🎶🎶 Meet the Adjudicators 🎶🎶


Michele Walsh

Instrumental & Chamber Ensembles


Michele Walsh,violinist, a graduate of the University of Adelaide and winner of the prestigious ABC Instrumental Competition, undertook further studies in London with distinguished violinist Szymon Goldberg.

Michele has appeared as soloist with major orchestras in Australia and has performed in the UK, USA, Europe and South-East Asia. Formerly Associate Concertmaster of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra,  a position she held for over  a decade, she is currently Associate Professor in Violin and  Head of Strings  at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Under her leadership the string faculty has attracted students from all over Australia. 

Michele is a founding member of the Griffith Trio which has made several successful international tours and is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals around the country. She is also in demand as guest concert-master of Australian Symphony orchestras. 

Michele has a particular interest in fostering young musicians and working in regional areas. She is very committed to the work of the Australian Youth Orchestra, having served as a Board member and Chair of the Artistic committee for many years. She continues close association with the AYO through membership of the Artistic Committee and Council and regular involvement in their programs. Most recently she was Director of the Chamber Music program and  violin tutor at the 2019 National Music Camp. 

Michele was Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music Winterschool for many years and is regular guest director of the Mount Buller Summer Chamber Music School. She is in demand as a guest teacher and frequently serves on competition juries in Australia and South-East Asia.  Many of her former students are major competition prize winners and hold positions in Australia, Europe and Asia. 


David Butler

Contemporary Voice


David Butleris a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (Voice) and is a freelance performer, musical director and vocal coach based in Melbourne, Australia. David is director of the David Butler Studio where he works with singers, actors and other professional voice-users. He also liaises with the Melbourne Voice Analysis Centre in rehabilitating damaged voices, and as a casual lecturer in Musical Theatre for the University of Melbourne, Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts. 

As a performer David can be regularly found on the cabaret and independent theatre circuit. Most recently he has performed in two seasons of MAD WORLD: The Immersive Theatrical Experience (Melbourne), Woman: It’s a Mother of a Cabaret (Melbourne & Adelaide seasons) and From: New York, For: Him (Melbourne & Adelaide seasons). He has also performed as a soloist in Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, and Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and King Arthur.

David’s musical direction credits include William Finn’s Falsettos(StageArt) – for which he received a Green Room nomination, Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods (Bottled Snail Productions) and the new Australian work, MAD WORLD (DBS). 

Through his studio, David has produced various concerts, events and productions. Highlights include the national tour of Elaborate Lives, hosting audition workshops and masterclasses with US based operatic director Chuck Hudson, a comedy fundraiser for the (then) Victorian AIDS Council and most recently two seasons of MAD WORLD: The Immersive Theatrical Experience

David is passionate about developing voice and arts practice in Australia with a primary focus on vocal health and sustainability.


Gary Wain

Instrumental Groups & Percussion


Gary Wainis a professional conductor, composer and performer. He graduated from Auckland University with an MMus and DipOriginalMus Perc before continuing his studies in percussion in London and Amsterdam. After moving to Australia, he took up his present position with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in which he has been the Principal Percussion for 29 years. He lectures in percussion and conducting at the University of Tasmania and is much in demand as a freelance conductor appearing frequently with the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, the UTAS Conservatorium Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Gary has written much music, including published works for percussion.


Shaun Murphy

Vocal Groups & Choirs

Classical Voice


Shaun Murphy’s professional experience in the performing arts is broad ranging; encompassing musicals, opera, concerts, cabaret, television, recording, broadcasting, directing and teaching.

In the area of music theatre, he performed roles in Dr. Zhivago (Markel - GFO), Sweeney Todd (Anthony Hope – Opera Australia), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Independent - Man 2 - Green Room Award), A Little Night Music (Mr. Erlensen – MTC),The Secret Garden (Captain Albert Lennox – GFO),The Phantom of the Opera (Piangi – Cameron MacIntosh)and Kismet (The Caliph – VSO).

For the various Australian Opera Companies, he also performed roles as diverse as Fenton in Falstaff (West Australian Opera Company)to Monostatos in The Magic Flute (Victoria State Opera) and he worked as a soloist with the Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras in music ranging from Carmina Burana to evenings of music celebrating the work of Cole Porter andRogers & Hart. He is one of the few Australian artists to successfully cross between the classical and contemporary musical worlds with success.

He has appeared as a guest artist for most of the major Australian arts festivals, including the Queensland Biennial Festival, The Sydney Festival, The Melbourne Festival, The Adelaide Cabaret Festival and The Sydney Mardi Gras.

As a member of the Australian vocal trio Combo Fiasco, he was at the forefront of cabaret and corporate entertainment in Australia, pioneering a culture of Australian artists showcasing their work to great success in New York. Whilst performing with Combo Fiasco, he recorded three successful CD’s, produced a decade of highly acclaimed cabaret seasons Australia-wide, collaborated with companies such as The Bell Shakespeare Company and The Queensland Ballet, and received the second of his two Green Room Awards.

As a freelance Director, he has staged works in both musical theatre and straight plays. In recent years, he has directed productions of After the Beep, Back to Bacharach, Me & Mr. Jones, Agnes of God, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods, Inheritance, Metamorphoses, Once on this Island, Into the Woods, Once Upon a Mattress, Sweet Charity, Merrily We Roll Along, The Little Sweep, Violet, Jesus Christ Superstarand The Secret Garden. He was the resident director ofDr. Zhivago in Australia and staged this work in Seoul.

Shaun has taught on the Musical Theatre faculties at the VCA, LaSalle CAE in Singapore, and The Arts Academy, Ballarat. He is currently appointed as the Director of Performance (Music and Theatre) at Ivanhoe Grammar School in Melbourne. 


Anne Cordiner



Anne Cordiner trained at Flinders Uni and subsequently at NIDA, providing her with a broad theatrical grounding. Career opportunities enabled Anne to work in both the corporate and the theatre world. Early on she was retained by the SA government to develop a plan for Drama to be introduced as a component of the secondary syllabus. 

Anne’s theatre career started with the SATC and MTC, and regular roles in the series “Bellbird”, “Skyways”, and “The Sullivan’s”.  She also enjoyed some early forays into corporate training and went on to specialise in human resources.  She worked in both corporate and consulting roles, including running her own HR consultancy for 12 years. During this time her love of performance kept calling and she returned to theatre, working for a number of Melbourne and regional companies, on TV in “Neighbours” and “MDA”, and the award-winning feature films “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” (Korea) and “41” (Australia).    

Since moving to Hobart Anne performed in TTC’s “White Rabbit Red Rabbit”, and “An Inconvenient Woman”, Loud Mouth’s “The Island of Dr Moreau”, Hobart Rep’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and “In the Next Room”. She assisted TTC director, Charles Parkinson on the set of “The Berry Man”, and produced and co-directed “e-baby” for TTC, as part of Ten Days on the Island.

Anne was a voice and monologue coach and is a reader in the Actors’ Equity Foundation project “Storyville”, aimed at encouraging reading in primary schools. 


Katherine Austin



Katherine Austin is head of Piano Studies for the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music, and is one of New Zealand’s leading pianists and performs regularly around NZ and overseas, touring frequently for Chamber Music New Zealand, and broadcasting regularly on Radio New Zealand ConcertPianist of the Tennant-Austin Duofor the past 23 years, her work with the NewZealand Chamber Soloists(since 2006) now occupies a large portion of her performing and concert life, with regular tours to Europe, UK, Asia, North and South America, and Australia, and invitations to give master-classes in such institutions as the Yong Siew Toh Academy of Music (Singapore), the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Yehudi Menuhin School (UK), the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), Monash University (Melbourne) and the Vicenza Conservatory of Music (Italy). Many works have been commissioned for the NZ Chamber Soloists from New Zealand’s leading composers. CDs include Corybas–the complete chamber works of John Psathas for piano with strings (3 of the 5 works written for Katherine Austin and her musical partners), Ahiwith works by NZ composers Farr, Lodge, Williams, Griffiths and Psathas, and Elegy–moving elegiac piano trios by Rachmaninov, Babajanian and Shostakovich, which received international acclaim. Katherine Austin has also released 2 CDs on the Atoll label , one with great Russian Sonatas for Cello and Piano, the other “Diable Vert”, performing virtuoso and romantic duo works, with cello sensation Santiago Canon Valencia, also to critical acclaim. In 2016 a new musical venture, the Trans-Tasman Piano Duo, was formed with leading Australian pianist- pedagogue Glenn Riddle (Melbourne University) and many concert invitations in Australia and NZ have ensued.

Austin graduated Master of Music with First Class Honours in Piano Performance from Auckland University, where her teachers were Janetta McStay andBryan Sayer. In 1982 she won both the NZ Young Performer of the Year (PACANZ) and theTVNZ/NZSO New Zealand Young Musician of the Year, playing Schumann’s PianoConcerto with the NZSO. Seven years of study and performance in London and Europe followed, included a full scholarship to the Royal College of Music Londonto study with renowned Russian pianist and teacher Irina Zaritskaya, as well as postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1987, Austin won the Top Duo Prizein the Stresa International Chamber Music Competition in Italy, performing with cellist Vincenzo Giuliani. 

Austin has performed Romantic piano concerto repertoire with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra andtheAuckland Philharmonic Orchestraand has been guest on a number of occasions as concerto soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestraand the Opus Orchestra, specialising in the concertos of Mozartand Beethoven. She is also the coordinator behind the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts’successful ongoing concert series and the producer for the numerous University of Waikato Conservatorium of Musicconcerts in the central North Island, New Zealand.