Our dedicated board members share their skills, expertise and enthusiasm to help steer the strategy for the Conservatoire’s future. Most are local and became involved initially as loyal customers. 

  • Jane Burton

    Board Member

    Art has always been central to Jane’s life. Starting out as an arts writer for national newspapers, she went on to postgraduate study at Courtauld.

    Jane has won two Baftas, and numerous other awards for her work in arts and media, the most recent a 2015 Royal Television Society Award for the live broadcast of Tate’s Matisse Exhibition to audiences in cinemas across the UK. Now working as Global Content Director at Christie’s, Jane leads a team of journalists, film directors and writers who produce magazines, online editorial, books and films that focus on the incredible objects.

  • Michael O’Byrne

    Board Chairman

    Michael was educated at the London School of Economics in Finance and is now a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley.

    He is proud to be chair of the Board of the Conservatoire, which continues its long history as a creative hub for art, music and drama in south east London. Michael aims to bring to the Board and the Conservatoire a strategic view as well as strong financial discipline and executional focus.

  • Nichole Herbert Wood

    Nichole Herbert Wood

    Board Member

    Nichole is Chief Executive of Second Floor Studios & Arts, who have been providing affordable workspace for London’s visual artists for over 20 years, with sites in Deptford, Wembley Park and Sevenoaks.

  • Clare Cornwell

    Clare Cornwell

    Board Member

    Clare has lived in Blackheath for 10 years with her husband James, a barrister.

    After a history degree, Clare went into the Civil Service and spent 20 years in Whitehall working around the environment field, leading many policies including competition in the water industry, climate change adaptation, food waste reduction and the 5p plastic bag charge. Clare has been on the board at The Conservatoire since 2014.

  • Thea Sakkas

    Board Member

    After graduating from Cambridge, Thea trained to be a lawyer at a magic circle law firm where she worked for a number of years.

    She went on to work as in-house counsel for an American investment bank. Thea lives locally with her family and together they have benefited from the excellent tuition and opportunities on offer at the Conservatoire. As a trustee she wants to ensure this historic arts hub continues to flourish, so it can benefit the community.