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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

  • Mark O’Leary OAM

    Conductor, Gondwana Voices 2025

  • Paul Holley OAM

    Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2025

  • Carl Crossin OAM

    Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2025

  • Rowan Johnston

    Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2025

  • 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


  • Claire Preston

    Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2025

  • Annie Kwok

    Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2025

  • Allison Harrigan

    Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2025

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.

Mark O’Leary OAM

Conductor, Gondwana Voices 2025

Mark O’Leary OAM has worked with choirs of all ages for nearly 40 years. He founded Young Voices of Melbourne in 1990 and has been Gondwana Voices’ Principal Guest Conductor since its first season in 1997. He has been on more than 49 national and international tours and has made 18 CD recordings with Young Voices of Melbourne, Gondwana Voices and Exaudi. He publishes choral music for young singers in the YVM Choral Series and is the creator of the Sight Singing School website and books, used in more than 50 countries. He is a Churchill Fellow, an Honorary Life Member of Kodály Australia and was awarded an OAM for services to choral music in 2018.

Paul Holley OAM

Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2025

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. 

Carl Crossin OAM

Conductor, Gondwana Chorale 2025

Dr. Carl Crossin OAM – conductor, educator and composer – has been directing choirs in the professional realm, within the community, and at all levels of music education for almost 50 years.  He founded the multi-award-winning Adelaide Chamber Singers in 1985 and subsequently led the choir to national and international acclaim and respect over the ensuing 36 years before stepping down from his role as Artistic Director and Conductor of ACS at the end of 2021.  Carl has also been music director and conductor of the Elder Conservatorium Chorale at the University of Adelaide since 2002.

Carl has been a guest conductor, choral clinician and adjudicator throughout Australia and internationally, and has also toured Britain, Europe, South-East Asia and North America on several occasions with his various choirs.  Carl has become increasingly active as a composer in recent years and enjoys creating new music for a wide range of choirs and instrumentalists.

In 2007, Carl was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to music, and, in recognition of his contribution to music in South Australia, he was inducted into the South Australian Music Hall of Fame in 2021.

Rowan Johnston

Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2025

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. 

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.

Claire Preston

Conductor, Gondwana Singers 2025

Claire Preston has worked extensively in Australia and North America specialising in developing young singers.  She has been Assistant Conductor of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, accompanist for Canada’s foremost professional choir, Elmer Iseler Singers; and was Co-Founder of the award-winning, Exaudi Youth Choir.

Claire returned to Australia as Head of Choral Studies at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School where she commissioned and recorded Australian music and collaborated regularly with the VCA Orchestra.

Claire maintains an active career as a choral conductor and is in demand as an adjudicator for choral festivals and eisteddfods including New Zealand Choral Federation The Big Sing; Festival of Voices, Australian Honours Ensemble Program, and Voices of Birralee.  She has been a regular guest conductor at Gondwana National Choral School and is delighted to be conducting in the 2025 season!

Claire is Head of Vocal and Choral Studies at Hillcrest Christian College and in 2020 was awarded a scholarship through the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute. In 2021, Claire was honoured to receive a Leadership Award from the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.

Annie Kwok

Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2025

Annie is truly excited by children’s and youth choirs, inspired by their energy, honesty, and sound. Her works have been performed in major choral festivals in Australia and internationally, as well as being actively sought out for primary and secondary school music programs.

She has been a member of the artistic staff of the Public Primary Schools Festival of Music, Young Adelaide Voices, Gondwana Voices, and Sydney Children’s Choir. Annie was the 2011-12 Composer-in-Residence for Young Adelaide Voices, and the 2014-15 Composer-in-Residence for the Sydney Children’s Choir.

Annie is currently the Assistant Head of Performing Arts at Pulteney Grammar School teaching Year 7 to 12 Music, is the instigator of whole school singing from Reception to Year 12, and the director of Grammarphones and Senior Concert Choirs.

In 2020, she was awarded the South Australian World Teachers Day Award for Excellence by the Australian National Choral Association.

Allison Harrigan

Conductor, Gondwana Novus 2025

After completing a Masters degree in choral conducting and aural training Allison lectured at Victoria’s Melba Conservatorium and Monash University and then Queensland’s University of Technology.  She conducted the music faculty choirs at each of these institutions following many years of music education roles in primary and secondary schools. After moving to New South Wales, Allison enjoyed time as Director of Choral Education at Gondwana Choirs and conducting at National Choral School. For the past eleven years she has been Musical Director of Choirs at Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School.  Allison lectures in choral conducting and musicianship for the Kodaly Music Education Institute of Australia and is conductor of the NSW Arts Unit flagship choir Senior Singers.  She is passionate about supporting Australian choral composers, commissioning new works, rigorous music education and helping young choristers and their conductors to reach their artistic potential.