Board of Directors

Office Holders

Winsome Allen


Winsome is a former Chairperson of the fundraising committees for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance (formerly known as the Spastic Centre of NSW) and the Benevolent Society of NSW for whom she is also a Life Governor. Winsome is a Distinguished Toastmaster. She has a background in accounting and tax and has owned several successful businesses including ballet academies, retail, manufacturing, direct selling and contract marketing that have provided her with opportunities for community involvement. Winsome promotes the School through Outreach talks to community groups about its history, current activities and future.


Christine Campbell

Christine is the National Marketing and Communications Manager at the Property Industry Foundation, which brings together the property and construction industry to build homes for homeless youth. Prior to taking on this role in 2020, she spent more than 15 years leading marketing, communications and fundraising teams for Odyssey House NSW, Youth Off The Streets and the Leukaemia Foundation. She is an experienced team leader with a demonstrated history of working in the not-for-profit industry, and is skilled in working on Executive teams in non-profit organisations, branding & identity, strategic planning, communications, community engagement and fundraising.

Cecile Cornford

A former SMSA Librarian, Cecile has been a member of the School for many years. An avid reader and lover of literature, she is interested in maintaining the quality of good reading that we have in the Library. Cecile was elected to the Board in 2015 and, as Vice President, has chaired both the Members’ Services and the Library and Membership committees.

Shirley Hunt

Shirley has been a member of the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts for over 20 years and was elected to the Board in 2012. Shirley enjoys the ambience of the Library and is a staunch supporter of the School. She regularly volunteers in the Tom Keneally Centre where she enjoys the opportunity to meet members.

Paul Reid

Paul is Acting Treasurer. He previously served on the SMSA Board for over 10 years, including serving as President for four years, one year as Acting President, and as Vice President and Chair of the Board’s various sub-committees for many, many years. Although now retired from full time employment, he previously worked as a Training and Educative Services Manager. Paul has served on the NSW Government Public Sector Industry Advisory Board as Director for over 10 years, and as a current Trustee of Unions NSW. He also currently serves on the Board of the Bankstown Community College Institute as its Vice President.

John Robinson

John has been a SMSA member for over 12 years and was a Board member from 2009 to 2016. He assisted with the public programs to increase diversity and provide interesting programs for members and their guests. A former NSW Government employee, working in the education and health portfolios, he studied political science and industrial relations at UNSW. John’s interests include reading, yoga, walking, swimming and the arts.

Lesley Scanlon

Lesley has spent her career as a practitioner, researcher and author in adult education. She has published three books on education, written numerous articles for peer reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. She has taught and researched in schools, TAFE and universities and has recently retired from the University of Sydney where she remains an honorary lecturer. Lesley has served as Vice President of the Innovation and Programs Committee and the coordinator of the ‘Towards 200’ SMSA anniversary project. In her coordination role she is researching and giving lectures on the contribution of the SMSA to the social and educational history of NSW.

Steven R Warren

Steven’s background in long-term community development and experience in education, training and events management have given him the skills to make positive contributions to the SMSA in the areas of policy development, management and strategic planning. Steven has previously served on a university Board and Academic Senate, held National Secretary and Executive roles for the Australian postgraduate student body, as well as having served on a range of community-based organisations. Steven has a long-standing commitment to equality in all these roles.

Geoff Webb

Geoff has been a member of the SMSA for over 45 years. He has served on the Board since 2009 as a Director and as a Vice President. He has served on the Building, Membership, Finance and Grants committees during that time. Geoff is a professional engineer with broad experience in engineering work, with a particular emphasis on project management and documentation. He enjoys reading mystery and science fiction.

Alan Dawson

I have been a member of the SMSA for 17 years. I am a retired layer who worked for the Australian Government Solicitor and as Deputy Registrar of a federal court. In the court, I was involved in bankruptcy proceedings against individuals and in corporation law issues including the winding up of companies, as well as in the preparation of disputes for hearing and in the mediation of matters. I served for 18 Months in the Northern Territory as the CEO of the Office of Courts Administration.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, I worked for 9 years at the Australia Atomic Energy Commission, first as an electrician laboratory craftsman and then as a technical assistant in a research group. I also worked as a clerk and employment officer in various Commonwealth departments. My interests are reading, cooking, travel, military, and trade union histories, Landcare and studying the meaning and origin of words.

Win Ramdas

Two of my great passions in life are books and the learning that springs from it. SMSA, in its heyday, was the great promoter of the latter at a time when this was a restricted commodity. I would like to see some restoration of that period.

Most of my experience was in the travel industry and administrative positions in broadcasting before marriage and moving to Singapore where I lived for more than thirty years, so my life experience is unusual. I have a law degree. I hope this combination brings a different perspective to Board deliberations.

Lance Wright

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