About Us / The Board

Our visionary Board of Directors bring a wide range of invaluable expertise and leadership to the Festival. Find out more about each of them below.


David Briskin is the Festival Chairman, appointed in September 2017. Prior to this David has been a Director of the Festival’s Board since August 2012.

David has extensive experience in retail, finance and investment as a Director of a number of renowned Australian fashion brands over 20 years. David was Chief Executive Officer and shareholder in the iconic luxury fashion brand sass & bide from 2008 to 2014 before selling the business to Myer.

Prior to that, he was Managing Director and shareholder in leading accessories retailer Mimco from 1999 until its sale to Gresham Private Equity in 2007. In February 2014, David became a shareholder in and Director of M.J. Bale, one of Australia’s leading designer menswear brands. In 2014 David founded Briskin Investments and Advisory which provides strategic advice to a number of domestic and international brands.

David is a non-executive Director of Adairs Limited, Australia’s leading specialist retailer of manchester and homewares and is a guest lecturer at the Monash University and RMIT.


Tony Kendall has been a Director of the Festival since May 2010. He Chairs the Marketing & Ticketing Committee and is a member of the Nomination Committee.

Tony is the Chief Revenue Officer of HT&E (formerly APN News & Media). He previously held at its subsidiary company the position of CEO of Australian Radio Network, operator of commercial radio networks KIIS and Pure Gold.

Tony was Director of Sales at Bauer Media Group. Tony’s appointment to Bauer in 2013 followed a 23-year career at News Limited where he held several senior positions including Group Advertising Sales Director at News Limited, Chief Executive Officer at News Magazines and a stint overseas as Senior VP, Sales for the New York Post.

Tony’s connections and understanding of the advertising and marketing industry in Australia is second to none.


Paul Lappin has been a Director of the Festival since October 2015.

Paul is an experienced Company Director and Chairman, leading companies across a diverse range of sectors including hospitality, retail and bio-technology.

Paul is a qualified chartered accountant, having worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for 10 years and ran his own boutique advisory company, including lecturing in strategic planning at Melbourne University.

Paul is a co-owner and past Chairman of Peter Rowland.

Paul’s present Board roles include Chairman of Rision Ltd: a public company working internationally in the contingent workforce industry, Chairman of UCI Pty Ltd: a national commercial furniture company headquartered in Melbourne, and Director of Bastian Group: the most dynamic, national marketing agency in Australia.


Launa Inman has been a Director of the Festival since May 2010.  She is a member of the Marketing & Ticketing Committee.

Launa is on the Boards of Super Retail Group and Precinct Properties NZ Pty Ltd. Launa also sits on the Board of the not for profit organisation, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation (an organisation for helping abused children and preventing cyber bullying).  Launa is a former Director of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Bellamy’s Australia Ltd.

Launa has strong business skills in large corporations, experienced in multi-brand wholesale and retail, e-commerce, strategic planning, marketing, and corporate restructuring and has worked internationally.

Launa was Managing Director for seven years to end 2011 of Target Australia, the largest Australian retailer of apparel, homewares and general merchandise, finishing with an annual turnover of A$3.9 billion, EBIT of A$281 million and 294 stores.

Before this Launa was Managing Director of Officeworks, the largest stationery and office technology retailer in Australia.

Launa was also CEO and Managing Director of Billabong International, one of only six Woman CEOs in the ASX 200. At the time of her appointment in May 2012, Billabong operated across 100 countries with 10 wholesale brands, 750 retail stores, and two pure play on-line businesses.

In recognition of her contribution to business Launa was awarded Telstra Australian Businesswoman of the Year and Victoria Businesswoman of the Year in 2003. In 2015 the Australian Marketing Institute award her the prestigious Sir Charles McGrath Award for her significant contribution to the field of marketing and wider industry achievements.


Janice Breen Burns has been a Director of the Festival since August 2013. She is a member of the Arts Program Committee and champions the Fashion Writing Series.

Veteran journalist Janice is editor of Voxfrock, the fashion and pop culture blogzine she founded in 2013. Janice also undertakes freelance journalism projects, writing masterclasses, and public fashion presentations.

For 19 years Janice was a renowned columnist, features writer, news reporter and fashion editor for Melbourne’s The Age newspaper as it evolved from a traditional print to a multi-platform news source. In the 1980s, Janice was features writer and fashion editor for The Sun (now The Herald Sun) and women’s editor of The Geelong Advertiser.

Janice was a founding member of the Victorian Government’s committee to address the impact of media on body image. In 2011, Janice was inducted into the Stonnington Fashion Hall of Fame.


Oliver Carton was appointed as Company Secretary in February 2015. He is a member of the Audit and Marketing & Ticketing Committees.

Oliver is a qualified lawyer with over 28-years’ experience in a variety of corporate roles. Oliver currently runs his own consulting business and was previously a Director of the Chartered Accounting firm KPMG where he managed its Corporate Secretarial Group. Prior to that, Oliver was a senior legal officer with ASIC.

Oliver is an experienced company officer and is currently Director/Company Secretary of a number of listed and unlisted companies, including Pental Limited, Transport Certification Australia Limited and Cremorne Capital Limited.

Oliver also is a Board member for a number of not for profit entities including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Pty Ltd and The Good Foundation Pty Ltd.


For over fifteen years, Kallie has applied her experience and enthusiasm to the social sector through her work with international philanthropic and not-for-profit organisations. Her previous work includes roles at: Skoll Foundation (United States), Very Special Kids (Australia), The United Nations Development Programme (India) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Australia).

In 2015, Kallie commenced as the Director of MGA (Monash Gallery of Art) which is the Australian home of photography. In this role she looked after the gallery’s significant collection, yearly exhibitions, public and school programs, customer service and financial sustainability. In early 2018, she became Chair of  MGA’s Foundation.

Kallie is also Vice President of the National Gallery of Victoria Women’s Association and a Trustee at St Vincent’s Institute.

When she is not working or volunteering, Kallie enjoys collecting art, reading literature, dancing ballroom and exploring through travel.


Fashion entrepreneur and former Editor-in-Chief, Harper’s BAZAAR Australia. In August 2018 Kellie Hush resigned as Editor-in-chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Australia, a role she held for seven years, to launch her own fashion retail brand. With more than 20 years’ experience in the Australian and luxury fashion market, Hush is one of the most influential people in the Australian fashion industry and was recently named on Rag Trader’s 2018 Power List.

Before joining BAZAAR, Hush was the Editor-in-Chief of GRAZIA Australia and fashion editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. She is also a regular fashion commentator on television, radio, in print media and a published author.

Hush is a Royal Hospital for Women Foundation Board Director. In 2015 Hush launched BAZAAR in Bloom, a charity event supported by the Australian fashion industry, to raise funds for the RHWF Fertility and Research Centre. In February 2017 phase one of the centre opened in Randwick, Sydney, and the event has now raised over $1.6 million.

Hush is a founding director of the Australian Fashion Chamber and a judge for the International Woolmark Prize and the VAMFF National Designer Award.


Lisa Egan was appointed to the Board in January 2019.  Lisa is a lawyer with extensive experience in issues impacting the fashion industry.  She is currently the Head of Legal and Compliance at KOOKAI, an Australian owned global brand, where Lisa has a strong focus on corporate governance and risk management.  Prior to that Lisa was a partner in the intellectual property team at global law firm K&L Gates (formerly Middletons) where she led the firm’s Fashion Group. 

Lisa has been a member of the Audit & Risk Committee of the Melbourne Fashion Festival since 2014, and has had a long association with the Festival.  She is a keen supporter of the fashion industry and well versed in the issues impacting fashion businesses.

Lisa’s other commitments include being the Deputy Chair of the Essendon Women’s Network, and raising 3 boys with her husband.


Karson Stimson was appointed to the Board in January 2019. Karson Stimson is one of Australia’s key industry players with over 20+ years expertise in helping business and brands connect and trade with the modern consumer through strategy, technology and design. After eleven years as a director of Spin Communications, Karson founded strategic digital commerce consultancy WeAreDigital in August 2009, which quickly became a top-tier boutique consultancy specialising in digital transformation and connected solutions on the path to conversion and purchase through the delivery of products, services, solutions and campaigns.

Obsessed with moving the needle for his clients, Karson and his team have been responsible for numerous award-winning projects and for shaping digital strategies for many major brands and businesses including sass&bide, Scanlan Theodore, Country Road Group, Sonos, T2 and Bank of Melbourne.

A well-respected public speaker and leading voice in digital and customer-centric engagement strategies, Karson was the keynote speaker at the 2012 L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival Marketing Breakfast, “The Future of Digital Marketing,” chaired the Social Curation panel at the 2013 L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival Business Seminar and was also a guest speaker at the 2015 Future Lab Retail & Consumer Futures Forum.  WeAreDigital was named 2012 B&T Specialist Agency of the Year and 2013 Digital Services Company of the year.

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