the 2013 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize for giving voice.  His chamber opera adaptation of David Malouf’s novel Fly Away Peter was presented by Sydney Chamber Opera in Sydney and Melbourne in 2015, to critical acclaim.

Emily Ross is a Lecturer, Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of the Sunshine Coast

Emily Wurramara spend her infancy on two islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria and at age 6, moved to Brisbane. She is an Indigenous singer/songwriter who wrote her first song at age 7.

Emily's father is a Filipino/Chinese/Spanish man who grew up in the provinces of Negros. Her mother is a Warninidlyakwa/ Greek/ Italian/ Turkish woman who grew up on those two islands, Groote Eylandt and Milyakburra (Bickerton Island).


Emma Grace Stephenson is an Australian pianist, songwriter and PhD student, whose music combines rhythmic, harmonic, and improvisatory elements of modern jazz with folk and popular songwriting styles. Emma is the recipient of the 2017 Freedman Jazz Fellowship for Australian jazz musicians under the age of 36, and the 2016 recipient of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for young women in the Australian jazz scene. She has recorded her own music with Hieronymus Trio (Nick Henderson on bass and Oli Nelson on drums), on their debut self-titled album (2016) and on ‘Where the Rest of the World Begins’ (54 Records 2017, recorded at ABC studios).

Esti Zilber is the Export Music Associate Producer at Sounds Australia.

Fiona McGaughey is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia Law School and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).  Fiona has broad research interests including international human rights law, modern slavery, pedagogy and student wellbeing.

CEO, Australian Copyright Council

Gabrielle Appleby is a Professor at the UNSW Law School, Sydney. She was a pro bono constitutional adviser to the Regional Dialogues and Constitutional Convention at Uluru (2016-2017). Her research interests include the role, powers and accountability of the Executive; the role of government lawyers; and the integrity of the judicial branch. She is the Director of The Judiciary Project at The Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Law.

Gary McPherson is the Ormond Professor and Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. He has served as President of the Australian and International Societies for Music Education, and has published over 150 articles and book chapters, and edited 6 books for Oxford University Press, including The Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development and a new volume to be released this month entitled Musical Prodigies: Interpretations from Psychology, Education, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.

Professor Geoff Masters AO
BSc, MEd, UWA, PhD Chicago, FACE, FACEL

Geoff Masters is Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).

In this role he maintains his professional interest in educational assessment and school improvement, and has been invited to undertake numerous reviews for governments. His recent works include Reforming Educational Assessment (, the National School Improvement Tool ( and Five Challenges in Australian School Education (

Professor Masters is an Adjunct Professor in the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, and has served on a range of bodies, including terms as founding President of the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association; President of the Australian College of Educators; Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA); Chair of the Technical Advisory Group for the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA); member of the Business Council of Australia’s Education, Skills and Innovation Taskforce; member of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO (and Chair of the Commission’s Education Network); and member of the International Baccalaureate Research Committee.

Dr George Variyan is a lecturer in Master of Educational Leadership in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. His background includes teaching, learning and leading in schools in Australia and overseas. George’s engagement in research is based on a critically orientated sociology, which explores human agency in the relationship between education and society. Key interests include educational sociology, gender, social justice, and ethics.

is Professor, College of Business, Government & Law, Flinders University

Gillian Harrison has lived and worked for over 20 years in the Northern Territory mainly in the arts, particularly the music industry and with Aboriginal musicians. She was the inaugural Chair of the NT Government’s Arts Grants Board and brings networks from across the NT, particularly remote areas and Central Australia from her time as Central Australia Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Music Manager, running CAAMA’s record label and recording studio in Alice Springs. She has served on two boards of the Australia Council and two grants committees of what is now Arts Victoria.