HARISH RAOMBA (Finance) GAICD – CHAIR
Harish grew up in Melbourne, where he attended Melbourne Grammar School before completing higher studies at the Australian National University and Monash University. He has an MBA (Finance) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Professionally, Harish is the face of the Sundaram Finance Group, a US$4billion financial services conglomerate, based in Chennai, India. In Australia, the group is involved with Financial and Business Process Outsourcing through its subsidiary, Sundaram Business Services Limited.
Harish currently also sits on the Board of Guide Dogs Victoria, the Australian Friends of ASHA and the Australia India Institute. He is also on the Advisory Board of the World Mosquito Program and the India Australia Business & Community Awards.
Harish has been a Patron of the AWO since 2012 and was appointed Chair of the AWO in November 2018.
CHRIS ARNOLDAM, BComm, MBA, FCPA, FAICD
Chris has a lifelong love of music and plays the piano (not well these days). He and his wife Margot Costanzo (a producer & presenter at Melbourne’s 3MBS classic music radio station) have commissioned musical work, as well as belonging to the Richard Wagner Society. Chris joined the AWO board in 2019.
Chris has held six CEO roles in hospitals and health services, and in professional services firms (legal, financial services). He currently consults in the corporate, government and not for profit sectors on governance, structuring, business acquisitions and sales, strategic planning, growth and succession planning, and performance improvement.
Chris has held numerous past and current chairman and board member roles in the corporate and philanthropic sectors, including BioGrid Australia Ltd, Global Variome Ltd, Telediagnostics Ltd, Australian Community Foundation, the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust and Philanthropy Australia.
Francesco (Frank) Celata is the Associate Principal Clarinetist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Frank graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1987. He then studied in Amsterdam and in 1991 he returned to Australia, where he was appointed Principal Clarinet with the then Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra.
Frank joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1993 as Associate Principal Clarinet. He has appeared with them as a soloist as well as with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and Guest Principal Clarinet at the Philharmonia Orchestra London and London Symphony Orchestra.
Frank is a founding member of one of Sydney’s leading chamber ensembles, the Sydney Soloists, and the New Sydney Wind Quintet. He is also a dedicated teacher and since 1994 has taught clarinet at the Sydney Conservatorium where he is a Lecturer in Clarinet. He has conducted masterclasses at the Shanghai Conservatorium, Trinity College, London and for the AWO. In 2013 Frank was appointed Artistic Director of the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute (AISOI) – until its closure in 2017. Simultaneously, he joined the staff of the Conservatorium of Music, Hobart as Lecturer in Orchestral and Chamber Music until 2017.
Douglas works in the private equity industry where he established Quintet Yorkway, Sydney based firm specialising in unlisted investments. Douglas is currently a non-executive director of a number of portfolio companies including Talent International and Exact Radiology.
JASON GELLERTBCom, LLB
Jason works in funds management where he helped establish BetaShares, a leading manager of exchange traded funds on the ASX. He was previously in investment banking with Morgan Stanley in their Sydney and New York offices. He served on the White City Development Committee between 2010 and 2015.
Jason is also a practising musician, and regularly performs at various jazz festivals around Australia.
MEREDITH HELLICARFAICD, MCAP, B.A., LLM (Hons), L.Mus.A
Meredith is Managing Director of Merryck & Co. ANZ, the leading global mentoring firm, which specialises in mentoring business leaders. She has had a diverse executive and board career, encompassing financial and other professional services, manufacturing, energy and mineral resources, logistics, leisure, airport, telecommunications and environment sectors.
Meredith volunteers as a telephone crisis counsellor with Lifeline and is Patron of mindDog, which helps people procure, train and accredit psychiatric assistance dogs. She chairs the Business Engagement Committee of Chief Executive Women, the Education Committee of the 30% Club and the Mosman Zone Red Shield Appeal Committee for the Salvation Army. Meredith was awarded a Centenary Medal for her Contribution to Australian Society in Business Leadership, was an Australian Eisenhower Fellow to USA to study change management in corporations and was a member of the Australian delegation to negotiate the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.
Alex is a disputes, litigation and insolvency lawyer. He is a Principal at King and Collins specialising in complex private wealth disputes and litigation.
Alex was educated at Sydney and Monash Universities, completing his articles with Arnold Bloch Leibler in 1997. He was appointed a senior associate of the firm in 2000 and became a partner in 2004. Alex is also a regular presenter of papers to lawyers and non-lawyers regarding the practical application of the law in business contexts, in Australia and overseas.
FELICITY ROURKEBA LLB (Hons)
Felicity, a lawyer, is a Partner of law firm Allens.
Her legal practice specialises in planning and environmental law, acting for Australia’s leading institutional and private investors and developers across all real estate sectors. Felicity is acknowledged as a pre-eminent practitioner in a number of leading legal directories.
Felicity is also a director of Friends of the Mater Foundation, which supports the operations of the Mater Hospital in Sydney.
A keen musician, since 2015 Felicity has been a member of the Sydney Lawyers Orchestra.
GABRIELLE THOMPSONAM, FFIN, MAIEX
Gabrielle was a founding director of the Australian World Orchestra and has served as CEO since joining the board in 2009 upon the formation of the orchestra.
Since the early 2000’s Gabrielle was also involved in the Australian film industry with production credits on a number of short and feature films.
Prior to entering into the arts, Gabrielle enjoyed a 25 year career in international banking with ANZ, Credit Lyonnais and Citigroup.
NEIL THOMPSONBEC, SA, FIN, MAICD
Neil was a founding director of the Australian World Orchestra and served as it’s Chairman from 2011- 2015.
In 2013-2016, Neil served in an executive capacity as Finance Director. Prior to 2013 and since 2016 he served as Finance Director in an honorary capacity.
Neil has had a 35 year career serving as a director and in senior corporate and finance roles with a number of public and private companies. Since leaving the orchestra Neil has become CFO of Ascender Group.
Neil was a director of International Children’s Aid, a not for profit charity serving under-privileged children in Sri Lanka from 2008 – 2018.
Rupert grew up in the London suburb of Pinner before coming to Sydney as a teenager to complete his schooling. His early career took him into television program editing and production, moving into advertising and television program directing with time spent at TCN 9 and TEN 10 in Sydney. He moved to Sony Corporation working in the International sales and marketing area. This led Rupert to commence his own companies in 1992.
Rupert now owns and operates a number of multi-national companies in the eCommerce and hosted telephony arena’s.
Rupert’s appreciation of music was borne from his years of listening to the BBC radio as he grew up in London.
Karen is a management consultant with over 25 years executive leadership and business experience, principally in the financial services industry. She specialises in business strategy, governance, coaching, high-stakes facilitation, complex negotiations, compliance, risk and project execution.
Prior to consulting, Karen was General Counsel at QBE Mercantile Mutual. Before that, she was a Senior Associate at Phillips Fox and a solicitor at Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
Karen is most at home in complex and uncertain environments, start-ups and organisations facing unprecedented change. Through these testing environments, she has earned a reputation for decisive and empowering leadership, ‘straight talk’ and exemplary commonsense problem solving.