Board and Staff

Music Australia is a not for profit proprietary limited company with a national board of directors, and 50 expert Councillors who include nominees of national music organisations and individual experts. Music Australia has Deductible Gift Recipient status and receives multiyear funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training.

Music Australia has a Sydney office and four staff based in Sydney and Brisbane, as well as a large network of partners, contributors and contractors committed to the promotion and development of its programs.

Music Australia Board of Directors

Michael Smellie Chair of Music Australia Board Michael Smellie (2018), Chair

Michael’s career in the music business spans more than 25 years and across five continents as former Global Chief Operations Officer of Sony BMG, Asia Pacific Head for BMG, and Managing Director of Polygram and rooArt in Australia.

As COO for BMG worldwide, he directed the company through some turbulent years and was an integral part of negotiating and implementing the merger with Sony Music. He was appointed COO of Sony BMG in 2004 before leaving in 2005 to return to Australia. Until the end of 2008, he was President of Media Development, Asia Pacific for German media giant Bertelsmann.

He is an investor, adviser and board member to a number of start-up creative businesses in Australia and the United States.

Ryan Miller Headshot Ryan Miller, NSW (2020) Treasurer

Ryan is a qualified accountant holding a Bachelor of Commerce degree and membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He has over 15 years’ experience in business services and public practice accounting working with many not for profit and for profit organisations. The services I have been fortunate enough to provide the not for profit sector include the provision of audit services, accounting and taxation, internal control and policy and procedures reviews, management reporting and liaising with Boards as well as budgeting, cash flows and forecasting. Ryan has a passion for all types of music and looks forward to bringing his enthusiasm and skills to the organisation to assist with all things financial. Ryan is Chair of Music Australia’s Finance Committee.

Dr Brydie Leigh-Bartleet, Dr Brydie Leigh-Bartleet (2018)

Dr Brydie-Leigh Bartleet is Deputy Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and Convenor of the Music and Communities Strand. She has worked on a range of national and international projects in community music, arts-based service learning with Australian First Peoples, intercultural community arts, and arts-based health and wellbeing for refugee and asylum seekers.

She is the new Chair of the International Society for Music Education’s Community Music Activities Commission, and serves on a range of international and national boards including the International Journal of Music Education – Practice, the International Journal of Community Music, the Asia Pacific Community Music Network, and the Commonwealth Creativities in Intercultural Arts Network, to mention a few. As a community music facilitator she has worked with bands, orchestras, choirs, and jazz ensembles from Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan.

 Catherine Gerrard Head shot Catherine Gerrard, NSW (2020)

Catherine’s corporate experience features the role of Executive Director and business owner of a music publishing enterprise, multiple music industry Board Directorships and work as the creator of an Australia-wide contemporary popular music education program. In 2013, Catherine became the Educational Licensing Consultant for APRA AMCOS, and in December 2013 took up the role of APRA AMCOS’ Director of Membership.

  Ed St John (2020)

Ed St John started in music in 1977 as a critic and writer for Rolling Stone Magazine, spending a decade documenting the halcyon days of Australian rock in the company of artists such as INXS, Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel. From the mid-80s Ed added TV writing and production, working on Rock Around the World (SBS), Edge of the Wedge (ABC), Saturday Morning Live (Seven) and Tonight Live with Steve Vizard (Seven).

In 1993 Ed shifted to music marketing as Director of Marketing at Columbia Records Australia for four years, then Director of Marketing at BMG Australia. After two years, he was appointed Managing Director, and in 2005 became President and CEO of Warner Music Australia until 2010. Ed has served on the boards of the PPCA and ARIA, been ARIA chair for one year and Chairman of the ARIA Awards for a decade.

More recently Ed has worked in consulting roles including casting judges for The Voice and X Factor. He is currently Executive General Manager of The Ethics Centre and Chairman of Valleyarm Digital.

 Paul Noonan Headshot Paul Noonan, VIC (2020)

Paul Noonan is a partner at national law firm Thomson Geer, where his practice focuses on intellectual property and technology law.  Paul has a BA with Honours in music and studied piano and viola from an early age.  He was bass player in several successful rock bands in the early 1980s and worked as bass player, keyboardist and Assistant Conductor on the premiere Australian seasons of the hit musicals Cats and Les Miserables.  In 1996, Paul completed an Honours degree in Law at Monash University.  He appears regularly in concerts with his wife, Bernadette Robinson.

  Rhonda Davidson Irwin, QLD  (2020)

Rhonda is an expert in the field of early childhood education, television and music. Rhonda has a Masters of Music Education, a BA in Music Education and in 2008 she was Queensland University of Technology’s ‘Faculty of Education Outstanding Alumni’ award winner. Rhonda has taught more than 20,000 children and established dynamic Queensland group Viva La Musica. She composed music for the 2004 Athens Olympics and her orchestra performed for the Warner Brothers Great Outback Spectacular. Rhonda is internationally recognised for her consultancy work and is sought after as a keynote speaker throughout the world. She has advised the governments of Singapore ,China and Hong Kong in music education and written curriculum for Queensland and Victoria. She is currently the Education Consultant and Corporate Trainer for P and O Australia. Rhonda is also currently a music specialist at Pullenvale SS and Early Childhood Consultant , Composer and Live pianist for Network Tens hit kids show ” Crocamole”.

To contact a member of Music Australia’s Board email: [email protected]

Music Australia Staff

Chris Bowen CEO Music Australia Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen is CEO of Music Australia. Brisbane based Chris has been Director Dance and Music at Arts Queensland, General Manager of two arts centres – The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and Brisbane Powerhouse, and Director of Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre where he gained a lifelong passion for world music.

Cara Anderson Cara Anderson

Cara Anderson is the Communications and Engagement Manager at Music Australia prior to this role she was Music Australia’s Marketing and Program Manager. She comes to Music Australia with a background in strategic marketing and relationship management with over 15 years’ experience in both corporate and not for profit roles with companies such as Opera Australia, version 1.0, Business Events Sydney and Thomson Reuters. Cara is passionate about making the arts accessible to everyone.

Scarlett Di Maio Head shot Scarlett DI Maio

Scarlett Di Maio is the Program Officer at Music Australia. She is a communications specialist and event coordinator with eight years of experience working in the Australian music sector. For 5 of those years she was the Communications Manager for MusicNSW. She is currently an event curator and Executive Producer for FBi Radio. Her work primarily focuses on supporting independent artists, grassroots music communities and DIY venue spaces.









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