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Board and Staff

Administration

Claire Edwardes
Artistic Director
Email: claire[at]ensembleoffspring[dot]com

Sophie Van Dijk
Development
Email: sophie[at]ensembleoffspring[dot]com

Patron

Shane Simpson AM

Board

Elizabeth Hristoforidis
Chair

Trish Ludgate
Deputy Chair

Wayne Smithson
Treasurer

Dr Anthony Lowe
Company Secretary

Claire Edwardes
Regular Member

Rachel Kent
Regular Member

Biographies

Claire Edwardes

Artistic Director / Percussionist 

Claire is an internationally acclaimed percussion soloist, chamber musician and Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring. She has been described in the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion’ and is well known for her powerhouse style of playing and unique stage presence.

Claire is the only Australian musician to win the APRA Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual three times (2007, 2012, 2016), is the recipient of an Australia Council and Freedman Fellowship and the winner of numerous European instrumental and percussion competitions (resident there for seven years) as well as 1999 Australian Young Performer of the Year.

Claire has forged a path as Australia’s leading percussion concerto soloist with regular engagements with all of the Australian orchestras, including recently the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall (2018), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Myer Music Bowl (2017), and a national tour with the Australian String Quartet (2016).

Claire has been instrumental in leading, developing, and stimulating the art music scene in Australia.

Sophie Van Dijk

Development

Sophie Van Dijk is a composer and violinist passionate about writing music to explore elements of faith, society and humanity. She aims to share these things with others with the ultimate goal of bringing joy and fostering dialogue and community.

Sophie is currently completing her honours year of a Bachelor of Music (Composition) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Notable commissions include: the Brett Whiteley Gallery, Light Qualities as part of VIVID 2019, Radford College Foundation Day Concert, and Trinity Grammar School where she was the 2019 Composer-in-Residence. She has been selected to participate in the 2017 Coro Innominata Women Composers Development Program, and the composers stream of both the 2019 Gondwana National Choral School and 2020 AYO National Music Camp.

In addition to composing, Sophie enjoys working behind the scenes to “make new music happen”. Before joining Ensemble Offspring, she was co-curator of Light Qualities, a mini-festival of new music as part of Vivid Sydney 2019.

Elizabeth Hristoforidis

Regulatory Executive, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Liz offers diverse experience in leadership, organisational strategy, policy development and governance. She has strength in cultivating networks and engaging effectively with stakeholders in dynamic, multifaceted environments to effect change.

Deeply committed to inclusion and diversity, Liz actively promotes differences in thought and perspective to inform decision making. She is passionate about the arts and serving her community, also holding directorships with Diversity Council Australia and KU Children’s Services.

She is a former Chair of the Board of Shopfront Arts Co-op. Liz holds tertiary qualifications in transformational leadership, management, commerce and law, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Trish Ludgate

Executive Manager, Musica Viva Australia

Trish has spent over 30 years in arts management in Australia, first as Country Wide and Export Manager at Musica Viva, then as Relationship Manager in the Major Performing Arts division at the Australia Council for the Arts. She is now enjoying her second placement at Musica Viva.

She was closely involved in managing the Sydney Spring International Festival of New Music which ran for 12 years in the 1980s/90s. She sat on the Board of the Australian Youth Orchestra, served as Chair at Arts on Tour and on the Board of Governors of the Federation of Asian Cultural Promotion.

At Musica Viva from 1983-2002 she was also responsible for curating and implementing the Cultural Relations Program for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) internationally. Prior to her involvement in the arts, Trish spent ten years serving abroad in DFAT’s diplomatic service. She graduated from Deakin University with majors in Public Relations and Journalism.

Wayne Smithson

Associate Professor, Universal Business School Sydney

Wayne is an Associate Professor at the Universal Business School Sydney and brings his wealth of experience in accounting, teaching and business in a number of national and international companies over a commercial career extending in excess of forty years.

His senior finance positions include National Finance Director for Ernst & Young and Finance Director for the Bank of New Zealand in Australia. While his primary industry focus was in the financial services and insurance industry, Wayne has experience across many industries including manufacturing, services, logistics and teaching.

Wayne is a qualified CPA, a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders and was a graduate member of the Australian Institutes of Company Directors. He also recently achieved Chartered Manager status at the Institute. In addition, Wayne is currently a member of the Academic senate for UBSS, a member of the Course Advisory committee and Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee.

Dr. Anthony Lowe

Chief Executive Officer, TAD

Anthony is Chief Executive Officer at TAD, Vice President of TAD Australia, and Convenor of Actuaries Institute’s Public Policy Council Committee. He was formerly Chief Executive Officer at Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, co-lead of the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University.

Prior to joining Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Anthony was Chief Operating Officer at the National Breast Cancer Foundation. He has held senior executive positions in the financial services industry in Australia, the US and UK, ultimately becoming Executive Director and Asia-Pacific business group leader at Mercer Wealth Solutions.

Rachel Kent

Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art

Rachel Kent is the Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia. She has presented exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United States and Canada, working with artists such as Yoko Ono, Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Tatsuo Miyajima, David Goldblatt, Cornelia Parker and, forthcoming, Doug Aitken.

Rachel’s exhibitions have been presented at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Rachel has extensive public speaking experience, interviewing Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry at the Sydney Opera House; delivering talks for Frieze London. She speaks on creativity and the visual arts, environmental themes, and human rights. Most recently she delivered a TEDx talk on Art & Interconnection in difficult times. She is passionate about creativity in all its forms, including live art, performance and music.

Rachel completed her postgraduate studies at The University of Melbourne; and is a graduate of the Women and Leadership Australia (WLA) advanced leadership program.

Shane Simpson AM

Special Counsel, Simpson Solicitors

Shane is a chairman of Studio A (NSW’s only supported studio for artists with intellectual disability), a director of the UNSW Foundation and the Peggy Glanville Hicks Composers’ House Trust. He is also on the Council of the National Library of Australia and is the independent director on several private foundations.

Shane Simpson was the founder of the Arts Law Centre of Australia and the Prelude Project (a national network of composer houses). He is Special Counsel at Simpsons Solicitors, a firm specialising in the arts, entertainment, cultural property and copyright.

He was formerly chair of the Bundanon Trust; Advisory Council of the Faculty of Art + Design, UNSW; The Aboriginal Benefits Foundation; the NSW Film and Television Office and Museums and Galleries NSW and a non-executive director on numerous boards in the cultural industries including the Australian Maritime Museum the New Zealand Film Commission, the Australian National Academy of Music, the National

Association for the Visual Arts, the Crafts Council of Australia, the Music Council of Australia and the Copyright Agency.

He is the author of many books including ‘Visual Artists and the Law’, ‘Music Business’, and ‘Collections Law: Legal Issues for Australian Archives, Galleries, Libraries and Museums’. In 2015 he was commissioned by the Australian Government to conduct an independent review of the protection of movable cultural heritage: “Borders of Culture”.

He was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “service to the law and to the arts through leading roles in intellectual property and entertainment law, and as a contributor to a range of cultural organisations.”