Board & Executive Team / About

We are directed by some of the country’s most talented creatives, lawyers, accountants, business leaders, fundraisers, educators and not-for-profit administrators.

What draws them together is the vision that they can be an instrument of change and help brighten the future of Australia’s most disadvantage children, through the work of The Song Room.

Simon Gipson – Chief Executive Officer

As one of Australia’s most respected leaders in the sector, Simon has had an extensive international career working as a teacher, principal and consultant. In his role as Head of St Michael’s Grammar School from 2000 to 2017, Simon led the school through a series of significant innovative reforms and spearheaded creative approaches to teaching, learning and caring.

In 2012, Simon was the first school principal to be named the Lynda Gratton Australian Business Leader of Year by the Australian Human Resources Institute, and was also elected a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Simon was conferred with a national Fellowship by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders in 2013, and in the following year was admitted as a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators in recognition of his outstanding contribution to education.

Simon was featured as one of Australia’s most innovative and influential education leaders in “The Educator” magazine’s 2015 ‘Hot List.

Anthony Mackay AM – Chair

Anthony Mackay AM has just completed his time as CEO of the Centre for Strategic Education, Melbourne, Australia. From January 2019 he will take up the position of CEO / President of the Washington DC based National Center on Education and the Economy.

Anthony is Chair of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Deputy Chancellor Swinburne University (Melbourne) and Deputy Chair of New Zealand’s Education Council.

He is an expert consultant to OECD and UNESCO, Consultant Advisor to Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network, Co-Chair Global Education Leaders Partnership, Board Director of the Innovation Unit UK, International Advisor to Learning Forward (USA), Advisory Board Member New York Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), Board Director of High Resolves and has just completed his term as Board Director of the Foundation for Young Australians & Board Director of Teach For Australia.

Anthony is moderator of the annual International Summit on the Teaching Profession, the Global Education Industry Summit and debates at the World Innovation Summit for Education. He was Inaugural Chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and the Inaugural Deputy Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.

Richard Price – Deputy Chair

Richard’s nearly 25 years with Macquarie Group saw him rise to senior Executive Director, Resources Group, overseeing a broad range of corporate finance assignments for major Australian and global companies, particularly in the Resources and Energy sectors. He has extensive experience providing strategic/financial advice, M&A, debt and equity financing, principal investment and takeover advice to leading corporations in the resources and energy sectors.

Richard is Executive Chairman of Aligned Resources Group, an asset management business focused on remote accommodation assets for the resources and Government sectors. He is also pursuing a number of strategic business initiatives in other sectors including digital technology.

Richard has had significant involvement in the philanthropic sector including his role as Chair and Deputy Chair with The Song Room since 2004. In his role with The Song Room, Richard is actively involved in a number of important strategic and policy issues including Chairman of the Fundraising Committee, Member of the Finance & Risk Committee, Government and Stakeholder relations, and involvement in the organisation’s strategic direction.

Fabienne Michaux  – Treasurer and Chair of Audit, Finance and Risk Committee

Fabienne Michaux (GAICD) is an experienced non-executive director who holds, and has held, numerous board positions across commercial, not-for-profit, academic and industry associations in the housing, education, financial markets and arts sectors. Fab is currently a Non-Executive Director of Housing Choices Australia Ltd, and a member of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing (AAB) and Deakin Uni’s School of Business Advisory Board. Most recently, she was Chair of KAGE Physical Theatre Inc.

Fab chaired the AAB’s Market Building Working Group that oversaw the development and release of the inaugural Impact Investing Australia 2016 Investor Report (of which she was a co-author) and the Benchmarking Impact Australian Impact Investment Activity and Performance Report 2016. Fab was a contributing author through UNSW and CSI on AHURI’s The Opportunities, Risks and Possibilities of Social Impact Investing for Housing and Homelessness, 2017 and Inquiry into Social Impact Investment for Housing and Homelessness Outcomes, Final Inquiry Report, 2018. Fab also participated as a curriculum panel review member for Deakin Uni’s Bachelor of Business (2018).

Fab previously enjoyed a 30 year executive career, including 22 years (1994 – 2016) with S&P Global (one of the largest data, information and analytics companies in the world) in the Global Ratings division where in her final role she was the Australian Country Head and Head of Developed Markets Asia-Pacific.

Michael Nettlefold – Secretary

Michael Nettlefold was most recently CEO and a Director of the AFL club St Kilda for a period of 5 years commencing in April 2009. Currently the Chairman and shareholder of emerging AFL player management business Vivid Sport Management. Vivid has an extensive portfolio of current AFL players and AFL coaches.

Michael conceptualised and delivered the first AFL premiership match in a country outside of Australia through the annual Anzac Day fixture played in Wellington, New Zealand. Through this project Michael maintains an active interest in the development of AFL football in New Zealand through his role as Deputy Chairman of AFLNZ.

As founder and co-owner of out of home advertising company Eye Corp, Michael built Eye Corp into a media business that had operating activities in many markets throughout the APAC region including Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar. Michael was also founder and co-owner of Nextt Health before divesting his interests in 2013. Michael is now founder and principal of his private investment company Nettlefold Group.

Kerry Willcock – Director

Kerry Willcock is the former Executive General Manager, Corporate, Legal and Regulatory, and Company Secretary of Tabcorp Holdings Limited, a top 100 ASX-listed company and a world leader in responsible gambling practices. Kerry was responsible for all legal and regulatory matters for Tabcorp, as well as government and shareholder relations, external and employee communications and responsible gambling.

Kerry was also formerly General Counsel of Australia Post, and spent many years in private practice with national law firms Clayton Utz and Arthur Robinson Hedderwicks. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Member of the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board, Harness Racing Victoria, and a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Association of Corporate Counsel General Counsel 100.

Jane Power – Director

Jane Power became Bupa’s Marketing Director for Australia and New Zealand in January 2017. She previously served as Director of Brand and Health & Care Marketing where she guided Bupa’s brand strategy and helped reposition the company from an insurer to a broad health and care company. She is also Bupa’s key global brand lead, helping all of the company’s markets expand their brand presence.

Jane joined Bupa in 2013 from Suncorp Group where she held roles including Executive Manager of Direct Life and Executive Manager of Wealth Management and Direct Risk. She was Head of Product and Marketing at Asteron, prior to its merger with Suncorp. Jane also spent five years at MLC working across a range of roles including platform distribution. She has an MBA from Queensland University of Technology.

Katherine Payne – Director

Katherine is a Special Counsel at the national law firm Hall & Wilcox.  She is a commercial litigation specialist, with a focus on insolvency, the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) and its practical implications, building and construction litigation and general commercial litigation.  She has provided expert commentary and regularly publishes articles and presents to organisations and industry bodies concerning the PPSA, insolvency and directors’ duties, and building and construction disputes.

Katherine has been recognised in the editorial of leading legal directory The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 in dispute resolution and is listed in The Best Lawyers in Australia in litigation.  Her clients include many well-known insolvency practitioners, national and international corporates, suppliers and manufacturers of a variety of goods, building companies and logistics suppliers.

Katherine is a member of the Australian Reconstruction Insolvency and Turnaround Association, the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation and the Melbourne Central Insolvency Discussion Group. She is also actively involved in the community and previously helped fundraise and profile-raise for organisations such as KidsHelpline.

Julie Sonnemann – Director

Julie is the School Education Fellow at the Grattan Institute, a leading independent think tank in Australia. She has over ten years of experience in school education in senior research and policy advisory roles.

She has co-authored several high profile reports on effective teaching, equity, funding and time management in schools. She has studied high performing systems in East Asia and North America and consulted internationally to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the US.

Julie began her career at the Prime Minister’s Department. She is an economist by training, with a B.Com (Hons.) and Master of Public Policy from The University of Melbourne.

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