Our people

Executive

Chief Executive Officer: Collette Brennan

Chief Operating Officer: John Di Natale

Administration

Finance Manager: Keith Hammond
Accounts Manager: Ilona Molyte
Accounts Coordinator: Shona Kohler
Administration & Governance Manager: Luke Gianfriddo
Administrator: Callum Stewart
HR Officer: Bhawna Sharma

Building & Facilities

Heritage Assets: Lynette Dean
Site Operations: Jason Kain
Site Coordinators: Paul Blakeney, Jesse Brogden, Otto Enos, Jason Hood, John Moyle.

Development & Fundraising

Head of Development: Enrica Longo
Senior Philanthropy Officer: Vacant

Marketing  & Communications

Marketing Manager: Lucia Perera
Marketing Coordinator: Clare O’Connor

Programming

Producer: Shae Nagorcka
Associate Producer: Heven-Lee Osborne

Tenancy

Tenant Community Manager: Leonie Wray
Tenant Community Coordinator: Shani Cowell

Venue Hire

Venues and Events Manager: Kristy Foulcher
Venue Hire Coordinator: Sherry McLane Alejos
Event Operations & Production Coordinator: Harvey Ogle

Board

Victoria Marles, Chair

Victoria is currently the CEO of Trust for Nature (the Victorian Conservation Trust), a position she has held since late 2009.  Prior to assuming this role, Victoria was Victoria’s Legal Services Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Legal Services Board.  As a lawyer Victoria specialised in media and communications law and policy and was the Deputy Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and prior to that the Deputy Director of the Communications Law Centre.

Victoria has a background in the arts having graduated in drama from the Victorian College of the Arts.  She has held various board positions including the Victorian Arts Centre, the Victorian Women’s Trust and the Melbourne Writers Festival.  Victoria was chair of the Circus Oz Board for fourteen years. Victoria is currently a board member of the Consumer Action Law Centre and a director of the Australian Advertising Standards Council.

Ros Abercrombie

Ros Abercrombie is the the Executive Director (CEO) at Regional Arts Australia, facilitating cross-sector, multi arts and intergenerational connections across the arts and creative industries in rural, regional and remote Australia. Ros has over 20 years’ experience in the arts and creative industries working as a CEO, consultant, and program and festival director. She was Program Director of Moomba Festival, for eight years, CEO Shepparton Arts Festival, Visual Arts Director Midsumma Festival, as well as consulting with local city councils on events and festivals. Ros’ Board appointments have included Shepparton Arts Festival Inc and Midsumma Festival.

Justin Blumfield

Since retiring from a successful 148 game AFL career highlighted with the achievement of an AFL Premiership with the Essendon Football Club in 2000, Justin has spent the past 12 years working within the commercial property industry. Justin commenced his property career with top 50 ASX listed property company, The GPT Group. He held various positions during this time in both the retail and commercial office sectors including Marketing Executive, Retail Manager, Centre Manager and Regional Manager in Victoria.

Currently Justin is the Director of Shopping Centre management for Vicinity Centres. Vicinity is a market-leading retail property group owning and managing circa $20 billion in retail assets. Justin is responsible for the strategic management Vicinity’s shopping centre management function in Australia including the country’s leading outlet brand (DFO).

Diana Heggie

Ms Heggie has extensive executive and non-executive experience. In addition to her role as a Director of Abbotsford Convent, she is also the Chair of Peninsula Health. Her previous non-executive roles have included; Director of the National Heart Foundation, Chair of the Heart Foundation(Vic) Director of Toorak College, Vice President of NDS and President of Cerebral Palsy Australia. Executive roles have included; CEO of the Heart Foundation (Vic)CEO of Scope, and CEO of the EW Tipping Foundation.

She originally qualified as a physiotherapist in 1987 from Trinity College Dublin, but quickly moved into people management roles in the not for profit sector. She believes strongly in the development of staff and volunteers, and that leadership is about empowering others to do great things. She is also a passionate walker, a green skier, and loves to spend time with her family.

Mark Henry

Headshot of a man, Mark Henry.

Mark Henry is chair of Maddocks,  and a member of the VCA Foundation. He spearheaded Maddocks support of Australia’s participation in the Venice Biennale since 2001, as the pavilion’s first commercial sponsor. He was on the Commissioner Council for the Australian Pavilion from 2013 – 2017. He instituted the Maddocks Art Prize in 2007 to support the development of artists’ practice and research travel to visit the Venice Biennale. He has supported, and been involved in, a range of community based arts activities including as a member of the Board of Gertrude Contemporary. In 2016 he was an inaugural member of the top 50 LGBTI business leaders in Australia.

Stuart Kells, Deputy Chair

Stuart Kells is an award-winning author whose books have been published around the world. Stuart wrote a history of the Abbotsford Convent, which was published by the Miegunyah Press in 2020. He is Adjunct Professor at La Trobe Business School, and an independent member of the Audit and Risk Committee of Banyule Council. He has had a diverse career in government, academia, consulting, publishing and bookselling.

Ruth Jones

Ruth Jones is Director, Global Markets, for AVPN, a funders’ network based in Singapore. Prior to this, she was CEO of the Social Venture Partners Network and held senior roles at Community Foundations of Canada and Philanthropy Australia.  She was Chief Executive of the Australian Film Institute before moving to the field of philanthropy.

Tim Northeast

Tim Northeast is an entrepreneurial owner and operator of a number of hospitality and music venues in inner Melbourne including the iconic Corner Hotel, as well as a boutique event booking/marketing/ticketing business. Having built all of his businesses from the ground up, Tim brings nearly 30 years’ experience as a business owner and has a strong understanding of the issues facing small and medium sized businesses. Tim’s Director Appointments include Board Director and Chair Person of Music Victoria, the peak NFP body for contemporary music in Victoria. During his tenure as Music Victoria Chair, Tim oversaw the  integration of the Victorian Music Development Office as well as the successful relocation of the Music Victoria office to the Collingwood Arts Precinct. Tim is a keen guitarist and enjoys golfing and surfing.

Hannah Schwartz

Hannah is an urban planner, entrepreneur and strategist. Since completing her Masters of Urban Planning (2013), Hannah has worked as a freelance consultant where she has launched, engaged with and consulted for a diverse range of social enterprises, NFPs, and business both in Australia and internationally. Prior to returning to Melbourne, Hannah lived and worked in Tel Aviv where she founded Study Israel, a start-up founded to reinvigorate the Israeli tertiary education market.  Her Board appointments include Board Member and Secretary of Schoolhouse Studios.

Michael Sokulski

Michael Sokulski is a chartered accountant and finance professional. Michael has worked at Medibank and previously worked 10 years with Ernst & Young where he accumulated significant experience in the accounting field, including the delivery of financial assurance projects, internal audits, compliance work, financial reporting analysis and accounting advice across a broad spectrum of private and public clients. He has advised on a variety of transactions including IPOs, acquisitions and business divestments. Michael has also chaired the Young Professionals’ Panel for the Institute of Chartered Accountants, promoting the interests of young members and driving engagement with the broader community.

Judy Williams


Judy Williams has extensive arts management experience, having previously worked at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) for almost two decades. From 2004 – 2014, she was Head of Foundation & Fundraising, where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the NGV’s fundraising strategy, including bequests, legacies and annual giving. As part of her role, she developed and implemented the NGV’s 150th Anniversary fundraising campaign – Masterpieces for Melbourne. Prior to this role, Judy was the NGV’s Manager of External Relations & Events, where she oversaw the planning and delivery of events for the opening of the Ian Potter Centre and the re-opening of NGV International.

Board Observers

Lizelle Hughes

Portrait photo of a young woman with dark hair and a blue shirt smiling.

Lizelle is the leader of the ISV Partnerships team at Microsoft Australia, and is focused on the success of Australia’s digital and technology companies – that are innovating to deliver new products and services, for the growth of the Australian economy. Lizelle leads a team, who are the quiet achievers behind the success of Microsoft’s most strategic technology partnerships.

With over 21 years of experience in various roles – spanning technical consultancy, technical pre-sales, product marketing, strategy, sales, technology partnerships and channel, Lizelle is passionate about the long term success of the Australian ICT channel – and how they evolve to continually deliver customer outcomes. Lizelle has worked at Amazon Web Services, NetApp and Managesoft Corporation. She has helped grow strategic ICT consultancies and their partnerships with AWS, advising on sales, marketing and business growth strategies. In 2016, Lizelle was Highly Commended by ARN Australia Women in ICT for achievement in the Channel; and again a “Finalist” in 2018.

Lizelle has lived and worked in Australia, USA, Germany, UK – and has a background living in the Middle East (Oman), India & Peru. She is passionate about people, their personal growth, mentoring, corporate diversity & inclusion.

Vinod Vijayan

Vin is a senior IT Manager with David Jones and Country Road Group, the largest retailer in the southern hemisphere and has previously held senior management position at Carsales.com.

Vin has extensive experience in the delivery of technology strategy, software development and digital transformation programs in Retail, Technology, Education and Not for Profit organisations within Australia. Vin holds a Master of Information Technology from The University of Queensland. Vin enjoys cooking, yoga, the arts and travelling.