Patron and AMBASSADORS
Meet our Patron & Ambassadors
Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley (nee McMartin) was born and raised in Sydney. She was educated at Kingsgrove High School and went on to become a teacher, commencing in 1976. She married David Hurley in 1977.
“Ever since I first saw and heard Moorambilla Voices, I was impressed by the singers in this wonderful choir and the inspiring musical programs they provide. I am delighted to be their Patron and to have further opportunities to support talented young people in regional and rural areas fulfil their dreams through music.”
In the course of their married life, Mrs Hurley has supported her husband throughout his career on a wide variety of postings in Australia and overseas, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Malaysia. Mrs Hurley’s own career in education has been in both the public and private school systems, until her retirement from full time teaching in July 2011. She has been an active member of the community as a Pastoral Carer at the Canberra Hospital and Hospice. Mrs Hurley holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Canberra.
Mrs Hurley is dedicated to championing causes that are developing new technologies to recycle rubbish, and ways to reduce our use of plastic, particularly plastic packaging and plastics used for single use items, which are not only harmful to the environment but add unnecessarily to landfll sites.
Their Excellencies have three children: Caitlin, Marcus and Amelia.
The Ambassadors for Moorambilla Voices perform a crucial role in helping us generate support for our candidates and the program.
Ms Jennifer Aaron
Jennifer has a background in nursing, Industrial Relations, organisational and cultural change and was an international negotiator and mediator for 12 years. She is a member of the Leadership team of the Leichhardt Annandale Business Chamber and the Leichhardt Residents Precinct Committee. A successful business owner Inner West Sydney for 26 years, is a donor, choir supporter and energetic networker.
Ms Suzanne Blythin
Suzanne’s passion for working with children and young people has translated into a long career in Education, ranging from the early years through to teaching, training and mentoring adults. Child Protection has been a strong theme throughout this work, specialising in ensuring children and young people are safe, supported, respected and valued. Suzanne is also a strong advocate for community partnerships and, as an Educator and as a business owner, enjoyed working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to achieve varied outcomes through a strategic management and communication style.Being a singer in Michelle Leonard’s community choir – the Leichardt Espresso Chorus – has provided an opportunity for a unique perspective as well as incredible experiences within the creative and performance process. As such, Suzanne has enjoyed being involved with Moorambilla Voices since its inception in 2006 and she feels privileged to have been a project Ambassador since 2016.Attending the Moorambilla Voices residential camps and Gala performances is an annual highlight. Supporting the MV candidates, staff, volunteers and adding her voice on occasion to support the choral workshops is an absolute joy and somehow encompasses everything she loves in life. In particular, she values her time with the Maxed Out Company – the thrill of seeing and hearing young people embrace the magic of their unique individual and shared voice is a very special ad treasured gift.As an Ambassador, Suzanne loves the opportunity to share her love and experience of this project with anyone who’ll listen.
Mr John Clark
An experienced management consultant and social researcher as director of Decided Advantage, former Marketing Manager with Unilever, and senior lecturer in Marketing at Sydney University, John is a Fellow of the Australian Market and Social Research Society. He is skilled in research design and data interpretation, and in the use of evidence by senior decision-makers in the public and private sectors. In NFP governance, John is past chair of forestry company Tilba Lake Community and a former director of Good Beginnings Australia, for whom he developed board objectives, comprehensive governance policies, and corporate marketing strategy.
Mr Mark Ferguson
Mark Ferguson is currently weeknight presenter for Seven News in Sydney. He was previously a senior news presenter with Nine News Sydney, presenting the weeknight news bulletin. Ferguson was one of nine children. He and his wife Jayne (a successful publisher) have three children (Jack, Ted and Paddy). He is passionate about World War II Aviation and is known to frequent Bankstown Airport. He got his start interviewing veterans in Georges Hall and hopes to one day write a biography of Simpson the Donkey man. Ferguson was a Goodwill Ambassador for the Good Beginnings charity organisation. He is known affectionately as ‘Fergo’ by friends and television presenters Lisa Wilkinsonand Karl Stefanovic.
Ms Sue Kingwill
CEO of Contact Inc (Contact) a leading Australian charity helping to address the impacts of isolation for children, families and communities, working across all child, family and children’s sectors, providing service delivery in ways that best fit local child and family need and designed to improve outcomes for children (see here). Sue has a wide range of community, regional, government and philanthropic connections.
Ms Patria Jafferies
Ms Jafferies has a strong background in business, the arts and events, and is an outstanding contributor to Australia. She was named National Telstra Business Women of the Year in 2000 as co-founders of Dome Coffees Australia. Ms Jafferies has served on various boards including the Reserve Bank of Australia subcommittee, Cullen Wines, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Creative Partnerships Australia, Barking Gecko Theatre Co, Volunteering WA, Solaris Care and the Land Valuers Licensing board. She also chaired the Small Business Development Corporation for five years.
Ms Barbara Wellesley AM
Barbara has a long and successful career in child and youth health services planning and management, in policy development and program evaluation and extensive clinical experience in community child, youth and family health and well being. As a former NSW child health policy advisor, and Child Health Manager for Orana and Far West Health Region her work has covered urban, rural, remote and indigenous communities. She was Co-Founder and National Director of Good Beginnings Australia, now a division of Save The Children. She has served on ministerial and departmental advisory committees. She has experience in collaborating with corporate Australia, the NFP sector and major service organisations. Currently a director of Contact Inc., a director of Perinatal Infant Research Institute (PIRI), and Convenor of ARACY Early Years Chapter.
We welcomed Kirsty McCahon in 2018 as a Moorambilla Voices Ambassador. Born in Carnarvon, WA, and educated in country Victoria, Kirsty is now one of Australia’s leading double bassists. She has been a member of many significant and well known orchestras, internationally and well as within Australia. This includes as the Principal Bass with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for 20 years as well as a founding member of the Australian World Orchestra. Kirsty has already worked closely with Moorambilla Voices providing her exceptional talent and skills in supporting Michelle in events such as organising the ensemble for the Hillary Clinton Sydney performance and the MAXed OUT Company recording sessions. Kirsty has recently been appointed as the Strategic Relations Manager, at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, in charge of External Relations, International Partnerships and Events. Kirsty will bring her extensive experience and network to this role and we are thrilled for her. Kirsty has always been a strong advocate for Moorambilla and we are delighted to have Kirsty on the team.
Living in a small regional community is Kirsty’s natural habitat. Over the past 27 years Kirsty has been an Early Childhood Director / Teacher, worked in Inclusion support funding and a mother of three. She has a love for small communities, quality education and ensuring everyone has access and is included. Volunteering as a Supervisor in the Moorambilla Voices program both at camps and tours is a cup filler. Kirsty regards the arts as being an essential part of healthy and wholistic growth and development. Kirsty enjoys bringing people together – she sees building connection, community and relationships as being core to positive educational outcomes for all.
Jillian Kirwan Lee
Jillian has spent the majority of her career within the education, leadership and financial sectors, largely in a business development capacity. Throughout this time she has contributed to the growth and development of many teams and businesses, particularly in the areas of client relationship management, staff engagement, process improvement, and the design and implementation of clear business development and marketing strategies. As a former Speech Pathologist and mother of 4 young children she is passionate about education and enabling all children to reach their full potential.
Oliver Lee is one of the founder directors of the Buro, a company planning the future and capitalising on change. He has helped advise some of Australia’s leading and fastest growing businesses, has sat on boards and today sits on family boards in an advisory capacity. In addition, he spent 3 years on the Board of the Australian Red Cross and is currently a fierce advocate for Moorambilla Voices.