The Regional Arts NSW Board of Directors meets in February,May, June, August and November.
Previously a Regional Arts Development Officer/Executive Officer, Arts North West, and Director, Theatre Network NSW, Jane is currently the Services Leader Cultural Development and Programs at Coffs Harbour City Council.
Jane has over 25 years’ experience in the Australian arts & cultural industry and academia. She lives on Bundjalung Country in Grafton on NSW’s North Coast where she is surrounded by incredible natural beauty while working connectedly with her peers and community.
Jane specialises in sustainable, creative practice in Australian arts. Her 2010 research entitled “Together Alone: Conditions for Sustainability in Australian Independent Theatre” was carried out with the Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong. This non-economic framework and her career experience underpin much of her work including her own artistic practice. Jane’s career is driven by her desire to learn and engage particularly through collaborative, creative processes and the strong partnership and action-led outcomes such processes produce.
Jane worked for over 10 years as an actor/director, but her research degrees and experience in French and journalism are equally important to her arts & cultural career. She speaks fluent French and has worked in cultural, educational, research and arts centres in Australia and Europe.
Her previous research and publications (under O’Donnell maiden name) include “The Actor’s Journey: Key Principles of Performance Presence” and “Distance and the Press: A Case Study of New Caledonia”.
Jane was appointed to the board 15 April, 2020.
TREASURER – Ray Davy
Ray was previously Director, Infrastructure and Development, Balranald Shire Council.
Ray has provided consultancy advice to National, State and local governments in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand, as well as playing a policy advisory role to peak local government bodies. A particular focus of his work for the last 20 years has been to enable social and economic development in regional areas.
Ray is a keen supporter of the arts and an advocate for the role of the arts as an enabler of social and economic development in regional areas. He holds a Bachelor Engineering (Civil), University of Sydney and, Bachelor of Legal Studies, Macquarie University.
Ray was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 14 April 2021.
Julia is Director, External Engagement (Bathurst & Orange), Charles Sturt University.
Julia has a consistent career history of achieving results, with diverse experiences across regional development, tourism, the arts, economic development, agriculture and local government. With a reputation for out- the- box thinking, responsive solutions and harnessing the power of relationships for successful outcomes, she has a strong knowledge and understanding of the needs and drivers of regional communities.
Julia holds a Graduate Diploma in Communications (Journalism), Queensland University of Technology and, Bachelor of Arts (Political Science & Art History), Australian National University.
Julia was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 14 April 2021.
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.
DIRECTOR – Adam Wills
Adam is Director, Clarence Valley Conservatorium and President of the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums.
Specialising in percussion, Adam is also an accomplished conductor having worked on productions for Opera Australia, Opera Hunter, Newcastle’s Conservatorium and Festival Operas.
He has led three international show band tours to America, Canada and Europe before performing in musicals and orchestra in the Upper Hunter, as well as a stint in New York.
Adam holds a Bachelor of Music (Hons), and Master of Creative Arts, University of Newcastle.
Adam was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 14 April 2021.
DIRECTOR – Tasha James
Tasha James is a Wiradjuri woman who grew up in Dubbo, Central West NSW. Her homelands cross the region of the lower Bogan River of Wiradjuri Country.
Tasha is ABC Archives Indigenous Unit Manager.
Tasha was previously the Manager of Indigenous Connections at the National Film and Sound Archives of Australia and has over 10 years’ experience working with Indigenous Communities and Indigenous collections that include audio-visual and material culture.
Throughout Tasha’s career, she has had held a number of roles in major cultural institutions such as Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) & the Australian Museum where she worked closely with Indigenous communities by facilitating access to collections to reconnect them with their cultural heritage. She also has worked within Indigenous public programs and outreach which focussed on sharing and educating others about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Tasha was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 28 April 2022
DIRECTOR – Jenny Bennett
With decades of experience volunteering as a driving member of arts organisations in Central NSW, Jenny is currently the Executive Officer of the Central NSW Joint Organisation – a small dynamic team encouraging and nurturing regional sustainability through infrastructure investment and facilitating improvements in operational efficiency and effectiveness for 10 member Councils in the Central NSW region.
Jenny has over 30 years’ experience in the arts & cultural industry in Central NSW. She lives on Wiradjuri Country in Orange.
Jenny brings to the Board decades of experience in building collaboration at the regional level. Her qualifications include a BA, project management and she is a GAICD.
Jenny was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 28 April 2022.
DIRECTOR – Lorrayne Fishenden
Proud Gomeroi Women Lorrayne Fishenden has been a lead arts worker in Regional NSW for more than 10 years developing and delivering many programs and projects that provide direct benefit to regional NSW artists and communities. As a practicing artist Lorrayne works in a variety of mediums but has found a love for expression through resin and using natural resources to inspire her creative practice. Lorrayne has exhibited as an artist in group exhibitions since at Armidale Culture Centre and Keeping Place, Glen Innes Art Gallery, Weswall Gallery and Gunnedah Creative Arts Centre, further she has curated exhibitions at Tamworth Regional Gallery, Bank Art Museum Moree and Yaama Ganu before opening her own gallery called in 2 Rivers in Tamworth.
Lorrayne brings her expertise as a facilitator and mentor who believes that professional development is a key to the economic and social advancement of Aboriginal and Regional communities in Australia. An exceptional communicator, Lorrayne is just as comfortable sitting on the river bank talking to Elders as she is presenting and negotiating with senior business leaders and Government officials. An experienced manager Lorrayne has previously held Executive level positions including CEO and Board positions for Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal organisations. Lorrayne started 2 Rivers in 2014 and is a hands-on Managing Director working at every level in the company and has built a strong and skilled team allowing community greater access to services that serve both Aboriginal and rural communities. Lorrayne has a strong history of working in community to establish their needs and wants then being able to convert this into outcomes.
Lorrayne was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 11 May 2023.
DIRECTOR – Sue Killham
Sue started her careers in Local Government in 1996 as Library Manager for Narrandera Shire Council. Since then she has seen the library evolved from an analog, card-file entity to a well-resourced, purpose built and modern library service. Now, as Manager Community Development & Library she has contributed to the development of Narrandera Shire Council’s Community Strategic Plan, Disability Inclusion Action Plan, Positive Aging Strategy, and the current 2021-2031 Cultural Plan.
Sue is the manager for the Council’s library, two museums and gallery, as well as being the board chair for Regional Arts Development Organisation Western Riverina Arts. She believes in a strong understanding of working with Local and State Government funding bodies and funded organisations in working with and supporting arts practitioners in regional areas.
Sue was appointed to the Regional Arts NSW Board on 11 May 2023