Regional Arts NSW
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The Regional Arts NSW Board of Directors meets in March, April, July, September and November.

Stephen Champion

Stephen Champion has been the Manager of the Bathurst Memorial  Entertainment Centre since 2003 and has worked professionally in the performing  arts for thirty four years.  As a  performer he was a core member of Circus Oz in its first six years, devised his  own works and performed with many groups including the Meryl Tankard Dance  Theatre, the Nimrod Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company.  Stephen was an Associate Director with the  Second Studio of Wroclaw, Poland (1986) and Associate Director and then Artistic  Director of Jigsaw Theatre Company in Canberra  (1988 – 1994).  He has been a trainer for  many companies including The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, La Boite Youth Theatre  and NIDA.  Prior to moving to Bathurst, Stephen  was Domain Manager for the Sydney Festival for seven years, a Production  Manager for the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival and Venue Manager of the Domain  Live Site for the Olympic Coordination Authority.

Stephen was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 6 September 2012.

Deputy Chair
Julie Briggs

Julie has worked closely with business and government for fifteen years, initially as Manager of the Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce, then as Executive Officer of the Wagga Wagga Business Enterprise Centre. In the latter role Julie assisted thousands of business and prospective business people to explore their business ideas, develop business plans and establish businesses throughout the Riverina region.

Julie has a strong background in strategic planning and business planning. Recently completing corporate plans for Bland Shire Council and Goldenfields Water County Council as well as completing an audit of facilities and services across the Albury-Wodonga ACC region which the led to the preparation of an action plan for the 10 councils involved. As Executive Officer of the Wagga Wagga BEC Julie prepared business studies for the business incubators that were established by that Organisation as well as working on the feasibility studies for a Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Facility and a Technology Park.

Julie was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 14 April 2016.

David Dwyer

David Dwyer is the Director Community Services at Dubbo City Council.  In this role he manages an extensive portfolio including Cultural Services, the Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre, The Old Dubbo Gaol Museum, Social Services, Recreation Services, Health Services, Library Services, Child Care, Sister City Relationships and Cemeteries. With over 39 years experience in local government at Newcastle City, Singleton Shire, Deniliquin Municipal and Dubbo City Councils he has a wealth of knowledge on government / community relationships. David has graduate and post graduate qualifications in local government from Charles Sturt University.  David has overseen the cultural development of Dubbo since the early 1990s and has been involved in significant projects such as the construction and initial staffing and management of the Western Plains Cultural Centre and Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre; the development of Dubbo Cultural Plans; the establishment of a Dubbo Cultural Forum; the commencement of a Multi Cultural Festival; close involvement in the initial establishment of Orana Arts; and providing advice and guidance to numerous local cultural organisations.  David has a passion for grass roots cultural development and providing support and assistance to community groups to achieve their aspirations.

David was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 15 April 2015.

Ben Roche

Ben Roche is the Director of Engagement at Southern Cross University. In this position he has responsibility for a suite of portfolios that focus on connecting SCU’s research and teaching strengths with the sustainable development needs of its communities. He provides leadership and advice to drive engagement strategies and cultivate key relationships and networks to realise the University’s strategic priorities whilst optimising community benefit, impact and exchange.

As a human geographer, Ben is passionate about participatory approaches to sustainable development and the role that education and engagement can play in creating resilience, capacity and well-being in communities. He has taught, researched and practised in the areas of community-based learning, participatory planning, sustainable development and community engagement. Ben continues to provide advice to a range of organisations and governments on strategic approaches to education, engagement and development.

Ben’s contribution to community engagement in higher education, specifically service learning in built environment disciplines, was recognised through a Carrick Citation in 2008 and that same year he was the recipient of the Edith Cowan Authentic Learning Award from the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Ben is the Chair of Engagement Australia and Deputy Chair of Regional Arts NSW.

Ben was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 18 April 2013.

Sharni Jones

Sharni Jones is an Aboriginal woman from the Kabi Kabi and Waka Waka Nations of south east Queensland on her maternal side. Sharni spent her formative years in the Illawarra region of NSW – the traditional homelands of the Dharawal people, where her family still resides.

She has deep knowledge of and extensive engagement in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural sector, with specialisations in contemporary visual arts practice, strategic policy development and stakeholder engagement. She is a highly-networked facilitator with 20 years of professional practice.

Sharni is the Manager, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection, Australian Museum in Sydney. Previously, Sharni managed the strategic development and implementation of the NSW Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Strategy 2015-18 Connection, Culture Pathways as the Senior Aboriginal Cultural Development Officer at Arts NSW and has held other government agency positions in the NSW Department of Education, TAFE NSW and NSW Heath.

Her qualifications include a Master of Arts Administration (College of Fine Arts UNSW), Bachelor of Creative Arts (University of Wollongong) and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (Northern Sydney Institute).

Sharni has participated on a range of committees including the Carriageworks Aboriginal Advisory Group, the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Reforms Interagency Working Group led by the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Senior Executive Committee led by Aboriginal Affairs, the Australia Council for the Arts – Arts Leadership Reference Group, the National Arts and Cultural Accord Indigenous Art and Culture Working Group and prior board membership at Information and Cultural Exchange, Parramatta (2012-2013).

She is passionate advocate for First Peoples arts-led practice, fostering and championing practice through leadership, excellence and exchange.

Sharni was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 20 April 2017.

Nicholas Pickard

Nicholas Pickard is the Executive Director of Public Affairs at APRA AMCOS, Australia and New Zealand’s music rights organisation representing 100,000 members who are songwriters, composers and music publishers. Prior to this, he was the Director of Corporate Affairs at Copyright Agency. Nicholas has managed the profile and reputation of organisations and public figures across government, transport and infrastructure, creative industries and the media for over a decade. A former journalist, theatre critic and adviser to federal and state government ministers, his experience includes orchestrating the narrative and communications plans of everything from Heathrow Airport’s expansion campaign, the Creative Australia national cultural policy, Local Government urban rejuvenation projects to ministerial delegations, change management strategies and arts festivals.
Nicholas’ first love is theatre and live performance, a passion which saw him receive scholarships to study theatre directing at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and theatre theory in Manchester and Oxford, UK. Nicholas is also on the Board of the Australian Society of Authors.
Nicholas was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 6 July 2017.

Paul Scott-Williams

Paul Scott-Williams is the current Director of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium. He has an extensive background as a performer, arts educator and arts advocate. He studied at the NSW State Conservatorium in the 1980’s and went on to achieve a Masters Degree in performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) and most recently completed a Masters in Counselling at Monash University, Melbourne.

Paul was a founding member of Aitken College in Melbourne, which now offers a broad education to approximately 1400 students in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs. Paul has taught music, drama, dance and circus skills to students from early childhood to adults and served on the Victorian State Subject Association Boards for Music and Drama for a number of years. He took a leading advocacy role in the development and implementation of Music Technology in Education as a member of Soundhouse Australia, winning the national Alfred Brasch Award in 2004.

Paul was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 14 April 2016.

Sarah Parsons

Sarah Parsons is the current Creative Producer/CEO of Outback Theatre for Young People in Deniliquin, a role that sees her design and deliver projects with regional and remote communities across a 30,000 square km area of South West NSW. Most of her arts practice to date has been dedicated to arts in counter-urban areas, and Sarah is fiercely passionate about theatre for young people, community driven work, advocating for regional based practice and sustainable arts engagement in remote and regional Australia.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Theatre and Media), an Honours degree (specialising in Theatre for Young People), and a Bachelor of Teaching (Drama) from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. Sarah began her career by writing, designing, directing, performing in and touring Theatre in Education shows to most of Central West NSW with Stuck in the Mud Productions, a theatre company she co-established in 2005.
In the past, Sarah has been engaged as Lecturer of Theatre for Young People at Charles Sturt University, Director of the Bathurst Theatre Company’s Youth Theatre, Education Facilitator for Jigsaw Theatre Company (Canberra), and Workshop Manager for Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). During her time in Sydney, Sarah directed three shows for ATYP: Compass (2013), Luke Lloyd: Alienoid (2014) and The Voices Project: Between Us (2015), and was the Assistant Director on Max Remy Super Spy (2012) and MROCK (2014, with Sydney Theatre Company).
Sarah was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 19 April 2018.

Bridget Guthrie

Bridget Guthrie has worked in gallery, museums and the cultural development sector for nearly 20 years throughout the north west of NSW, southern NSW and is now based in Tamworth. Bridget is currently the Director of the Tamworth Regional Gallery & Museums. Previously she held the role of Museum Coordinator at AlburyCity and prior to that was Collections Coordinator for the Albury Regional Art Gallery and the LibraryMuseum. Bridget Guthrie’s professional experience has included curating over 30 visual arts and museum exhibitions, expensive collection management and strategic planning for both Galleries and Museums. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Graduate diploma in Museum Studies through Deakin University.
Bridget was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 18 April 2018.