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Introducing our new Chair and Board Directors

Read Thursday, 10 Mar 2022

The Wheeler Centre welcomes new Chair Julie Ligeti and directors Jamila Rizvi and Jock Serong to the Board of Directors, and farewells outgoing Chair Susan Oliver AM.

Portrait of Julie Ligeti
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Today we’re pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chair, Julie Ligeti, and two new Directors, Jamila Rizvi and Jock Serong, to the Wheeler Centre Board of Directors.

An accomplished board director and Chair with three decades of experience, Julie is currently the Director of Global Public Advocacy at Cochlear Limited. Her career has been spent in the social and health policy fields, advocating for access and equality and advising state and federal Government ministers. Julie succeeds Susan Oliver AM who has chaired the Wheeler Centre Board for the past four years.

‘The Wheeler Centre provides opportunities for the whole community to experience Victoria’s vibrant and diverse culture and literary life and be challenged by new ideas,’ Julie said. ‘I look forward to working with staff, partners, stakeholders and the board to ensure the Wheeler Centre continues to flourish.’

Outgoing chair Susan Oliver extended a warm welcome to the new Chair and board members, saying that each brought unique skills to support the Wheeler Centre’s strategic goals.

‘I’m proud of what we have achieved at the Wheeler Centre, creating a robust organisation with a new CEO and board able to succeed and provide inspiration and connection through the pandemic. I am confident I am leaving a strong organisation and I look forward to seeing it continue to flourish under Julie Ligeti’s leadership.’

Jamila Rizvi is an author, podcast host, presenter and political commentator, who is currently Chief of Content, Community and Online Learning for Nine’s Future Women platform. She has been named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and won the 2020 Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership (Victoria).

‘It’s a genuine honour to join the board of an organisation which has delighted me as an audience member for so long,’ she said. ‘Melbourne has had a very tough couple of years, and I’m thrilled to be part of the team welcoming people back into the city to talk, share ideas and be together again.’

Jock Serong is a former lawyer turned surf journalist whose first work of fiction, Quota, won a 2015 Ned Kelly Award. Jock has since written four similarly celebrated novels including his most recent, The Burning Island, which won the 2021 ARA Historical Novel Prize. Based in Port Fairy, he is passionate about expanding arts offerings to rural and regional communities.

‘I’m delighted to be taking up a position on the Wheeler Centre’s Board, with all of its talent and diversity of backgrounds and ideas,’ Jock said. ‘I’m there to learn, as much as to advocate, but with time I hope to be a voice on the board for all the readers and writers of regional Victoria.’

In making the announcement, Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said that Julie, Jamila and Jock brought a wealth of governance expertise, ideas and talent as the Wheeler Centre re-engages with live audiences and builds on its enhanced online offerings.

‘The Wheeler Centre is a one-of-a-kind organisation that connects audiences to a world of ideas, stories and perspectives, and takes pride of place in our City of Literature. Julie Ligeti and the new board members bring a wealth of governance expertise, ideas and talent.’

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.