MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

Don Spencer OAM, Founder & CEO
As the Founder of the ACMF Don is clear in his objectives to use the power of music to inspire Australian children and enrich their lives. Don Spencer is well known throughout Australia as his career in children’s entertainment has spanned television and radio for decades. Don is best recognised as the face of ABC’s Play School and as a singer and songwriter Don has recorded and released over 30 albums. Many of Don’s albums for children have sold in record numbers going gold & platinum and have been produced on video.
As the Founder of the ACMF Don is clear in his objectives to use the power of music to inspire Australian children and enrich their lives. Don Spencer is well known throughout Australia as his career in children’s entertainment has spanned television and radio for decades. Don is best recognised as the face of ABC’s Play School and as a singer and songwriter Don has recorded and released over 30 albums. Many of Don’s albums for children have sold in record numbers going gold & platinum and have been produced on video. Don has been a crusader for Australian music and through his work has taught children much about the country they live in and Australian animals. With material released both nationally and internationally, he has received numerous awards for his musical works. Don has performed in every part of Australia, NZ, USA, UK and Canada and the appeal of his music continues to create demand for his work.

His commitment to disadvantaged children is long standing and he has been awarded the Heart of Variety Award for services to charity. In 2007, Don was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his service to children’s music and television as a songwriter and performer and through the establishment of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation. In 2008, Don was awarded for Excellence in Community Support presented by Support Act Limited.

Don uses the power of music to inspire Australian children and enrich their lives.
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Michael Conway
Mike Conway is a business leader, business writer, producer, coach and musician.  He is currently the CEO at Spartan Sports and Founder of XVenture an organization delivering leadership and team building programs including the tv series XVenture Corporate Challenge.  Mike also runs a successful clinical hypnotherapy and personal coaching practice in the Hills District.  He has had a wide breadth of experience holding Board and Senior Executive positions held at Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche, Standards Australia, The Wiggles and the Central Coast Mariners.    
Mike Conway is a business leader, business writer, producer, coach and musician.  He is currently the CEO at Spartan Sports and Founder of XVenture an organization delivering leadership and team building programs including the tv series XVenture Corporate Challenge.  Mike also runs a successful clinical hypnotherapy and personal coaching practice in the Hills District.  He has had a wide breadth of experience holding Board and Senior Executive positions held at Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche, Standards Australia, The Wiggles and the Central Coast Mariners.  He holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business and healthcare and is a fully qualified clinical hypnotherapist.  He has also been a visiting lecturer on global business affairs at Macquarie University and University of Queensland.   Mike’s passion in life is music and plays an advisory role to several performers in different parts of the World including the French dance band The Penelopes, the Australian band Edens March and classical saxophonist Amy Dickson.   He has worked with the ACMF as a trusted adviser for many years.  This has included performing at a number of ACMF events and as a judge for the national songwriting competition.  Highlights as a musician were performing with Elvis Presley’s TCB band, the Jordanaires in Las Vegas and supporting the Rolling Stones in Hong Kong.  Mike has been married to Denise for 27 years and has 4 children between 25 and 17.
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Ian Dicko Dickson
Ian Dickson (everybody calls him "Dicko") worked in the record industry for 20 years. He was born in Birmingham.

In 1989 Dicko joins Sony Music UK (then CBS Records) as a press officer, involving Public Enemy, LL Cool J as well as Michael Bolton. In 1990 Dicko moves to the Epic Label as a marketing executive looking after Pearl Jam, Ozzy Osbourne and Celine Dion, amongst others. 1993 sees Dicko promoted to Director of International for Sony UK overseeing global strategies for all Epic and S2 label artists including Jamiroquai, Des'ree and Manic Street Preachers.
Ian Dickson (everybody calls him "Dicko") worked in the record industry for 20 years. He was born in Birmingham.

In 1989 Dicko joins Sony Music UK (then CBS Records) as a press officer, involving Public Enemy, LL Cool J as well as Michael Bolton. In 1990 Dicko moves to the Epic Label as a marketing executive looking after Pearl Jam, Ozzy Osbourne and Celine Dion, amongst others. 1993 sees Dicko promoted to Director of International for Sony UK overseeing global strategies for all Epic and S2 label artists including Jamiroquai, Des'ree and Manic Street Preachers. In 1994 he moves to A&M Records UK as Director of International, looking after many acts such as Chris De Burgh, Del Amitri and The Bluetones, to name a few. 1998 sees Dicko move to BMG UK Group as their Vice President of International. Here he enjoys much international success with the likes of Natalie Imbruglia, Five, Westlife and M People.

2001: Dicko has the opportunity to move his family to Sydney, Australia to take up a position of General Manager of Marketing for BMG Australia. In 2003 Dicko's cast as judge on Australian Idol on Network TEN. Dicko sets up a talent management firm with his business partner David Wilson. The Melbourne based company is called Watercooler Talent, which represents popular Australian personalities from TV, radio and stage. In 2007 Dicko returns to Australian Idol as a judge for Series 5.  In 2008 Dicko signs a deal with DMG Vega 91.5 alongside Chrissie Swan & Dave O’Neill as part of the breakfast line up. He also returned to Australian Idol series 6 and 7 on Network Ten.

2010 Dicko returns to breakfast radio on Classic Rock 91.5, with Dave O’Neil on the ‘Dicko & Dave’ show. Most recently, Dicko appeared on Celebrity Apprentice Australia 2012, where he led his team to victory on his challenge, and ultimately the entire competition- meaning that ACMF were the delighted recipients of the winning funds. Dicko is also the Ambassador for the annual ACMF National Songwriting Competition.
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Tim Freedman
Tim Freedman is the lead singer of award-winning Australian band The Whitlams, whose appeal reaches all ages and tastes. His lyrics have been described as having a ‘charming cynicism’, enhanced by an instinct for a poignant melody and a highly individual musical style. Tim’s occasional solo performances are a treat for any music lover, as his intimate banter and stripped-back piano stylings have captivated many an audience.Tim’s songs like ‘No Aphrodisiac’, ‘Blow Up The Pokies’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Fall For You’ are now indelibly stamped in the Australian psyche.
Tim Freedman is the lead singer of award-winning Australian band The Whitlams, whose appeal reaches all ages and tastes. His lyrics have been described as having a ‘charming cynicism’, enhanced by an instinct for a poignant melody and a highly individual musical style. Tim’s occasional solo performances are a treat for any music lover, as his intimate banter and stripped-back piano stylings have captivated many an audience.Tim’s songs like ‘No Aphrodisiac’, ‘Blow Up The Pokies’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Fall For You’ are now indelibly stamped in the Australian psyche.

The Whitlams won Best Group at the 1998 ARIA awards, as well as Song of the Year and Best Independent Release for their third album ‘Eternal Nightcap’. The Whitlams’ recorded output spans five albums over their decade-long existence, with the last album ‘Torch the Moon’ making its debut at number one on the ARIA national charts. It became the third consecutive Whitlams album that achieved platinum status. Recording for a 6th studio album, produced by J. Walker of Machine Translations, is nearly complete.
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Hilary Hannam
Hilary Hannam’s background is in the law.  She completed a Batchelor of Arts and Batchelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Sydney in 1983.  She then practiced as a solicitor in private practice and as a prosecutor with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.  From 2000 to August 2010, she was a Magistrate of the Local Court of NSW and was then Chief Magistrate of the Northern Territory for three years.
Hilary Hannam’s background is in the law.  She completed a Batchelor of Arts and Batchelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Sydney in 1983.  She then practiced as a solicitor in private practice and as a prosecutor with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.  From 2000 to August 2010, she was a Magistrate of the Local Court of NSW and was then Chief Magistrate of the Northern Territory for three years.   Hilary is now a Judge of the Family Court of Australia. She has a particular interest in the law as it relates to children.  Hilary presided in the Children’s Court in NSW for a number of years, in the youth justice and care and protection jurisdictions in the Northern Territory and currently regularly deals with matters of parenting.   She has seen the therapeutic benefits of music programs conducted by the ACMF in court and juvenile justice settings in NSW and the Northern Territory.
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Kieran Lane
Kieran Lane was a partner of KPMG for 20 years – predominantly in Tax, where he dealt with corporate international tax matters including structuring business into Australia, tax advice on capital raisings, debt financing and royalty arrangements and other cross border transactions. He also held the position of National Partner-in Charge for the (Tax) ICE group. Kieran was elected to the KPMG Australia National Board and served as a member for 5 years. He was simultaneously a member of KPMG’s Audit Committee for 3 years, during which he was Chairman for 18 months.
Kieran Lane was a partner of KPMG for 20 years – predominantly in Tax, where he dealt with corporate international tax matters including structuring business into Australia, tax advice on capital raisings, debt financing and royalty arrangements and other cross border transactions. He also held the position of National Partner-in Charge for the (Tax) ICE group. Kieran was elected to the KPMG Australia National Board and served as a member for 5 years. He was simultaneously a member of KPMG’s Audit Committee for 3 years, during which he was Chairman for 18 months. Kieran held the position of National Leader of KPMG’s Australian China Business Practice, a role in which he is supported by a strong team of senior personnel, including State Leaders, across Australia. Kieran was also ASPAC Head of Information, Communications and Entertainment (“ICE”) industry group, ASPAC Lead Partner IBM and ASPAC Lead Partner Microsoft.

Kieran was an active member of the Finance Advisory Committee for St Joseph’s College (one of Australia’s leading independent Catholic schools) for 8 years. The Finance Advisory Committee met regularly to discuss, review and guide the financial workings of the college. The process included reviewing the balance sheet, profit and loss statements, loan facilities and government grant revenue and college revenue as well as approving the final annual audited accounts. Kieran held the position of Vice President on the Board of the Australia China Business Council (“ACBC”) from 2008 to 2011. This is an elected position, reviewed on an annual basis.

ACBC is the premier business organisation in Australia, dedicated to promoting business and trade with the People’s Republic of China. Kieran currently consults to KPMG. The role is to conduct interviews on KPMG’s major clients in Australia and ASPAC. He is also a current member of the Board of CAF (Charities Aid Foundation).
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Melanie Mossman
Melanie Mossman comes to the board of ACMF with experience in both aspects of the foundation’s mission. Her university education and early career was dedicated to welfare, studying social science and policy at the university of New South Wales before working as a case manager at City Womens’ hostel, providing crisis to short term accommodation for women who are long term homeless and living with mental illness.
Melanie Mossman comes to the board of ACMF with experience in both aspects of the foundation’s mission. Her university education and early career was dedicated to welfare, studying social science and policy at the university of New South Wales before working as a case manager at City Womens’ hostel, providing crisis to short term accommodation for women who are long term homeless and living with mental illness. With Mission Australia she tutored homeless men attempting tertiary education and mentored at risk school children for the Ted Noffs Foundation. In more recent years she’s supported Redkite (a national charity that provides financial assistance to children and young people with cancer) where she helped establish and chaired The Red Ladies, an innovative fundraising initiative amongst the women of Sydney. For the last few years she has owned and operated The Green Room lounge one of Sydney’s newest small bar live music venues which has hosted local talent as well as national and international stars from Gotye to Martha Wainwright, Sarah Blasko to Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Devo.
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Blainey North
Blainey is the Managing Director of Blainey North and Associates, a successful Architecture and Interior Design Practice. The practice specialises in the design of five star hotels, luxury residences and bespoke commercial and retail projects around the world. The practice is expanding rapidly to open offices in London and Los Angeles, and is being recognised in Australia and International design circles for its unique and luxurious portfolio of work.

She has recently started a new division of her company, The Blainey North Collection, which specialises in custom designed furniture and lighting inspired by the glamour and sophistication of 1920’s Art Deco.
Blainey is the Managing Director of Blainey North and Associates, a successful Architecture and Interior Design Practice. The practice specialises in the design of five star hotels, luxury residences and bespoke commercial and retail projects around the world. The practice is expanding rapidly to open offices in London and Los Angeles, and is being recognised in Australia and International design circles for its unique and luxurious portfolio of work.

She has recently started a new division of her company, The Blainey North Collection, which specialises in custom designed furniture and lighting inspired by the glamour and sophistication of 1920’s Art Deco.

Blainey has spent her life dedicated to making unique and inspiring environments. She believes in music assisting the development of creativity in children and is passionate and motivated to help them realise their creative potential.
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Shelly Rafferty
Shelly is proud to be involved with the ACMF, bringing enthusiasm and a fresh approach to the charity and it's partners. Having developed and coordinated major events and special projects for one of Brisbane’s largest entertainment precincts, Shelly has always held a passion for working with families and fostering community involvement. In recent times Shelly has worked with major organizations in the telecommunications, FMCG and manufacturing sector, specializing in outsourced sales force management working in areas such as performance management, coaching, account management and business analysis.
Shelly is proud to be involved with the ACMF, bringing enthusiasm and a fresh approach to the charity and it's partners.  Having developed and coordinated major events and special projects for one of Brisbane’s largest entertainment precincts, Shelly has always held a passion for working with families and fostering community involvement. In recent times Shelly has worked with major organizations in the telecommunications, FMCG and manufacturing sector, specializing in outsourced sales force management working in areas such as performance management, coaching, account management and business analysis.  Being a mother of 3, Shelly is very passionate about children, their development and wellbeing.  She is committed to enhancing the charities ability to reach out to communities across Australia.
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Brian Russell
Brian Russell is the founding partner behind the Brooklyn Group and was previously founding partner and Managing Director of the successful executive recruitment group, Dunhill Management Services. Brian is a leader in his profession and has a list of clients that reads like the “Who’s Who” of today’s HR market. This year he celebrates 30 years in the recruitment industry.

Brian’s primary specialisation lies in the media area, consulting to the likes of News Limited, Fairfax, Text Media, ACP and Pacific Magazines for over 20 years. However, his achievements span a cross-section of industries including Engineering, Construction, Electronics and Office Equipment, as well as Financial Services and Banking.
Brian Russell is the founding partner behind the Brooklyn Group and was previously founding partner and Managing Director of the successful executive recruitment group, Dunhill Management Services. Brian is a leader in his profession and has a list of clients that reads like the “Who’s Who” of today’s HR market. This year he celebrates 30 years in the recruitment industry.

Brian’s primary specialisation lies in the media area, consulting to the likes of News Limited, Fairfax, Text Media, ACP and Pacific Magazines for over 20 years. However, his achievements span a cross-section of industries including Engineering, Construction, Electronics and Office Equipment, as well as Financial Services and Banking. Brian brings a wealth of experience in overseeing senior appointments.

Brian is actively involved with several charitable organisations and is committed to encouraging philanthropic ideals.
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Danielle Spencer
Although there have been a number of facets to her professional profile, Danielle Spencer’s musical career was undeniably destined from an early age. The daughter of Don Spencer – Danielle first started to sing and learn the piano from her father at the age of four.

Danielle released her debut album ‘White Monkey’ through EMI Music in Australia in 2001 to critical acclaim and soon after married and took time out to have a family. Danielle’s new album ‘Calling All Magicians’ was produced by Tony Visconti [best known for his work with David Bowie in the 70’s] and released in both the UK & Australia.
Although there have been a number of facets to her professional profile, Danielle Spencer’s musical career was undeniably destined from an early age. The daughter of Don Spencer – Danielle first started to sing and learn the piano from her father at the age of four.

Danielle released her debut album ‘White Monkey’ through EMI Music in Australia in 2001 to critical acclaim and soon after married and took time out to have a family. Danielle’s new album ‘Calling All Magicians’ was produced by Tony Visconti [best known for his work with David Bowie in the 70’s] and released in both the UK & Australia.

She will bring her years of musical expertise to the Boardroom table to help shape the future of music education programs for the ACMF.
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Brian Wexham
Brian is the Chief Executive of SkillsOne, a Federal Government initiative with the mission to promote and advance learning, teaching and training in Australian trades education and elevate the status of traditional trades and trades education as a career choice.

Brian has an extensive background in media, advertising and publishing and includes executive roles with The Times and The Sunday Times in London, as well as Board positions with The Observer and the Today newspaper, London. He is also the former Chief Executive of Lonhro Media Group PLC East Africa and more recently was the Chief Executive of APN Educational Media (Australia and New Zealand).
Brian is the Chief Executive of SkillsOne, a Federal Government initiative with the mission to promote and advance learning, teaching and training in Australian trades education and elevate the status of traditional trades and trades education as a career choice.

Brian has an extensive background in media, advertising and publishing and includes executive roles with The Times and The Sunday Times in London, as well as Board positions with The Observer and the Today newspaper, London. He is also the former Chief Executive of Lonhro Media Group PLC East Africa and more recently was the Chief Executive of APN Educational Media (Australia and New Zealand).

Brian is proud to be on the board of The Australian Children’s Music Foundation and committed to helping the Foundation achieve its objectives.
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Geoff Wilson
Geoff Wilson has had 32 years experience in the Australian and international securities industry. He worked in a number of Fund Manager & Analyst roles in Australia before moving to New York with McIntosh Hamson Hoare Govett from 1986 to 1988. During that period, he contributed to the Australian Broking Desk, being ranked No. 1 by the American Institutional Clients.

In 1997, Geoff started up the Wilson Asset Management Group which manages WAM Capital Limited (WAM), WAM Active Ltd (WAA) and WAM Research Ltd (WAX).
Geoff Wilson has had 32 years experience in the Australian and international securities industry. He worked in a number of Fund Manager & Analyst roles in Australia before moving to New York with McIntosh Hamson Hoare Govett from 1986 to 1988. During that period, he contributed to the Australian Broking Desk, being ranked No. 1 by the American Institutional Clients.

In 1997, Geoff started up the Wilson Asset Management Group which manages WAM Capital Limited (WAM), WAM Active Ltd (WAA) and WAM Research Ltd (WAX). He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Graduate Management Qualification. Geoff is also a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Securities Institute of Australia.

Geoff has a number of public company and charitable Board positions.
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