Ita Buttrose AC, OBE
7 March 2019 – 6 March 2024
Ita Buttrose has held executive and editing roles for major Australian media companies including Australian Consolidated Press, News Ltd and Fairfax, and has run her own media company, Capricorn Publishing. She has served on the boards of Australian Consolidated Press, News Corp Australia, and Television & Telecasters Pty Ltd (Network TEN). She has worked in print, radio and television and has written 11 books. She was inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame in 2017.
A founding member and former president of Chief Executive Women, Ita is a committed community and welfare contributor. She chaired Arthritis Australia from 2003 to 2006 and later Alzheimer’s (now Dementia) Australia from 2011 to 2014 and is now National Ambassador for Dementia Australia. She is Chair of The Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group.
She has been a member of the Sydney Symphony Council since 2010 and served as a Trustee of Centennial and Moore Park Trust in Sydney from 2012 to 2020. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
ABC Managing Director
6 May 2019 – 5 May 2024
ABC Managing Director David Anderson’s career in the broadcast television and media industry spans more than 30 years.
A leader in television production, he has been responsible for commissioning successful programs across all genres as well as overseeing the Corporation’s digital transformation.
A succession of high-level positions, including Director of Strategy & Planning and Director of Digital Network, has ensured his familiarity with every aspect of the ABC. David has played a pivotal role in leading its transition from a broadcaster into a modern digital media organisation, providing trusted on-demand content for the changing needs and expectations of audiences.
Immediately before his appointment to his current role, David held the position of Director Entertainment & Specialist. This broad portfolio spans the ABC’s broadcast television networks, including on-demand products and services and all associated websites and apps, along with all ABC radio music networks, podcasts and specialist radio content.
Dr Kirstin Ferguson
PhD (QUT), LLB (Hons) (QUT), BA (Hons) (UNSW)
12 November 2015 – 11 November 2020
Dr Kirstin Ferguson is the Deputy Chair (and previously Acting Chair) of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Kirstin is also a non-executive director on ASX listed and private company boards including SCA Property Group Ltd, EML Payments Ltd and Hyne Pty Ltd. Kirstin has contributed to the community through numerous voluntary roles including having been a board member of Layne Beachley’s Foundation, SheStarts, Queensland Theatre Company, Queensland Rugby Union, a mentor with Science and Technology Australia’s Superstars of STEM program and she was the Chair of the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.
As well as Honours degrees in Law and also History, Kirstin has a PhD in corporate culture, leadership and governance for which she has received industry and academic awards. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the QUT School of Business. Kirstin is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a graduate of both the Company Director Course and International Company Director Course. An advocate for gender diversity and equality in the workplace, Kirstin is a member of national and international women’s organisations including Chief Executive Women, Women Corporate Directors and the Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia.
Dr Jane Connors
1 May 2018 – 30 April 2023
PhD (UTS), Grad Dip Applied History (UTS) BA (Hons) (ANU)
Jane Connors has been with the ABC since completing an internship in 1989. Her previous roles included Executive Producer of the Social History Unit, Manager of Radio National, and Head of Industry Policy and Strategy at ABC Radio. Jane is currently an advisor with the Editorial Policies team. She has a PhD in Australian History and is the author of Royal Visits to Australia.
Jane is a member of several advisory bodies, including Sydney Living Museums and the Centre for Media History.
2 October 2014 – 1 October 2024
Peter Lewis is the Chair of McGrath Ltd, a member of the Advisory Board for Anacacia Capital and an advisor for Gravity Media Group. He previously held board and advisory positions with 360 Capital ANI Management, Capitol Health Limited, International Grammar School Sydney, TXA Australia Pty Ltd, Norwest Productions Pty Ltd, Australian News Channel Pty Ltd, B Digital Ltd, Vividwireless Pty Ltd, and Yahoo 7 Australia. He has extensive experience in financial management for media companies and has been the CFO of Seven Network Ltd, Seven Group Holdings Ltd, Seven Media Group, and Seven West Media Ltd.
Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants, and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. He is Chair of the ABC Audit and Risk Committee.
24 November 2015 – 23 November 2020
Donny Walford is the founder and Managing Director of national businesses Bottom Line and behind closed doors®, and is currently on the Board of KeyInvest Ltd and the South Australian Venture Capital Fund. She is an Advisory Board member for NDA Law, an Executive Trustee of HealthStyle Choice Pty Ltd, and a Founding Member of International Women’s Forum Australia.
Previously Donny was a Board Director for Australian Associated Advisers Pty Ltd., Australian Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Defence Teaming Centre, and the Heart Foundation (SA) and she served as Chairman for the Australian Dance Theatre.
Donny is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a graduate of the Institute’s Chairman’s mentoring and Mastering the Boardroom programs, and a graduate of the Macquarie University Executive Management program.
Dr Vanessa Guthrie
Hon. D.Sc, PhD, BSc (Hons)
23 Feb 2017 – 22 Feb 2022
Dr Vanessa Guthrie is an experienced Executive and Director with a career spanning thirty years in the resources sector, in a variety of diverse minerals and energy resources. Vanessa has qualifications in geology, environment, law and business management including a PhD in Geology. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Curtin University in 2017 for her contribution to sustainability, innovation and policy leadership in the resources industry.
Vanessa is on the board of a number of organisations, including listed companies Santos Limited, Adelaide Brighton Limited, Tronox Holdings PLC and the Australia-India Council. She is Pro Chancellor of Curtin University and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
Georgie Somerset AM
23 Feb 2017 – 22 Feb 2022
Georgie Somerset is a rural industry leader and strategist with a background in regional development across Australia. Based in Queensland’s South Burnett, she is actively involved in the operation of the family beef business.
She has board experience across the not-for-profit, government and industry sectors as General President of AgForce Queensland Farmers, a Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland section) and the RFDS Foundation, and as Chair of the Red Earth Community Foundation, South Burnett. She serves on advisory committees for regional development, tertiary institutions, industry and community groups.
Georgie has served in a range of advisory councils, government review committees, and board roles including the National Rural Advisory Council, the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee, and the National Foundation for Australian Women. Georgie is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Joseph Gersh AM
B Com LLB (Hons) (MU)
11 May 2018 – 10 May 2023
Joe Gersh practised law for 20 years as a senior partner and has had significant business experience with a range of public and private companies. He is currently the Founder and Executive Chairman of Gersh Investment Partners Ltd, a specialist real estate investment bank. He is also a director of The Sydney Institute. From 2003 to 2012, he was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation, and was a member of the Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia between 1998 and 2013.
Joe has also held numerous board positions in the arts community, including Deputy Chair of the Australia Council.