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The Central Coast Conservatorium team

  • Dr. Lisa Barnes

    Chief Executive Officer

  • Geraldine Cardozo

    Marketing Manager

  • Kathleen Novosel


  • Nicky Castle

    Events Manager, Program Coordinator

  • Patrick Brennan

    Artistic Director, Premier Ensembles Conductor & Bassoon Teacher

Dr. Lisa Barnes

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Lisa Barnes has worked in tertiary institutions for more than 12 years – including at Newcastle University – with experience teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, face-to-face and online. She has taught in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Sweden and presented at conferences in Portugal, the United States and New Zealand.

Growing up on the Central Coast, Dr Barnes spent much time performing in eisteddfods, with the Central Coast Concert Band and in musical theatre. Her children attended the Conservatorium’s early childhood and Children’s Music Programs and have gone on to continue their music education into their teens and early adult years.

Formerly Head of School at the Avondale Arts and Business School Dr Barnes serves on the Advisory Board for the Australian Academy of Business Leadership and is Deputy Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Australian Curriculum, and Assessment Reporting Authority. ACARA is an independent statutory authority responsible for the development of a national curriculum, a national assessment program, and a national data collection and reporting program that supports learning for Australian students.

She is also Treasurer of Coastlink, a not-for-profit youth disability provider and has a special interest in social responsibility, and financial and corporate governance of not-for-profit organisations, having been a director on numerous not-for-profit and Australian government boards.

Dr Barnes is a Fellow of the Certified Practicing Accountants Australia, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate of Business Administration degree.

Geraldine Cardozo

Marketing Manager

Digital marketing specialist Geraldine is a journalist with more than 25 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine publishing in the UK and Australia.

UK-born Geraldine has edited and written for a variety of publications including London Evening Standard, Belle Magazine, House & Garden, Sydney Morning Herald and Out & About with Kids. As Central Coast Conservatorium of Music’s Marketing Manager, Geraldine combines her passion for music and music education with her skills in digital marketing, social media, design and writing.

She has been involved with the CCCM for over 10 years, with both sons attending music lessons since the age of four. Her eldest son Xavier studied bassoon with Patrick Brennan, is a member of Central Coast Youth Orchestra and in 2024 was offered a place to study Bachelor of Music (Performance) at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Geraldine is a member of Central Coast Philharmonia Choir.


Kathleen Novosel


Perth-born Kathleen moved to the Central Coast 11 years ago with her husband Paul, a professional musician and drummer. “We decided to make the move to the East Coast because there were more performing opportunities here,” said Kathleen, who is also now mum to two boys aged 14 and 16.

“It is thanks to Paul I have developed a greater understanding of music appreciation and the skills and talents required of professional musicians. So when I saw the role advertised here at the Conservatorium of Music my interest was piqued.

Kathleen previously worked in an administrative role at a Central Coast aged care facility. “I am looking forward to meeting more families and students and learning more about the Conservatorium,” said Kathleen

You can find Kathleen in the front office of the Con at 45 Mann Street from Monday to Thursday, where she will also be available on the phone to answer your questions.

Nicky Castle

Events Manager, Program Coordinator

Patrick Brennan

Artistic Director, Premier Ensembles Conductor & Bassoon Teacher

Patrick Brennan attained his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and as a professional bassoonist performed with Australia’s leading orchestras for 15 years before pursuing a career as a conductor.

He participated in the Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program whilst directing several school and community bands and symphonic wind ensembles. In 2020 Patrick won a coveted position in the Australian Conducting Academy, working with the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra

Patrick has created and developed several cornerstone organisations including the Northern Sydney Schools Wind Orchestra, Central Coast Opera, Regional Youth Orchestra NSW and the NSSWE program that now offers weekly professional development for tertiary music students, focusing on best practice in pedagogy and conducting.

Patrick teaches bassoon at Central Coast Conservatorium of Music. As a music educator Patrick has worked within the Department of Education Arts Unit, in government and non-government schools as well as in tertiary institutions, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

He was also appointed as the NSW representative of the Bassoon syllabus for the AMEB.

As a member of the Curriculum Development Committee for the ANSWRC Patrick is currently developing a state-wide curriculum for music students across regional NSW

As Artistic Director of the Central Coast Conservatorium, Patrick musically directs the major premier music ensembles on the NSW Central Coast including Central Coast Youth Orchestra, Central Coast Philharmonia Choir and Central Coast Concert Band.