Board of trustees


Martin Carlson OAM – Chair

Martin Carlson’s early career in education and teaching was in Australia, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

This was followed by decade in management consulting with John Young, a pioneer in this field, before his long-term role with the Victorian Arts Centre Building Committee including ten years as Deputy General Manger of the Arts Centre, the opening of which heralded a time of great endeavour and possibility in the arts, leadership and philanthropy.

It was during this time that the relationships developed with John Truscott, Ken Myer and Hugh Williamson led to Martin’s ongoing role in linking leadership with philanthropy and fundraising for a great number of Foundations both in Australia and overseas including holding the position of Chair of the Australian Association of Philanthropy.


Dennis Tricks AM – Treasurer

A career in stock broking with Wm. Noall & Son later saw Dennis Tricks appointed Chairman of the Melbourne Stock Exchange and then of the Australian Stock Exchange.

It was with his role with the Victorian Arts Centre that Dennis first met John Truscott. During this time he was the Vice Chairman and Honourary Treasurer of the Arts Centre and also served on the Building Committee, Audit Committee and Finance Committee.

In 1992, Dennis became Vice Chairman of the Victorian Arts Foundation, adding this to an impressive range of commitments in business, education and the arts including Chairman of the High Williamson Foundation, Chairman of the Investment Committee and Veterinary Science and Hospital Board for the Melbourne University Council, Directorships with Ramsey Ware Stockland, Rural Press, Ingot Metals and Selected Investments, Melbourne Business School and others.

Dennis is the proprietor of Longford Flowers, Export Cut Flowers, and is Chairman of the Wildflower Advisory Committee for the Australian Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.


Sue Nattrass AO

A former CEO of The Arts Centre Melbourne and Artistic Director of the Melbourne and Adelaide Festivals, Sue Nattrass AO has worked broadly in the entertainment industry since 1962. Her employment has been in the production, administrative and creative spheres.

She sits currently on the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, the John Truscott Design Foundation, Brian Stacey Memorial Trust and is Chair of the Melbourne City Council Cultural Development Advisory Board and sits on the Board of the Melbourne Workers Theatre.

Sue is Adjunct Professor and Chair of the Arts and Entertainment Management Academic Advisory Board at Deakin University. She has just completed her term as a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House and is a former Chair of the Collections Council of Australia, the Victorian College of the Arts Council and Live Performance Australia. Sue was also a Director of Federation Square Management Pty Ltd from 2000–2008.


Kevin Luscombe AM

Kevin Luscombe is Chairman of management consultants, Growth Solutions Group. His career background has covered senior corporate management and board roles in Australia, USA, South East Asia and most recently in Europe, and as owner and Chairman of successful marketing services companies in Australia.
He won the Sir Charles McGrath award for outstanding contributions to marketing, and has been awarded an Order of Australia for or services to industry, community, international trade and education. Kevin is currently a board member of APN News & Media, Australian Prostate Cancer Research and Melbourne Food & Wine Inc.
He has been a visiting fellow at Monash University and an Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University, and has served as Chairman, Director and Advisory Board member across a diverse range of not-for-profit organisations.


Kathy Demos

Designer Kathy Demos is the Director of Supermaquette, a multi-disciplinary design and research company that assists clients to develop projects and products for Australian and international markets.

Kathy has initiated and worked on design projects over 20 years including the Victorian Design Awards, the Melbourne Design Festival, the Melbourne Design Market and the UNESCO-supported Big Words indigenous design program. She was appointed to direct the Victorian Government’s inaugural State of Design and Festival and the Premier’s Design Awards and the Colourways forecasting group for the Design Institute of Australia.

She has hosted a range of international exhibitions in Australia including those of Droog Design, Charles and Ray Eames, Patrick Blanc and Index. For the City of Melbourne she curated an exhibition of emerging Australian designers at the Triennale Design Museum, Milan, followed by a subsequent trade missions.

With the City of Melbourne, the City of Osaka and the Design Institute of Australia she initiated the Melbourne + project, soon to be expanded to include Mumbai and other cities linked to Melbourne.

Kathy Demos is a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia, given in recognition of her contribution to the design profession.


Jason Bassett

Jason has over 18 years experience in design and communications and is highly regarded for his innovative thinking in typography, new product ideas and brand strategy.

Jason has played a major role in the formation of the Design Circle for the John Truscott Design Foundation and lead one of its first projects which was the highly-praised presentation of concepts to the City Of Melbourne for the redevelopment of Swanston Street.


Marco Gjergja

Marco Gjergja is the Director of Sawdust and Diamonds, a design and creative practice. The John Truscott Design Foundation awarded Marco their inaugural Travel Grant and in 2006 Marco relocated to Berlin.

During his design career Marco has collaborated on a broad range of communication design projects for a diverse mix of clients. In Australia Marco has worked with clients including Australian Paper, Chamber Music Australia and the Victorian State of Design Festival. While in Germany he worked with a number of German museums and art institutes including Haus am Waldsee, Marta Herford and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

In 2010 Marco returned to Australia to found Sawdust and Diamonds and direct and operate Port Phillip Estate, his family’s vineyard and winery.


Susie Leigh

Susie Leigh has worked in education, arts and cultural institutions and as a consultant and project manager to business and government.

Susie was a secondary school teacher in public schools for nearly ten years before spending a further decade as a program manager/producer at the Victorian Arts Centre after also graduating from the National Theatre Drama School. She conceived and implemented the ART-ED Program, an arts education program with a statewide reach. She also directed the associated commissioning arm which produced many shows each year suitable for families and school audiences and received a sponsored exchange residency to Lincoln Center Institute New York, which led to the establishment of the first international affiliate of Lincoln Institute.

Susie instigated public relations, marketing and training initiatives for organizations including: Telstra, Cabcharge, State Library of NSW, Mitchell Library, Melbourne Fashion Festival and the building and operation of nationally linked theatrical presentation suites within office buildings. Susie has been a member of government arts funding assessment panels and the Boards of Strange Fruit Productions Inc and is currently a trustee with The David Burgess Foundation, The John Truscott Design Foundation and is a co-producer for arts development at Buttercup Studio.


Prof Su Baker

In March 2000 Su moved from Sydney, where she worked for 20 years, including Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and took up the position as Head of the School of Art, Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), where she is currently serving as Director. Su has held academic positions since 1989, including senior management roles at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.