Arts Upper Hunter are thrilled to announce the appointment of John O’Brien as their new Executive Director. John brings with him a range of skills from his varied background in music, film, TV, improvisation, museums, travel writing and community groups.


John was previously the co-coordinator of Dungog Community college for five years, teaching him the importance of matching needs with opportunities and hopes with happenings. His musical life included playing the vibraphone and pianica for trio Fancy and duo The De Factos. Most recently, he has been a founding member of the Performing Artists of Dungog non-profit community group, which is trying to nurture a live performance culture in that Shire.


“Creativity and the arts have been crucial to my life,” says John, “so it’s wonderful to be able to sing the praises of this industry and help strengthen the network round here and build support for others.”


Chair of Arts Upper Hunter, Ivan Skaines, says “our priorities include building on existing partnerships and developing new ones, generally providing day-to-day and strategic support for creative people working in the Upper Hunter, and increasing and diversifying our income.”


“Which is to say,” says John, “to help people reach their hopes and dreams. And how do you do that? It’s all about the local – a strong creative ecosystem is resilient, produces remarkable works, and provides oxygen for everyone.”


Welcome John!

Find out more.