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Our Board

Ben Wyatt | Chair

Mr Wyatt is the former Western Australian Treasurer and has had ministerial responsibility for Finance, Energy, Aboriginal Affairs and Lands. He was the first Indigenous treasurer of any Australian parliament, and he has held various shadow cabinet portfolios including responsibility for Native Title, the Pilbara and Culture and the Arts. He retired from the Western Australian Parliament in March 2021. 

He holds a Masters degree with Distinction from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia. 

Prior to entering Parliament, Mr Wyatt practised as a lawyer in both private practice and with the Western Australian Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.  

Mr Wyatt also sits on the Boards of the West Coast Eagles, Telethon Kids Institute, Woodside and Rio Tinto. 

Rowena Albones

Rowena has had a series of leadership, financial and commercial roles at Rio Tinto since joining the company as a Commercial Analyst for Hamersley Iron in 1999. She was appointed Chief Financial Officer for the Iron Ore group in June 2018. In this role, she leads the finance function with strong focus on decision making and commercial governance.

Before joining Iron Ore, Rowena was Chief Financial Officer Growth & Innovation where she established PACE consulting to provide management consulting and data analytics services to the business and governance and financial oversight of Oyu Tolgoi as a Board member since 2013. Rowena holds a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Economics and Finance and a Masters in Business Administration, both from Curtin University, Australia.

James Arvanitakis

James Arvanitakis is the Director of the Forrest Research Foundation.

He moved to Perth, Western Australia to take up the position and was formerly the Pro Vice Chancellor (Engagement and Advancement) at Western Sydney University, Principal Consultant at the Astrolabe Group, and Executive Director of Fulbright Australia. After a successful career in finance and human rights, he has worked with universities for more than 15 years establishing innovative education and research programs including The Academy at Western (awarded the Australian Financial Review Excellence in Education Award).

He has a regular segment on ABC News 24 and The Drum discussing complex and controversial topics and has over 100 publications.

James is a Fulbright alumnus, having spent 12 months at the University of Wyoming as the Milward L Simpson Fellow.

In 2021, he was appointed the inaugural Patron of Diversity Arts Australia in recognition of his commitment to a cultural sector that reflects the rich diversity of Australia.

In 2022 he founded Respectful Disagreements, a brave spaces project that promotes the lost art of civility in political disagreement as well as the educational power of discomfort.

Paul Downie Headshot

Paul Downie

Paul Downie is a globally experienced strategic communications advisor and manager, with a career spanning nearly 40 years. 

Paul most recently served as the Asia Pacific Chairman of FTI Consulting Strategic Communications division. FTI is a NYSE listed, global corporate advisory firm based in Washington DC. Paul has lived in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and New York leading teams to advise clients on multi-faceted corporate and regulatory matters. While with the firm, Paul was co-leader of the broader Australian business, leader of the Singapore office and sat on global leadership committees.

Paul studied Business at Edith Cowan University and Journalism at Curtin University before being offered a cadetship in 1983 at West Australian Newspapers. He is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Business Advanced Management Program and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has advised and sat on Boards of numerous not-for-profit organisations.

Delwyn Everard

Delwyn Everard

Delwyn Everard is a strategic thinker, lawyer and advocate. 

As a partner of global firm Spruson &Ferguson, she specialised in patent and trademark litigation, acting for some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical, manufacturing and mining companies. She then spent 10 years as the Deputy Director of the Arts Law Centre, Australia’s national community legal centre, managing the delivery of its legal advice service to the creative sector. In 2017, she founded Everard Advisory, a boutique legal firm focusing on the arts. 

Delwyn has served on the board of the Australian Art Events Foundation which produces Sydney’s much loved contemporary art festival Art Month Sydney, and is currently on the boards of The Lester Inc which delivers an annual portrait prize and The Farm Margaret River offering annual residencies to artists whose practice is connected to place and environment.  

She’s worked extensively with Indigenous artists and art centres in remote Australia, assisting with governance and business advice and major public projects. Her Covid-19 lockdown project was a podcast ‘Running the Show’ which discusses the legal and business issues confronting arts organisations and others working in the creative sector.

Ben Lisle

Ben Lisle is the Managing Director of Hesperia. Ben has extensive experience in all facets of property development including due diligence and acquisition structuring, planning and environmental approvals, development management and financing of commercial and industrial property.

Ben was previously a Director and Founder for Linc Property, a Director and Co-Founder of Azure Capital and a Director of Poynton and Partners. His work included management of numerous significant capital raisings and IPOs, the structuring and execution of large project finance packages, the management of mergers and accustoms and provision of strategic corporate advisory services.

Ben is involved in and ongoing commitments with a range of not-for-profit organisations including Youth Focus and the Ride for Youth, the Noongar Charitable Trust and SAS Resources Fund.

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Western Australia, a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Financial Services Institute of Australia and has completed the Management Development program at Harvard Business School.

A woman in a blue blazer and white shirt smiles at the camera

Michelle Tremain

Michelle is Managing Partner of PwC Australia’s Perth office, and she leads the market focus of a team of more than 50 partners and 600 staff across the firm’s three businesses - Assurance, Financial Advisory and Consulting. Michelle also is the COO for PwC’s National Govt, Health & Infrastructure Consulting practice. 

Michelle has a demonstrated passion for the arts and has been proactive in her personal support for local emerging artists. Michelle also is a board member of the Arts and Culture Trust, a statutory authority which manages and operates cultural venues in Western Australia. She is also a board member of the Foundation for the WA Museum and a member of the Curtin University Business School Advisory Council

Admitted as a partner OF PwC Perth in 2004, Michelle has more than 25 years' experience on indirect taxation matters, particularly in the property, infrastructure, mining and energy industry sectors. Over her career Michelle has led PwC teams advising on some of Australia’s largest public and private transactions. She plays a key role in negotiating with the Australian Tax Office on behalf of her clients and the firm and works with both State and Federal governments. 

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Murdoch University (double major Accounting and Asian Studies), is a CPA and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the Tax Institute. Michelle also has a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment. 

Simon Yeo

Simon Yeo

Simon Yeo has worked in the financial services industry since 1993. In November 2000 he established and managed the Private Client division of Euroz Securities Limited before moving to a specialised role within the Institutional Sales division from 2013 until 2022 and is now in the Private Wealth division. Simon was formerly an Executive Director of Euroz Limited and Euroz Hartleys Securities Limited. 

Simon holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UWA and was previously a chartered accountant. 

He is on the board of The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) where he joined in 2014. He was the Executive Producer of The Reef, being instrumental in conceptualising, financing and arranging logistics, when the ACO first launched the project in 2012 and also for The Reef redux undertaken in 2015 for the 2016 The Reef tour of the USA. He was previously a Director of Tura New Music.

Board Invitees

Fiona Allan
Sue Murphy
Lorna Pritchard