Trustee Biographies

Thangam Debbonaire combines work to end and prevent gender based violence and promote gender equality with political activism and a sideline as a professional cellist. She works locally, nationally and internationally, with NGOs and government departments, on men, women and children’s experiences, in practice, research and training. Current work includes part time Research Officer for Respect, UK association for work withdomestic violence perpetrators, groupwork with men who use violence, various evaluations and training courses. She is co-creator of “Spiralling” the award-winning DVD/CD-Rom resource, film and toolkit for work with young people on intimate partner violence. She is women’s officer for Bristol West Constituency Labour party, branch secretary for Ashley ward and Diversity Officer for Bristol Labour Party. She is a school governor and a trustee of South Bristol domestic violence project WISH. She was a mature part-time student at Bristol (M.Sc., School for Policy Studies, 1993). and

George Ferguson CBE is Chairman of Ferguson Mann Architects, owner founder of Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatre and Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. George built up his Bristol based architectural practice in 1978 and founded the UK wide group of architects, Acanthus, in 1986. He has broad experience in urban regeneration and mixed use projects including his own Tobacco Factory Arts Centre and Brewery projects in South Bristol. He writes, broadcasts and lectures extensively on the environment, planning and architecture. He has honorary degrees from Bristol University and the UWE and was awarded a CBE in 2010 for services to Architecture and to the community in the South West. and


David Giles was educated at Bristol Grammar School before studying Physics, Chemistry and Maths at Bristol (B.Sc. 1954). Following 2 years National Service (Acting Captain R. Signals) he was employed by RWP Co Ltd (a subsidiary of ES&A Robinson) where he became Technical Director. Transferring to Head Office he was responsible for buying a number of companies in the office sector and was appointed Managing Director of DRG Litho Supplies. He has been:- Chair of Governors Filton College, Chair of The Watershed Media Centre, Non exec Director of Frenchay Healthcare NHS Trust, Chair Avon Ambulance NHS Trust. He is currently:- Area Co President for Wiltshire Avon and Gloucestershire British Red Cross, Ambassador for the Vassall Centre and a life member of UBU.

Cindy Peck is a member of Bristol University's Council, Nominations Committee and Audit Committee, and Chair of its Student Affairs Committee. She graduated in law from Bristol in 1973, and has been a partner in City law firm Denton Wilde Sapte for over 25 years. She has just become a consultant with that firm. She has extensive experience of civil litigation, risk management and mediation in a wide range of businesses, operating in many parts of the world. She is a governor of Channing, a girls' school in Highgate, London, and is about to become a non-executive director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a member of its Training and Education Committee. She has 3 children at secondary school at the moment, and hopes that at least one of them will win a place at Bristol University in due course.


Jonathan Phillips was educated at Rickmansworth School before studying Geology at the University of Bristol (B.Sc. 1994). Following graduation, he served as General Secretary at the Students’ Union. Since leaving the university, he has worked for Coca-Cola Enterprises in a number of sales, operations and eBusiness roles and is currently Global Head of Digital Communications for the company. A Bristol resident for the last 10 years, he remains interested in geology and enjoys travel and wine. He is also a trustee of the Rainbow Centre for Children and a director of its affiliated business and a member of University of Bristol Court.

Last updated 8th March 2012