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Sarah Hopwood


A chartered accountant and experienced business leader, Sarah has both not for profit and commercial experience across financial services, education, media and the arts. With strong ties to Hastings and the surrounding area, Sarah was Managing Director of Glyndebourne Productions Ltd, overseeing the commercial, artistic, and reputational success of the global Glyndebourne brand. In her non-executive roles she has specialised in governance and compliance in the education sector, including ARK William Parker Academy in Hastings. She was recently appointed Chair of PracticePal Ltd, a tech start up focused on improving access to music education in schools.

Peter Chowney

Peter was born in Woking, before moving to Bournemouth. He studied Microbiology and Biochemistry at Aberystwyth University, then worked for a time in food and pharmaceutical research. Since then, he has worked mostly in local government, for the Audit Commission, and as an independent consultant. He moved to Hastings in 1996 and was elected to Hastings Council in 2000. As a councillor, Peter held a variety of positions, including as the cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration and culture, as deputy leader, and as council leader for five years. He resigned from the council in May 2022, and has now taken on various roles, including as a school governor, chair of Ore Community Land Trust, and as a volunteer at Great Dixter garden. He has a daughter who is the deputy director of an art gallery in Hoxton, two cats, three chickens, and a partner called Jo.

Andrew Corbett-Nolan

Professor Andrew Corbett-Nolan is the Chief Executive of the Good Governance Institute (GGI) and is a nationally recognised expert on public and third sector governance. He specialises in board development work, and some of the more complex governance reviews and national work that GGI undertakes, particularly in the NHS with the development of clinical governance. His work has been recognised by appointment a Salzburg Global Fellow.

For more than 25 years Andrew has sat on public and third sector boards ranging from the largest NHS Trust in England to small community groups. He is well-known as a thought leader in public sector governance through his research, writing and frequent speaking engagements.

He lives in the Sussex house where he was born. His interest in the arts is broad and he sits on the steering group of the Cultural Governance Alliance. Alongside Hastings Contemporary he is very involved in supporting opera at all levels, from the International Opera Awards through to grass-roots community operas.

Esther Fox

Esther Fox is a Programme Director, Artist and Researcher, interested in the connections between art, medicine, museums and ethics.  Esther is the Head of the Accentuate programme, creating opportunities for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people to participate and lead in the cultural sector. She is currently taking the strategic lead on Curating for Change, working with over 20 Museums across England to deliver a programme for disabled people wishing to pursue a curatorial career. Esther’s arts practice is socially engaged and often participatory in approach, commissions include by The Science Museum and the Francis Crick Institute. Esther lives in St Leonards on Sea and is passionate about supporting Hastings Contemporary to bring world class art to local communities and develop equitable opportunities for all.

Dr Deborah Ghate

Dr Deborah Ghate is a social scientist and works as director of the Colebrooke Centre for Evidence and Implementation, a non-profit organisation specialising in research and evidence-based consultancy for the child and family services sector. She was the founding CEO of Europe’s first specialist centre for improvement support in children’s services, based in Ireland, and prior to that founded and directed a leading independent policy research centre in London.  She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2016 writes and lectures internationally on topics including leadership, co-creation with communities, and achieving and measuring impact from services. She was Chair of the UK Implementation Society from 2017-2021.

Deborah lives and works in the countryside near Hastings is a supporter of several Sussex-based arts organisations. She joined the Board of Hastings Contemporary in 2022.

Patricia Millett

Patricia’s background is in Investment Banking (with Swiss Bank Corp) where she used her bilingual language skills with francophone corporate and institutional clients before turning to education. She gained her PGCE in Secondary French and spent 20 years in the teaching profession including Special Educational Needs (SEN). She sits as a Trustee on a number of boards which have a particular focus on music and education. Patricia believes strongly in the educational power of music and the visual arts to transform lives and transcend barriers. She has a keen interest in Participation Programmes to engage diverse communities in disadvantaged areas. She is delighted to be a trustee of Hastings Contemporary and to make a contribution to such an important art gallery.

Joni O’Sullivan

Joni is Head of Culture, Inclusion and Diversity for Lloyds Commercial Bank. A specialist in cultural transformation, inclusion and diversity, and community investment, Joni has a focus on effecting positive change in deprived communities through the use of business expertise, and is an experienced social enterprise mentor. Joni was born on Bere Island, West Cork and  lives with her family in Eastbourne. 

Ronke Phillips-Pakenham

Ronke is Senior Correspondent at ITV New. Her career as a journalist includes stints in print, radio and television, as a presenter and reporter in both national and regional media, in the UK and abroad. Awards Ronke has won include two Amnesty International awards, for her piece on the murder of Kristy Bamu and her report uncovering the identity of ‘Adam’, whose torso was found in the Thames. Ronke is a passionate supporter of several charities. She lives in East Sussex.