The Executive Team

Michael Brealey
Chief Executive Officer

Michael Brealey leads Create NSW in its activities to invest in and shape the future of arts, screen and culture in NSW.

Michael is responsible for strategic leadership across the arts and cultural cluster including collaboration with NSW Cultural Institutions: Sydney Opera House; Art Gallery of NSW; State Library of NSW; Australian Museum; Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Michael brings 20 years’ experience leading public policy across the private and public sectors. Michael has a diverse background in arts development and support, media, communications and information technology sectors.

Michael previously held roles as an independent consultant with clients across the media and IT sectors; Head of Policy, Strategy and Governance for ABC TV; and Manager, Public Policy and Content Standards for Vodafone Australia. Michael has also held several positions in the federal Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and was most recently the (Acting) Executive Director of Arts NSW.

Contact Michael:
Stuart Grant
Executive Assistant to the CEO
+61 2 8289 6414

Tarek Barakat
Director Strategic Policy, Research & Projects

Tarek has over 10 years’ experience working across the public sector in both Local and State Government with extensive policy and project management experience focussing on place management, economic development and regulatory policy and strategy.

Tarek has worked extensively with a broad range of stakeholders, from grass roots community organisations and small businesses, to high profile international companies. Most recently, Tarek has held senior policy roles at the Department of Justice and comes to Create NSW from his role as Manager – Policy & Legislation at Liquor & Gaming NSW. Prior to this, Tarek managed the Community Places and Economic Development Units at Sutherland Shire Council and brings skills in stakeholder engagement, project delivery and policy development to Create NSW.

Contact Tarek:
Tarek Barakat, Director Strategic Policy, Research & Projects
+61 2 8289 6469

Grainne Brunsdon
Director Engagement, Partnerships & Development

Grainne has more than 20 years’ experience working in the creative industries; in addition to previous roles at Screen NSW and Arts NSW, she worked in leadership positions in international cultural relations with the British Council, with arts organisations in Sydney and teaching design studies at tertiary level.

Contact Grainne:
Grainne Brunsdon
Director Engagement, Partnerships & Development
+61 2 8289 6471

Sophia Zachariou
Director Sector Investment

Sophia has commissioned and executive-produced hundreds of hours of television across all genres and was previously Deputy Head of Entertainment at ABC TV. Sophia was the network Executive Producer on all the Gruen series, Kitchen Cabinet with Annabel Crabb, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, The Chaser’s Media Circus, The Chaser’s War on Everything, Saturday Night Crack Up, Agony, The Checkout and At the Movies.

Sophia also developed digital formats for iView such as comedy series Fresh Blood, and Canberra Al Desko with Annabel Crabb.

Prior to her time at the ABC Sophia was the producer of the legendary short film series Eat Carpet for SBS, and as an independent she produced Australia’s first short film initiative for smartphones, Micromovies, in 2004.

Contact Sophia:
Sophia Zachariou
Director Sector Investment
+61 2 8289 6470

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