Board members come from a variety of backgrounds but are united in their commitment to the objectives of the project and the professional development of young entertainers from the public education and training sector.
PAM CHRISTIE BA, DipEd, DipSpEd, GAICD has held a number of statutory and executive positions in the Government and tertiary education sector in Australia over the past 20 years. Pam is currently Executive Director, Regulatory Operations with the Australian Skills Quality Authority, the body responsible for regulating the quality of vocational education and training in Australia. Pam was previously Managing Director of TAFE NSW, Australia’s largest vocational education and training organisation. In this role she forged a range of innovative industry partnerships, drove transformational change and shaped new policy, governance and business directions.
Pam has a passion for changing lives through education and training. She began her career as a secondary school teacher, worked overseas as an Australian Volunteer in Zambia, worked in the adult migrant education sector before working in the area of vocational education and training policy and regulation. Pam has led two of Australia’s largest TAFE NSW Institutes, Sydney and South Western Sydney and was responsible for TAFE NSW offering its first degree level programs as a higher education provider.
Pam is a member of the NSW TAFE Commission Board, the Board of Studies NSW and the LH Martin Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Management Advisory Board.
JOHN FOREMAN OAM was one of the first TDP Graduates, completing the program in 1992. He is now recognised as one of Australia’s leading musical directors, a pianist and composer and a well-recognised face on Australian television. John’s big break came when he was offered the job of musical director for Bert Newton’s ‘Good Morning Australia’ at 19 years old. He joined ‘Australian Idol’ in 2003. John helped launch the careers of Guy Sebastian, Shannon Noll and Anthony Callea and produced a gold album for ‘Idol’ judge, Marcia Hines, before leaving the show in 2008.
John is musical director and producer for Vision Australia’s ‘Carols by Candelight’ and hosts the annual Schools Spectacular, which is broadcast on ABC TV.
STEVE HEVERN started his career in the entertainment industry when he joined The Sydney Entertainment Centre (SEC) as their Facility Electrician in 1990 – where he completed an initial ten-year term. He then spent almost five years at the new Sydney SuperDome (now known as Allphones Arena), initially appointed as the Venue’s Building Services Manager – to be appointed as Operations Manager shortly after the completion of the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In late 2003, Steve re-joined the SEC team as Building Services Manager. In late 2005, he was seconded by Quay Park Arena Management (QPAM) in the capacity of Deputy CEO of Vector Arena and relocated to Auckland, New Zealand, to take up the post. Once Vector Arena was successfully opened in late 2006, Steve returned to Sydney in the capacity of Group Director of Operations & Special Projects for Arena Management. In 2008, Steve then relocated to Beijing, China to manage the commissioning process, staff procurement, operational set up and implementation of Company, statutory and Olympic protocols for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Returning to Australia in late 2008, Steve undertook the responsibilities of the Group role with AEG Ogden where he continued work on venue designs, Quality Assurance protocols and operational systems. After spending some time in Qatar to open the Katara Amphitheatre in 2010, Steve was appointed as the General Manager of soon to be opened Perth Arena, in September 2012. Having now returned to Sydney to be involved with the design and development of the new Sydney International Convention & Exhibition Project (SICEEP), Steve was the General Manager at Qantas Credit Union Arena (formally Sydney Entertainment Centre) for two years before the arena was redeveloped, he now holds the position of General Manager at Qudos Bank Arena, Homebush (formally Allphones Arena).
DEBORAH HOCKINGS B Ed, Dip Teaching, Dip Bus Man. Debbie has recently retired from the NSW Department of Education and Communities. During her career she was principal at four Sydney primary schools, leader of the Department’s School Leadership Unit, Director of schools in Sydney’s Inner West and Director, School Operations. In all roles Debbie has promoted the participation of students in the performing arts.
ALAN JONES AO (Chairman) Alan Jones AO is a former radio broadcaster and a highly popular commentator now on Sky News Australia. A former teacher and political advisor, he coached the Australian Rugby Team to their first ever win of the Grand Slam, a feat never since repeated. Alan has been instrumental in the development of careers and progression of many TDP students and graduates. Alan regularly interviews and promotes the students on his shows and opens many doors for them in the music and entertainment business.
MARY LOPEZ AM, TDP Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus. In 1991, Mary Lopez AM was appointed the Artistic Director of the TDP. Mary devised the teaching program upon which the TDP is based. Her personal belief in the talent of young performers led her to devote over 35 years to their development. Few people have given more to NSW Public School students and in 2010 her amazing contribution to public education and the arts was recognised with the conferral of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Western Sydney.
Mary’s success as a Producer/Director emanates from her flair for capturing the spirit of Australia through themed productions in huge cast variety Spectaculars and Special Performance Events. Over her career, Mary created over 60 major productions, many of which have been televised. She created the concept for the Schools Spectacular from which the TDP grew. She was the Director of every Schools Spectacular from its launch in 1984 until 2008.
GREG PRIOR Dip Teach, B.Ed. M.Ed. FACE, FACEL, Honorary Fellow Western Sydney University has held a number of senior positions in education over the past 40 years. Greg is currently an Adjunct Professor, School of Education, Western Sydney University. Before his retirement in 2017, Greg was the Deputy Director- General, Schools and Deputy Secretary, School Operations and Performance within the NSW Department Education. HHH His key responsibilities included school operations and performance across Public Schools in NSW. Key accountabilities were for the operation and performance of over 80,000 staff, 780,000 students across 2,300 sites in NSW.
He led the implementation of significant initiatives in NSW including major transformational and cultural reform agendas. Greg has a strong commitment to evidence-based practice and the importance of a culture of continuous improvement. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, audit and risk management, finance, policy and major asset projects. In all of Greg’s leadership positions he has maintained a focus on the importance of strengthening leadership capability in order to meet the educational challenges of the future. Greg is the Chair, Australian Educational Leader, Editorial Board and a member of the Stewart House Board.
TIM WORTON is Group Director for Arena’s for AEG Ogden’s Australasian Network. He oversee’s AEG Ogden’s Arenas in Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle. His involvement includes business development for new venue management agreements throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He is responsible for securing concert and entertainment events in these arenas and across other AEG Ogden Venues that host entertainment events, including convention centres and stadiums. He works collaboratively with other venues that are not managed by AEG Ogden to secure events which can include AEG Ogden venues in a tour.
He was a Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) by international industry body, IAVM in 2006. General Manager of Sydney Entertainment Centre 1998 to 2005. Former General Manager for Newcastle Entertainment Centre 1994 to 1998, responsibilities included management and operation of the Centre as part of the AEG Ogden Network. He was former Business Manager for Newcastle Entertainment Centre responsible for establishment of the financial and business management of the Centre during the pre-opening and initial operating phase.
His qualifications and memberships include: Past President of the Venue Management Association )VMA), Asia and Pacific.
Dr Christina Curry is an experienced leader with a demonstrated track record in governance, education and people development. With 20 years’ experience in the education sector Christina has developed and refined her skills in education policy, strategy and community engagement. Christina has held various leadership positions at Western Sydney University and is a senior lecturer and researcher in Health and Physical Education. Prior to this appointment she worked as a Head of a Health & Physical Education Department in a secondary school for the NSW Department of Education.
Christina has extensive experience in governance from her roles as Chair of Bayside Women’s Shelter, non-executive director of ClubsNSW, The Randwick Club Group, and previously the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
Christina has a strong understanding of community engagement and advocating for better services through her role as an elected local government councillor. As a Patron of a women and children’s centre Christina is a strong advocate for women and diversity.