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Kathy Shand – Chair

Kathy Shand has been on the Board of Sydney Writers' Festival for nine years. She has served most recently on the boards of the State Library of New South Wales Foundation, The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation and the Sydney Children's' Hospital Foundation. She was co-publisher of the Australian Jewish News for several years and has extensive community involvement. Kathy was a judge of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. She is a Director of the Next Generation Foundation and works closely to encourage and foster philanthropic giving within the Arts. Kathy has a Bachelor of Arts Law (BaLlb) from the University of Sydney and a Masters of International Relations (USyd).

Kate Dundas – Deputy Chair

Kate Dundas works as a mentor to emerging and established leaders and is an independent consultant on major arts projects. She is a Sydney Festival Board Director and Deputy Chair of Australia for UNHCR. Kate has performed executive roles in the ABC and government. Most recently she was Executive Director of Performing Arts at Sydney Opera House. At the ABC, after heading up the national Radio networks, she became the ABC’s Director of People and Learning before stepping back into content for five years as the Director of ABC Radio. During that period she led the establishment of the ABC’s digital radio stations, expanded online audio and podcasting services and overhauled emergency broadcasting to ensure Australians were supported during times of natural disaster and crisis.

Kate is a Vincent Fairfax Fellow, has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Michael Dagostino

Michael Dagostino is the Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, a flagship contemporary art institution in Western Sydney. His passion and dedication is focussed on collaborating with contemporary artists and curators to challenge historical, political and social frameworks. Previously Michael was the inaugural director of the Parramatta Artists Studios, where he developed an innovative hub for emerging artists. Michael has commissioned and or curated a number award-winning exhibitions including Towards the Morning Sun (2013); The List (2014); TV Moore’s Rum Jungle (2014); Cosmic Love Wonder Lust (2014); On Manus Island (2016) with Mike Parr; With Secrecy and Despatch (2016); Another Day in Paradise (2017); and Lisa ReihanaCinemania (2018).

Michael’s career 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.

Adrian Kerley

Adrian Kerley is a company director and investment professional with over 20 years of direct investing and company management experience. He brings deep corporate governance, accounting, finance and management knowledge to the role as chair of the Sydney Writers' Festival Finance Committee.

Adrian is currently the Chairman of PRP Diagnostic Imaging, a leading provider of radiology and nuclear medicine services, and an Executive Director at IFM Investors, a global fund manager owned by pension funds. He is a Non-executive Director of three global software companies, Payapps Limited, Tally Group and Render Networks, and was previously a director of the Australia Investment Council, Scentia Education, Macpac, TR Group, Cater Care, Lorna Jane and SG Fleet.

Adrian is a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelor of Applied Finance and a Bachelor of Commerce – Accounting from Macquarie University as well as a Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting.

Professor Michael McDaniel AO

Michael is a member of the Wiradjuri Nation of Central New South Wales with a career in Indigenous higher education and record of service to the arts, culture and the community spanning more than three decades. 

At present he is a Professor of Indigenous Education and Special Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Prior to this, he was the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) and Director of Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, UTS.

Michael has a considerable record of leadership and service in relation to arts and culture and is a former chair of the Board of Bangarra Dance Theatre. He has also served on the boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Australia), Sydney Living Museums, the Australian Major Performing Arts Group and NAISDA Dance College.

In addition to his involvement in the arts, Michael has held several federal and state government appointments having been a chair of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra. He has also served as a member of the National Native Title Tribunal, the New South Wales Mental Health Review Tribunal, the New South Wales Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the New South Wales Guardianship Tribunal. Michael has also been a Commissioner with the New South Wales Land and Environment Court.

Sheila McGregor

Sheila McGregor is a company director and commercial lawyer with extensive experience in media, telecommunications, technology, digital and financial services. 

After graduating from the University of Sydney, Sheila practiced law at Freehills, and then later at Gilbert + Tobin where she now sits on the board, heads the firm’s national technology and digital practice, and chairs the art committee that is responsible for the firm’s notable Indigenous art collection.

Sheila currently is a director of Crestone Wealth Management Limited and IAG Limited, and chairs the board of Sydney Girls High School. She previously was a director of Seven West Media and the chair of the Royal Women’s Hospital Foundation. She holds a BA (Hons), LLB from the University of Sydney and is a member of CEW.

Dr Julianne Schultz

Dr Julianne Schultz is professor emeritus of media and culture at Griffith University. In 2003 she became the founding editor of Griffith Review which quickly established itself as the leading quarterly journal of ideas and culture. In this role she edited 62 editions and published more than 1,000 established and emerging authors who went on to write books and films based on essays first commissioned for Griffith Review. During her 15-year stewardship of Griffith Review, its contributors won major awards for literature and journalism and she facilitated conversations and forums as writers festivals and other events around Australia and internationally.

Prior to this role she held senior editorial, academic and management roles at the ABC, Courier Mail, and University of Technology Sydney.

She is the author of The Idea of Australia, Reviving the Fourth Estate and Steel City Blues, and wrote the librettos for the award winning operas, Going into Shadows and Black River.

She has served as chair of The Conversation Media Group, Australian Film TV and Radio School, Queensland Design Council and Reference Group for Creative Australia. She was a board director of the ABC, Grattan Institute, Copyright Agency and has served on numerous advisory boards with an emphasis on culture, media, journalism and education.

She was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to journalism and the community in 2009 and elected an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities the following year.

She divides her time between Sydney and the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

Robert Watkins

Robert Watkins is the Publishing Director of Ultimo Press. Prior to that he was Head of Literary at Hachette Australia.

For over 25 years Robert has worked in Australian books and publishing, with stints in book retail and retail management, across sales, marketing and publicity at Hachette Australia and for the past 13 years as a publisher of Australian fiction and non-fiction. Books Robert has published have won or been shortlisted for the ABIA Book of the Year, the Stella Prize, the Miles Franklin Award, the NSW Premier's Awards, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the Queensland Literary Awards among many others. Through his career in publishing Robert has been a peer for the Australia Council for the Arts, an assessor for the Copyright Agency, participated in writers festivals across Australia and worked with the black&write! program based out of the State Library of QLD.