Our guardian angels.

Vanessa Pigrum, Chair is the Executive Director & co-CEO of Chunky Move, Victoria’s flagship contemporary dance company. Her career has included leadership roles in many of Melbourne’s iconic festivals and public events – as a creative producer, manager and CEO. Vanessa trained as a theatre-maker at the Victorian College of the Arts, graduating in 1992. After a decade of freelancing as an event producer for festivals, an independent theatre director and lecturer in performance making, Vanessa’s career has centred around arts leadership roles and the small-medium performance sector. From 2001-2003 she was the Festival Director and CEO of Melbourne Fringe Festival, during which time she produced the now-iconic Spencer Tunick photographic event with 4500 people posing nude in St Kilda Road. Between 2003-2005 she returned to the VCA to complete her Masters in Performance Making before being appointed to Arts Centre Melbourne to establish FULL TILT, a new commissioning program for independent artists. For the next 6 years she was the Program Manager, Creative Development at Arts Centre Melbourne. From 2011-2015 Vanessa was the Manager Creative Culture at City of Darebin (Melbourne) where she led a team of 40 and revitalised the programs of three arts centres, established the Darebin Arts programs at Northcote Town Hall and Darebin Arts Centre, and developed a new 6 year Arts Strategy for the municipality.

Hinda Crosbie, Treasurer is a qualified Chartered Accountant, with over 14 years of finance experience, the past 5 years of which have been in commercially focused roles within the consumer goods industry in Melbourne. She is currently a partner at ABInbev, the largest beer brewer in the world. Prior to this Hinda lived in London for 7 years where she gained experience in strategy, financial analytics and business partnering as well and exploring the world as much as possible. Hinda’s diverse financial background will provide sound strategic and financial support in the ongoing development and sustainability of Next Wave.

Ishtar Vij, Public Officer is a public policy and government affairs professional who has held senior roles in public policy, government relations and law in private firms and global ICT player. She advises on a range of strategic and policy issues. Areas of focus include the internet, media and communications, technology law and policy. She is currently Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Google in Australia and New Zealand. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Steven Rhall (Taungurung), is a Narrm (Melbourne) based arts professional and academic. His studio practice traverses installation, public art and exhibition/curatorial projects extending to Phd based research concerned with the intersection of Western art history and First Nations exhibition practice. Steven provides consultation services to artists and organisations and is an associate lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts in Narrm.

Stephen Armstrong is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and attended the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He specialises in new work creation as a producer and creative director. Stephen has been the Creative Producer of Arts Centre Melbourne’s Asian Performing Arts program since 2013 and is Creative Director of Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts which has its second edition in Melbourne from January to March 2020. Previous executive positions include Executive Producer of Malthouse Theatre, Artistic Associate of Sydney Theatre Company, Executive Producer of Queensland Theatre Company, and Executive Producer of Chamber Made Opera which he co-founded. Director positions have included Melbourne Fringe, NIDA, Chunky Move (Chair) the Australia Council’s Theatre Board (Chair) and New Media Arts Board (Chair). He is currently a Trustee for the Victorian Actors Benevolent Fund.

Lesley Gillan is currently the Head of Human Resources at ACMI, the national museum of film, TV, videogames, digital culture and art. Lesley has extensive experience as a HR leader in both the public and corporate sector and is a highly skilled mediator and conflict coach. She specialises in Industrial and Employee Relations and designing HR strategies and solutions for complex people problems. She has a particular interest in inclusion and diversity and in helping organisations realise the value of conducting their business with a social conscious. She enjoys developing leaders to empower, motivate and inspire others and she offers a collaborative approach to cultural transformation. Lesley is a creative thinker who is passionate about people and the Arts.

Nicole Smith is an arts leader with fifteen years experience connecting audiences and brands with transformative art experiences. She has spent the past five years working in Tasmania as Marketing and Communications Director for Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) and DarkLab, a subsidiary of Mona whose main project is Dark Mofo. She has recently taken up the role of Commercial Director as part of the new Melbourne International Arts Festival. Prior to Mona, Nicole was Marketing and Development Manager for Next Wave (2012–14 festivals). Nicole also occasionally produces independent art and theatre projects and has previously worked with artist groups including Daniel Schlusser Ensemble, OpticNerve and Unconscious Collective.

Kristy Ayre is Executive Producer of Phillip Adams BalletLab, a member on the Board of Next Wave and Head of the Green Room Awards Association Dance Panel. She previously Co-Produced the 2015 National Dance Forum and was an Associate Producer for the 2012 and 2014 Next Wave Festivals. Kristy has been a peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts and a curatorial advisor for Ausdance Victoria and Next Wave’s Kickstart program. As a performer, Kristy collaborated and performed for Chunky Move for over a decade (2001-2012) mostly in works by founding Artistic Director, Gideon Obarzanek. She has also previously performed for Lucy Guerin Inc, Shelley Lasica, Frances D’ath, Itoh Kim, Prue Lang, Natalie Cursio, Dario Vacirca, Lee Serle, Ashley Dyer and Luke George, appearing in numerous prestigious venues and arts festivals worldwide. Kristy teachers contemporary dance workshops and masterclasses to all levels from beginner to professional including regularly teaching for Chunky Move’s Public Class Program. Kristy is a graduate of the VCA.