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New Faces in the Regions for 2015

There’s been a changing of the guard at some of our regional arts boards including the retirement of the inaugural and much loved West Darling Arts Regional Arts Development Officer (RADO), James Giddey. After 12 years in the role, James was farewelled at the Walsh Bay Arts Table dinner in November.

Newly appointed RADO, Cherry Pratt made the 840 kilometre trek from Quilpie where she worked for three years as the Queensland Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) Liaison Officer for Quilpie Shire. Cherry was also the supervising Tourism Officer and Curator of the Council’s Regional Gallery and Museum Complex. She grew up on sheep and cattle stations in far western Queensland, and in her late twenties launched a career as a professional designer/artist of original hand painted garments exporting to the United States. For the past 20 years she has been a professional mural artist.

Southern Tablelands Arts (STARTS) has appointed Susan Conroy as its new RADO. Susan had been acting in the role before the board advertised the position. She has a BA Recreation Management from Griffith University and, having established the first cultural planning position in local government in Australia at Liverpool City Council in the early 1990’s,  is acknowledged as being a pioneer in cultural planning.

Arts North West is now on the hunt for a new Executive Officer and RADO after Dr Jane Kreis relocated with her family to Grafton. She will be taking up a new role as the inaugural Director of Theatre Network NSW (TNN). Details of the position are available here.

After four years with Outback Arts, Communications Officer Sam Stratton left her hometown once again to travel. In her farewell message Sam said she had appreciated the education she received about the Indigenous culture of the region and how local Aboriginal artists develop works inspired by their culture and Country has been eye opening. The new communications officer, Amy Wilson, starts in the position on 12 February. Amy graduated from The University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Creative Arts/Media and Communications. She is currently undergoing a Masters of Arts Management at The University of Technology Sydney, is a practising musician and has been an active member of the arts community in Sydney. She is extremely excited about the opportunity to immerse herself in the Outback Arts region.

Brooke Lenon is looking after all the communications matters at Arts OutWest while the popular Maryanne Jacques is on maternity leave.  Brooke’s most recent role was as Gallery Education Officer and Administrator at Cowra Regional Art Gallery. Brooke has a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photomedia) from Australian National University School of Art. She worked on a number of projects in the Northern Territory including the Darwin Fridge (yes, Fridge not Fringe) Festival, Mbantua Fine Arts and coordinated the 2012 Merrepen Arts Festival in Nauiya.

Patrick Healey is the new General Manager of Northern Rivers Performing Arts starting  with the company on 23 February. Emily Berry, who has been NORPA’s General Manager for the last three years, will take on a new role with the company as Executive Producer, working closely with NORPA’s Artistic Director Julian Louis in realising NORPA’s creative projects.