Michael Crouch AC Chairman

Our Chairman, Michael Crouch, is also Executive Chairman of an Australian private company Midgeon Holdings Pty Ltd, which acts as a holding vehicle for long term investments that include interests in Australian manufacturing, beef production, and property.

Until December 2013, he was also Executive Chairman of Zip Industries (Aust) Pty Ltd, a manufacturing company he founded in 1962 following his acquisition of Zip Heaters, which had made water heaters in Australia since 1947. Zip manufactures instant boiling water systems and related appliances in Australia and exports them to more than 70 countries.

In his capacity as Executive Chairman of Zip Industries, Michael Crouch was Principal Sponsor for 2011, 2012 and 2013 of Sydney Festival, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest international arts festival involving, musical, dance and theatrical performances staged at many locations in and around Sydney each January, and jointly supported by the State Government of New South Wales and the City of Sydney.

In 2013 he compiled and published a 100-page book “The First Musical History of Our Nation” about Gavin Lockley’s musical composition “Symphony of Australia” with written contributions by Marie Bashir (Governor of New South Wales), Roger Carrick (former UK High Commissioner to Australia), Geoffrey Blainey, (historian), Tim Fischer (author and former Deputy Prime Minister and Australian Ambassador to the Holy See), Hugh Mackay (social researcher and commentator) and Michael Jeffery (former Governor of Western Australia and Governor General of Australia).

Gavin Lockley Artistic Director

Our Artistic Director, Gavin Lockley, is is a multi-talented musician and singer who studied in Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom before returning home to focus on creating and performing songs and music celebrating Australian history and Australian culture.

Following performances of his song “My Country Australia” in 2005, based on Dorothea McKellar’s iconic poem “My Country”, Gavin expanded on it to create a six- movement orchestral symphony. As the “Symphony of Australia” it then premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2007. A recording of Symphony of Australia was released by ABC Classics.

Gavin later composed and recorded “Ballads of the Bush” — musical renditions of celebrated Australian poems — which was presented in concert at the City Recital Hall in Sydney in 2009, with a recording under the same title released by ABC Classics that year.

Between 2006 and 2010 Gavin collaborated with the internationally- acclaimed Australian author Colleen McCullough to create a stage musical titled “Morgan’s Run – The Musical”. It dramatises the epic voyage of the “First Fleet” and the founding of the Australian nation, based on Colleen’s best-selling novel for the year 2000, “Morgan’s Run”. A double CD album was released in 2010, and the first stage production was performed at Springwood in the Blue Mountains in 2011. Currently Gavin is completing his PhD at Sydney Conservatorium of Music on the topic of opera in popular culture. Gavin lives with his wife, soprano Renae Martin, and their two children in North Sydney.