Staff & Board
ADC Board Selection Process
Board vacancies are filled from time to time to ensure that there is a good mix of skills and experience amongst the directors to oversee the governance of the organisation and support the CEO and the team.
Directors are required to attend a minimum of six meetings a year as well as participate in board committees and attend ADC events. Directors are also required to actively contribute to the ADC fundraising program and be regular donors.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer director on the ADC Board please contact ADC's CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9361 4555 to discuss your interest and the application process.
The ADC Board has seven volunteer directors led by the Chair Elizabeth Espinosa. Board members are appointed for a two-year term, with a possible two further terms of two years each.
Greg Dean is Director of Finance and Accounting at Event Hospitality and Entertainment Limited. Greg is a chartered accountant, a chartered company secretary and is interested in the arts, contemporary design, tourism, innovation and cultural philanthropy and supports a number of organisations in Sydney. Greg joined the ADC Board in January 2020.
Elizabeth Espinosa is Commissioner of the Land and Environment Court at Department of Justice NSW. Her extensive legal experience includes previous roles as President of the Law Society of NSW and General Council, Manager Governance, Legal Services and Procurement at the Liverpool City Council and before that she was President of St George and Sutherland Shire Law Society. Elizabeth is committed to mentoring young lawyers working in the legal profession. Elizabeth joined the ADC Board in January 2020 and was appointed as Chair in March 2020.
Louise Ingram is a chartered accountant with over 25 years’ financial management experience, specialising in not-for-profit cultural organisations. Louise is currently Financial Controller at Sydney Opera House where she leads a team focused on process improvement and providing excellent business support services. Previous experience includes 14 years with Australian Design Centre, several commercial businesses and PwC (Audit). Louise joined the ADC Board in January 2020.
Maisy Stapleton developed a longstanding interest in design from her degree in architecture. She later worked as a tutor and lecturer in architecture, a researcher, a curator, program and events manager and in marketing. She held leadership roles in Museums and Galleries NSW; Regional Arts NSW and the National Trust and has been a member of many arts industry and government boards and committees. For the last 10 years she has presented and produced an arts program on Eastside Radio, 89.7fm, covering cultural ideas and events. Maisy joined the ADC Board in May 2022.
The Australian Design Centre has a core team led by CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill. During the year the team expands as we work with partners, makers, designers, interns, curators and exhibition installers on various projects.
Lisa Cahill - CEO and Artistic Director
Lisa Cahill joined the Australian Design Centre team as Associate Director in 2015 and in 2016 she was appointed as CEO and Artistic Director. In that time she has developed and presented seven annual creative programs, curated more than 40 exhibitions, founded and directed the annual Sydney Craft Week Festival, and restarted the organisation’s commitment to supporting makers and designers with a retail shop and twice yearly outdoor markets.
With more than 35 years’ experience, Lisa has held various government roles in Canberra and Melbourne, including a stint as a ministerial adviser, SBS, the Australia Council for the Arts and the City of Sydney. Working variously as a curator, writer and creative producer in the visual and performing arts, Lisa co-curated the Australian exhibition for the Triennale of Craft in Kanazawa, Japan in 2013 and, most recently, co-curated ADC’s award nominated podcast series.
Lisa was the founding CEO of the Australian Design Alliance and is currently co-chair of the Australian Craft and Design Centres Network (ACDC). She holds a Bachelor of Communications in Professional Writing at the University of Canberra and a Master of Arts Administration from UNSW. Lisa is a Fellow of the Gordon Darling Foundation Museum Leadership Program.
Laila Bazzi – Associate Director Finance & Operations
Laila has been with ADC since 2020 and brings more than two decades of experience working in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors in a variety of finance, educational and company secretarial roles for organisations such as Qantas, IBM and Life Education Australia. She is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).
Debbie Abraham – Associate Director Creative Programs
Debbie joined the ADC team early in 2023 and brings with her over 35 years of professional experience across the arts management and creative programming. Debbie is a former Director of Museum of Art and Culture, yapang, Lake Macquarie and previously managed national exhibition touring with Museums & Galleries NSW. More recently she has been engaged as an arts consultant on various projects with organisations such as Campbelltown Arts Centre, Logan Art Gallery, Australian Design Centre and Museum & Galleries Queensland, where she worked with Aboriginal colleague Donna Biles Fernando to respectfully embed First Nations engagement in the National Standards for Museums and Galleries.
Alix Fiveash – Communications and Partnerships Manager
Alix has over 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, marketing, partnership development, fundraising and events management for government, commercial and not-for-profit organisations. Prior to joining ADC in 2016, Alix was Marketing Manager ABC Local Radio (including 702 ABC Sydney and 11 regional NSW stations). She recently coordinated ADC’s podcast series Objects: stories of design and craft – Masters of Craft.
Rhadi Bryant – Creative Programs Producer
Rhadi is a creative producer with more than twenty years’ experience across arts sectors. Her projects span advertising, film, exhibition, events, festivals, public art and most recently, landscape architecture. At ADC since 2014, her project highlights include; WORKSHOPPED20, Object Therapy, the Gadigal Mural and Isolate Make: Creative Resilience in a Pandemic. She is currently studying sustainability at the University of Tasmania.
Fiona Pulford – Creative Programs Producer
Since 2017, Fiona’s work in ADC’s creative programs team has included ADC On Tour and Sydney Craft Week. She has been in the visual arts, theatre and film industries for 25+ years. A graduate of NIDA director’s course, Fiona’s experience also includes cinema industry as general manager, national film programmer and special projects/ events manager for Hoyts and Event Cinemas.
Dakota Dixon - First Nations Creative Programs Producer
Dakota Dixon joined ADC in April 2022. Dakota is a proud Dharawal-Dhungatti woman from the La Perouse area and a descendant of the traditional owners of Sydney Harbour. Dakota has worked on several projects at Barangaroo including a Welcome to country film “Wellema’ and worked with Lendlease on outdoor public art sculptures in the Barangaroo area. She aims to work with local community to highlight the talent of Indigenous designers and makers. She has a background in graphic design and enjoys painting in her spare time.
Felicity Brading – Creative Programs Coordinator
Felicity joined ADC at the start of 2020. In the prior four years, she worked within the commercial arts sector at Utopia Art Sydney. She has contributed to projects for a range of small cultural organisations and was the volunteer coordinator for The Sydney Fringe Festival, in 2013. In her spare time, Felicity volunteers for The Village Project Summer Hill Co-operative.
Amy Meng – Retail and Administration Coordinator
Amy joined ADC in March 2022. She has held administrative roles across various art and design organisations, and has experience working in the international education sector. Amy has a background in architecture and fibre art. She also developed an interest in risograph and hand papermaking from her time at Endless Editions and Dieu Donné Paper Mill.
Kaity Lawrenson – Creative Programs Assistant
Emil Ngo – Creative Programs Assistant