TNA’s Board is an Industry Board, primarily made up of representatives of arts organisations and independent artists. There are currently eleven members, drawn from across the country, who are governed by TNA’s Rules of Association.
JILL SMITH (CHAIR)
Jill is the immediate past General Manager at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. As the former General Manager of the Playbox Theatre, with a focus sole on the work of Australian playwrights, Smith oversaw the theatre’s rise from its Exhibition Street home to its rebirth in 1990 at the CUB Malthouse. In 2019. Jill was awarded an Honorary Doctorate with Deakin University for her work in Geelong advocating for the valuing of the arts, and for her work ensuring that the new city plan G21 has creativity as a central focus.
CAROLINE BOWDITCH (CO-DEPUTY CHAIR)
Caroline is currently CEO at Arts Access Victoria, and was previously living and working in the UK for 16 years. She is an international artist, teacher, and speaker, and has held roles such as Scottish Dance Theatre’s Dance Agent for Change, Associate Artist with Paragon Music (Glasgow), Dance4 (Nottingham) and Imaginate (Scotland), and was Visiting Professor at Coventry University. She has been a regular consultant on accessibility and inclusivity to Skånes Dansteater, Sweden and British Council.
ERICA MCCALMAN (CO-DEPUTY CHAIR)
Erica is a producer, project and production manager with Ballardong (Noongar), Irish convict, Scottish, and Cornish heritage. She is currently Special Events Producer at Darwin Festival, and a Consulting Producer specialising in Emerging Artists and Producers for clients such as Melbourne Fringe, Yirramboi and City of Melbourne. From 2016 – 2019, she was Creative Producer at Next Wave after living and working in Sydney for Legs On The Wall physical theatre company and managing the British Council’s ACCELERATE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership programme. Previously Erica was an Associate Producer for Next Wave 2014 and has worked with Performing Lines, Sydney Festival, Blackfella films and Performance Space managing programs and initiatives both locally and nationally. Her production credits include works within Melbourne Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Festival and Brisbane Festival. She has collaborated with artists from Korea, Australia and Timor Leste, and holds a particular interest in contemporary, experimental and live art from First Nations and diverse artists.
LOU OPPENHEIM (TREASURER)
Lou Oppenheim is currently Director, Production and Events at Sydney Opera House. Prior to this, she was the Senior Manager, Create Infrastructure, within the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. From 2013-19, Lou was the Co-CEO and General Manager of Circus Oz, overseeing establishment of the organisation’s first ever purpose-built home base and transition to new artistic leadership, alongside the continuation of broad remote, regional and international touring program. Lou is currently also Deputy Chair of ELISION. Previously roles have included Chair of the City of Yarra Arts Advisory Committee, Board Member for Melbourne Youth Music, and the Arts Administration Tutor for the Australian Youth Orchestra.
Ben Graetz is a descendant of the Muran and Malak Malak Clans in the Northern Territory and of Badu Island on the Torres Strait Islands of Australia. He was previously the Creative Producer at ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, and was also the Darwin Entertainment Centre’s first Indigenous Creative Producer in Darwin NT. Ben was instrumental in the arts scene in the Top End of Australia where he created and directed The Garrmalang Festival which was Darwin’s first ever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander multi-arts Festival.
Catherine is currently Director of the Australian Performing Arts Market. She was previously the General Manager of Arts House, North Melbourne, Executive Producer of Chunky Move, and part of the Executive team at Malthouse Theatre for in the role of Associate Producer & Business Manager. She has worked extensively in producing theatre companies and festival contexts with roles at Arena Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre, Melbourne Festival, Out of the Box Festival and the Queensland Biennial Festival of Music. Catherine was for many years a Board member of Arena Theatre Company, Chair of Kage and on the Artistic Directorate of HotHouse Theatre.
Cassie McGannon is an experienced policy and advocacy adviser. She has held policy and strategy roles at Social Ventures Australia; the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet; Grattan Institute; and as an adviser to a federal Cabinet Minister. She holds a Masters in Public Policy degree from Princeton University. Cassie has volunteered with the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, and the US Library of Congress National Book Festival. In 2018 Cassie was placed with the TNA Board as part of The Observership Program, before formally joining in 2019.
Sam Routledge is a director and producer of contemporary puppetry, with a strong record of innovation in the form. He has created and co-created nine original works including two international touring productions, Men Of Steel (2006) and I Think I Can (2013). He has worked with many Australian and international companies including My Darling Patricia, Arena Theatre Company, Snuff Puppets, Darwin Festival, Windmill Theatre Company, Gruppe 38 (Denmark), Societas Raffaello Sanzio (Italy), and LATT Children’s Theatre (Korea). His work has toured extensively nationally and internationally. Sam has been the Artistic Director of Terrapin Puppet Theatre in Hobart, since 2012, and in this role has commissioned and co-commissioned four new works of puppetry from leading Australian playwrights for young people, including Sean Monro, Finnegan Kruckemeyer and Angela Betzien.
Brad has worked as a producer and artist manager for over 15 years. From 2011-2015, he was the Executive Producer of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre company. During this time he was responsible for taking the company to new national and international audiences, considerably growing the company, as well as creating significant opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Preceding this, Brad was the Executive Producer of Snuff Puppets, taking the company to new international markets and developing dynamic artistic international collaborations. As a Producer he has worked with Lucy Guerin, Rising Tide Productions and for the inaugural TippingPoint Australia conference. Brad has extensive experience in creating environments in which artists can develop and stage new work. Brad is currently the Director of The Substation.
Lyn is the immediate past Artistic Director at Hothouse Theatre. She has worked as a director, producer, programmer, performer and teacher for over 30 years, with a practice focus on new Australian writing. Lyn spent almost a decade as Downstairs Theatre Director for Belvoir (Company B) where she curated and produced nine seasons of independent theatre, and championed a new wave of artistic leaders. During this time she wrote In Good Company – a manual for producing independent theatre, which was published by Currency Press in 2005. Prior to joining HotHouse, Lyn was Director of Theatre for the Australia Council for the Arts for almost six years, where she played a key role in the development of national policy and strategic initiatives for the Australian theatre sector.
Rose de Jong (The Observership Program 2020)
Rose de Jong is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Central West NSW. Rose began her career in 2016 with Corrections Victoria and more recently commenced with Aboriginal Victoria where she contributes to the design, development and implementation of policies, programs and services for Victorian Aboriginal communities. Rose has always had a passion for working towards improving social justice outcomes for Aboriginal people. Rose looks forward to participating in The Observership Program with TNA to support her leadership journey towards becoming a key driver of change in improving social justice outcomes for her community.
TNA acknowledges the vital contribution of former board members: Simon Abrahams (Co-founder & Chair 2010-2017), Gorkem Acaroglu, Sarah Austin (Co-founder), Maude Davey (Co-founder), Rose Goddee (Co-founder), John Harvey, Fiona Maxwell (Co-founder & Chair 2009-2010), Chris Mead, Erin Milne (Co-founder), Alice Nash (Co-founder & Deputy Chair 2009-2017), Veronica Pardo, Emily Sexton, Chris Thompson (Co-founder), Ann Tonks and Geoffrey Williams (Co-founder).