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Three new faces join Melbourne Festival board

Matthew Wade

A wealth of experience has been brought to the Festival before it kicks off next month.
Three new faces join Melbourne Festival board

Shaun Parker's Am I will be staged at this year's Melbourne Festival. Image: Branco Gaica.  

Melbourne Festival has appointed Simon Ryan, Sally Bruce and Rob Brookman to its board of directors in the lead-up to next month’s festival.

Melbourne Festival President, Linda Dessau, said, ‘I am delighted that Rob, Sally, and Simon have agreed to join the Melbourne Festival board. Each of them brings specific skills and experience that will add richly to the diverse expertise of existing directors.’


Brookman is a leading Australian festival director, cultural programmer and arts administrator, and is the Chief Executive Officer and Producer of the State Theatre Company of Australia.

He has also held leadership positions in a number of festivals, including the role of Artistic Director at the Adelaide Festival, the National Festival of Australian Theatre, and the New Zealand International Festival of Art.

In 1992 Brookman also co-founded Australia’s leading world music festival WOMADelaide and continues to serve on the WOMADelaide Foundation.

Bruce has been the Chief Financial Officer of NAB’s Business and Personal Banking businesses since 2013 after joining NAB in 2009.

She has more than 20 years’ worth of experience in financial services, including a senior level career with the Macquarie Group.

In 2004 Bruce was also awarded the Australian Financial Review’s Boss Young Executive of the Year.

Ryan is the Chief Executive Officer of Carat Australia and New Zealand, after joining Carat’s Melbourne business as Managing Director in 2009.

He brings with him an 18-year career in the media, including roles at Zenith Media, Mediacom and Universal McCann.

Ryan holds business marketing qualifications and has won a slew of industry awards in strategy and media.

All three new members have extensive experience that they will each bring to their new roles.

Melbourne Festival is one of Australia’s leading international arts festivals, hosting a variety of performances and events including dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia and outdoor events.

It was first staged in 1986, and next year will mark the festival’s 30th year, with two commissioned productions already announced for the 2015 festival.

This year’s festival will run from October 10 to 26, and will feature both ticketed and free events.

About the author

Matthew Wade is a Master of Journalism student at the University of Melbourne. He has written for the Daily Review, and is on the Melbourne Queer Film Festival selection panel. Follow him on Twitter: @MatthewRWade