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Introducing Rose Marin, Executive Director at Southern Tablelands Arts

This month we introduce Rose Marin, Executive Director of Southern Tablelands Arts.

Having recently joined the RADO network, Rose sheds some light on how she is finding her feet in the new role, amongst an ever changing creative climate. Rising to the challenges and stimulations of the role, Rose is excited to see how the arts are reinvented in the coming years, and shares with us her creatively written take on what “The Arts are”, to top it all off!


Firstly, welcome to the RADO network! You have only recently joined the team as Executive Director at Southern Tablelands Arts, but can you tell us a little bit about your role, and how you are finding it so far?

Thanks, it’s fabulous to be here. RANSW is an organisation I’ve always admired and to be heading up one of the RADOs is a privilege. Being an Executive Director is a complex mix of servicing multiple communities and art forms.  To me, this equates to challenging and stimulating. The last few months have been one of meeting interesting people and learning about their vision so I know how best STA can support them. I don’t think you could ever get bored in this role, it’s a place I hope to make a real contribution.


Can you describe the arts and culture scene of the Southern Tablelands region?

Diverse and rich. We have top national artists, grassroots amateur community groups and everything in between. The Arts play an intrinsic part of making the Southern Highlands and Tablelands such rich places to live and work, and our six partner councils know and understand this, so there is a lot going on.

Though I’ve lived in the area for more than seven years, this new role is giving me a lens and focus to get the know this place – in twelve months, my answer would be better, and in another five years better again.


Can you tell us about some of the projects that you are working on at the moment, and provide some insight into what exciting projects we can expect to see from the region in 2020 and into 2021?

STA have just packed up the full time office and we are rolling out Mobile Offices throughout our region. It’s a dynamic phase and one that will help connect us to the community, while increasing participation with an understanding of our services.

We are in the middle of a Waste to Art project with Wollondilly Council and are just rolling out the Virtual to Actual Performance Poetry project. It’s primarily delivered online but with performances at two of our regions Writers’ Festivals.  Having more online options are shrinking distances and it’s a huge silver lining to the current situation that STA will carry forward into our planning. STA Screen has just re-started up the movie program and we are booking up a summer of outdoor movie events.

STA are heavily involved with multiple community led and council supported projects such as the Goulburn 2020 program, Indigenous weaving programs and others.

We are also overhauling our online presence with a new website, creative directory and kids’ creative portal. This is happening parallel to a renewed social media emphasis and refreshed newsletter.

For STA 2021 will be a year supporting projects that help us reimagine our world and rebuild the connections as we emerge from the pandemic. While there are some projects in store, I think 2021 will be a year of reinvention, and that is exciting!


From droughts to floods, fires and now a global health pandemic, Regional Australia has faced many challenges over the past few years, and all have taken a toll on our communities. How have the artists and organisations across the Southern Tablelands responded to constant change and challenge; and how do you think the Arts and creative practices can support, inspire or relieve people in times of uncertainty?

Yep it’s been a super tough year. I have found that whatever the challenge, the arts community is there to support people through their fears and pain, but most of all the arts offer hope and provide powerful vehicles for expression and shared experience.

The arts sector is always part of a community’s healing after adversity, even while the artists and creatives themselves are some of the hardest hit. It’s darn hard work and creatives need to look after themselves as well. STA has always had a strong arts health focus, and to continue this tradition we have partnered up with Yass Valley artist, Camile Kersley on a project for creatives to look after themselves while they help others.

While I believe in arts as a healing force, to say this is arts purpose would be like describing a forest as the branch of one tree – all be it an important one. At the risk of becoming overly sentimental, I’d like to sign off with some words I wrote a while back in an effort to articulate this sentiment better.

The ARTS are:
The reason to go out in the morning
A place worth going to
The light at the end of the tunnel
Where we find answers to all our questions
Art makes us dangerous and hard to control
Creativity makes us think

Reminds us why we are here and what we are capable of

Art is thoughtfulness made real
The best of our potential
A celebration to share with those you love and those you don’t know
The ARTS are what we wish for and how we wish