Meet the Philanthropy Team

Kenneth Watkins

Kenneth’s vision is to make a difference through relationship building and securing a strong financial base through philanthropy. As a member of the Executive team at The Australian Ballet for more than 27 years, Kenneth has made a strong contribution to the vision, values and strategic objectives of the organisation. He has worked tirelessly with the Philanthropy team to increase the profile of the company and to ensure that The Australian Ballet has the resources to be one of the world’s premiere ballet companies.

Kenneth is passionate about developing the next generation of fundraisers by actively mentoring staff from several organisations across Australia and assisting them to build their strategies and networks.

Contact Kenneth on 03 9669 2780 or get in touch via email below.

Email Kenneth Watkins
Philanthropy Director

Sharyn Gilham

Sharyn has been part of The Australian Ballet for 15 years, during which time she has provided invaluable executive and administrative support to the Philanthropy team. Building on her passions and strengths, Sharyn is also responsible for delivering the many special projects produced for the company’s devoted philanthropic supporters.  

“I have been truly amazed and inspired by our dancers, our creative staff and my talented colleagues, who are all striving to help the company excel at every level. I have also been inspired and humbled by the generosity and passion of our patrons, who give so generously to support the company and ensure its future success.”

Contact Sharyn on 03 9669 2785 or get in touch via email below.

Email Sharyn Gilham
Executive Assistant to Philanthropy Director, Patrons Manager Foundation & Special Projects

Sonia Grebenshikoff

Sonia has an extensive career history, with a background in general management and marketing across state government, finance, legal and IT industries before moving into the not-for-profit sector. Sonia’s arts career was grounded in music and contemporary dance before joining The Australian Ballet in 2019.

“I’m hugely passionate about the arts and working with artists and audiences to achieve commercial results. In particular, I enjoy partnering with philanthropists to achieve greater artistic vibrancy and to engage and inspire communities.”

Contact Sonia on 02 9253 5317 or get in touch via email below.

Email Sonia Grebenshikoff
Philanthropy Manager – NSW, ACT & QLD

Andrew Wright

Andrew began his journey in philanthropy after being appointed as inaugural Philanthropy Ambassador while dancing as a soloist of The Australian Ballet. After a 15-year career on stage, he was invited to join the Philanthropy team in 2019. Andrew takes great enjoyment in building on existing relationships and forging new ones with The Australian Ballet’s supporters.

“As a proud long-time company member, it gives me great pleasure to draw on my time as a dancer and to share my knowledge of the art of ballet, enhancing our supporters’ experience of our performances and their interactions with the company that we all love.”

Contact Andrew Wright on 02 9253 5316 or get in touch via email below. 

Email Andrew Wright
Philanthropy Manager, VIC, TAS & WA

Liz Ruggieri

Liz has an extensive background in the not-for-profit sector, connecting people with their passion to support charities and arts organisations close to their heart. Her relationship with The Australian Ballet started in 2013 when she joined the philanthropy team at The Australian Ballet School.

“It is a privilege sharing experiences with ballet lovers whose foresight and commitment to our beloved company through a gift in their will is fundamental to our ongoing success.”

Contact Liz by calling 03 9669 2782 or get in touch via email below.

Email Liz Ruggieri
Planned Giving Manager

Amelia Jones

Amelia Jones joined The Australian Ballet with extensive experience in arts fundraising from Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company and Opera Australia. Amelia is responsible for NSW, ACT and QLD patrons and bequestors and takes great pride in forging meaningful relationships with her connections.

“The Australian Ballet has always held a special place in my heart. I am delighted to be part of the team as we work together to share the love of ballet, unite donors with their passion and raise funds to ensure the future of this wonderful company.”

Contact Amelia on 02 9253 5316 or or get in touch via email below.

Email Amelia Jones
Planned Giving Manager – NSW, ACT & QLD

Adam Santilli

Adam’s career in the arts began 15 years ago at the Sydney Opera House. It was there that he fell in love with The Australian Ballet and set his sights on becoming a part of the organisation. He joined the company in 2011 as Customer Services Manager and moved into the Philanthropy team in 2014, where he now oversees the business operations in the team and has the added pleasure of being the Patrons Manager for supporters in South Australia.

“I have so much pride in working for The Australian Ballet. It is a privilege to spend each day surrounded by incredible artistry and people. I believe that working in Philanthropy is about working with people. The generous individuals and families who surround The Australian Ballet, with whom I have the pleasure of speaking on a daily basis, have taught me more than I ever imagined about this art form and the company.”

Contact Adam Santilli on 03 9669 2784 or get in touch via email below.

Email Adam Santilli
Philanthropy Business Manager & Patrons Manager – SA

David Wynne

Over 30 years David has led marketing and development teams for several arts organisations, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also worked for government agencies and corporate consultancies, promoting arts sponsorship. Prior to his current role he was the head of The Australian Ballet’s Corporate Partnerships team.

“I have always had a personal interest in visual arts and dance, and the fortune to have turned that into my vocation. I’m passionate about making the arts accessible to all audiences. and promoting corporate and individual support to help the diverse arts community flourish.”

Contact David Wynne on 02 9253 5311 or get in touch via email below.

Email David Wynne
Ballet Ambassador Program

Elle Cahill

Elle Cahill joined the team as Philanthropy Coordinator NSW, ACT & QLD in early 2021. Elle cut her teeth in the arts with a ballet career and recounts dancing at the unveiling of David McAllister’s portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in 2016 as a personal highlight. She then transitioned into philanthropy via Sydney Dance Company before relocating to Canberra where she held a donor relations role for the Cancer Council. 

“Ballet was my first love. It has been a defining factor in my life and my identity for as long as I can remember. To now be working with this iconic company, particularly during this exciting period of transition and evolution, is a true honour. I am so looking forward to sharing my knowledge and passion for the art form with our incredibly devoted patrons and supporters.”

Contact Elle on 02 9253 5309 or get in touch via email below. 

Email Elle Cahill
Philanthropy Coordinator – NSW, ACT & QLD