Former Cathedral chorister Chris Arnold AM named interim CEO of Melbourne diocese

Mr Arnold succeeds Mr Ken Spackman for an initial six month period

By Mark Brolly

September 2 2020A former member of the St Paul's Cathedral Choir who has had a career in business, the health sector, philanthropy and the arts, Mr Chris Arnold AM, has been appointed Interim CEO of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. 

Archbishop Philip Freier announced Mr Arnold's part-time appointment on 31 August. 

Mr Arnold succeeds Mr Ken Spackman, whose resignation took effect on 28 August after 12 years with the diocese as Registrar and CEO of the Melbourne Anglican Diocesan Corporation. 

Dr Freier said Mr Arnold, whom he described as "an extremely experienced and accomplished business leader and consultant", would serve an initial six-month appointment. 

"Chris has held six CEO roles across health, law and accounting and financial services and is principal of Hodgson Associates, a private consulting practice focused on governance, strategic planning, structuring, board reviews, board and management advice," Archbishop Freier said.  

"His senior management career began as the deputy CEO of the Royal Children’s Hospital at 30. He was awarded his Member of the Order of Australia for his involvement in genetic research, both as chairman of the Global Variome Ltd, in which he chaired an international board of eminent geneticists, and for his involvement as a director of BioGrid Australia Ltd, a national bioinformatics company.  

"He has held board member and chair positions in both not-for-profit and for-profit organisations, as part of his life-long involvement and contribution to philanthropy.  

"He is a board member of Melba Opera Trust and the Australian World Orchestra, and has served on the boards of Philanthropy Australia and Australian Communities Foundation among a multitude of other community commitments." 

Mr Arnold's Melba Opera Trust board profile says: "Since his time as a member of the choir at St Paul’s Cathedral, Chris has had a lifelong love of choral, classical music and opera. With his wife Margot Costanzo, a 3MBS community radio board member and opera producer/presenter, joining the board of Melba was a natural. Chris brings with him a strong background in governance, strategic planning, executive management and consulting. Previous community board memberships include Philanthropy Australia for 6 years and the Australian Communities Foundation for 8 years. Chris is currently consulting with Hodgson Associates and chairs Melba Opera Trust’s Governance Committee." 

The Melba Opera Trust was established in 2008 to provide scholarships to develop Australia’s most promising young opera singers and repetiteurs. With the closure of Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music at the end of 2008, the Trust carries forward Dame Nellie Melba’s bequest and her final wish that her gift establish a scholarship “…so that another Melba may arise”. 

The Trust is also the chief caretaker of the memorial to Richmond-born Dame Nellie (1861–1931), Australia’s first world-famous opera singer, at Lilydale. 

The Australian World Orchestra website says Mr Arnold plays the piano and that he and Ms Costanzo have commissioned musical work, as well as belonging to the Richard Wagner Society. 

Mr Arnold completed an MBA at Monash University, having studied Business and Commerce at Melbourne University. 

Early in his career, he served as a Deputy Regional Director with the Victorian Health Department. 

Archbishop Freier concluded his announcement by saying: "I am delighted that a leader of such stature and experience is joining the ADOM team, and look forward to working with him at this challenging time."