Meet the Philanthropy Team

Kenneth Watkins AM

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 28 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.

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Philanthropy Director

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.

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Head of Philanthropy

Sharyn Gilham

Sharyn has been part of The Australian Ballet for 16 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.

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Philanthropy Manager Foundation Board & Special Projects

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 03 9669 2735 or get in touch via email below. 

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Philanthropy Manager, VIC, TAS & WA

Jane Harris

Jane joins The Australian Ballet with a wealth of experience in philanthropic fundraising, relationship management and community engagement from the education, health and arts sectors.

“I am delighted to be joining The Australian Ballet at this time. With a new Artistic Director, a new vision and the 60th anniversary celebrations in 2023, the ballet is poised to embrace the future with gusto. I feel very fortunate to be working in a role that significantly contributes to the growth and evolution of the company, and I look forward to working with our community of supporters to ensure The Australian Ballet continues to flourish.”

Contact Jane on 03 9669 2782 or get in touch via email below.

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Planned Giving Manager – VIC, TAS, SA & WA

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 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.

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Philanthropy Manager – NSW, ACT & QLD

Sonia Brennan

Sonia is a highly experienced fundraiser with a passion for connecting people and building strong, positive relationships. Before joining the team at The Australian Ballet, Sonia worked in the education sector in a range of roles, most recently as Director of Foundation and Community Engagement at Wenona School.

“I am so excited to be joining this dynamic community of philanthropists and I look forward to meeting and getting to know those who have generously agreed to support the company to ensure its continued success well into the future.”

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

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Planned Giving Manager – NSW, ACT & QLD

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.

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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
Patron's Manager – NSW & ACT