Board Members

Festival Board

Prof Margaret Seares AO: Chair
Ms Suzanne Ardagh
Mr David Griffiths
Ms Gaye McMath
Mr John Barrington
Ms Mary-Ellen King
Mr Grant Robinson
Ms Tania Chambers 
Mr Joss Gray

Board Invitees

Dr Michael Chaney AO (Chancellor, UWA)
Mr Julian Donaldson (General Manager, Perth International Arts Festival)
Mr Jonathan Holloway (Artistic Director, Perth International Arts Festival)
Ms Jan Stewart (CEO, Lotterywest)
Lisa Scaffidi The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor

Professor Margaret Seares AO, PhD (UWA); MA (UWA), FAICD: Chair
Margaret Seares holds a PhD from UWA in Music, her field of specialty being the keyboard music of the 18th century. From 1991-1995 she was Head of the School of Music, and Deputy Chair of the Academic Board at UWA.

In 1995 she accepted a two-year secondment to the position of CEO with the West Australian Department for the Arts (now the Department of Culture and the Arts). And in 1997 she was appointed to a 4-year term as Chair of the Australia Council.

She has been a member of a wide range of Boards and Councils in the government, not-for-profit, and arts sectors and is currently a board member of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, a Councillor with the WA Chamber of Commerce & Industry and with Scotch College WA, a member of the Australian Research Council's advisory council, and a member of the board of the Council for the Humanities Arts & Social Sciences.

In 2003 Professor Seares was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work for the arts and education.

Ms Suzanne Ardagh
Suzanne Ardagh is the WA State Manager of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), responsible for AICD's program of professional development, events and member services for Directors in WA.

She has 20 years experience gained in the fields of diplomacy, corporate affairs, education, marketing and communications. From 2001-2006 she was Marketing and Communications Director for RMIT International University Vietnam, stationed in Ho Chi Minh City achieving significant growth in student recruitment and brand development.

Prior to this role, she worked in the Corporate Head Office of Wesfarmers Limited from 1992 to 2001.
Ms Ardagh commenced her career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade completing postings at the Australian Embassies in Vienna and Mexico City with short-term missions to Havana, Cuba and Budapest, Hungary.

Ms Ardagh is a graduate from UWA (Arts) and has an MBA from RMIT University and is on the Board of Musica Viva Australia and IASKA.

Mr David Griffiths
Mr Griffiths is a Company Director with extensive experience in corporate strategy and finance. He is the Non-Executive Chairman of Automotive Holdings Group Limited and Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of Thinksmart Limited.

Mr Griffiths holds an Honours Degree in Economics and an honorary Doctor of Economics from The University of Western Australia, a Masters Degree in Economics from Australian National University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was formerly Pro-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia.

Ms Gaye McMath BCom, Melb, MBA MBS, AMP HBS
Gaye McMath is the Executive Director, Finance and Resources at the University of Western Australia (UWA).

Prior to joining UWA she had a 23 year career with BHP Billiton (BHPB) and held senior executive positions in a wide range of financial, strategic planning and commercial management roles in the steel, mining and treasury divisions. She was a BHPB nominated director on a number of domestic and international mining and infrastructure joint venture and subsidiary Boards.

Gaye has held directorships for the past 17 years in the Resources, Infrastructure, Energy, Financial Services, Property, Education and Healthcare sectors.

Her other board positions include Verve Energy, Gold Corporation, Western Australian Treasury Corporation and the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Western Australia.

Mr John Barrington
John is Managing Director of strategy firm Barrington Consulting Group and has over 15 years experience advising boards and executives in strategy and governance. 

His work in the corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors across Australia has included the development of strategy with the Boards of the WA Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA and the provision of strategic and governance advice to local arts companies.

Prior to consulting, John had 10 years in the technology industry in management roles in Victoria and New South Wales.  He is currently Chairman of AnglicareWA and has previously served on the State Council of Surf Life Saving Western Australia, the National Alumni Board of the Australian Graduate School of Management and State Council of Police & Citizens Youth Clubs.  He is a past State President of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia & New Zealand and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

John has a Bachelor of Business from Curtin University and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Ms Mary Ellen King
Mary-Ellen King returned to Perth from Melbourne in February 2012 to take up the role of Chief Operating Officer Community for Bethanie Group.  For four years prior to this she was Director of Operations for Calvary Silver Circle, a national community care provider based in Melbourne. Until late 2006, Mary-Ellen was General Manager of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, a position she held for over five years working with Jonathan Mills, Robyn Archer and Kristy Edmunds. During this time she was actively engaged in the national Major Festival Initiative group, alongside PIAF General Manager Julian Donaldson and the PIAF Artistic Directors of those years. 

Previously she has been an Executive of the Victorian Arts Centre, held a range of roles at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra over eight years including Marketing Director, and Acting Managing Director for a year, as well as Acting General Manager of WASO for 5 months in 1994, been Melbourne Manager of Opera Australia, and Assistant Manager of the Perth Concert Hall. 

Mary-Ellen has an MBA from the Melbourne Business School, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of WA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  She has been a Director of Red Stitch Theatre Company, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Orchestra Victoria, Footscray Community Arts Centre and was a member of the Australia Day Council (Victoria) and a Trustee of the Victorian Actors Benevolent Fund.  She is also a Fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program, and was invited to participate in the 2008 UWA PIAF Review. Mary-Ellen is currently a member of the Major Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.

Mr Grant Robinson
Grant is an audit partner with KPMG a position held since 1988. Grant has significant experience in delivering audit and advisory services to a broad range of industries including the not-for-profit sector. Grant’s board appointments include the Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority (Board & Audit Committee member), UWA Audit and Review Committee (member), Methodist Ladies College (Council & Audit Committee member), Property Council of WA (Council member).

Ms Tania Chambers
Tania Chambers is a Film Producer, Creative Industries Consultant and Non-Executive Director and holds Bachelor of Laws and Arts (Honours) Degrees.

Formerly Chief Executive of Screen NSW and ScreenWest, Tania Chambers is the Founding Director of Feisty Dame Productions and KM3T Productions and is on the Board of Cinefest Oz and the Arts Law Centre. Currently an Ambassador for SBS, she is a member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts and the International Academy of Arts and Sciences and was a member of Media Development Authority Singapore's 2012 International Advisory Panel.
Previously, Tania Chambers was Chairperson of the Film & Television Institute (WA) Inc, Chairperson of Perth Theatre Company and a Board Member of Screenrights, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and a Governor of Hale School.

Mr Joss Gray
Joss is an experienced retail banking professional with over 13 years experience in Australia and overseas.   He began his career in the UK in IT and change management emigrating to Perth in 2004 to join Bankwest where he has held a number of positions.  Through these he has gained experience in product development, risk management, multichannel marketing, digital distribution, customer retention, and research analytics.  In his current role Joss is responsible for the strategic development of products and services tailored to meet the emerging and changing needs of Australia’s youth and new migrants.