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Board Members

Festival Board

Prof Margaret Seares AO: Chair
Ms Suzanne Ardagh
Mr Alan R. Dodge AM
Mr David Griffiths
Mr Ryan Stokes
Mr Gene Tilbrook
Ms Gaye McMath
Mr John Barrington

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 Alan R. Dodge AM
Mr Dodge, an art advisor, is the former Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, a position he held for 11 years.

Mr Dodge has 35 years experience in the visual arts, having worked as everything from a teacher of art history to a curator of European and American art.
Mr Dodge is currently on the Board of the National Portrait Gallery, on the Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies and member, Steering Committee for the Arts Precinct, University of Western Australia, Chairman of the Board of the Murdoch University Art Collection and the John Curtin Gallery at the Curtin University of Technology. He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Art at Curtin University of Technology, a Fellow of Edith Cowan University and a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters, appointed by the French government.

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

Mr Ryan Stokes
Born in Perth Western Australia, Ryan completed his university education at Curtin Universityof Technology.

Ryan is CEO of Australian Capital Equity Ltd (ACE), a privately owned company holding amajority interest in Seven Group Holdings (SGH), a leading operating and investment company listed on the ASX. SGH owns 30% of Seven West Media (SWM) and owns WesTrac Pty Ltd, the Caterpillar dealer for Western Australia, New South Wales and North East China. Seven West Media owns the Seven Network, West Australian Newspaper Holdings, Pacific Magazines and Yahoo!7, a joint venture with Yahoo Inc.

Ryan is Director of WesTrac, Consolidated Media Holdings, Yahoo!7, Iron Ore Holdings, an alternate Director of Seven West Media and Chairman of vividwireless. Ryan is also a Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Council and the Australian Institute of Management, WA.

Mr Gene Tilbrook
Gene is a company director with a background in corporate strategy, investment and finance; as well as particular interests in the arts and education. He is a member of the boards of Fletcher Building, GPT Group and Transpacific Industries (each ASX-listed); NBN Co, the Australian Government owned broadband group; and Queensland-based railroad, QR.

He was an executive director of Wesfarmers from 2002 to 2009, having spent 23 years with the group, with responsibilities across acquisitions, investments, strategy and finance.

He is a councillor of Curtin University and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, WA; and a member of the boards of the Bell Shakespeare Company, the Committee for Perth and the St George's College Foundation.

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.