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.
Dr Sophie Lieberman (Chair) is the Head of Programs at Sydney Living Museums (previously The Historic Houses Trust of NSW), reponsible for quality and direction of the organisation's programs, outreach and community engagement. She was previously the Manager, Science Communication at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Sophie holds a PhD in History from the University of New South Wales.
Morwenna Collett (Deputy Chair) is the Manager, Project Controls and Risk at the Australia Council for the Arts. Through this role, Morwenna enhances the organisation’s capacity for effective decision making through the administration of project management and risk management frameworks in achievement of the organisation’s strategic goals and corporate plan. She staffs the organisation’s Project Management Office and work closely with the Project Control Group and Executive Teams on the delivery of projects across the organisation. 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.
Stuart McLean is a consultant, accountant, and program manager, with over 20 years’ experience, in Australia and Europe. His industry knowledge centres on banking, finance, and insurance, with a specialty in post-merger integration. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is a member of CPA Australia, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the Project Management Institute. He is a Legs on the Wall board member and served as treasurer from 2012 – 2015. He recently completed the Governing for Nonprofit Excellence course at Harvard Business School. Stuart has run programs for JP Morgan, Westpac, AMP, ANZ, Intel and Transfield Services.
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.
Simon Walkom is the Program Manager of Art & About Sydney and has over eight years’ experience in the programming and delivery of public events and major temporary public artworks. Simon has programmed Art & About Sydney 2011 -2014 at City of Sydney, where he has also worked on major public civic events including; Chinese New Year and Sydney Christmas. Simon has twice worked as Producer’s Assistant for MONA’s Dark Mofo Winter Feast. Prior to programming events Simon worked in artist management at leading Australian theatrical agency Shanahan Management.
David Williams is a director, producer, performer, writer and technician. He is a past winner of the Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship for Acting, and a graduate of the Australia Council¹s Emerging Leaders Development Program. David holds an Honours degree in Theatre from UWS Nepean, and a PhD from the University of New South Wales. He has worked with Radio National's Airplay, Belvoir, Branch Nebula, Sidetrack Performance Group, Sydney Theatre Company, Blast Theory, Bonemap, Platform 27, Urban Theatre Projects and pvi collective. David was the founder of the acclaimed performance group version 1.0, and produced all of the company's work from 1998 until his departure from the company in late 2012. Performance works he co-devised with version 1.0 include Beautiful One Day (with Belvoir and ILBIJERRI Theatre Company) The Tender Age (with ATYP), The Disappearances Project, The Table of Knowledge (with Merrigong Theatre Company), The Bougainville Photoplay Project, THIS KIND OF RUCKUS, A Distressing Scenario, Deeply Offensive and Utterly Untrue, The Wages of Spin, CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident), From a distance and The second Last Supper. David has worked as a mechanist and flyman at the Sydney Opera House since 1997. He is currently an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, a casual lecturer at the University of Newcastle, and is on the board of Arts on Tour. Current artistic projects include The Black Diggers Project for Queensland Theatre Company and Sydney Festival, Quiet Faith with Vitalstatistix, Quay to the City for ATYP, and In This Fairfield for Powerhouse Youth Theatre as well as a number of independent performance projects.
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.
Tandi Williams is a consultant, writer and producer dedicated to culture sector research and innovation. Originally trained in economics and finance, but with a passion for the arts, she delivers actionable insight for creative minds. Over the past 10 years, Tandi has worked with all kinds of creative organisations, from the opera houses of Covent Garden to arts funding bodies, and a boutique online gallery for emerging artists. Equally comfortable in pivot tables or at the podium, she has built a track record of delivering on complex briefs, turning technical mountains into manageable molehills and helping teams meet their goals in boardrooms, theatres and virtual reality playspaces.
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 over three years.