Conservatorium Board

The Conservatorium is partly funded by the Department of Education, and is overseen by a Board of Management, made up of parents and community members. Board positions include three executive positions (chair, secretary and treasurer), general Board members and a youth representative. The Board meets twice/term, or more often if required.  Board members are encouraged to join a sub-committee, which would also have regular meetings.  The sub-committees include Governance, Events and Finance. Every member of the Gunnedah Conservatorium is invited to submit their expression of interest for Board membership or to join the events committee. You don’t need to become a Board member to join the events committee. For more information contact the Chair or Director through the office 6742 3998 /   


Our Board Members


Ben Hennessy 
Ben is a local businessman, father of three, and performing arts tragic. From an early age, the Gunnedah Eisteddfod was a yearly institution in the Hennessy household. Ben has fond memories of delivering a prepared speech, ‘When I’m Prime Minister’ as a nine-year-old. While the job as PM seems to have eluded him, this blessed upbringing laid the foundation for a love of the performing arts, which has been pursued through roles in Chicago and Secret Bridesmaids Business. 


Penny Haire

Penny Haire is an experienced business owner, responsible for a multi-faceted operation and staff, She has been operating as a Director of Argyle Ag Pty Ltd since 2006 and a board member of Ag EDGE since 2022. 

Penny is completing her AICD qualification in 2023 and was attracted to serve on the Gunnedah Conservatorium Board as a contribution to the social fabric of our community.


As Treasurer, Penny is focused on ensuring the long-term viability of the Gunnedah Conservatorium and is keen to support growth through reinvestment. She is committed to the governance and sustainability of the Conservatorium, providing the framework to best harness demonstrated passions for teaching and learning.


Penny feels access to music for all children in the region is about parity and opportunity. ‘The Con is a jewel in our crown and I believe it is important for children to have access to high-quality lessons.  I love that The Con brings quality artists to Gunnedah and cultivates our homegrown talent.’

Jenny MacAulay

Born and raised in and around Gunnedah, Jenny is a Customer Service Representative at TAFE NSW here in Gunnedah and has been there since 1997. Jenny has been on the Gunnedah Conservatorium board since 2022.

Jenny has been a great supporter of the Gunnedah Conservatorium since 2015 when her daughter started attending the Musical Performance group who then went on to do vocal lessons, AMEB Musical Theatre exams, Choir as well as drama lessons.

Jenny loves watching students of the Conservatorium showcase their talents in Eisteddfods in both Gunnedah and Tamworth, Studio concerts, Carols and live theatre performances – such as Chicago, Secret Bridesmaids Business & The Narcissist.  COVID We’re Over It being one of her favourite home-grown performances.

Jenny believes that the art of music and performing is a positive inclusion in any person’s life.



Natalie Walters

Natalie is a partner at a local law firm and has worked in the legal industry, both in Australia and internationally, for over thirty years.  Natalie became Gunnedah’s first licensed conveyancer in 2002.  Natalie enjoys the diverse nature of the work provided by the country practitioners.   In addition to her “day job”, Natalie also mentors University students-at-law whilst travelling extensively to deliver vocational education and training as a trainer and assessor.   

Natalie first became involved with the Conservatorium as a Parent and later as a Board Member and Student.  Natalie has witnessed first hand the personal growth and opportunities that evolve from students’ participation in the arts, and the sound tuition provided at the Conservatorium. Natalie is a keen supporter of the Conservatorium and sees the benefit of the organisation to our community and beyond.



Susan Wilson



Jo-an Meura