AUSDANCE NSW TEAM
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Dance Performance from the Academy of Music and Performing Arts and a Certificate III in Arts Administration. She began working for Ausdance NSW in September 2021. Outside of her role at Ausdance NSW, Sarah is an independent dance artist based in Sydney, working across performance and choreography.
Sarah is a founding member of Dance Makers Collective’s Future Makers company since 2019 and has worked and collaborated with choreographers such as Patricia Wood, Jasmin Sheppard, Kristina Chan, Zachary Lopez, Nadia Odlum as well as working and performing alongside DMC company members. Sarah has been part of ‘We Are Here’ under the direction of Emma Saunders performing ‘Encounter Sydney’ and ‘Radical Transparency’. She has also had the opportunity to work with both nationally and internationally renowned companies and choreographers such as Alleyne Dance, Rebecca Jensen, Emily Flannery, Renata Commisso, Strut Dance, Dancenorth, AUSTI.Dance & Physical Theatre, and YDance Scotland. Sarah debuted her first independent work in 2018 following her second in 2019.
Sarah is a passionate advocate of the arts and works alongside the sector on behalf of individuals and organisations. She hopes to contribute to the growth and expansion of the arts’ future, specifically in dance.
Georgia Van Der Sman
Marketing and Membership Engagement
Georgia is a recent graduate from Academy of Music and Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Dance Performance. Prior to the completion of her degree, Georgia has worked professionally as a dancer and choreographer, both across Australia and Internationally. Georgia has began her professional career performing in Burlesque Cabaret shows as a dancer and aerialist in Fringe Festivals across Australia, and was invited to perform in the New York Fringe Festival in 2017. Georgia went on to expand her knowledge and appreciation for cultural dance by working as a dancer in the Bollywood Film Industry in India in 2018. Upon her return back to Australia, Georgia co-produced and choreographed her own Cabaret show for the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2019, which continued on for following fringe seasons in 2020 and 2021. During her time in Sydney, Georgia has worked under the direction of Francesca Gozdek with Interchange Dance Project and Emma Saunders with We Are Here Dance Company, and works as a choreographer for workshop musicals and music videos for Triple J. Alongside her performance career, Georgia is currently completing her Bachelor of Psychological Science and wishes to work in support of the Mental Wellbeing of performing artists.
Elena Lambrinos - Chair
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.
John Mason - Public Officer
Joined June 2023
A successful businessman who is transitioning from day-to-day operational involvement in his core business to that of strategic project directorship, marketing, and product development. John has created capacity within his work life to pursue his passion for community involvement and non-executive directorial appointments. On a personal note, John is married, with three adult children, and enjoys physical fitness, personal development, ballroom dancing and travel.
Michelle Phipps - Vice 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.
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.
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.
Marina Tamayo is a professional Flamenco Dance choreographer and teacher. She trained in Spain both with the gypsies of Sacromonte (where her family is from) and in professional Flamenco dance institutions. Tamayo has performed, taught and choreographed globally, for over 35 years. Her studies include Ballet in both RAD and Cecchetti and holds a Bachelor of Education from Curtin University. Tamayo studied Classical Pianoforte Music Composition and Theory at The Conservatorium of Music, Audio Engineering and has Postgraduate studies in Production Sound Engineering. Tamayo founded Flamenco Australia in 1998, with the purpose to reach out to the rural, national and international arts market, engaging in education, classes and performances. Tamayo created curriculum, protocol, produced and administered study and professional performance opportunities for dancers across Australia. Tamayo was a nominee in the The Australian Dance Awards 2018, for her ‘Service to Dance’, and in 2019, for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography. Recently, Tamayo has been working with former Artistic Director of The American Ballet Benjamin Millepead, as choreographer and performer in his latest project, feature film ‘ Carmen’.
OUR STANDING COMMITTEE
Josephine’s mission is to create happy and fulfilled young people, through quality theatrical programs and inclusive creative experiences. After an early career as a Choreographer and Artist, Josephine is an award winning Entrepreneur, Talent Agent, Industry Mentor and Theatrical Producer. She runs multiple arts companies including Musical Makers Club and talent agency, Next Move Studios. Josephine’s focus is on nurturing emerging talent to showcase their skills and passion. Today she remains dedicated to serving her students, members, team and community in living a life that nourishes the soul and sings to them.
Dr. Maya Gavish is currently the head of dance of the Academy of Music & Performing Arts (AMPA) where she leads the Bachelor & Associate Degree Programs. She holds a PhD from Western Sydney University and a Master’s degree in Dance and Education from the Jerusalem Dance and Music Academy and Hebrew University, Israel. Maya has performed international dance repertoire, created and restaged various dance works, featured in a variety of productions and worked with choreographers of the highest calibre. Since moving to Sydney in 2008, she has been lecturing and teaching dance at a number of tertiary institutions in which she was also directing the mid and end of year dance productions. Maya had been working with FORM Dance Projects as a marketing coordinator as well as artistic producer of Sharp Short Dance youth festival between 2018-2020.
Sinead Vidler is the Director and owner of Academy Ballet (an institution she has been with since she was 4 years old). Sinead holds a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology & History), a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and a Certificate in Training & Assessment. She has been teaching for 20 years and her main goal is to empower all students & families who walk through her doors, and to have a wider impact on dance in the community.
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.
10 Hickson Road, Level 3, Arts Exchange Buliding, The Rocks, Sydney 2000
ABN 36 824 207 095