Board of Directors

Office Holders

Winsome Allen


Winsome is a former Chairperson of the fundraising committees for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance 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.


Neridah Baker

Neridah Baker has been a member of SMSA since 2008. She has worked with academics and practitioners to enhance the quality of learning and teaching in universities, specialist medical education and dental professional development. Neridah hopes to contribute her expertise in strategy and policy development, and program management and evaluation to the Board of SMSA.

Merilyn Bryce

Merilyn has been a member of the SMSA for over 40 years and was a Board member from 2008 to 2012.

She is a retired research librarian and archivist having worked in librarianship and related fields since1966. Work included teaching at the Graduate School of Librarianship at UNSW; for the Library Association of Australia and on large scale database projects. During the last thirty years she set up and managed  specialist resource centres in the fields of industrial relations and business and labour history at two research centres in the University of Sydney.  This gave her excellent experience in working with diverse groups, coping with organisational change and forward planning.

She is passionate about history, reading, music, the arts and  cats.

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.

Gavin Mitford

Gavin is an international theatre director, staging productions in the USA, UK, Japan, Germany and most recently China, for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, Really Useful Group. His career in the entertainment industry extends from local Australian arts companies like Sydney Dance Company to international events like the London Olympics. He is equipped in all facets of theatre and event production, with a passion for community engagement. Gavin trained at the Carlton School of Arts and is passionate about ensuring the SMSA culture continues to thrive for future generations.

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.

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.

Lance Wright

Lance Wright KC has practiced in the fields of Industrial Relations and Industrial and Employment Law for over 50 years. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he worked for a number of trade unions and for a law firm in the field of industrial law. He then practised as a barrister and was appointed as Queens Counsel (QC, now KC). Lance was President of the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission and the New South Wales Industrial Court from 1998 until 2008.

Since retirement he has been Consultant to a major employment law firm and Patron of the Industrial Relations Society of NSW. He has also conducted inquiries into, or on behalf of, a number of public sector organisations.

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