Who are we?

Our Board

Leonard Amadio AO

Len Amadio enjoyed a distinguished career first in ABC Concerts, and subsequently for 25 years (1970-1995) in senior arts positions in the South Australian government, culminating in ten years as that State's foundation Director of the Department of the Arts. As one of Australia's pioneers of public sector arts funding and support, Amadio's influence on the creative industries and on a generation of arts managers has been profound. Many of the arts institutions created through his leadership, including the South Australian Film Corporation and the SA Country Arts Trust, remain national models and pacesetters today. He has served on many national arts boards including some of the most influential in the country such as the Australian Opera, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Adelaide Festival, UNESCO and the Australian Youth Orchestra. He has an unrivalled international arts network in Europe, North America and East Asia and more recently has turned his attention to international cultural tourism, leading ten Cultural Tours of Europe for Alumni Travel.

Lee Christofis

For the past 26 years Lee Christofis has been one of Australia's leading dance critics and commentators in the print and broadcast media, notably in The Australian and on ABC Art programs. He threw his first fund-raiser as an 18-year-old Queensland Ballet dancer in the 1960s when funding was minimal and precarious, never imagining that forty years later he would be teaching arts management at the University of Melbourne. There he devised the Multicultural Arts Marketing Ambassadors Strategy to encourage arts organisations to build new audiences among ethnic communities. He has never given up his day job, though, moving from dance to early childhood education, family welfare and settlement programs for migrants and refugees. He returned to dance full-time in 2007 as the National Library of Australia's Curator of Dance. His ironic fascination with arts funding and policy was galvanised by five years' experience with ABC Concerts, seven on the ABC Radio & TV Advisory Board, and eight as a national vice-president of Ausdance. His abiding fascination over the past decade has been the emergence of contemporary dance that overtook postmodernism in distinctive ways and attracted both unlikely collaborators and new audiences from outside the dance community.
He was honoured for services to dance in the 2009 Australia Dance awards.

Di Yerbury AO


Di Yerbury holds an LLB (Hons), a Grad Dip in Industrial Administration, and a PhD. She is the recipient of 3 Honorary Doctorates and 3 (Australian and international) Fellowships. She is an Emeritus Professor of both UNSW and Macquarie University and became Australia’s first woman Vice-Chancellor when she took up the role at Macquarie University in January 1987. By the time she retired in 2006, she was Australia’s longest serving VC. She has been President of several major higher education associations and peak bodies in Australia and overseas, including the AVCC, now known as Universities Australia. She has also been: a senior executive since 1974 (being the first woman to be appointed to the level of First Assistant Secretary in the Australian Public Service where she was in charge of National Wage Cases and national industrial relations policy); a professor since 1976, and the first woman professor of management (a founding professor of Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW) and a CEO since 1984 (General Manager of the Australia Council)

She has served as a Director on numerous business, government, higher education, arts and non-profit boards since 1983, and continues to do so. She has chaired or been a member of more than 20 reviews for governments in Australia and overseas. She continues to serve as Patron, Chair or Board Director of many arts bodies. She was Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year in 2001. She has been a key pioneer and policy developer in international education since the early 1980s, and later chaired IDP Education Australia for 9 years. She continues to work in this area. She has co-owned and (in 2011) co-sold two start-up companies, and is currently co-founder of another two start-ups.

Executive Director

Justin Macdonnell

Justin Macdonnell, Executive Director Justin Macdonnell has worked in the arts for over 40 years. In that time he has been Projects Manager of the Australian Opera, General Manager, State Opera of South Australia and Director of the National Opera of New Zealand, Programming Director of the Sydney Festival and Executive Director of CAPPA (Confederation of Australian Professional Performing Arts) and most recently Artistic Director of Carnival Center in the US. In 1986 he created Macdonnell Promotions Pty Ltd and, up to 2003, built it into one of the leading arts management, production and consulting organizations in the Asia Pacific region. In that time he acted as consultant to and project manager for numerous and extraordinarily varied arts organizations across Australia and around the world. These included major strategic planning and institutional remodeling exercises. In 1991 with Marguerite Pepper he created ExportOz, a limited life, not-for-profit agency designed to take Australian performing arts and artists to the world. It organized and managed major international; promotions of Australian performing arts and artists in Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Canada and the USA. It developed touring promotional packages for international trade fairs around the globe and developed a network over four continents for its work. By the mid-90s its pioneering task was done. In 1992 he established the Australia Latin America Foundation, a not-for-profit agency designed to promote cultural relations between Australia and the countries of Latin America which transformed the cultural profile of Australia in Latin America from one of virtual invisibility to become part of the mix of regular cultural presenting throughout the continent. In 2003 he relocated to the US to become Artistic Director, Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida where he served for five years. In 2008 returned to Australia as Executive Director of the newly formed Anzarts Institute, a consulting agency designed to advance the arts and creative industries in Australasia. In that capacity he has undertaken a score of consultancies for federal, state and local government agencies and private organisations in the arts and cultural areas. These have ranged from operational reviews of art centres for local government authorities, studies on music theatre, multi-cultural policy, arts export and pit orchestral services for the Australia Council, on their theatre sectors for the Tasmanian and Northern Territory governments to business planning for everything from Indigenous broadcasting and film-making to regional youth theatre and dance.