Board of Trustees

Julie Hardaker (chair)

Julie Hardaker was mayor of Hamilton from 2010 – 2016 and has been a strong supporter of the arts for many years. She has practiced law for over 25 years and operates her own law firm in Hamilton. Julie is also a governance professional and a Chartered Fellow of The Chartered Governance Institute. She is chair of Governance New Zealand and Women on Boards, a director of Bay Venues Limited, and former chair of New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority.  Julie holds other private and not-for-profit board roles. Julie has a strong interest in governance training and supporting women to achieve governance success.

Kim Budd (deputy chair)

Kim has been the principal of Kaipaki school since 2017. She plays violin, flute, and piano and was a member of the Waikato Secondary Schools Orchestra. Kim plays with the Rusty Player Orchestra.

Theresa Le Bas

Theresa is the senior partner of Tompkins Wake’s Environmental Law Team, with more than 25 years’ legal experience in national law firms in both New Zealand and Australia. Tompkins Wake is a national law firm with particularly strong ties to the Waikato community, nurtured through the provision of legal services in Hamilton for nearly a century and in Rotorua for more than a century. Theresa is a current board member of the Tompkins Wake Board and a trustee of the Rotorua Public Arts Trust. To balance out the analytical focus of daily working life, Theresa is an enthusiastic amateur cellist, an occasional pianist and a keen masters rower. Theresa plays with the Rusty Player Orchestra.

Tracey Lowndes

Tracey is a long-time non-playing orchestra enthusiast. Her professional background is in communications and engagement and she has also held senior roles in project management and business support. She has a keen understanding of words and numbers and is practical, strategic and discerning. Tracey is passionate about the mighty Waikato and committed to contributing to the development and appreciation of our regional arts community.

Sean McCormack

Sean is Chief Financial Officer of NDA Group Ltd, a Hamilton headquartered, multinational stainless steel engineering and manufacturing business, and as such brings a financial and commercial focus to the trust. Originally from Ireland, but settled in the Waikato since 2004, Sean has had a career spanning finance roles across global professional services, IT, investment management and manufacturing/engineering organisations. Sean is a qualified chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland.

Elena Morgan

Elena completed her Bachelor of Music Performance in 2016 at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. In 2017, she moved to the University of Waikato to be under the tutelage of James Tennant, where she received both a first class honours in cello performance and a postgraduate diploma, also in cello performance. Elena is an accomplished cellist and teacher; she has performed throughout New Zealand in a variety of ensembles over the last 8 years. Currently, Elena performs with the Autangi Ensemble, OPUS Orchestra and OCT ensemble. Elena is a certified Suzuki cello teacher and has an established private studio based out of Cambridge. In addition to this Elena is the cello tutor for itinerant music across 5 schools in the Hamilton Community. Elena has spent the last 4 years managing The Rauhī Project and facilitating music education for underprivileged students in low socio-economic areas.

Samantha Walker

Samantha is a low carbon specialist, marketer, fundraiser and award-winning producer with international experience in the performing arts, media and local government sectors. Samantha combines specialist creative sector sustainability expertise with deep knowledge of theatre, venue, festival, orchestra and broadcasting management.  Roles within the performing arts have included Business Development Manager for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra NZ; Marketing Director for renowned UK chamber ensemble Britten Sinfonia; and Head of Marketing and Fundraising for London’s early and contemporary music festival producer, Spitalfields Music. She now dedicates her time as a sustainability specialist, project manager and trustee to the creative, culture and event sectors.

Liam Wooding

Liam is one of New Zealand’s leading emerging pianists and has performed as a soloist and collaborator around the world in recent years. Liam is also undertaking a doctorate at the University of Waikato where he researches New Zealand piano music. Originally from Whanganui, Liam believes that access to and engagement with music for people from all communities is important. He brings to his trustee role international experience in making music with regional communities in Australia and the United States.


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