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The Board is elected at the AGM, usually held in May each year. It meets every two months, taking ultimate responsibility for the direction of CMVic, developing and overseeing CMVic’s strategic plan.

Current members (May 2017 - May 2018)


Central Coordinators

  • CMVic and Evaluation Co-ordinator: Oliver Hinton
  • Administration & Finance Co-ordinator: John Howard
  • Volunteer Co-ordinator: Deb Carveth
  • Communications & Web Presence Co-ordinator: Deb Carveth
  • Diversity Coordinator: Sarah Mandie
  • Event Coordinator: Margaret Crichton

Project Managers

  • Singing for Inclusion: Sarah Mandie
  • That Girl: Sarah Mandie
  • Voices of Peace: Sarah Mandie

In addition to these paid part time contractors, the work of the organisation is supported by valued workshop facilitators and around fifty dedicated volunteers, working from our office and from home across the state.


Regional Activists

Brief Bios

Bridget Roberts 

Bridget Roberts joined the CMVic Board in 2014 and is currently chair. Prior to that, her first contact with CMVic was in 2007, when she helped evaluate the project Victoria Sings. She guided volunteers through collecting stories from participants about the changes they had experienced as a result of Victoria Sings and wrote the evaluation report with Jane Coker. Subsequently she designed the evaluation of the Victoria Makes Music program. Highlights of CMVic events Bridget has taken part in are the 2008 singing leaders’ workshop at Wilson’s Promontory and an evening singing in the State Library dome reading room.  

Bridget is currently a senior evaluation consultant with Clear Horizon Consulting and brings up to date evaluation expertise to the board.  Her othercontributions to CMVic build on practical experience as a physical and music performer with the Women’s Circus (1993-2010) and POW (since 1995) and she has played alto saxophone with Havana Palava since 2012. She served on the Women’s Circus board for three years from 2003.  .

Qualifications: PhD, MA (Cantab), PDCert Education, PGDipEvaluation.

Other affiliations: Senior Consultant, Clear Horizon Consulting Pty Ltd; Member, Australasian Evaluation Society; Adjunct Lecturer, Monash University; Committee member, NEAMI National Research and Evaluation Committee

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Bruce Watson 

Bruce has been on the Board of CMVic since 2011. He is best known as a songwriter and performer. He has picked up a swag of songwriting awards and had many of his songs recorded by others, including Eric Bogle, Joe Dolce and a number of international artists. The Boite describes him as “a wordsmith, a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns with lots of stories he tells with passion and integrity.” 

Bruce’s music is inclusive. Choruses and opportunities for joining in are a hallmark of his performances and he likes nothing better than getting a room full of people singing together with him. 

While self-taught as a musician and writer, Bruce loves sharing his own learnings with others in workshops on songwriting, performing and the ukulele. He presents workshops at schools, music festivals and other events.  He also runs a ukulele group at his workplace. When he’s not on stage at a music festival, you may well see him scraping his fiddle, strumming his uke or singing along at a session.

Bruce also has decades of experience as a public servant, running multi-million dollar programs, managing and conducting evaluations, and developing public policy.

Other affiliations: Manager, Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, Department of Health and Human Services; Member, Australian Performing Rights Association; Member, Australasian Evaluation Association; Member, Folk Alliance Australia

Bruce's website:


Bruce's blog:

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Gillian Howell

Gillian Howell joined the Board of CMVic in May 2014. She is a musician, community music practitioner and researcher with extensive experience with major performing arts groups around Australia, and in diverse community settings. Gillian works throughout Australia and abroad as a director of workshops and large-scale participatory events with orchestras, festivals, and schools, with newly-arrived refugee and immigrant children, and in post-conflict and developing countries.

From 2002 to 2008 she was the founder and creative director of the award-winning Community Outreach Program at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She instigated innovative collaborations with hospitals, prisons, and theatre companies, and created some of the orchestra’s most enduring outreach programs, including the Community Jams and the MSO ArtPlay Ensemble. Gillian has worked as a project leader with many of Australia’s flagship ensembles and arts organisations, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, ArtPlay, WASO, TSO, the Australian Art Orchestra, Tura New Music, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Gillian teaches Community Music Leadership at NMIT and is a facilitator for Boston University. She presents and publishes her work internationally and is the author of the long-running blog Music Work, offering teaching artists around the world many ideas for creative community engagement with music. She is a PhD candidate and Junior Research Fellow at Griffith University, investigating participatory music initiatives in post-conflict countries.

Other affiliations: Melbourne Polytechnic (Adjunct lecturer and tutor); Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (PhD candidate and Junior Research Fellow); Guest artist - Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Education and Community Engagement program; Member - CMVic!; Member - International Council of Traditional Music; Member - Asia-Pacific Community Music Network; Member - International Society for Music Education

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Jessica Roberts

Jessica joined the CMVic Board in 2013. A business development professional with experience in business tourism, fundraising, membership development, marketing, events and communications, she has held senior roles at a range of not-for-profit organisations in the UK and Australia including NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Arts Centre Melbourne and the Energy Efficiency Council.

An amateur but enthusiastic sax player, and even more amateur ukulele player, since the age of 11 Jess has played with community bands at festivals, gigs and on rainy street corners, with even the latter failing to dampen her enthusiasm for making music with friends.  

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John Howard

John has been a member of CMVic’s Board of Management since 2007. He is currently CMVic’s Administration Coordinator.

John was brought up singing with his large family. He studied classical singing in the early 90s, and sang with the state opera chorus and solo with smaller companies. John was a sessional teacher of voice in the performance studies course at Victoria University for 15 years and irregularly at the VCA. He has participated in and led a range of a cappella singing groups. He teaches voice work and singing to all ages from primary school children through to senior citizens. John took up the trumpet to be able to take part in StreetSounds, and has joined the Sunshine Street Band.

John is director of the Body Voice Centre in Footscray, which he established in 1994 with Helen Sharp.  He is a Middendorf Breathwork practitioner and completed a PhD, “Breathing embodiment: a study of Middendorf breathwork” in 2008. 

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Libby Price

Libby moved to the Dandenong Ranges in 2006, where she didn’t know anyone. She felt the need to reach out and make a new community of friends and thought that joining a local singing group might be a good place to start. With the help of Community Music Victoria, she found a wonderful local choir, VoKallista, which helped her to make connections and friendships in the community. Before she quite knew how it happened, she had attended a Community Singing Leadership Skills Workshop, and found herself standing in front as assistant director of VoKallista Community Choir. She is now passionate about involving people in community music making, and attends every event and workshop possible, both as a facilitator and participant.

Libby’s professional background is in Speech Pathology, specialising in technology to support people who have physical disabilities and communication impairment. This has led her to some interesting musical collaborations with “Attitude,” an arts engagement programme for disabled artists living in the Dandenong Ranges.

In 2014 she coordinated “Disco with Attitude” and “Create with Attitude” programme, assisting participants to explore music, dance and music creation using electronic musical instruments. In addition to community collaborations, she is currently working for Technical Solutions Australia as a technology advisor for people with disabilities. Libby joined the board in of Community Music Victoria in May 2014 because she strongly supports the organisation’s purpose & beliefs: that everyone has the need, right and capacity to make music, and that our communities are stronger when we “play" together.

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Margaret Crichton

Margaret Crichton has been leading choirs since being introduced to the CMVic model in 2004. She has been involved in music making for many years, performing solo and with bands in genres such as folk and pop, as well as occasionally teaching harp and guitar.

One of the other strings to her bow is presenting fun and educational shows in kindergartens. Currently leading two choirs in Melbourne she enjoys arranging all manner of songs in two and three part harmony. A particular interest is in presenting a challenging arrangement to singers of with little or no choral experience and helping them achieve it. 

Margaret plays harp, guitar and dabbles in other instruments, is a member of Delia's Friends, an English Country Dance band and an occasional member of Harpers Bizarre. 2013 saw her take up the challenge of the Regional Activist Support Team Co-ordinator and Mentorship Co-ordinator positions with Community Music Victoria.

Qualifications & affiliations:  B.A. Dip Ed; Leader of the 2014 festival choir at Newstead Live!; President of Bennettswood Neighbourhood House

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Matt Phillips

Matt has long enjoyed music and remembers singing lustily as the ABC's weekly "Singing & Listening" radio programme was streamed through his Primary School's speakers.  Matt plays the guitar, piano and has several years of classical voice training under his belt too. As a qualified Certified Practising Accountant, Matt had a substantial career in the UK working in retail and investment banking as well as in the insurance broking industry. Since relocating back to his home town of Melbourne in March 2017, Matt has divided his time volunteering for CMVic, studying for a Diploma in Financial Planning and singing chorus with Melbourne Opera.  He is also an active uncle and supports his local grassroots community in a number of ways.

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Oliver Hinton

Oliver is currently CMVic Coordinator, and a non-voting ex-officio member of the Board.

For most of his life Oliver was a full-time university Professor and electronic engineer, publishing extensively in high impact peer reviewed journals. He was appointed as Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK from 2005 to 2011, managing a faculty of over 1000 staff and a budget of over £100m. He retired from academia in 2012 when he moved to Melbourne with his partner Jess. He has many years experience in management, governance, finance, strategy and research.

Oliver has had three serious romances with music making during his life. As a young teenager he became proficient with classical piano and played percussion kit in amateur musicals; in his 40's he became an obsessive founder member of the Tenth Avenue Band, a busy street band based in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, playing first accordion and then baritone sax; and now in Melbourne he has become Co-ordinator for CMVic, plays baritone sax in the street band 'Havana Palava', accordion in a gypsy band, and bass uke at impromptu sessions.


Qualifications: BSc(Eng), PhD, FIEE, CEng

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Paddy Gordon

Paddy joined the board of CMVic in May 2016.

Paddy has been a member of Melbourne’s music community for many years, performing, recording and touring with the renowned experimental and improvising bands Footy and Stream Four. He also has extensive experience as a piano and keyboard teacher. 

In the last few years he’s become more and more interested and involved with community music making – he’s been music coordinator for The Welcome Group, helping to connect refugee and locally-born musicians, and is the co-founder of experimental community music organisation Our Community Sounds, who aim to use cutting-edge musical ideas and processes in a community arts context.

Paddy holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Certificate in Arts and Community Engagement, and is excited about the prospect of doing further research into participatory music making.  

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Sarah Penhall

Sarah is a researcher with 16 years experience working for cultural organisations and government in the UK and Australia.

Her research interests include cultural impact measurement, evaluation, arts education and community engagement. She is also interested in building organisational capacity for evaluative thinking and practice. 

Sarah has always been involved in the arts in some capacity or another, but she is now really passionate about trying to help arts organisations articulate and demonstrate the value of what they do, especially the contribution they make to healthy communities.

Sarah is Principal of BYP Group,, Linkedin pofile 

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