Our Board

Our Board

The Performing Lines Board has representatives from business, media and the arts, chaired by Bill Harris.

Current Members

  • Bill Harris (Chair) Freelance Creative Producer
  • Anne-Marie Heath (Deputy Chair) Independent consultant
  • Sarah Benjamin Author & Director, Keir Foundation
  • Melissa Burgess Senior Solicitor, Legal Aid
  • Claudia Chidiac Theatre Maker
  • Michelle Kvello Director at Lantern Partners
  • Robi Stanton Vice President, Turner International
  • Liza-Mare Syron Research Fellow, Macquarie University

Bill Harris | Chair

A graduate of the University of Melbourne and the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Bill was the Production Manager at Belvoir Street Theatre before moving to an executive production role at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Paralympic Arts Festivals.

As Production Director for the 2002 Adelaide Festival of Arts, Bill drove the creation and development of new Australian and international productions, before returning to NIDA as Head of the Production course.

As Head of Programming at Sydney Festival, Bill oversaw events such as Festival First Night, Movers and Shakers dance series, Smoke and Mirrors, Dawn Chorus and Trocadero Dance Palace. For Global Creatures, Bill was Executive Producer for the world premiere season of the stage musical, King Kong. Bill is currently consulting to the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, advising and developing programming initiatives as part of its arts and cultural framework.

Anne-Marie Heath | Deputy Chair

Anne-Marie has considerable experience in the performing arts as a presenter and in national touring and in that capacity, has actively facilitated audience development and community engagement programs and activities.  Anne-Marie is currently consulting for The Arts House in Wyong, in addition to the role of President of PAC Australia and a Council Member of the Australian Performing Arts Touring Alliance (PATA).  Her past appointments have included General Manager at Merrigong Theatre Company, General Manager of City Recital Hall, Angel Place, General Manager at Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre and Business Operations Manager at Chapel off Chapel.

Sarah Benjamin

Sarah is a Director of the Keir Foundation, a philanthropic family foundation established with Phillip Keir in 2005. The Keir Foundation is focused on the development of new and emerging artists across art forms and human rights projects.  Previously Sarah was Chair of advisory board of UK based Raking Leaves, an arts organisation that commissions and publishes contemporary art projects in the form of art books. She has sat on the Directors Circle advisory group at the MCA, Sydney.  Sarah worked as a senior executive at ABC Radio for ten years until 2001. She was Arts Editor for ABC Radio before taking on the role of General Manager National Networks responsible for Radio National, Triple J, Classic FM and News Radio.

Melissa Burgess

Melissa is a senior criminal solicitor who works at Legal Aid NSW. She graduated from UNSW in 2005 with a degree in Law and Arts having first completed the Pre-Law Indigenous Program run through Nura Gili, Centre of Indigenous Programs at UNSW.  Her career spans over 12 years and includes working for both Legal Aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT. Over this time Melissa has managed a high volume practice of complex criminal indictable and summary matters and appeared regularly in the Local, District and Supreme Court’s.

Currently her role at Legal Aid is Manager of Professional Development, which includes organising and arranging appropriate training to the lawyers in the Criminal Division. Melissa’s career reflects her passion for social justice, supporting and giving back to the Indigenous community, to which she belongs.

Claudia Chidiac

Claudia Chidiac is a theatre maker, cultural worker and creative producer. For fifteen yeas she has worked with diverse communities creating intimate and large scale experiences. From 2010 – 2014 she was the Creative Producer of Performance and Music and Theatre Producer/Curator at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) In 2013 she produced and directed Tough Beauty by Finegan Kruckemeyer, for CPAC. In 2011 she created and produced the award winning Way Out West (WOW) Festival for Children.From 2005 – 2010 she was the Artistic Director and EO of PYT Fairfield. In 2006, she was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts Community Cultural Development Young Leaders Award.

Michelle Kvello

Michelle is an experienced commercial finance professional, specialising in media and digital businesses.  Originally trained as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London she worked for blue chip companies including Reuters, Foxtel and Yahoo!7 in Australia and the UK before starting her own strategic finance consultancy, Lantern Partners, in 2012.  Lantern Partners specialise in helping businesses understand their financials, offering strategic and commercial finance advice and providing hands on support to ensure they achieve their goals. Clients include larger corporates, SMEs and start-ups within the media and digital space.

Robi Stanton

Robi Stanton is a respected and experienced media executive having held senior roles across Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia. She is currently Vice President & General Manager of Turner Australia and on the senior management team at Turner Asia Pacific. As General Manager, Robi is responsible for developing and driving the company’s strategy, coordinating and leading all company business divisions and overseeing Turner’s global brands and franchises including CNN, Cartoon Network and content from Turner’s US networks TBS and TNT. Robi’s xperience spans financial management, consumer strategy, digital product development, marketing, sales, sponsorship and philanthropic projects. Robi has a degree in theatre studies from UNSW and completed her MBA in 2001. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Liza-Mare Syron

Liza-Mare is a descendant of the Biripi people of northern NSW. Liza-Mare’s qualifications include; Doctor of Arts, Master of Creative Arts Research and Master of Adult Education. A graduate of the playwriting studio at NIDA and dramatic arts at VCA, Liza-Mare was the Head of Acting at Eora College of Aboriginal Studies, Centre for Visual and Performing Arts in Redfern from 2000-2010. In 2011, Liza-Mare took up the position of Senior Aboriginal Cultural Development Officer at Arts NSW and in 2014 accepted the position of Indigenous Research Fellow, Department of Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. She is also Co-Artistic Director of Mooghalin Performing Arts Inc.

Founded in 1982 as the Australian Content Division of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust (AETT), Performing Lines incorporated as an independent non-profit organisation in 1990.

We’ve worked with many of Australia’s leading contemporary performing artists and companies. Highlights include Nigel Jamieson and Paul Grabowsky’s extraordinary Indonesian collaboration The Theft of Sita; Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman’s The 7 Stages of Grieving; William Yang’s Sadness; Tanja Liedtke’s construct and Twelfth Floor; the Chooky Dancers and Nigel Jamieson’s Ngurrumilmarrmiriyu (Wrong Skin); and Wesley Enoch’s I am Eora.

We’ve had a significant influence on the Australian theatre scene, and particularly in the touring and presentation of Aboriginal theatre. Performing Lines toured Robert Merritt’s The Cake Man to Denver, Colorado in 1982 – the first time an Australian Aboriginal production toured internationally. Other significant works include ILBIJERRI’S Jack Charles V the Crown’; Jack Davis’ The DreamersNo Sugar and Honeyspot; Sally Morgan’s Sister Girl and the Indigenous musical Bran Nue Dae.

Performing Lines has produced some of the most exciting and significant contemporary theatre and dance practitioners, including Lucy Guerin, Force Majeure, version 1.0, Chamber Made Opera, Back to Back Theatre, post and Aphids.

More recently, we have produced a range of works from artists including Nicola Gunn, Lz Dunn, Ghenoa Gela, Roslyn Oades, Ahilan Ratnamohan, The Farm, Gravity & Other Myths and Chunky Move.

Our History

Performing Lines acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work – the Gadigal in Sydney, the Whadjuk in Perth, and the Muwinina in Hobart – and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

We extend those respects to all First Nations peoples on whose lands we travel and perform.