Our Board

Sue Williams

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Sue Williams 

Chair

An artist and creative at heart Sue originally trained as a painter. Recognising and experiencing numerous barriers that she experienced as a disabled person developing a creative practise in the arts she began to focus and work in equality. Initially this involved developing, designing and delivering a range of projects promoting inclusion and equality. Latterly her work has focused on working in large public sector organisations to develop equality policy and strategy. She is specifically interested in the complexity and challenges of developing initiatives that promote cultural change and equality at an institutional level.

She has previously worked as a Senior Diversity Officer at Arts Council England’s National Office developing national policy, strategy, funding streams and exploratory commissioning programmes. As a result she has developed has an in-depth understanding of equality legislation and its application within organisational settings and policy making.

After leaving the Arts Council Sue completed a Masters in Illustration at Camberwell College of Art. She currently splits her time between working in higher education and  pursuing her own artistic practice.  She has undertaken residencies in Australia and at the Watershed in Bristol, selling and exhibiting her work (whenever possible). She remains passionate about and committed to equality and inclusion in the arts and education.

Lara Jonah

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Lara Jonah

Lara is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist, with over 20 years experience working in criminal justice settings. She is currently one of the national clinical leads for domestic abuse programmes, within His Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service.

In previous roles Lara has worked as a head of psychology, in large and complex prison. In this role she developed and led on a number of initiatives and was awarded a Butler Trust award in 2009 for her work with difficult to manage prisoners.

She has a keen interest in the arts, including theatre, literature and poetry. Lara has previously set up and run book clubs for work colleagues and friends, one of which has run for over 15 years. She routinely organises trips to the theatres amongst friends and colleagues. She is currently in the process of setting up a ‘theatre club’, which will aim to create an interest in fringe theatre performances in non-theatregoers.

Uchenna Izundu

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Uchenna Izundu

Uchenna is an experienced strategic communications and content leader with an interest in the arts sector and, in particular, raising the profile of black artists and productions. She has led on diversity and engagement programmes targeting black talent in the media and arts sectors at the Royal Shakespeare Company, FT, BBC, Channel 4, ITN, and The Guardian.

Cristian Patilea

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Cristian Patilea

Cristian comes from the financial sector.  He has a degree in international trade and a Summa cum Laudae MBA in Finance.  He did investment banking, international banking and cross border loan workout before settling at Ambac Assurance UK in 2007 where he is now a director in portfolio risk management.

In the arts sector, he has a full feature film scriptwriting credit for “Monies, cons and bones” (2010), two playwriting prizes in Romania, a play selected by the “Page to Stage” Liverpool festival in 2017 and a couple of short plays staged in London.  He also sits on the Board of the Daisy Farris Dance Collective.

Rebecca O’Neill

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Rebecca O’Neill

Rebecca has held senior Communications roles across the financial services sector in listed, unlisted and trade association organisations for over twenty years.  Having held senior roles with Fitch Group, ISDA, Credit Suisse and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Rebecca firmly believes in the importance of strong and effective Communications in achieving strategic business goals.

With a strong interest in theatre and the arts, Rebecca is a passionate advocate for the full inclusion and participation of all disabled members of society and wants to see platforms and opportunities created that secure the full participation and representation of all voices in society.

Rebecca is co-Head of Alumni with the non-for-profit membership organisation, Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF).

Maggie Fowles

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Maggie Fowles

Maggie is an arts fundraiser, specialising in individual giving, trusts and grants, and major gifts. She works primarily in theatre and opera, and has held roles at the Royal Opera House, Donmar Warehouse, and Clean Break theatre company. In her career, she has advised on several EDI and anti-ableism working groups.

Maggie holds a master’s degree from Shakespeare’s Globe and King’s College London, and she is particularly interested in theatrical deconstructions of canonical texts. In her free time, she volunteers for an environmental charity.

Deirdre McLaughlin

Deirdre is a curvy AFAB person with curly long brown hair, black-rimmed glasses, and a warm smile. She is standing in the Grand Hall of the Battersea Arts Centre looking directly into the camera.

Deirdre McLaughlin

Deirdre is a multi-award-winning London-based director and dramaturg who combines her work as an artist and facilitator to develop socially engaged new work that explores creative approaches to integrating access. Deirdre is a recipient of the Writer’s Guild’s Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Award and the Genesis Foundation Future Directors Award.

Her professional industry credits include Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre Studio, Old Vic Labs, Theatre Royal Haymarket, SPILL Festival, Arts Admin & Toynbee Studios, Tempting Failure, Unlimited, artsdepot, Camden People’s Theatre, Soho Theatre, The Place, Stratford Circus, Battersea Arts Centre, Finborough Theatre, The Pleasance (Islington, Edinburgh), ARC (Stockton Arts Centre), Dance City (Newcastle), Unity Theatre (Liverpool),Cambridge Junction, Panic Lab, The Yard, Hackney Showroom, Hackney Studios, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Powerhouse Theatre and New York Stage & Film , and award-winning productions at Edinburgh Fringe (World Fringe Alliance Award 2018), Adelaide Fringe (Best Cabaret Weekly, Overall Innovation Award 2017) and Vault Festival (Origins Award 2018). Deirdre is a former Associate Artist (Community Outreach) for Stockroom and is a regular Visiting Lecturer at The Royal Central School of Speech of Speech & Drama.