The SAMAG Committee is a voluntary body consisting of 10–15 members representing varying interests in the arts including performing arts, museums, regional arts, visual arts, literature, sponsorship and funding bodies. The Committee meets approximately every four weeks and is responsible for the coordination of the monthly seminars and having lots of fun whilst doing so! For information about becoming a SAMAG Committee Member please email SAMAG's Coordinator, Lizzy Galloway.
Morwenna Collett (Chair) is the Director, Major Performing Arts (MPA) Projects at the Australia Council for the Arts. Through this role, Morwenna manages relationships with opera and orchestra organisations and oversee various MPA related projects. She will be involved in the establishment of an artistic engagement framework across Council and capturing knowledge to foster an artistically vibrant Australian arts sector. Morwenna has worked at the Australia Council since August 2010, originally as Program Manager of the Music section, where she managed a suite of programs which distributed funding to Australian musicians and organisations working across a wide range of musical styles throughout Australia and internationally, before becoming the Program Manager of the Business Development team, which was responsible for the re-design of the Australia Council’s new funding programs launched in January 2015. During her time at the Australia Council, Morwenna has also been the Disability Coordinator and overseen the development and implementation of the organisation’s Disability Action Plan and Artists with Disability funding program. Originally from Brisbane, Morwenna was previously the Arts Development Officer for the Dance and Music section at Arts Queensland. Morwenna’s artistic background is as a classical flautist and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (where she received the University Medal) and she currently performs regularly with the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra.
Steven Miller (Treasurer), Chartered Accountant and Principal: Steven J Miller & Co Steve Miller has 25 years experience in the chartered accounting field and is the Principal at Steven J Miller & Co, Chartered Accountants. His involvement with the arts includes Directorships with the Sydney Film Festival (1994 – 2000), the Australian Music Centre and Railway Street Theatre (formerly the Q Theatre), ASDACSLtd and Treasurer of SAMAG since its Foundation. His firm provides training, consulting and audit services to arts companies.
Vivienne Skinner is Principal of Metropolis, an urban strategy company that works to build more productive, sustainable, liveable and creative cities. She has held a variety of roles across the government and non-government sectors including CEO of Creating Australia in 2013/14, and between 2010 and 2013, she was speechwriter and senior adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Vivienne was arts adviser to NSW premiers Nathan Rees and Bob Carr, and between 2006 and 2008 was communications manager for Regional Arts Australia. Vivienne has been a director of several arts companies including the Adelaide Film Festival, the South Australian Film Corporation, Legs on the Wall, and Beyond Empathy, which uses the arts to create opportunities for marginalised young people. She has been a television and radio reporter with the ABC and was a newsreader with Channel 7 in Canberra. She has written for a variety of publications including Crikey and the Sydney Morning Herald. Vivienne is a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee for The Big Issue and is a member of the Centennial Parklands Community Consultative Committee.
Tina Walsberger is a passionate strategic marketer with experience working in 5 countries and 8 cities. Currently Head of Marketing and Customer Services at Sydney Festival, Tina’s team of up to 25 staff plan and execute campaigns for events that attract up to a million visitors from NSW, interstate and overseas. Sydney Festival has built an almost unrivalled digital presence in the arts sector and regularly makes international news with cultural highlights such as The Beach at Barangaroo Reserve, Vivienne Westwood’s Semele Walk, The Rubber Duck in Darling Harbour and the spontaneous David Bowie tribute at Hyde Park. Prior to Sydney Festival, Tina worked as Marketing Manager at Belvoir and Merrigong Theatre Co where she lead teams who established the companies’ digital presence and CRM capabilities. The big move to Australia followed an early career at major record companies EMI and BMG in London and Munich. When Tina isn’t working, she enjoys photography and travel. During her four months in India and Nepal, she worked in a Keralan village development program, helped paint houses in North India, slept in caves and trekked in the Himalayas.
Lex Hirst is a book editor, festival director and arts programmer driven by a love of great writing and exciting ideas. She edits and commissions at Penguin Random House, is a SAMAG Committee Member and Junkee Media's Junket Programmer. From 2014-15 she co-directed the National Young Writers' Festival, Australia's biggest gathering of writers aged 18-35, and she programs arts and writing events, most recently the Junkee Take On political talk series and Cubby House, the love child of Secret Garden Festival and Concrete Playground.
Sophia Kouyoumdjian has worked in the arts sector for over 15 years across directorial, curatorial and exhibition management roles. Currently the Coordinator, Parramatta Artists Studios and previously the Acting Director and Curator at Blacktown Arts Centre, Sophia has comprehensive experience in Western Sydney’s contemporary arts sector.
Alli Burness Is a museum writer and digital producer. She currently works at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and previously as Social Media Manager at the National Gallery of Art, Washinton DC. She is a current member of the Program Committee for Museum Computer Network Conference. She is also a speaker and active networker within international museum technology and creative communities.
Adrian Burnett has considerable knowledge and understanding of contemporary dance and ballet having worked as an artist, choreographer, producer, teacher and director nationally and internationally for many years. His knowledge and relationships with the sector have grown through more recent management roles at the Australia Council across a number of art forms over the past five years, including in dance, literature and community arts.
Adrian graduated from the Australian Ballet School and joined the Australian Ballet in 1988 where he worked in various capacities including as Senior Artist, Resident Choreographer, Executive Producer and Guest Ballet Master until 2010. In 2011, Adrian completed a Master of Arts and Entertainment Management at Deakin University.
Sarah Houbolt is the University of Technology’s access and inclusion specialist within the Social Justice, Equity and Diversity Unit. Her role is to coordinate central accessibility policy for staff and students across the university. Previously, Sarah worked at Accessible Arts, as the access and training specialist and then the strategic projects manager, managing the grants schemes and the national arts and disability conference, Arts Activated 2016 at Carriageworks. Sarah continues her arts and accessibility consultancy work with clients such as the Art Gallery of NSW and Museum of Contemporary Art. Sarah sits on the access and inclusion advisory group for the State Library of NSW and recently spoke at TEDxSydney on the topic of accessibility. Her work experience in New Zealand includes working for the Auckland Council arts team, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, and producing for Mind Over Manner. Sand also continues her arts practice in circus, physical theatre and dance, recently completing a residency with Critical Path, and performing locally and at corporate events.
Clara Edwards is a lawyer working in the arts sector. She is currently a Solicitor at the Arts Law Centre of Australia and particularly works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists through Arts Law's award winning Artists in the Black program. She has a background in public law and has worked in both private practice and government, including most recently as an in house lawyer with the Australia Council for which she won the Lawyers Weekly "30 Under 30" Award in the Corporate Counsel category. She is studying for her Master of Administrative Law and Policy at the University of Sydney and in 2016 she completed a Graduate Certificate in Arts and Cultural Management at Deakin University. In addition to her professional and academic life, Clara is a playwright and dancer. She wrote and directed a play for Sydney Fringe with Hilary Bell as dramaturg and also teaches dance classes at Dance Central in Sydney.
Lizzy Galloway (Coordinator) received a post graduate Diploma in Art Curatorial Studies from the University of Melbourne and was later awarded the Grimwade Internship at the University of Melbourne Museum of Art where she published a catalogue raisonné about the Grimwade Bequest. She worked in publishing at Art & Australia, Art AsiaPacific, World Art Magazine and for five years with CIRCA Art Magazine based in Dublin, Ireland. She is the former Art Fair Director at Art Sydney and Art Melbourne (formerly the Affordable Art Fairs). She has been the SAMAG Coordinator for six years.