Board of Directors

Libby Gleeson AM (Chair)
Libby is author of forty titles for children and young adults. She is formerly Chair of the Australian Society of Authors, Chair of the Literature and History Committee of Arts NSW and a Director of the Copyright Agency. She is a Director of the Public Education Foundation.

Robyn Ewing AM
Robyn is Professor of Teacher Education and the Arts, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney. A former primary teacher, Robyn is passionate about the Arts and education and the role quality arts experiences and processes can and should play in transforming pedagogy across the curriculum.She enjoys working collaboratively with classroom teachers interested in creative teaching and learning.

In the areas of English, literacy and the Arts, Robyn’s research and writing has particularly focused on using drama with authentic literary texts to develop students’ learning. Her current partnership with Sydney Theatre Company on School Drama encapsulates this work. Other research interests include innovative teacher education, the experiences of early-career teachers and the role of mentoring; sustaining curriculum innovation; evaluation; and, the role of the Arts in educational research.

Robyn is immediate past president of the Australian Literacy Educators Association (2011-15), Chair of the Academic Board of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and Honorary Associate with Sydney Theatre Company. She was president of the Primary English Teachers Association (PETAA) from 2001-2006 and vice president of Sydney Story Factory, 2011-15.

Susanne Gannon (Secretary)
Susanne is Associate Professor in the School of Education, Western Sydney University (WSU). She teaches preservice English teachers with a particular interest in the teaching of creative writing in schools. She has been on the National Executive of the Australian Association of Teachers of English, and Editor of their research journal English in Australia.

Bruce Handmer (Treasurer)
Bruce Handmer is the founder and Managing Director of The Friday Group, a management consulting company which incorporates Friday Search and Friday Communications. Before launching this business ten years ago, Bruce was a Partner at Moss & Hooper Pty Ltd, a technology focused management consulting and recruitment firm. Prior to this Bruce was an Associate at Spencer Stuart & Associates’ Sydney office. He joined Spencer Stuart in 1997 from the international advertising and recruitment firm Austin Knight Pty Ltd, where he held the role of Managing Director. Prior to that Bruce held a Regional VP position with the global computer company, Memorex Telex. Bruce’s career started at IBM. He has also founded, built and sold a number of companies in computer, marketing and technical services along with numerous “change” and interim management roles including GM of an FMCG manufacturer and Executive and HR Advisor to AREVA Solar Inc & P/L.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has completed and/or taught courses in Change Management, SPC & TQM, Class A Manufacturing, OH&S, Sales & Marketing, Finance and Business Administration and Fundraising, is a member of the Sunengy Advisory Board, an advisor to other boards including Barefoot Power, sits on the North Sydney Council Environment Reference Committee, and is a past President of both Kambala and The Scots’ College’s Parent Associations.

Brett Perry
Brett has 35 year experience in the banking industry. He joined Commonwealth Bank in 1990. Throughout his career, Brett has worked in various roles, including Institutional Banking, Project Finance, State Manager Business Banking Qld and National Manager Corporate Risk Management. He is now General Manager, Credit Management with Commonwealth Bank of Australia Brett holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Deakin University).

Philip Porter 
Philip grew up in Parramatta and went to school at Rosehill Primary and Arthur Phillip High School. He subsequently graduated from UNSW with a BA (Politics and Spanish)and MA (Australian Politics) and Sydney University MA (Creative Writing). He also has a Teach Cert. from WWTC. He has been variously a high school and University teacher, business person (establishing educational centres in Australia, Japan, China, Indonesia and Thailand), fisherman, builders labourer, showman and ESL teacher (to name a few) in various countries around the world. He is currently the Director of Philip Porter Consulting and Special Advisor to The President of Meiji University, Tokyo. Philip is a poet and runs regular community Poetry Nights on the Lower North Shore and is currently editing an Anthology of Poetry of these events with Luke Fischer and Kit Kelen. His particular interest is to see more public support for Public Schools and has set up many programs at Arthur Phillip High over the past 10 years. Currently, he organises a Writing Scholarship Program at the School through his final year School Alumni. Details of these projects may be seen on his TEDTalk; “Public School Alumni-A Sleeping Giant.”

Hania Radvan
Hania has over 30 years’ experience as a professional arts worker  across performing arts practice, industry and audience development, venue management, arts policy development, funding implementation and strategy. Hania spent 22 years working in the Northern Territory of Australia first as Marketing Manager at the Darwin Entertainment Centre, then for the Northern Territory Government, ultimately as Director, Arts NT. During this period she was involved in joint arts marketing and industry development projects and acted as a coopted Director for Regional Arts Australia. In 2013 she took up the position of CEO Penrith Performing & Visual Arts  operators of the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest as well as Penrith Conservatorium and Q Theatre.

James Roy
James Roy is a multiple-awarded writer of over thirty books for young people. He teaches creative writing in Australia and overseas, served on the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts for three years, and is close to completing his Master of Creative Writing degree at the University of Sydney. His latest book, “”One Thousand Hills””, is set during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and is co-written with Noel Zihabamwe and was awarded 2016 NSW Premier’s Young People’s History Prize and the 2017 Ethel Turner Prize at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Vivienne Skinner
Vivienne is principal of the urban strategy company, Metropolis, and for nearly two decades was an adviser and speechwriter to two NSW premiers and the deputy prime minister of Australia.

Vivienne has been a television newsreader and journalist and is director of Beyond Empathy, which uses the arts to improve the lives of severely disadvantaged young Australians. She is a member of The Big Issue Women’s Advisory Committee, and SAMAG, the Sydney Arts Management Advisory Committee. Former board appointments include the Centennial Parklands and Moore Park Trust, chair of the Centennial Parklands’ Community Consultative Committee, deputy Chair of the Adelaide Film Festival, the South Australian Film Corporation, and the physical theatre company, Legs on the Wall. Vivienne recently completed a masters degree in Urban Policy and Strategy at the University of NSW and has a bachelor of arts degree from the Australian National University.