Board of Directors

Opera Australia is a company limited by guarantee. Our governance is the responsibility of our Board of Directors, who are elected by our members. The Board is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company and its ongoing viability.

Rod Sims AO

Rod is currently Professor of public policy at the Australian National University, and Chair of the Competition Research Policy Network at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, Paris.

In March this year, he completed 11 years as Chair of The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Prior to this, he had a wide range of commercial and public sector roles in many countries, including Director and Partner at commercial advisory firm Port Jackson Partners Limited, Chair of project development company InfraCo Asia based in Singapore, Director of Ingeus Limited which was then Europe’s largest welfare-to-work company based in London, and Chair of the State Rail Authority in NSW.

Rod was previously also Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, responsible for all domestic policy issues, and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Transport and Communications.  From 1988 to 1990 he was the Principal Economic Adviser to Australia’s Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.

He has a love of opera, and has been a subscriber, and then a patron, of Opera Australia for over 30 years.


Philip Bacon AO

Well-regarded art dealer, patron and philanthropist, Philip Bacon established Philip Bacon Galleries, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane in 1974.

In 1978 he became registered as an approved valuer for the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, now known as the Cultural Gifts Program, joining the Australian Commercial Galleries Association the following year.

The late 1980s saw Mr Bacon as Art Consultant to Expo 1988 and an adviser to the Estate of Lady Trout. In 1990, he was made a consultant and adviser to the Margaret Olley Art Trust, and is now a Trustee. In 1994 he became a member of the Advisory Council, Griffith University — Queensland College of Art. From 1995 to 1996, Mr Bacon was an adviser to the Trustees and Executors of the Johnstone Gallery Estate. He became a Board member of the Brisbane Biennial International Music Festival in 1996, in 1998 he was made a Board member of the Brisbane Festival of which he is now Deputy Chairman.

In 1994 Philip Bacon became a member of the Board of Opera Australia, a position he held until 2010. He was a member of the Council of the National Gallery of Australia from 1996 to 2003 and has been a Trustee of the Gordon Darling Foundation since 2000. He is a Founder / Benefactor of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation and Perpetual Donor and member of the Board of the Foundation of the National Gallery of Australia. In 2014 he re-joined the board of Opera Australia and is currently Chairman of the Opera Australia Capital Fund.

Philip Bacon was made a Member, Order of Australia in 1999 receiving in the same year a Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) from the University of Queensland. In 2002 Mr Bacon received a Doctor of the University from Griffith University, and Doctor of the University from Queensland University of Technology in 2005. In 2009 he was named a ‘Queensland Great’, and also was announced as AbaF Goldman Sachs Philanthropist of the year. In 2012 he was appointed as a Trustee of the Board of the Queensland Art Gallery.

He was named by The Australian in 2012 as one of the 50 most influential people in the arts in Australia.


Jonathan Feder

Mr Feder LLB (Hons)/BSc is a Partner in the Intellectual Property team at K&L Gates. He is a current board member of Melbourne Theatre Company, a role he has held since 2010. Mr Feder has also raised investment funds for numerous theatrical productions which have been presented throughout the world including shows in New York, London and Australia.

Mr Feder joined the Opera Australia Board in February 2017.


Jane Hansen AO

Ms Hansen is a Company Director with more than 25 years investment banking and management experience in London, New York and Australia. Currently Chair and CEO of the Hansen Little Foundation and all associated philanthropic initiatives, Jane was formerly a mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance specialist at Macquarie Bank and First Boston/Credit Suisse.

Jane joined the Board of the Melbourne Theatre Company in February 2015 and is also the inaugural Chair of the theatre company’s Foundation. She is the Deputy Chancellor and a Member of the Council of the University of Melbourne, and sits on the Melbourne University Humanities Foundation and is Deputy Chair of the Believe Campaign. Jane also sits on the Board of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and is a Fellow of the University of Melbourne. Previous directorships include the MCG Trust, the State Sport Centres Trust, the federal body of Athletics Australia and the Foundation of the State Library of Victoria.

Jane Hansen holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Monash University, a Masters Degree in Finance and Business Administration from Columbia University in New York, and is currently undertaking an Arts Degree majoring in History at Melbourne University.

Jane and her husband Paul Little established the Hansen Little Foundation in 2015 with Ms Hansen in the role of Chair and Chief Executive. The Hansen Little Foundation is a large philanthropic foundation active in the arts, higher education and medical research along with a broad range of smaller initiatives.


Deena Shiff

Deena Shiff B.Sc(Econ)/BA/FAICD has had a career in government, the law and as a senior executive. She was the founding CEO of Telstra’s corporate venture capital arm, Telstra Ventures, and a Group Managing Director at Telstra. Previously, Deena was a partner in the leading law firm, Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

Deena is currently the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Marley Spoon AG (ASX:MMM) and is a Non-Executive Director on the boards of ProMedicus (ASX:PME) where she chairs the People and Culture Committee; Appen (ASX: APX) ; Electro Optic Systems (ASX: EOS ); and Opera Australia where she also chairs the People and Culture Committee.

Deena chairs the International Advisory Board of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decisions and Society; the Advisory Board of the Australian Centre for China in the World, as well as the Australian Broadband Advisory Council.


Andrew Sisson AO

Andrew graduated in mathematics and statistics from Melbourne University and joined the investment department of National Mutual Life as a share analyst in January 1974. He worked for National Mutual for fourteen years managing the share portfolios of the statutory funds as well as the portfolio management subsidiary.

He established Balanced Equity Management in 1988 to manage discrete portfolios of Australian shares. It now has $10 billion under management, concentrating on the largest fifty companies in the index with an investment approach based on long-term view fundamental value. In 2011 Balanced Equity Management was acquired by Franklin Resources Inc, a funds management company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Andrew joined the Opera Australia Board in February 2017.