Michelle Phipps - Chair

Joined 2014- 2016, December 2020 Chair June 2021- Present

Michelle has over 20 years across various industries in the areas of HR, marketing and strategy. Michelle holds a PhD in Communications from UTS Sydney and an M.A. HR Management from Charles Sturt University. She has had over 10 years of Board experience and worked across ASX and multinational companies including David Jones, Wesfarmers, Coca-Cola Amatil and QBE Insurance. Michelle also possesses a keen passion for the Arts, having been a former professional dancer/ singer with Christine Anu and the Bangarra Dance Company for Christine’s first Album tour around Australia including WOMAD, and in several professional theatre productions including Miss Saigon, Madame Butterfly, the Australian Tour of HAIR as well as Advanced level in RAD ballet in Melbourne. Michelle is currently Chief People Officer for VetPartners Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Sonya Veltman - Public Officer Ausdance NSW Board

Sonya Veltman- Public Officer

Joined May 2018 


Sonya works as Special Counsel at Blueprint Law in its theatre and entertainment practice and has extensive experience providing specialised commercial advice to the entertainment industry, including in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. She advises on all aspects of entertainment and live stage show development, production, investing and touring.  Sonya first practiced as a solicitor at Baker & Mackenzie.

Sonya joined Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group as Corporate Counsel in Australia, where she was broadly responsible for driving the legal and business aspects of the company’s entertainment projects in the Asia-Pacific region for fifteen years. During this time, Sonya was also Head of Legal Department at international theatre company Global Creatures.  

Elena Lambrinos

Joined August 2021


Dr Elena Lambrinos is a dance teacher and studio owner with a PhD in the Sociology of Education from the University of Sydney. Her doctoral research explores knowledge practices in children’s ballet classes and how they are developed over time. Her MA thesis explores the intersection of dance styles, identification and belonging. Elena is a TEDx speaker and an Inner West Council’s International Women’s Day 2019 Honour Roll recipient for empowerment, equality, social justice and inclusion. She is also the founder of Disrupt Dance, where she provides training and professional development for dance educators, and the Director of Education for Leap ‘N Learn, an international early-childhood dance curriculum. Elena is on the cutting-edge of progressive dance pedagogy and aims to make dance more equitable, accessible and enjoyable for all.

Kim Walker - Vice Chair

Joined May 2017

Kim began dancing with his mother, Margaret Walker AM, and his dancing career continued with the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre (NAISDA Dance College) in 1976 graduating with an Associate Diploma in 1979. NAISDA was instrumental in Kim’s entry into the arts as a dancer and led to him joining Sydney Dance Company in 1980. In 1982 he was appointed a principal dancer and danced with the company from 1980 – 1990 during which he danced and performed many lead roles under the artistic direction of Graeme Murphy.  During his time with Sydney Dance Company, Kim also studied at a number of other companies including the Alvin Ailey School in New York.

Kim’s chorographic career started with the Sydney Dance Company where he created several new works.   As a freelance choreographer and director, Kim has worked with many major companies and directors in Australia including Opera Australia, Melbourne and Sydney Theatre Company, Richard Wherrett, Neil Armfield, Wayne Harrison and Roger Hodegman.  Kim has also done extensive choreographic work for television commercials, musicals, corporate and charity launches and music film clips. 

In 1998 Kim was appointed as Artistic Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and has not only created a number of new and innovative works but also toured the company both nationally and overseas to great acclaim.  

Kim has served as a member of the Arts NSW on number of Boards, on the HotHouse Artistic Directorate and the Theatre Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.  Kim was also the individual recipient of the Sidney Myer individual award in 1991. 

Currently Kim sits on the boards of Ausdance NSW, Barang Regional Alliance, Dance and Physical Theatre Board of Create NSW  and The Arthouse Theatre Board.  

In 2008 Kim was took up the position as CEO of NAISDA Dance College Australia’s National Indigenous Dance College. In his tenure at NAISDA Kim has brought in a number of creative and innovative training concepts, oversee the growth of the premises student cohort and corporate governance. 

Debra Reinecke

Joined August 2018


Debra has spent 17-years+ in the performing arts and education, specialising in marketing and development. Her arts career began at English National Ballet in London where she managed partnerships with brands such as HIT Entertainment and BSkyB. Following which she was appointed Director of Marketing and Sponsorship at West Australian Ballet and contributed to a significant period of growth, as the Company increased from 19 to 35 dancers and secured a permanent new home in Maylands; the West Australian Ballet Centre.

Debra spent four years as Director of Marketing and Development at Wesley College Perth, then returned to her first love, the arts, in 2018 as Head of Development at Bell Shakespeare.

Dr Nigel Finch - Treasurer

Joined January 2022


Dr Nigel Finch (MCom LLM MBA PhD CA FCPA FGIA FAICD) is a company director and adviser with experience across a diverse range of business settings including not-for-profit, early-stage, multinational and ASX-listed companies.

He has 15 years’ experience in CFO and investment management roles in Australia and more than 10 years’ experience in academia in two leading business schools. Until 2014, Nigel was the Associate Professor in Accounting at the University of Sydney where he also served as the Associate Dean (Undergraduate).

Nigel has a long-standing affiliation with the entertainment and performing arts sector having advised producers and investors on projects including film and television, recording artists, creative artists, and theatrical production.

Within the capital markets, Nigel has advised firms on transactions and equity capital raisings having worked across more than $150 million of corporate actions ranging from seed capital funding through to IPO and listed company M&A. 

Michelle Cuneo

Joined August 2021

With a passion for dance beginning in the backyard ballet class of a Borovansky ballerina, Michelle has explored the possibilities of what a dance career can be. Starting as a commercial dancer/choreographer,  Michelle has over 4 decades of pro dance experience including creating shows and entertainment in fashion and the 5-Star hotel industry; writing as an arts journalist and dance critic for publications including Dance Europe magazine; operating successful studio businesses and teaching thousands of students in leading schools and universities. Michelle has worked as an Artistic Director in contemporary dance and theatre; a dance education/choreography lecturer at UTS, and built strategic development experience over 10 years in the NFP sector advancing arts/theatre programs and disability arts projects. Michelle holds a Masters in Communication plus post graduate qualifications in  Criticism and Dance Education with training as a Counsellor and Positive Psychology Coach that supports her interest in artist wellbeing.

In 2021 we said a farewell to our Treasurer Anna Slowiak and in 2020 we said farewell to our Chair, Rebecca Taylor and our Vice-Chair, Helen O’Moore. We would like to thank Anna, Rebecca and Helen for their support and advocacy throughout their time at Ausdance NSW. 


Ausdance NSW is the key support & advocacy body, for the creation, presentation and practice of dance in NSW.

Ausdance NSW is part of the Ausdance National Network.

Ausdance acknowledges and respects the Traditional Custodians of the Lands on which we work and dance and pays respect to elders past, present and emerging. 

Contact Info

10 Hickson Road, Level 3, Arts Exchange Buliding, The Rocks, Sydney 2000
02 9256 4800

ABN 36 824 207 095