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Board of Directors

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music – North Queensland Limited trading as Australian Festival of Chamber Music is a company limited by guarantee. View the Company Constitution.

The board of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music operates by the principles and within the guidelines set out in the Board Charter. The board is comprised of the following members:

Sandra Yates AO - Chair

Blackheath NSW

Has held significant appointments in media, marketing, publishing and the arts.  She was the chair of the NSW TAFE Commission Board (1998 – 2007), Chair of Sydney Writers’ Festival 2000 - 2011. Chairman of the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi Australia 1996 – 2004. Publisher of Time magazine 1990 – 1993. President and CEO of Matilda Publications Inc. with her then business partner, Dr. Anne Summers, in New York in 1988. 

Past President of Chief Executive Women, and the YWCA of Sydney, and a former board member of the University of New South Wales Press, NSW Major Events Board, UNICEF, Musica Viva, and the Taronga Foundation. Past President of the Magazine Publishers Association of Australia, and a former director of the Magazine Publishers Association in the US. 

Non-Executive Director 

Appointed 11 Mar 2014

Mary Jo Capps AM

Chair Development Committee

MusBach, MA Musicology (Toronto), Doctor VPA (hons caus. Melbourne), GAICD 

 Mary Jo served for nearly 20 years as CEO of Musica Viva Australia.  Over the past 40 years, she has held senior management and consultancy roles in the Australian cultural industry, including the WA Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Company B Belvoir Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as serving on a number of business and pro bono boards.  

She was awarded the first Creative Partnerships Australia Arts Leadership Award in 2016, an honorary Doctor of Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Melbourne in 2017, and Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 in recognition of her services to the arts and to business.   

She now works as a mentor, consultant and executive recruiter in arts and culture.  Board roles include Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne; Chair, Australian Major Performing Arts Group; and Chair, Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers House.  

Non-Executive Director 

Appointed 5 March 2019

Robert Dagworthy AM, RAN (Retired)

Casuarina NSW

Bob had a career in the Royal Australian Navy, which included command of the Australian Mine Warfare and Patrol BoaForce, Diplomatic appointments, project management and ship comment. He has had specialist training in conflict resolution and negotiating practices. Since retirement he has served as Treasurer of an RSL sub branch and Secretary of the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Arts Centre. He is current Chair of Austrans Pty Ltd. In 1993 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for distinguished services to the RAN and the Australian Defence Force, as Defence Adviser New Delhi. 

Non-Executive Director 

Appointed 27 February 2020

Judy Higgins-Olsen


Bachelor Sport & Exercise Science, James Cook University Townsville. 

Worked in allied health practice assisting and treating patients. Previous General Manager of Townsville Fire (Women’s National Basketball League) and previous General Manager of Townsville Hospital Foundation. Previous Board Director of North Queensland United Football Club. Active member of North Queensland Opera & Music Theatre and Townsville Choral Society. 

Non-Executive Director 

Appointed 12 November 2018

Professor Matthew Hindson AM


Matthew is one of the most-performed and most-commissioned composers in the world, and a leading Australian composer of his generation. As well as being performed by every Australian orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic among many others, Matthew’s music has been set by dance companies such as the Birmingham Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Japan and the Sydney Dance Company. 

Matthew is the Deputy Dean and Associate Dean (Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. From 2004-2010 he was the artistic director of the Aurora Festival which is dedicated to the work of living composers. In 2006 Matthew was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his contributions to music education and composition. From 2009-2013 Matthew was the Chair of the Music Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and from 2013-2015, a board member of the same organisation. 

Non-Executive Director 

Appointed 23 July 2020

Michael Katz


B.Com (Hons)

Michael has been in the finance industry both in Australia and overseas since graduating from UNSW in 1974. Most recently he was Chairman of the board of ING Bank (Australia) from 2011 until 2020, having been appointed a Director in 2010. Prior to ING he had a distinguished career with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) commencing in 1993 as Head of Institutional Banking. Prior to joining the CBA, Michael was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley in Japan and Zurich and a Vice President at Citicorp Investment Bank in Geneva, Switzerland, between 1981 and 1986.  

Michael served on the Board of Musica Viva Australia from 2002 to 2016. He was Chairman from 2011 until his retirement. He also served on the Board of the Australian major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG.) In addition to his passion for music Michael spends as much time as possible in developing his Wagyu business under the brand, Koolang Wagyu Australia. He was a board member of the Australian Wagyu Association from 2009 until 2012. 

Non-Executive Director 

23 July 2020

Timothy Kelly


BEcon (UQ), BBus(Acc) (QUT), GDipEd, MEdSt (UQ), MACE, MACEL

Mr Kelly commenced as the Principal of Townsville Grammar School in 2018. Prior to his appointment at TGS, he was the Deputy Headmaster of Toowoomba Grammar School and the Head of the Business Faculty at Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane. Before commencing his career in education, Mr Kelly worked in banking located in Australia and the United Kingdom. 

Non-Executive Director 

Appointed 10 January 2019

Russell Mitchell


Chair Compliance, Audit and Risk Management Committee

Russell has extensive experience in the performing arts including as General Manager of Opera Queensland (2012-2017), which followed senior management positions at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) (2004-2010), Opera Australia (1981-2003) and State Opera of South Australia.  He is a former Chairman of Belvoir Street Theatre Limited. 

Non-Executive Director 

Appointed 22 November 2011

Marjorie Nicholas OAM


LL. B (University of Melbourne)

Mrs Nicholas practised as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia in a Melbourne-based legal career spanning 39 years.  She has extensive experience in corporate governance, the not for profit sector and philanthropy.  For some 22 years she was also a managing owner/partner in a large-scale cropping and beef cattle enterprise in the NSW Southern Riverina. 

Mrs Nicholas has most recently served as a board member of Methodist Ladies’ College, Kew, Victoria (2013-18), and Howlong Country Golf Club Limited (2010-2018) and has previously held a number of other board directorships.  She chairs the MLC Foundation.   

Classically trained as a pianist, singer and clarinettist, and more recently playing as a cellist with the Murray Conservatorium Orchestra and the North East Victoria Occasional String Orchestra, she maintains a keen interest in music. 

Non-Executive Director

26 November 2015 

Jane Seawright


BA. LLB (Hons), M.Bus (Marketing) FAICD

An experienced non-executive director and professional company secretary with a background as a corporate and commercial lawyer, knowledge and information professional and business development leader. She has substantial board and senior executive experience in a range of environments, including the not for profit sector, specifically in the arts, sport, mining, health and research sectors. She has advised listed and unlisted companies in corporate governance, capital raising, financing, commercial agreements and arrangements, intellectual property and commercialisation. Jane is a non-executive director of Netball Australia, a board member of Racing Queensland, a director of QCN Fibre Pty Ltd, a Cricket Australia Conduct Commissioner and was recently appointed as an inaugural Member of the National Sports Tribunal. She is a former Chair of Netball Queensland and a former director of the Residential Tenancies Authority, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research Trust and Artisan. 

Non -Executive Director 

Appointed 5 May 2015