Board and Staff


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

Nick Pontikos
General Manager
Email: nick[at]ensembleoffspring[dot]com
Phone: 0405 441 933

Luisa Machielse
Email: luisa[at]ensembleoffspring[dot]com

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

Alexis Weaver
Email: alexis[at]ensembleoffspring[dot]com


Shane Simpson 


Elizabeth Hristoforidis

Trish Ludgate
Deputy Chair

Wayne Smithson

Dr Anthony Lowe
Company Secretary

Claire Edwardes
Regular Member

Fiona Winning
Regular Member

Prof Heinz Herrmann
Regular Member

Annual Reports

Download 2018 Annual Report 
Download 2017 Annual Report
Download 2016 Annual Report
Download 2015 Annual Report
Download 2014 Annual Report Part 1 /// Part 2 (financials)
Download 2013 Annual Report
Download 2012 Annual Report


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.

Nick Pontikos

General Manager

Nick brings a lifelong commitment to the production and presentation of quality music and artistic development, as well as a wealth of experience in establishing and sustaining independent music companies in Australia, including Inertia, Other Tongues and Longtime Listener. In the process, he worked closely with labels such as the Beggars Group, Domino, Warp, Bella Union and Elefant Traks, developing artists such as Sigur Ros, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The War On Drugs, and Medeski Martin & Wood in Australia. He also worked closely with local artists including Ben Lee, You Am I and Lisa Miller.

Prior to joining Ensemble Offspring, Nick managed a local aerial theatre company and made a major contribution to Australian Indigenous music content via a special archive project for NITV and SBS.

Luisa Machielse

Marketing & Development

With over 15 years experience in events producing and marketing, Luisa is also a filmmaker, musician, author and wine judge. With some violin, classical piano and music theory training during her formative years in her home town of Orange, she pursued music technology studies in The Netherlands, establishing an electronic post-rock group, composed and produced albums, sound tracks and performed live across Europe.

Film studies from UTS soon followed, and her subsequent interactive digital stories and short films received recognition not only locally but winning recognition and awards in The Netherlands, Japan and Italy.

In the pursuit of creative endeavours and professions, Luisa has worked as PR for a theatre company in New York; as PA for a renown Japanese photographer; a wine student in Tuscany; Australasian promoter and agent for European classical musicians; and as an international wine judge in Tokyo Japan.

Alexis Weaver

Administration & Production

Alexis is a young composer and performer who is interested in all aspects of music creation, appreciation and distribution. Her previous arts administration experience includes serving as Music Secretary and Cultural Secretary for Sancta Sophia College in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

She is currently completing her Masters at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, specialising in electroacoustic composition. Alexis has composed soundtracks for animation, short story, radio, and theatre, and especially enjoys fusing the beautiful and unusual to celebrate the versatility of recorded sound.

She is a passionate advocate for gender equality in the music industry, and is also one of the founding members of all-female experimental music group, lost+sound.

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


Wayne is an Associate Professor at the Universal Business School Sydney and brings his wealth of experience in accounting, teaching and business to Ensemble Offspring in 2020.

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.

Fiona Winning

Head of Programming, Sydney Opera House

Fiona has worked as an independent writer and producer working in contemporary arts, across theatre, dance and visual cultures. Before joining Sydney Opera House, Fiona was the Head of Programming at Sydney Festival 2012-2017. She was Curator of Convictions + Connections: Australian Theatre Forum 2011.

From 1999-2008, Fiona was Director of Performance Space, a national contemporary arts hub based in Sydney. During this time, she collaborated with artists and communities to conceive and produce events in theatres, galleries and public spaces, as well as developing a range of training and residency programs.

Fiona worked with Bundanon Trust as Program Consultant and Co-convenor of Siteworks – an ongoing conversation between artists, environmentalists and scholars. Fiona was also instrumental in the development phase of Carriageworks, collaborating with the arts sector, (then) Arts NSW and the architectural company, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.

Prof Heinz Herrmann

Partner — Strategic Business, Utilstra

Heinz is Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Deputy Director of the Doctor of Business Leadership Program at Torrens University Australia. He is the author of Office Network Strategies: The Key To Competitive Advantage, and sits on Scientific and Editorial Boards. Heinz is also a CEO with more than 25 years of P&L experience in Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT), including current and past board director roles. 

Shane Simpson

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.”