Melbourne Festival is a responsibly managed not-for-profit entity governed by a Board of Directors.
|Patron in Chief
||The Hon Linda Dessau AC
Governor of Victoria
The Right Hon The Lord Mayor
Maureen Wheeler AO
Maureen was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At age 20 she moved to London, where she met Tony Wheeler.
While they were establishing Lonely Planet, Maureen completed a degree in social work, but then committed herself full-time to developing the business.
Travelling with children became a way of life for Maureen after the births of Tashi and Kieran, and they considerably enlivened her journeys. This prompted Maureen to write a guidebook about it: Travel With Children is the result of years of experience on the road with the kids.
Maureen was responsible for organising the very successful Lonely Planet travel summits held in 1994 (to celebrate the company’s 21st birthday) and again in November 1997.
Maureen has been the driving force behind Lonely Planet’s corporate contributions program established to provide financial assistance for humanitarian projects in developing countries.
The Planet Wheeler Foundation, formerly The Lonely Planet Foundation, supports educational and health projects in the developing world. It is funded solely by the Wheelers.
Maureen served two terms as director on the board of Tourism Tasmania, and one term on each of the boards of Tourism NT and Opera Melbourne.
Maureen has also played a pivotal role in bringing Wagner’s Ring Cycle to Melbourne.
Maureen has won a number of awards for her achievements, including the Inspiring Business Woman of Australia Award in 1999. In 2001, Maureen was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Ulster.
In 2017 Maureen and Tony Wheeler received the 13th UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award for individuals with visionary leadership and significant contributions to the global tourism sector.
Wai has more than 28 years of working experience in retail and wholesale manufacturing industries.
Shortly after her graduation in 1985, Wai was inducted into the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry by working as a system and process consultant for a period of five years. Since then, she has worked as a manager in leading business process transformation and improvement at Bowater plc, as a senior management consultant at IBM Consulting Group (Business Transformation) advising major FMCG corporations such as Pacific Dunlop, Kraft, Weston Foods, and Mars, and as General Manager of Business Development for Pacific Brands, a division of Pacific Dunlop, overseeing business strategy development, merger and acquisition and business improvement for 27 business units within Pacific Brands.
From 1999 to 2009, Wai held the position of Group Operations Director for the Just Group. In 2006 in parallel to this role, she was awarded the position of CEO for Peter Alexander Sleepwear, a lifestyle division of the Just Group. She left Just Group in June 2009 to start her own corporate advisory services, as well as a specialty retail concept in confectionery called Happy Lab. In October 2016, Wai and Fiona Myer launched White Storey, a new lifestyle brand that endorse manufacturing in
Her corporate advisory service ranges from boardroom representation as a nonexecutive director to providing strategic advice to many prominent retailers such as Myer, Coles, the Sussan Group, the General Pants Group, Pacific Brands, Yum! Australia, Cosmetic Cubed, G-Star Raw and travel retailer AWPL.
Tammy Medard is the Head of Diversified Industrials and Global Subsidiaries Australia at ANZ, a role she came to after heading ANZ Laos as CEO. An American of Cuban and Spanish descent, Tammy is an Investment Committee Member of UNCDF SHIFT Fund and on the Advisory Committee for Village Focus International.
As well as the arts, Tammy is passionate about gender equality and the need to end discrimination against women in the workplace. You can see her in action at the United Nations Private Sector Forum 2015 here.
Sally joined AMP in August 2015 as Managing Director, AMP Bank and was appointed Group Executive, AMP
Sally has more than 25 years’ experience in banking and financial services. During her five years at NAB, Sally held a number of senior executive positions including Chief Financial Officer, Business and
Prior to this, she held a number of senior leadership roles in a 20 year career at Macquarie Group.
Sally has a Bachelor of Commerce, a Masters of Applied Finance and a Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ian McDougall is a Founding Director of ARM Architecture. He is respected nationally for his work in architecture and urban design. He has been a publisher, teacher and writer on architecture and the city throughout his career, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at RMIT and Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Adelaide.
Ian has directed high-profile projects including the Shrine of Remembrance redevelopment, Melbourne Recital Centre, MTC Southbank Theatre and, of course, the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.
Ian is a major supporter of the Melbourne arts community. He sits on the Melbourne Festival Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Lucy Guerin Inc Dance Company.
In 2001, Ian was awarded a Centenary Medal for his contribution to Australian Architecture.
Ian, along with ARM’s other Founding Directors Stephen Ashton and Howard Raggatt, recently won the 2016 Gold Medal—the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest accolade, awarded for long-term contribution to architecture, urban design and architectural education.
Dave has considerable digital and omni-channel retail experience in marketing and advertising, including his expertise in helping brands appeal to consumers.
Previously, Dave spent 10 years with global advertising group M&C Saatchi in a number of local and international leadership roles, culminating in three years as Managing Director in Australia. During this
Prior to joining M&C Saatchi, Dave was the first employee of a marketing services group that built four digital service and software businesses. Two were acquired locally, and the other two were acquired by Oracle and Netratings in the US.
Dave has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.
Jim is an American/Australian with a very unusual background. While born, raised, and educated in the United States, Jim ventured off shore more than 20 years ago to forge his career globally.
Jim began his most recent appointment as Chairman of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne in early 2015. In this role, Jim oversees the Clemenger Group’s largest company and the birthplace of the group in 1946. In addition, he continues to operate as CEO of Clemenger Group New Zealand. Jim started this role in January 2009 and oversees more than a dozen companies.
While in Sydney, Jim became actively involved in the performing arts sponsoring Opera Australia and the Sydney Theatre Company. He believes that corporate Australia has an obligation to support the arts and creativity. From 2007 to 2013, Jim sat on the board of the National Institute for Dramatic Art (NIDA)—a worldrenowned theatre training school.
Prior to his arrival in Australia, Jim spent seven years with BBDO Europe running BBDO Warsaw Group, and subsequently BBDO Italy based in Milan.
Jim is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). He is a member of the International Advertising Association (IAA) and is a trustee for the Auckland Arts Festival having served on this board since 2010.
Based in Melbourne, Nicole Durling is Co-Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Senior Curator at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. She was personally selected by David Walsh in 2006 as one of MONA’s foundation team and was a key collaborator in the building design, curatorial direction, brand establishment, exhibition design and installation of the MONA collection prior to its opening in 2011.
Working directly with emerging, mid-career and established artists, she has curated and developed projects including music festivals, sound art performances, ephemeral interventions and permanent commissions. At MONA she has co-curated the solo exhibitions Matthew Barney, River of Fundament and Marina Abramović, Private Archaeology, as well as major exhibitions Monaisms, Theatre of the World and The Red Queen. Since 2009 Nicole has been artistic curator on projects for MONA FOMA festival and has been a part of the curatorial team for Dark Mofo festival since 2013.
From 2002 to 2005 Nicole was the first Australian based Contemporary Art