John Azarias, former senior tax partner at Deloitte in Sydney, was originally from the Greek community of Alexandria (Egypt). He has carried out reviews into Defence, Immigration and Foreign Affairs and Trade for the Federal Government, as well as a review of the Board of Treasurers (BoT) for State and Territory Treasurers. He is a member of a number of boards. Together with Dr Patricia Azarias, John has created the Lysicrates Foundation, which has spearheaded the repair of the Lysicrates Monument in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, the creation of two playwriting competitions, both held on models developed in ancient Greece, and the restoration of our knowledge of James Martin, NSW Premier and Chief Justice.
Dr Patricia Azarias, a former UN civil servant, was the Director of Internal Audit for the United Nations and the most senior Australian in the United Nations at the time. Previously she was the Director of the Public Accounts Committee of the NSW Parliament. She currently serves on a number of boards. She is the co-founder of the Lysicrates Foundation.
Michael Diamond is a retired solicitor with over 50 years local and international experience in many fields of commercial and corporate law: direct selling, mining, religious and cultural institutions and performing arts organisations, including Reg Grundy, Institute of Multicultural Affairs, Bell Shakespeare Company, AAIA Syd Uni (Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens), State Library of NSW, and SBW Foundation (Seaborn, Broughton & Walford).
Michael is involved with the Lysicrates Foundation because it presents a very exciting way to promote Australian theatre and our local playwrights by reviving the Ancient Greek tradition of a competition that allows audiences to choose the winning play based on live performances and simultaneously aiding the restoration of the Lysicrates Monument in the Botanic Gardens.
Simon Hannigan is a Partner in Ernst and Young’s Assurance practice in Sydney. As an assurance partner, Simon is actively engaged with the financial reporting and regulatory environment.
Simon has more than 15 years of professional firm experience with Ernst and Young (EY) has been a Partner since 2018. He works with listed and other public interest entities, across the media, technology, mining, agricultural and consumer products sectors, both in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific.
In addition to his time at Ernst and Young, Simon successfully co-founded Grow Super, a financial services technology company focussed on improving Australian superannuation member outcomes. Simon also currently sits on the advisory board of the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
As the descendant of Irish and Lebanese immigrants, Simon owes much to the Australian egalitarianism pioneered by James Martin and continued by the Lysicrates Foundation. Lastly, as the father of an 8-year-old who loves hearing stories and a 6-year old who loves telling them, Simon more than understands the importance of the performing arts promoted by the Lysicrates Prize.
Sandra Gav is the founder of Foundation IV, which finances research for the Institute of Haematology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She is currently fundraising for St Basil¹s Nursing Homes and The Estia Foundation of Australia. A former community representative for South Sydney West Area Health Advisory council (2006 to 2011), Sandra was a member of the board of trustees of Laiki Bank.
Sandra believes that it is a privilege to assist in the restoration of Sydney¹s beautiful replica of the Lysicrates Monument in Athens, and to help support the modern Lysicrates Playwriting Prize, which also derives from the Greece of the classical period.
To note how ancient Greek models have found new life in Australia is very gratifying for someone, like Sandra, who shares both patrimonies.
Kathleen Gilbert worked as an English teacher in secondary schools and the Adult Migrant Education Service, and as a teacher librarian. She has been involved in a volunteer capacity with a number of arts and not for profit organisations, including ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation), The Sydney Writers’ Festival, The Historic Houses Trust, The Ethics Centre and Human Rights Watch.
Kathleen is an enthusiastic reader, and an avid cinema and theatre goer.
Vanessa is passionate about creating positive social impact and helping non-profit organisations achieve their aims. She advocates for long-term change through philanthropy that responds to the genuine needs of people and communities.
Currently CEO of Variety – The Children’s Charity NSW/ACT, Vanessa previously held the role of St. George Foundation CEO, incorporating Bank of Melbourne and BankSA Foundations; and was Director of Philanthropy for UNICEF Australia.
She has been involved at a board and committee level with many non-profits and arts companies, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, St Vincent de Paul Society, Zonta International and the Rural Fire Brigade. Her expertise has been recognised with awards including the 2019 Pro Bono Impact 25 Award – an accolade honouring the most influential people in the Australian social sector.
Vanessa is delighted to be part of the Lysicrates Foundation, celebrating the intersection of arts and democracy, particularly as it relates to children.
Geoff Selig is the Executive Chairman of ASX listed print and marketing communications business IVE Group Ltd.
Geoff is a director of the Selig family investment business Caxton Group, and has a long history of involvement with the not-for profit sector.
Geoff is a former State President of the NSW Liberal Party (2005-8)
Geoff believes it is a privilege to be involved in the genesis of an organisation that has shaped an event of creative and artistic expression that will undoubtedly become an integral component of the cultural landscape of Sydney for many years to come.
Vanessa Tay has been a director of a number of companies, including “Theatre of Image”, and YTD.
Vanessa joined the Board of Lysicrates to support John and Patricia Azarias in their passion of starting the first Australian original playwrighting competition and the restoration of the beautiful Lysicrates sandstone monument in the Royal Botanic Garden.
Deepi is a Consultant Psychiatrist who practices as St. Vincent’s Clinic in Sydney. She attained her medical degree from the University of Western Australia and completed her specialist training in Psychiatry at St Vincent's Public Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, Bloomfield Hospital and with Justice Health. She currently holds the position of Adjunct Clinical Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame. She also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Banking and Finance) from the University of New South Wales.
As a mother of two primary school aged boys who have both immensely enjoyed the Martin Lysicrates Prize, Deepi is committed to supporting the growth of Australian storytelling and to raising its profile throughout the community.
Ross Steele is Honorary Associate Professor of French in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney. He was previously Associate Professor in the Department of French Studies.
He has written over thirty French language and culture books published in France, the USA and Australia and has given numerous invited lectures and conference papers. His books published in France have been used in French language courses around the world.
Professor Steele has been a Committee Member and active participant in a wide range of arts-related organisations and charitable associations. He is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), was awarded the Centenary of Federation medal for service to culture and the arts, and is a recipient of the University of Sydney Alumni Award for Community Achievement.
He has also been awarded the French honours of Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite, Officier des Palmes Académiques as well as the rare Distinguished Service Medal awarded by the President of the Société des Membres de la Légion d'Honneur.
Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr is also the longest continuously serving Premier in New South Wales history. Bob Carr has received the Fulbright Distinguished Fellow Award Scholarship. He has served as Honorary Scholar of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue. He is the author of Thoughtlines (2002), What Australia Means to Me (2003), My Reading Life (2008) and Diary of a Foreign Minister (2014). Bob Carr is currently the Industry Professor (Business and Climate Change) at UTS.
"Theatre is a vital component of society’s cultural tapestry. The work of the Lysicrates Foundation in encouraging local talent and stoking passion for playwriting is invaluable and I am honoured to sit on the Lysicrates Foundation Advisory Board."
Kathryn Greiner has contributed as a board member or chair to a number of government, corporate and non profit entities in her fields of health, education and community development. An enduring passion has been the enrichment of our communities through collective engagement whether solving wicked problems in social issues or through the shared joy of the performing Arts. As a Board member of Bell Shakespeare Company which ensures the Bards plays are seen by as wide an Australian Audience as possible, Kathryn knows the joyousness which comes from hearing the creative language of one of the world's most revered play writers.
"The Lysicrates Prize provides a wonderful incentive for the creation of new Australian work which fosters inherent Australian creativity and provides a long lasting legacy for all. In time to come, these new works will be played around Australia too."
Thomas Frederick Bathurst was appointed Chief Justice of NSW on 1 June 2011.
Graduating with degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney in 1971, he went on to practise as a solicitor in 1972. He was admitted as a barrister in 1977, specialising in corporate law and litigation and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1987. His considerable experience in corporate law saw his appointment as a member of the Australian Government's Takeovers Panel (2006-2011).
Prior to his appointment to the bench, the Chief Justice served as President of both the Australian Bar Association (2008-2010) and the New South Wales Bar Association (2009-2011). The Chief Justice was also a member of the Executive Committee of the New South Wales Bar Association (2002 - 2011).