Music For Canberra's Board of Directors & CEO
As a non-profit organisation, Music For Canberra is run by a volunteer board of members who work closely with our CEO & Artistic Director. Board members generously donate their time, skills & expertise to oversee the efficiency & success of our programs, and to ensure that MFC's central aims are upheld in all that we do.
Alan believes music helps us create a diverse, inclusive and tolerant community. He brings experience from the disability and higher education sectors, helping not-for-profit organisations through changes in national laws and funding. He is an Assistant Director and Diversity and Inclusion committee member at the Department of Communications and the Arts, and a PhD candidate in music and copyright law at the ANU. Alan is a keyboardist in Canberra bands FunkyTrop and Silk, and has played with Sparrow Folk, the National Folk Festival and Fearless Comedy Gala. Previously, Alan has been on the board of Supa Productions, and the President of the musical theatre and jazz societies of Sydney University.
Head of the Property Council of Australia’s Canberra office for more than a decade, Catherine is the managing director of Indigo Consulting Australia where she provides specialist business and communication advisory services with a focus on urban environments, new forms of collaboration, community building and diversity. Catherine sits on several boards including Music for Canberra, the National Association of Women in Construction and the Ministerial Council on Women, and is a regular media columnist and commentator on issues relating to the built environment, diversity and arts and cultural life. Catherine was the recipient of the Telstra Business Women’s ACT Community and Government Award in 2010, and the National Association of Women in Construction Crystal Vision Award in 2017.
Gavin is a Chartered Engineer with experience in the private and public sector. He has a B.Eng/B.Com Degree majoring in Commercial Law, a MS in IT and M.Eng in Project Management. In a separate role Gavin works with organisations to develop capability through improving employee engagement and well-being. He is a keen guitarist and bass player, and his two daughters play in the Canberra Youth Orchestra.
Natalie has over ten years’ experience working as a private and public lawyer in Australia. She has an established track record in providing commercial and strategic legal advice to a range of small, medium and large organisations, and is currently working as in-house legal counsel at the Advertising Standards Bureau. Prior to becoming a lawyer she completed a BA in Communications and worked in a number of creative industries including design and publishing. Over the years Natalie has taught herself a number of instruments, including the clarinet, saxophone, and more recently, the ukulele. She is also kept busy by her three young children who at any time can strike up a band with only sticks, a tin can and a cardboard box.
Liesl is a governance, policy and human resources consultant. After a career spanning 20 years in the community and public sectors, including senior roles in the Commonwealth, ACT and the United Kingdom, she now runs her own business helping organisations make excellent decisions around people and culture matters that support and drive business improvement. Liesl holds university degrees in economics and law and is admitted to practice in the ACT Supreme Court. She attended the China Executive Leadership Academy in Pudong (Shanghai) as a visiting student and is an alumni of the Australian Leadership Innovation Centre. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Member of the Institute of Managers and Leaders. In addition to joining the Music for Canberra Board, Liesl also holds positions as Deputy Chair of the Territory Records Advisory Council, Board member of Bosom Buddies ACT and Chair of the Sts Peter and Paul Primary School Community Council. An avid singer and performer during her school and university years, Liesl continually suggests that her three children join choirs or take up various musical instruments (with some success). She is delighted to have the opportunity to personally contribute to the local music community again through Music for Canberra.
Nathan is a lawyer with twenty years experience in public policy and government law. He has worked as a Native Title Officer in Indigenous Affairs, a Research Analyst in the Parliamentary Library and as Human Rights Advisor to the ACT Government. Currently, he holds the position of Special Counsel – Human Rights in the Office of the ACT Government Solicitor, with primary responsibility for matters arising under the Human Rights Act 2004, the first Bill of Rights in Australia. When not advising or appearing for the Territory, he sets up a decent camp site and plays sessions at folk festivals, encourages his teenage children to choose music over law and wonders what would have happened if he had continued his vocal jazz training with the late Gerry Scott…
Andrew left the Australian Public Service in 2014 after a 30 year career and almost a decade as a senior executive, with responsibility for marketing, communications, audit, assurance, compliance, risk management, fraud control, investigations, governance and planning in several departments. Since leaving the Public Service, Andrew has been providing management consultancy support to a range of government agencies as an Executive Director at the Synergy Group. Andrew has Master in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts, he is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and currently sits on the Board of the RSPCA ACT. He is an enthusiastic cyclist, fisherman, gardener, traveller and dog owner. While having a love of all forms of music, his musical talent is limited to once, loosely, being called a ‘drummer’. Andrew and his wife have one child, who thankfully got the music gene and is a fabulous pianist.
Valeriia is currently a graduate with the Australian Public Service, working in the area of environmental policy and law. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant for the law faculty at the University of Western Australia and holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia. Passionate about arts and the not-for-profit sector, she hopes to make musical education accessible to all.
CEO & Artistic Director
Kathleen Grant has had a long and varied career within the music industry that has provided her with a unique set of skills and an Australia-wide network. While 17 years old and still at high school, Max Cooke – the founder of the Team of Pianist at Melbourne University Conservatorium – accepted Kathleen as a pianist into the Gifted Musicians program. In the following year Kathleen pursued her driving interest in the study of combined degrees of Music and Education where she excelled in choral conducting, Kodaly methodology and classroom management.
Passionate about developing students’ skills via creative activity, Kathleen’s 30-year career spans Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. She has developed unprecedented music classroom and performance programs that have established new levels of performance opportunities, participation rates and results. Kathleen used performing arts to reinforce students’ broader development and has been able to show that students who had previously struggled in traditional studies had significant learning improvements if they where able to fully engage in performing arts programs that allowed them to develop and reinforce a sense of engagement, teamwork and self-worth. Kathleen has a clear client-based vision regarding her desired outcomes and career goals. She has applied flexibility and creativity in developing and utilizing teaching, conducting and management skills around Australia, across the entire learning spectrum from Early Childhood development to University, from inclusive community groups to ensembles of excellence, thereby providing Kathleen a genuine national perspective regarding music education in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.
Kathleen’s first step into senior administration occurred in 2006 when she became the first Operations Manager appointed at Box Hill Institute, Creative Industries. During this time of lecturing, conducting and administration Kathleen was responsible for improved administration of enrolments, data management and preservation of core knowledge. She also completed a Masters of Business at Swinburne University, receiving the Dean’s prize for Excellence in Knowledge Management.
Kathleen’s speciality in business is problem solving and creating sustainable systems. She seeks out and targets difficult areas of business and areas of institutional hurt, and by speaking plainly with effected parties, identifying the key issues and creatively constructing immediate and long term solutions, she has had great success and is a sought-after administrator.
As CEO & Artistic Director of Music For Canberra, Kathleen brings with her the necessary knowledge, experience, skills and attributes for managing the business and leading the artistic direction of the organisation, and is thrilled to work with the wonderful team of staff and wider community of members and participants.