Regional Arts NSW
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Background and Brief History

Executive Directors were originally employed by the Head Office of the Arts Council of NSW in the 1980s. The first Executive Directors were employed to work in the Central West, South Coast, Far West and South West Regions.  (For more detail on the history of the Arts Council of NSW, please see Fifty Years in the Bush by Justin McDonnell, published in 1998 and available from RANSW.)

In 1998 following a review of the organisation by Justin McDonnell, the Arts Council of NSW was restructured to incorporate two major changes:


1. A new organisational structure

Instead of a head office with a membership of over 100 Local Arts Councils, individual regions were established in rural and regional areas of the State to accommodate the vast differences in the need for arts and cultural development services.  Currently, the structure incorporates 14 regions. Each region is represented by an autonomous Regional Arts Development Organisation. The Executive Director is employed directly by their Regional Arts Development Organisation.  The new name for the Arts Council of NSW, Regional Arts NSW, was launched in 1999 and reflects the new regional, non-metropolitan focus.


2. A new role and way of working

Regional Arts Development Organisations now undertake the programming and planning that meets the needs of each region and maintain relationships with local councils and shires, local arts councils, arts and cultural groups, arts organisations, indigenous groups and institutions (such as Regional Art Galleries), arts educational services and other regional service deliverers.  Each Regional Arts Development Organisation employs an Executive Director and other ancillary staff as needed.  RANSW maintains a partnership with Regional Arts Development Organisations to provide services and resources that support the work of the Regional Arts Development Organisations.  RANSW and Executive Directors work co-operatively and collaboratively in order to achieve the best outcomes for all parties.  RANSW services and resources are continually refined to meet the needs of Executive Directors where possible.