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Who We Are


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Michael Brogan

Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. Michael was a partner in a firm of chartered accountants for 14 years and has over 20 years experience as a senior executive in international and domestic banking. Michael is a former senior executive director of the FirstRand Banking Group. He is the immediate past Chairman of FirstRand International Limited and the RMB Australia Group. Michael is the non-executive Chairman of a number of public and private companies.  He is also a director of the Indochina Starfish Foundation (Australia) Limited.  Michael has extensive domestic and international business experience in the areas of strategic business development, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, audit, compliance and risk management.

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Lisa Colley

Lisa is the Director of the Creative Industries Innovation Centre. She has extensive experience in government relations, policy and program development at a senior management level in the Arts and Cultural sectors. Prior to this (until June 2005), Lisa was the Executive Director, Policy, Communications and Research at the Australia Council for the Arts.

During her 13 years work at the Australia Council, Lisa developed networks across the arts, government, research and community sectors that position her well to build strategic alliances to develop effective arts and health programs.

Dr Emma O’Brien (PhD RMT)
Executive Director and Board Member

Dr Emma O’Brien OAM was appointed to the board in 2013. She has extensive experience in Creative Health projects as a music therapist, health manager, composer, researcher and an internationally renowned innovator in the role of music in wellbeing; specialising in acute health care. She has pioneered methods in guided facilitated songwriting across music genres and her work was the subject of the multi award winning SBS/f-reel documentary, ‘Opera Therapy’ (2005). Emma was awarded the Victorian Public Health Care Award in 2011 for her pioneering methods of songwriting in enabling person and family centered care in music therapy by giving patients a voic.  The Age Melbourne Magazine as one of Melbourne’s Top 100 provocative, passionate and powerful people of 2012. She was awarded her PhD at The University of Melbourne  December 2014 on the effect of her specialised method of guided songwriting on cancer patients’ quality of life, mood states, distress levels and satisfaction with hospital stay. She has published widely on her research and programs and has presented at national and international conferences. Emma was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2017 for her contribution to the health wellbeing of the community through music therapy. She is the founder and Head of Music Therapy at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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Alan Deans

Founder and partner of Last Word Corporate Communications, a specialist corporate communications firm that advises companies, organisations and individuals on media, investor and government issues. Alan worked for more than 30 years as a journalist and editor for publications including Bulletin with Newsweek, The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.

He also represented Australia’s largest magazine publisher, ACP Magazines, on the Australian Press Council, has written several books and has previously been a director of a homeless kids charity.

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Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM

Elizabeth Elliott AM is a distinguished Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney and Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. She is a research leader internationally and holds a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellowship. In 1993 she founded the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU), to facilitate study of rare childhood diseases, and has since been its Director. She established and co-leads the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) system for inpatient disease surveillance. Community contributions include: Expert Panel of Baya Gawiy, the Children and Family Centre, Fitzroy Crossing; SMILE Foundation Board; Hoc Mai Australia-Vietnam Medical Foundation Board; Steve Waugh Foundation Medical Advisory Committee; the Council of the Women’s College, University of Sydney; Cure Kids Australia Board; and Ambassador, NSW Guides. Elizabeth is Team Leader of the Hoc Mai Maternal and Child Health Program in Dien Bien Province Vietnam. In 2008 she was selected for the Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit and made a Member of the Order of Australia. In 2011 she won the John Sands Medal from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and in 2013 was named one of 100 Women of influence in Australia. Elizabeth is an advocate for children, particularly those with rare diseases and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, Indigenous children and children in immigration detention.

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Claude Gauchat (BScAg, MBA, FAICD)

Claude Gauchat (MBA, FAICD) is the managing director of direct2, a corporate advisor on reputation risk management. He has extensive international business and board experience, with expertise in strategic planning, corporate governance, public policy development and change management of not-for-profit companies. Claude currently acts as an independent member of the Audit Committee of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and is also a non-executive director of several small-to-medium sized public companies and a past facilitator with the Australian Institute for Company Directors.

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Geoffrey Hilton

Corporate adviser, company director and lawyer. Partner of Sydney law firm Henry Davis York 1978-2012, including terms as chair of its Board of Management and Chairman of Partners.

Chairman of Man Investments Australia Limited 2002-2013 and a director of Globalaw Limited 2002-2013, including a term as its President. Formerly a non-executive director of RMB Australia Holdings Limited and M-co International Limited.

Presently serving as a non-executive director of Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty Ltd, Syscon Justice Systems International Pty Ltd and Hubbell Australia (Holdings) Pty Limited.

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Professor Mathew Vadas (AO, MB BS,FRACP,FRCPA,PhD,DSc)

Professor Mathew Vadas is a medical researcher and Executive Director of the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology.

Mathew has held senior positions on various scientific advisory panels and boards for leading research bodies including the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council and Sydney Institutes of Health and Medical Research.

James Ostroburski

James Ostroburski is Chief Executive of Kooyong Group, a family of companies that provides property finance and advisory to individuals and businesses, manages private wealth and supports Australian social and cultural endeavours through philanthropy. The group’s centrepiece is Kooyong Wealth, a boutique lending business that sourced an initial capital pool of over $35 million before launching in December 2016. Prior to Kooyong, James held leadership roles at Grimsey Wealth (2015–2016), Investec Bank (Aust) Ltd (2010–2015) and Credit Union Australia (2009–2010), focusing on property advisory, debt funding and wealth management. James is a Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Jewish Museum of Australia & the Institute of Creative Health. He also recently co-chaired the fifth annual Nexus Global Youth Summit – a launchpad for leaders in social change and innovation – at the United Nations in New York City. James was formerly a Director of the Bundanon Trust, Chairman of Dancehouse Incorporated & a Governor of the Arts Centre Melbourne Foundation.

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Helen Zigmond (MA)

Helen Zigmond has an extensive background in education and the arts, working as a practitioner and a consultant involved in training and policy development in school, universities and other community institutions.

Since 1995 she has worked in the Health sector believing health to be a cultural context. In 1997 Helen developed the innovative arts in health program Creative Well for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW and the community based Clacia program for regional and rural communities . She has represented her work overseas and developed a number of working relationships in the UK. Helen has been a director of The Institute For Creative Health since 2009.

Clinical Professor David Bennett AO

David is an adolescent health physician with a major focus on the development of integrated, creative health services for young people and their families. In 1977, he pioneered Australia's first hospital-based adolescent medical unit subsequently encompassing an adolescent ward with a vibrant youth arts program, and an innovative community-based service for homeless young people, also linking health and the arts. In 1995 David established the NSW Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health - now the Youth Health and Wellbeing team at NSW Health, to which he is Senior Clinical Advisor. He also serves on the NSW Child and Family Health Advisory Council. Academically, David is a Clinical Professor with the University of Sydney and the author of numerous books, monographs and papers on adolescent health. He was awarded an AO in 1995 for 'service to medicine, particularly in the field of adolescent health and medical care' and is Past President and Life Member of the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare. Internationally, David is a Fellow of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and Past President of the International Association for Adolescent Health. Earlier in his career, he was a consultant on 'youth-friendly services' for the World Health Organisation. He is also the recipient of an LMusA in piano performance from the AMEB and an active classical musician.


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Maz McGann
Institute for Creative Health Sector Development / Liaison Director

Maz McGann joined the Institute for Creative Health in January 2014.  She brings to the organisation extensive knowledge of arts and cultural development working from both a practical and strategic perspective.  Up until the end of 2014 Maz was the CEO for Creating Australia, a national peak body for the Community Arts and Cultural Development sector she has also managed Cultural Development Projects for local government in Victoria and South Australia including exhibitions, large scale festivals and events and training and development programs for artists.

Maz was the Chair of the Barossa Regional Galleries Association of South Australia from 2012 to 2014 and has served on the Boards of the Hewett Centre, the Barossa Arts and Convention Centre and she was the Chair of Women’s Health Goulburn North East from 2007 - 2009.


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Robyn Archer AO

Robyn Archer AO, the highly acclaimed and awarded singer, writer, director, Artistic Director and public advocate of the Arts has been an Ambassador of The Institute for Creative Health since 2011 when it was known as the Arts and Health Foundation. “I wholly endorse the work of the Arts & Health Foundation. As a child who was born with every allergy known to man and developed severe chronic asthma at 2 years old, I know just how valuable the arts are in bringing hope, optimism and real improvement to those with health challenges. Drawing, painting and reading from my sickbed made me happier, and singing and swimming prevented my asthma from being so much worse. Through the arts I have a fantastic active life and have suffered absolutely no setbacks because of my health. I have been singing professionally for fifty years – and still going strong. I hope that that the Arts & Health Foundation can give such a gift to many others.” Robyn’s other current roles include Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra 2013; Artistic Director of The Light in Winter (Federation Square, Melbourne); Chair of the Artistic Advisory Board Adelaide College of the Arts and; patron to Brink Productions, Arts Law Society, Australian Art Orchestra, Australian Script Centre, Institute of Postcolonial Studies, Ambassador Adelaide Football Club, International Development Agency.

Robyn Archer talks about arts and health from a personal perspective

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Professor Ian Hickie AM

Professor Ian Hickie AM, Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney and Ambassador for the Institute for Creative Health.

Professor Ian Hickie speaks about the role of arts in health

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Sally Francis (RGN, Grad Dip Management – Arts)

Sally currently holds the position of Arts Coordinator, Arts in Health at FMC, Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia and has a background in community health, visual arts practice and arts management. She is an advocate for developing government support for arts and health in hospitals throughout Australia and in 2008 assisted SA Health with the development of the SA Arts in Health Partnership Agreement. Sally was a Board member of The Institute for Creative Health from 2006 -2013.

Sally is a Churchill Fellow and member Society for the Arts in Healthcare (US). She has presented widely at conferences in Australia and overseas on arts and health program development and management.

Sally Francis talks about the arts and health program at Flinders Medical Centre

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Professor Michael Kidd AM

Michael Kidd is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University. Michael is a general practitioner and President of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). He has research and education interests in primary health care and family medicine, e-health, health policy, medical education, safety and quality in primary care, and the primary care management of HIV, hepatitis C and sexually transmissible infections.

Michael was a founding Board Director for the Institute, he retired from this position in 2014 and in now a proud Ambassador.

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Julia Cannell

Julia Cannell was 28 weeks pregnant with her third child when she was diagnosed with leukaemia. Music therapy helped turn the story of her illness and recovery into a powerful song. Her story was featured in Musical Healing on ABC TV’s Compass on the 15 November 2015.

Donor Advisory Group

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Daniel Gauchat Dr (hc)

Principal at the Adelante Group

Past Director UNSW Foundation Ltd

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Denis Tracey

Author of ‘Giving it Away: In Praise of Philanthropy’.
Past Director of R & E.
Philanthropy and Development at University of Sydney.

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Ian Kennedy OAM

Patron and past Board member Starlight Children’s Foundation
Marketing Strategist