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National Council

President: Else Shepherd AM

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Else has worked all her life as a professional engineer but choral singing has always been a very important part of her life .In 1984 she studied choral conducting with Dr Roy Wales and received a Grad. Dip.Mus. from the Queensland Conservatorium. She has formed and conducted children’s and adult community choirs in Mackay and Brisbane and now conducts two adult choirs on the Gold Coast. She has been a Board member or Chairman of a number of companies and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Vice-President: Michael Fulcher

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Michael Fulcher is a conductor, organist, voice teacher. A graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), the University of Queensland, Queensland Conservatorium of Music and, Michael studied conducting in London with Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Mark Elder in London, and David Porcelijn (ABC Young Conductor’s Mastercourse), Robert Rosen, Dr John Nickson, and John Curro in Australia. Michael studied vocal production in London over three years with Janice Chapman, one of the world’s most sought-after teachers of voice. Michael has also lived for significant periods in London, Paris, Milan, and Wellington, NZ. 

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Secretary: Kellie Mentlikowski

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Kellie Mentlikowski M Mus B. Mus/B.Teach A.Mus.A has performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Melbourne Chamber Choir and in her youth the Australian Girls Choir. She has held Head of Music positions in London and Melbourne at the Secondary Education Level. Her keen interest in conducting, music technology and music education led to a Masters of Music Studies (University of Melbourne). Kellie is currently the Music Co-ordinator at OLSH College Bentleigh directing vocal and instrumental ensembles and teaching year 7-VCE Music. She is Vice President of the Vic-Tas committee and a freelance singer, conductor and presenter. 

ANCA's National Secretary supports the operations and strategic dimensions of the Council. Kellie helps with our website, email and file administration as well as the governance role in assisting the chair and president to meet our documentation responsibilities. 

Treasurer: Brian Nally

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A 35 year career as an IT Consultant and in the military, has provided Brian with a diversely unorthodox background to take on his current role as General Manager of Brisbane-based Peppermint Care, an in-home aged and disability care provider to clients across Queensland and regional NSW.

An accomplished vocalist and choral member, Brian started his involvement in choral performance as a founding member of the Queensland Youth Choir, studying singing under the late Henry Howell. Brian chose a military career which, whilst providing limited options for choral participation, allowed him to draw on his performance skills in varied ways.

Brian’s IT Career has seen him engaged in the Manufacturing industry across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. A trusted advisor to business on software integration, Brian has smoothed the path for many companies to reap success from innovations achieved through advanced design and outcome-based processes.

A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Brian has formalised his business experience into an internationally recognised qualification. These skills, balanced with his military studies in leadership and people management have enabled Brian to bring all the parts together to competently influence and guide a collective body toward a common goal.

Brian’s immediate future involves establishing a Not-for-Profit to assist employees who are being unfairly treated by their employer. Brian is an advocate for the disability and the aged sector, and expects to spend the remainder of his career bringing support services to this marginalised cohort, returning dignity and self-worth to those who need it most.

Major Organisations Liaison: Marianne Rigby

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Marianne Rigby is a choral conductor, singing teacher and vocal coach, workshop clinician, adjudicator and board chair. Marianne currently runs the choral and vocal programme at Blackburn High School, a leading music school in Victoria, conducts and teaches voice at Korowa Anglican Girls’ School and teaches privately. Marianne has recently created Allium Ensemble, a youth community ensemble for the graduates of her programme at Blackburn High School. Marianne is passionate about developing and promoting the dual arts of choral conducting and vocal pedagogy and works tirelessly to engage, challenge and inspire the musicians and leaders of the future.

Marianne currently sits on the Boards of the Music Education Alliance Victoria (Chair) and the Victorian Music Teachers Association and has served on the Vic-Tas Chapter of ANCA for 10 years.  As a past Chapter President, Marianne is thrilled to re-join National Council in the new role of Liaison, Major Organisations.

Marianne has an Honours Degree in Music from the University of Melbourne & a Drama Degree and post-graduate Education Diploma from QUT. Marianne has led a varied career across three continents, working throughout Australia, in the UAE, France and Germany before returning to Australia in 2011. Marianne has performed as a singer/actor, chorister in leading chamber choirs and choral conductor.  Marianne is a passionate advocate for both choral music and music education and has a vision for arts organisations to work together in reframing the importance of culture in the Australian narrative.


Research Chair: Aleta King

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Aleta King is director of the Conservatorium of Music at Avondale University College. Aleta lectures in musicianship and conducting. She is a former lecturer at The University of Queensland and The University of Melbourne, and a former sessional lecturer at Queensland Conservatorium. Aleta is shortly to complete her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is the inaugural National Research Chair. 

As National Research Chair, Aleta will guide ANCA's initiatives in research related fields and foster partnerships with other organisations within performing research. 

Sing Out Editor: Noel Ancell OAM

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Noel is well known throughout Australia as a conductor, composer and teacher. Highly regarded as clinician and adjudicator, he has over forty years' experience in helping musicians to achieve excellence, conducting and teaching conducting at undergraduate and graduate level. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Australian National Choral Association (of which he served two terms as National President) and a member of the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing.

As Sing Out Editor, Noel offers his expertise in drawing together the many and varied activities of the association for ANCA's national publication Sing Out. 


Council Members



NSW/ACT President: Naomi Cooper

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Dr Naomi Cooper is a freelance choral conductor. She holds a PhD in music for her thesis on directing community choirs and has presented this research nationally and internationally. She has conducted primary and secondary school choirs in public, private and diocesan Catholic schools, and currently leads ensembles at the International Grammar School Sydney and Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College. 

Some of her current community choir projects include the national Estonian-Australian choir Kooskõlas who performed at a large song festival in Estonia in 2019, ParkinSong (a choir for people with Parkinson’s disease and their carers), New Day Carers Choir (for people caring for loved ones with lived experience of mental illness), Sydney Alterna Choir and Northside Community Choir.

Naomi works as a sessional academic at Macquarie University where she teaches vocal studies. She also runs a busy studio teaching classical and contemporary guitar. Naomi also serves on the National Council for ANATS, as NSW Chapter Treasurer for ANATS and as Vice-President of Kodály NSW. 

QLD/NT President: Clare Finlayson

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Clare Finlayson is a music director, conductor, teacher and vocalist. Her joyful energy and passion in rehearsal creates an inclusive, collaborative environment that supports her chorister’s education and wellbeing. Clare holds a double Bachelors degree in Music and Education and is currently the Coordinator of Choirs at Brisbane Girls Grammar School, President of the ANCA Qld/NT Chapter and Assistant Conductor of Resonance of Birralee. 

Clare has 15 years experience working with choirs as both a conductor and chorister. During this time she has worked with singers of all ages in school and community settings as a director, guest conductor, workshop facilitator and adjudicator. Clare has also been fortunate enough to have toured to France and Belgium as a part of the ANZAC Centenary Commemorative Services with the Department of Veteran Affairs, Austria, New Zealand, America, Canada and South Korea.

Performance highlights include the Australian production of “He’s Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naught Boy)” with Eric Idle, “You’re the Voice” Massed Choral Concert as a part of the Queensland Music Festival featuring John Farnham, the world premier of “Encounters of the Third Kind in Concert” as a part of the World Science Festival and ANZAC services in Fromelles, Poziere, Allonsville and Polygonwood.


SA President: Victoria Coxhill

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Victoria is a freelance solo and ensemble singer, secondary school teacher, and occasional conductor and vocal coach. She started singing in choirs in primary school and hasn’t stopped since. A past member of Gondwana Voices, National Youth Choir of Australia and the Adelaide Symphony Chorus, Victoria has sung as a core member of the acclaimed Adelaide Chamber Singers for almost a decade. She sings as part of a professional quartet for the Uniting Church and is a member of the State Opera of SA Chorus, alongside regular work as a soloist for a number of organisations.















VIC/TAS President: Sharon Batterham

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Sharon Batterham is a choral music and vocal specialist, with several years’ experience as a soloist, chorister and conductor. She completed tertiary music studies at the University of Melbourne, with a Bachelor of Music, in composition and voice, and a Bachelor of Music Education. Sharon studied voice with Kevin Casey and Hartley Newnham, and performed regularly with the Faculty of Music Choir and Chamber Singers.

As a child Sharon sang with the Australian Children's Choir, and performed at several venues throughout Melbourne, regional Victoria and South Australia. Sharon participated in the ACC’s first international tours to Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, and worked with various conductors and musical groups during that time. Sharon has also sung with the Royal Philharmonic Choir, Faye Dumont Singers, CHIME Choir and the Australian Youth Choir.

Conducting became a particular interest when Sharon commenced tutoring the training groups of the Victorian Boys' Choir, and she continued developing this area with positions in the Australian Girls' Choir and the CHIME Choirs. Training in choral pedagogy followed, under Rodney Eichenberger, Andre de Quadros and Doreen Rao, and Sharon was selected from conductors around the world to attend the 3rd Choral Symposium held by the Toronto Children’s Chorus under Jean Ashworth-Bartle.

After a break to raise her family, Sharon is now the Music Director of Southern Voices. She is in demand as a presenter at choral workshops for all age groups, and is developing a conductor and accompanist education program within the structure of Southern Voices. Sharon is the Director of Cantabella, the senior choir of Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College; she teaches voice at Killester College and Our Lady of Sacred Heart Bentleigh, and is on the committee of the Australian National Choral Association’s Victoria/Tasmania branch.







WA President: Anette Kerkovius

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Anette is a choral and vocal specialist and has been involved with music education and choral work for forty years; ranging from early childhood, primary and secondary school to tertiary levels. She has directed children’s choirs, church choirs, community choirs and all age groups within the school environment in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. She has a passion for choral work, and believes that every child should be taught to sing in tune, and should be given the opportunity to experience the joy of singing in a choir.  She feels very strongly that students should be taught the artistry in performing and creating music. 

Anette has presented at conferences both locally and internationally including the Orff Schulwerk Associations, The Australian Society for Music Education (ASME) and The International Society for Music Education (ISME) and ANCA. Anette has also published articles on various aspects of the Orff approach to music education.

 Anette was the Director of Music at All Saints’ College in Perth, (2011 -2018), and previously the Junior School Music Co-ordinator (2003 – 2010) at the College. She now runs her own Music Studio and is a Music Education Consultant for schools. 



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