Board of Directors

Emeritus Professor Sharman Pretty, Chairperson

BMus (Hons), Adelaide; Künstlerische Reifeprüfung, Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg im Breisgau.
As one of Australasia’s most experienced leaders in higher education, the arts and creative industries, Sharman Pretty has served on the senior executive team as Professor and Dean at the Universities of Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne from 1994 – 2010. In 2010, she established Teamsolve, providing consultancy services to the higher and professional education, government and not-for-profit sectors.

Andrew Buchanan, Vice Chairperson

Andrew is a communications and media consultant based in Sydney, with more than 25 years in broadcasting as an announcer and journalist on radio and television with the ABC, including leadership of the ABC’s 60 local radio stations around Australia. He was also General Manager of the ABC’s International Development area with training consultancies in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and South Africa. Andrew is regarded as having special expertise in staff motivation and facilitating corporate change. Andrew has held board positions as Chair of NSW Disability Council, is currently a member on the Board of Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the national Chair of Open Gardens Australia. Andrew was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 1995 Australian Day Honours for services to communication, regional and rural communities.

William Thorne, Treasurer 

MCom (Hons), LLB (Hons) BCom (Accounting).
Will currently works for American Express, managing large merchant, B2B and airline risk for the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining American Express, Will was a manager in KPMG’s Management Consulting division where he worked on a wide range of engagements in the areas of health, community services, education and justice. Clients include NSW Health, Ageing Disability and Home Care, Enable NSW and Ability Options. Will was also awarded the University of South Australia University Medal for his dissertation on strategic performance measurement systems in service organisations.

Kate Lidbetter, Secretary

BA (Syd Uni), Grad Dip Arts Management (UTS), Master of Policy (UNSW), Grad Cert Applied Finance (Kaplan), Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Kate is Chief Executive Officer of Symphony Australia, also known as Symphony Services International. Previous positions have included Director of Music at the Australia Council for the Arts (2005-8), Artist Development Manager of Symphony Australia (1997-2005), Artistic Administrator of the Australian Youth Orchestra (1995-7) and General Manager of Sydney Children’s Choir (1994 -5) and was Chair of Ensemble Offspring until 2014. Kate represents professional orchestras as a Councillor of Music Australia, and is currently Chair of Gondwana Choirs. She regularly participates on panels, committees and juries for various music organisations in Australia and abroad.

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is an advocate for people who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment. Alex is a Co-Founder and Brand Ambassador of Access Innovation Media (Ai-Media), which developed Ai-Live, a real-time word-accurate speech-to-text captioning program using broadband technology which won on ABC1’s The New Inventors. Alex was born to a Deaf family in Michigan, U.S.A., and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 1997, he was recruited by the Australian Theatre of the Deaf, was the Director of the 2005 Deaflympic Games Cultural Festival in Melbourne and toured Australia with Heads Up!,  a theatre-in-education production. Alex played Lyle Slater on the Australian TV drama All Saints from 2001 to 2002. Since 2004, he has served as an ambassador for Don’t DIS my ABILITY and is currently the Chairperson of the Deafness Forum of Australia; a body representing the interests of people with hearing impairments, or chronic disorders of the ear.

David Kay

David is a Director of KPMG’s Health, Ageing and Human Services team.  He has more than 15 years’ experience in advising governments and large not-for-profit organisations on human services sector reform, program review and evaluation, strategic and operational planning and operational improvement.  The majority of David’s recent work has focused on disability sector strategy and reform and the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). David is currently a Board Member for Muscular Dystrophy NSW and the Chair of the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation Australia. Previously, he was the inaugural director of the Parramatta Artists’ Studios, where he developed an innovative hub for emerging artists.

Michael Dagostino

Michael Dagostino is the director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, a flagship contemporary art institution in south-western Sydney. His passion and dedication is focussed on collaborating with contemporary artists and curators to challenge historical, economic and social frameworks. Michael’s career highlights includes being the chair of Artspace, on the boards of Accessible Arts, FBi Radio, and has had leadership positions on the NSW State Government Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, Western Sydney Arts and Cultural Lobby and Sydney Cultural Network.

Emily Dash

Emily Dash is an accomplished filmmaker and theatremaker as well as a dedicated industry advocate for arts practitioners and audiences with disability or who are Deaf. Emily has written, produced, directed and/or performed in many screen and stage productions in Sydney and has worked with the ABC and Sydney Opera House. Emily has participated in several Accessible Arts professional development programs and is a member of Accessible Arts’ Advisory Panel.