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Gondwana Artists

  • Lyn Williams AM

    Artistic Director & Founder

  • Sam Allchurch

    Associate Artistic Director

  • Bronwyn Cleworth

    Director of Choral Education

  • Lachlan Massey

    Artistic Associate

  • AJ America

    Conductor, Gondwana Voices 2024

  • Paul Holley OAM

    Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

  • Rowan Johnston

    Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2024

  • Hugh Lydon

    Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

  • Natalie Goonerante

    Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2024

  • Lauren Hannay

    Associate Conductor and Pianist

  • Felix Riebl

    Composer & Creative Director, Spinifex Gum

  • Emma Donovan

    Resident Guest Artist, Spinifex Gum

  • Deborah Brown

    Choreographer, Spinifex Gum

  • Ollie McGill

    Music Producer, Spinifex Gum

  • Rebecca Hilliard


  • Lucy Cantrill


  • Megan Cronin


Lyn Williams AM

Artistic Director & Founder

Lyn Williams is widely regarded as one of the finest conductors of choirs around the world. For over 30 years, Lyn has harnessed the incredible power of young voices through her world-renowned ensembles: the Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana Voices, the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and Marliya. Her choirs have appeared with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors and at festivals including the BBC Proms and Polyfollia.  

Lyn has commissioned over 200 works from composers across Australia and around the world and her ability to forge innovative and meaningful collaborations is widely recognised. She continues to foster strong relationships with First Nations artists across Australia, bringing together cultural custodians and composers to create new works which preserve and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island languages and cultures. Lyn enjoys a long-standing collaboration with singer-songwriter Felix Riebl of the Cat Empire and the singers of Marliya, presenting the critically-acclaimed show Spinifex Gum, which has featured at almost every Australian arts festival since its premiere at the Adelaide Festival in 2018.  

In 2017, Lyn received the Australia Council for the Arts’ Don Banks Music Award for outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia, in recognition of her lifework as founder and director of Gondwana Choirs. 

Sam Allchurch

Associate Artistic Director

Sam Allchurch is recognised as one of Australia’s leading conductors of choirs. Sam began his life in choral music as a chorister of the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices, under the direction of Lyn Williams AM. He is now the Associate Artistic Director of Gondwana Choirs, directing the Young Men’s Choir which is regularly featured in concerts at City Recital Hall and heard on ABC Classic. Working closely with Artistic Director Lyn Williams, Sam has also prepared the treble ensembles of the Sydney Children’s Choir for performances with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia and plays a key role in artistic planning.

Sam Allchurch is the Artistic Director of the acclaimed Sydney Chamber Choir, and the Director of Music at Christ Church St Laurence. Sam is frequently invited to conduct the City Recital Hall’s Flash Mob Choir and has appeared as a guest conductor at Festival of Voices, Tasmania and the Combined Schools Music Festival.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Melbourne and a Master in Music (Choral Studies) from the University of Cambridge. His studies in Cambridge with Geoffrey Webber and Stephen Layton were supported by a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bronwyn Cleworth

Director of Choral Education

Bronwyn Cleworth conducts ensembles within the Mini Singers and Intermediate Training Choirs levels of the Sydney Children’s Choir.

Dedicated to music education, Bronwyn has more than twenty years experience as a specialist music teacher at SCEGGS Darlinghurst. She is a longstanding member of the Sydney Chamber Choir, specialising in early music and contemporary repertoire, with an emphasis on Australian composers.

With the Sydney Chamber Choir, Bronwyn has toured Taiwan, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Adelaide and regional NSW. As an educator, Bronwyn has expertise in both Kodaly and Orff. She is passionate about the musical development of young children and enjoys sharing her love of song and singing.

Lachlan Massey

Artistic Associate

Lachlan Massey is a young Australian conductor and composer.

Lachlan is Artistic Associate at Gondwana Choirs, working under Lyn Williams AM. In his time with the choirs he has assisted in preparing them for performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Theatre Company and for six Prime Ministers of Australia. He is privileged to conduct the Sydney Children’s Choir’s Junior Performing Choir, a selective extension group for young people ages 9-14 who show especially strong musical aptitude.

As Artistic Director of Musgrove Opera, Lachlan has directed several productions for children and families, described by Time Out as “ingenious…petite productions for hungry young minds.” Lachlan presents an annual season with the company which has included four petite productions at the Sydney Opera House in recent years, as well performances at The Concourse and in schools.

​Lachlan has presented workshops for ACO Foundations and was a guest conductor for the RSCM Junior Schools Choral Festival in 2022 and 2023. Lachlan is a former Young Ambassador for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

AJ America

Conductor, Gondwana Voices 2024

AJ America is a performer, conductor and creative producer. She is the Artistic Director of Luminescence Chamber Singers and Children’s Choir, Canberra’s premiere vocal ensembles, and currently serves as the Chair of the ACT Art’s Minister’s Creative Council. AJ performs regularly as a soloist and a consort singer in Sydney and Canberra, appearing with the Luminescence Chamber Singers, Cantillation, the Choir of St James’ King St, Pinchgut Opera and Vox Plexus (Melbourne). She is a regular collaborator with conductor Roland Peelman, and Ella Luhtasaari (piano). In recent years, AJ has also served as a tutor for the ANU School of Music H-Course Vocal Ensemble, Director of Choirs at Radford College, and as a guest conductor for the Sydney Children’s Choir. 

Paul Holley OAM

Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

Paul Holley is a choral conductor and music educator. His personal warmth and passion for choral music have inspired many singers to discover and develop their skills as choral musicians. With over 25 years of teaching experience in schools and many years of working with instrumentalists and singers Paul knows how to connect with people of all ages and enjoys collaborating with them in the music making process. 

Presently, Paul is the Artistic Director of Voices of Birralee a community youth and children’s choir organisation based in Brisbane. He conducts two of the signature choirs the Birralee Blokes and Resonance of Birralee. Both of these ensembles have toured nationally and internationally, won several competitions, made numerous recordings and supported community events. He is also the co-conductor of the national youth choir Gondwana Chorale. In addition to these roles, Paul is a workshop presenter, choral clinician, guest conductor and mentor to younger conductors. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in January 2016 for his services to choral music. 

Rowan Johnston

Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2024

Rowan is a freelance conductor, adjudicator and clinician based in New Zealand. He holds undergraduate degrees in Voice and Composition and has completed a Masters degree in Choral Conducting with First Class Honours studying with Dr Karen Grylls at Auckland University. Rowan founded the Taranaki Youth Choir and the internationally-acclaimed Choralation Choir from Westlake Girls & Boys High Schools. Under his direction, Choralation is the most successful choir in the history of the NZ Secondary School choral festival The Big Sing. In 2014, Choralation was awarded 1st Place in the Summa Cum Laude Music Festival in Vienna where they performed in the Musik Vehrein. Rowan currently holds the positions of Director of Choirs at Holy Trinity Cathedral Auckland, the Music Directorship of the Auckland Youth Choir and was made an Associate Conductor for New Zealand’s professional chamber choir, an ensemble he also sings in, Voices New Zealand. He is a Choral Advisor for the NZ Choral Federation. 

Hugh Lydon

Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2024

Hugh Lydon is a teacher, singer and conductor who is passionate about choral music. This love was developed as a chorister in Westminster Cathedral from 1992-1997. In his final year at the Cathedral, the choir received the Gramophone Classical Music Awards for both ‘Best Choral Recording of the Year’ and ‘Record of the Year’, the only time a cathedral choir has won either of these categories.

Hugh studied Music Education at Trinity College Dublin, before moving to Perth in September 2010. He commenced work at John Septimus Roe ACS, where he was an active member of the Music Department until the end of 2018.

In 2017, Hugh founded the Perth Choral Institute; an organisation that delivers choral education to singers of all genres. PCI operated residential Summer Schools from 2017-2019 and multiple Boot Camps throughout each year, where singers could experience styles from Gospel to Christmas Carols.

In February 2019, Hugh began employment at Aquinas College, directing the inaugural Schola Cantorum. The choristers of the choir receive nine hours of music education weekly and perform throughout Perth. They have sung alongside many ensembles, including WASO for performances of Britten’s ‘War Requiem’, Mahler’s ‘Third Symphony’, and Lachlan Skipworth’s ‘The Tides of Longing.’

Hugh continues his own involvement in choral music, both as a singer and as conductor. He has performed in or alongside The Gesualdo Six, I Fagiolini, St George’s Cathedral Consort and The Giovanni Consort, and has conducted The Giovanni Consort, WASO Chorus and St George’s Cathedral Consort.

Since mid-2021, Hugh has been the Children’s Chorus Master for West Australian Opera, preparing children for performances of Pagliacci, Carmen and Tosca. He also held the position of Chorus Master for Tosca and Carmen.

Hugh was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2022 to create tertiary pathways for choral musicians in Western Australia.

Natalie Goonerante

Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2024

Natalie Gooneratne

Choral Director, Music Teacher, Singer


Born to an interesting mix of a doctor and a singer in Sri Lanka, Natalie took to music (not medicine!) from a very early age. She is passionate about choirs and has close to 10 years’ of experience in performance and choral directing. Career highlights include: Founder and former Artistic Director of Evolution, University of the Visual and Performing Arts Choir, Sri Lanka. In 2010, Evolution won first runner up in the Sri Lanka National Choir Competition along with National television appearances and SAARC Summit performances. In 2014 under her direction Evolution was the featured choir on the Commonwealth Song Competition held in Glasgow which won first place. She was also the Choral director of the  Asian International High School Choir and the Elizebeth Moir International School Choir.

As a solo performer, Natalie has sung with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (Young Soloist of the Year 2008). She holds a Licentiate (Hon) from the Trinity College of Music London (voice performance) and undertook further masterclass voice training in Austria and Germany.


Upon migrating to Australia in 2013 Natalie completed her Bachelor of Music Education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2018) where she studied singing under Dr Narelle Yeo. She also studied conducting under Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Artistic and Music Director Brett Weymark OAM and is a regular chorister in Philharmonia.


In Australia, Natalie founded and is the Artistic Director of Phoenix Voices of Youth – a multicultural choir based in South-West Sydney. The choir gave regular performances including for the then Governor of NSW His Excellency Hon David Hurley (2018),  special television appearances on SBS and ABC TV (2018 & 2019) and at the Sydney Town Hall (2019) for the Mayor of Sydney and Secretary General of Amnesty International. Last year Phoenix Voices of youth was invited to perform for the 50th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House “On the steps performance series” and was also invited  to participate in Australia’s Got Talent at the Sydney Coliseum Theatre which received a standing ovation.

In 2021, Natalie made her debut as the choral director for the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Playing Beatie Bow, a critically acclaimed new stage adaptation by Kate Mulvany, directed by Kip Williams.

Natalie is also a school Music teacher and the choral director of Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School choir and is undertaking a Master’s degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Dr James Humberstone and Dr Narelle Yeo.

During her spare time Natalie enjoys making a good cup of masala chai with milo in it !

Lauren Hannay

Associate Conductor and Pianist

Cairns-based Lauren Hannay is a graduate of University of Queensland with double principal studies of Voice and Piano.  She completed post-graduate studies at Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Vocal Performance, working with acclaimed singing teacher Margaret Nickson.  Lauren made her professional debut as ‘Yum-Yum’ in TN Theatre Company production of The Mikado. She has also worked as soprano soloist in many cantata and oratorio performances in Queensland and has toured as a member of the Brisbane-based vocal quartet, La Cappella.

Lauren is nationally recognized as a leading singing teacher and vocal coach.  Her particular expertise lies in the integration of sound vocal technique in the choral context and has worked with the Sydney Chamber Choir, Sydney Children’s Choir and the Choir of Christ Church St Lawrence.  In addition to her vocal teaching she is Director of Choral Music at Cairns State High School.  In 2017 and again in 2019, Cairns State High Choir won the state finals of Queensland’s CGEN Choral Fanfare.

Lauren has had a long association with Gondwana choirs, where she is the pianist and co-conductor of Cairns-based Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir. In October 2019 she conducted the choir with ACO collective at CPAC.  Lauren toured with GICC nationally and on their first international tour to Germany, Slovenia and Vienna.   She has presented for ANCA QLD and NCS Choral Ideas Symposium in 2018 and 2019 and again for the Gondwana World Choral Festival: Music and Ideas series. Since its inception in 2013, Lauren has been the pianist for the NCS Conducting Academy.

Felix Riebl

Composer & Creative Director, Spinifex Gum

Melbourne artist Felix Riebl is a man of many hats; award-winning artist, globe traverser, family-man, footy fanatic, leader, gardener, chef. He has found comfort in chaotic spaces, performing to sold-out stadiums across the world, and in small domestic moments whilst surrounded by family and friends.

Through his authenticity, Felix has built a career on his broad and colourful music palette – never being type-cast in to one music genre, yet somehow always finding an audience. Across his projects, The Cat Empire, Felix Riebl, and Spinifex Gum there is a thread that ties all three together and that’s a sense of community, collaboration, and respect for the craft.

In his most recent work, Felix celebrates the wonder and obscurities of life, by shining a light on the interplay of insular domestic moments and very extrovert overflowing international moments that present themselves, with joy and exuberance.

Emma Donovan

Resident Guest Artist, Spinifex Gum

Emma Donovan is an acclaimed Australian soul singer and songwriter best known for her work with rhythm combo The Putbacks and prior to this, The Black Arm Band project.

Emma has toured and recorded with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, Spinifex Gum, Christine Anu, Yothu Yindi, Jimmy Little and Paul Kelly among others.

Starting her singing career at age seven, Emma appeared in family band The Donovans. On her mother’s side, Emma is part of the famed Donovan family of singers of the Gumbaynggirr people from Northern NSW. On her father’s side, Emma is of the Yamatji people in Western Australia.

In 2004, Emma was the subject of the SBS documentary Gumbaynggirr Lady and in 2007 she joined The Black Arm Band, reproducing iconic songs of the Aboriginal resistance movement in a theatrical setting. The Band, consisting of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists was an enormously important group, producing a number of shows which toured internationally and helped establish the careers of a new generation of Indigenous singers.

Deborah Brown

Choreographer, Spinifex Gum

Deborah Brown is a director, choreographer and award-winning dancer.

She spent 15 years as a Senior Artist at Bangarra Dance Theatre, where she created works including the short dance film dive in 2013 and IBIS for Bangarra’s national tour of lore in 2015. She won the 2013 Helpmann Award, Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production, Terrain.

She has created hide, for Campbelltown Arts Centre and has choreographed and collaborated on Spinifex Gum. Deborah was assistant director on STC’s The Long Forgotten Dream, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Wonangatta and Belvoir ‘s Winyanboga Yurringa.

Deborah has a Masters in Screen Directing at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Her capstone film Bala has featured at film festivals around the globe and is currently screening on ABC iView. She has directed for the new NITV children’s series, Barrumbi Kids, set to be released in 2022.

Ollie McGill

Music Producer, Spinifex Gum

Ollie McGill is a genius behind the piano. For over two decades, McGill has shown his authentic versatility as a musician through composing, songwriting and being a vibrant player at the keys.

Whilst McGill is best known for his work as a founding member of The Cat Empire, the pianist’s stylistic and raw musical works can be seen and heard across collaborative sessions and compositions with musicians around the world.

McGill has enjoyed his chaotic touring and recording life over the past two decades, performing in a number of bands and toying with musical genres spanning neo classical, fusion, avantgarde, jazz, electronic and improvisational compositions.

Ever-present in the music world, whether this is touring, composing, recording or writing advertising songs (McGill composed the award-winning Dumb Ways to Die for Metro Trains Melbourne in 2012), the artist is not one to sit still when it comes to music projects.

Silhouettes of Mockingbirds is Ollie McGill’s latest solo piano release, an intimate EP of four tracks inspired by the ocean released in 2022.

Rebecca Hilliard


Rebecca Hilliard is a 23 year old Australian composer-conductor currently based in Sydney, Australia.

She began her musical journey with violin, and started singing in the Sydney Children’s choir at age 6. In 2013, she began her education at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, where she later received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2019, Rebecca moved to Canberra in order to study Science and Music at the Australian National University. Whilst at ANU, Rebecca participated in many projects as both a composer and conductor with Luminescence Children’s Choir, the Australian Girls Choir and the ANU Chamber Choir.

In 2023, Rebecca was commissioned by Gondwana Choirs as part of Gumura, a significant work exploring connections to place at Dawes Point. In the same year, she also composed the score for the award winning dance film Kiku, directed by Natsuko Yonezawa. After completing her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science, Rebecca returned to Sydney and is now working as the Operations Coordinator for Gondwana Choirs. She is also a Sight Singing Teacher and the conductor of JTC Chance and ITC Whitwell.

Lucy Cantrill


Lucy Cantrill conducts Mini Singers and Intermediate Training Choir levels of the Sydney Children’s Choir. Since moving to Sydney in 2018, she has enjoyed being involved in Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Rejoice Gospel Choir, the Australian Christian Orchestra, Hummingsong Choirs and Sing Australia. Her involvement in Gondwana National Choral School from a young age sparked a passion for choral singing, musical leadership and collaborative music-making.

Lucy studied a Bachelor of Music (Education) at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and majored in Classical Piano (Performance), studying under Gerard Willems AM, Dr Bernadette Harvey, Dr James Humberstone and Dr Jim Coyle. She is currently a music educator and choral conductor at Danebank School where she is helping to build a strong Performing Arts program across K-12.

Lucy is the conductor of the Sydney-based, Australian Christian Orchestra and has been a part of the entrepreneurial team in establishing this new organisation since 2023

Megan Cronin


Megan is a classically trained singer and recorder player with extensive experience as a performer and educator.  As a performer she worked for Musica Viva in Schools with her ensemble Pastance, playing a mixture of Celtic, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary folk music. With Pastance she has toured throughout schools in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, performed at many of Australia’s folk festivals and recorded four CDs.  Megan has performed as a soloist in operatic and music theatre productions, oratorios and chamber music, but particularly enjoys singing with small choral ensembles and is a long-term member of Sydney Chamber Choir. Megan also sings at weddings, church services, corporate functions, aged care residences and concerts for musical societies. As a music educator Megan worked for many years as musician in residence at St Lucy’s, a school for students with special needs before training as a Primary Teacher and taking up Specialist Music Teacher positions in several State Public Schools where she has also fostered choirs and recorder ensembles. She firmly believes that every child should have access to a quality music education, to be exposed to a wide variety of musical styles and have opportunities to be part of a creative musical process.