Art and Heritage Advisory Panel
Learn more about our Arts and Heritage Advisory Panel members.
The Art and Heritage Advisory Panel provides expert advice and support to achieving the visual art, public art and heritage interpretation projects, services and activities that our Council provides to our community.
Specifically, the panel focuses on:
- Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, strategic vision and direction for Darebin’s public art gallery and heritage house
- Darebin Art Collection, oversight of the Darebin Art Collection Policy and expert advice on acquisitions and commissions
- public Art, oversight of policy in relation to artwork and creativity in public spaces and expert advice on acquisitions, commissions and new opportunities for art to interact with the public realm.
- financial sustainability, funding streams and investment opportunities including guidance on Bundoora Homestead Foundation Fund, growing the fund and spending decisions.
Kirsten has over 20 years’ experience working as a consultant and arts manager, across the public and private sector. She is currently working for mpconsulting, a small Carlton based firm that specialises in the provision of strategic planning, review and evaluation services.
Prior to joining mpconsulting, Kirsten managed the Australia Cultural Fund at Creative Partnerships Australia. She co-authored the book "Building Relationships and Securing Donations: A Guide for the Arts".
She has worked in private galleries, including Niagara Galleries in Melbourne, and currently runs two art collecting groups committed to purchasing contemporary Australian art.
Giovanna D’Abaco has 30 years' experience in managerial roles in the arts, culture and tourism sectors. This includes nine years at Tourism Victoria (now Visit Victoria) and 26 years at State Library Victoria as Events/Program Manager.
Giovanna spent three years in London where she worked as an account manager for public relations consultancies. Clients include the City of Lyon and Tourism New South Wales.
Sue Thornton is creative producer and arts management professional. With a background in performing arts and stage production, Sue is drawn to projects that champion the arts, activate public spaces, connecting people and communities.
Currently employed at the University of Melbourne, Sue has produced major public performances, symposia, seminars, launches and conferences for the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).
Recent major events that Sue has produced include Art 150, a year-long celebration of 150 years of art at the VCA; Dance 40, a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Dance at the VCA and the official launch of the Stables, the VCA’s innovative complex of student studios and exhibition spaces.
Kade Mcdonald is the Executive Director of Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation and was the Coordinator for Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts and Cultural Centre for 6 years.
Mcdonald is the Australian Project manager and co-curator for the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum at the University of Virginia USA, for the exhibition, Madayin scheduled for 2020. He was also appointed by the Art Gallery of South Australia as the Producer for the 2019 Tarnanthi Festival.
McDonald was the founding Director of Bus Projects, Melbourne in 2001 and has been appointed to several committees including The Ministry for the Arts, The Australian Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria (Chair) and Arts NT Visual Arts. McDonald is an appointed Expert Examiner for the Moveable Heritage Act on behalf of the Federal Government.
Diego Ramirez makes art, writes about culture, and labours in the arts.
In 2018, he showed his video work in a solo screening by ACCA x ACMI and he performed in Lifenessless at West Space x Gertrude Contemporary in 2019.
His work has been show locally and internationally at MARS Gallery, ACMI, Westspace, Torrance Art Museum, Hong-Gah Museum, Careof Milan, Buxton Cotntemporary, WRO Media Art Biennale, Human Resources LA, Art Central HK, Sydney Contemporary, and Deslave.
His words feature in Art and Australia, NECSUS, un Projects, Runway Journal, Art Collector, and Australian Book Review. He is represented by MARS Gallery, Editor-at-large at Running Dog and Gallery Manager at SEVENTH.
Ramona Barry has a diverse arts background specialising in craft and design that is firmly rooted in a community context.
She was the facilitator of the highly successful Craft Lab, Craft in the Gardens and Camp Craft series at Bundoora Homestead.
She is the General Manager (People, Projects & Programs) at Bridge Darebin a community-based organisation that delivers a diverse range of programs from fine art/craft classes and workshops, makers market, social enterprise café, and pre-accredited training. Ramona also maintains her own craft-based art practice with a focus on textile technique and design.
Sophie Cassar is an emerging artist and writer, having recently completed an honours degree in Art History and Contemporary Art Theory at Monash University. Her practice considers the intersection of feminist theory and disability studies, with training in disability arts access.
Sarah Werkmeister is a curator, writer, editor and researcher based between Melbourne and Brisbane.
She has written extensively and worked with Next Wave, QUT Art Museum, Shepparton Art Museum, YIRRAMBOI Festival, Public Art Melbourne and more. She has edited publications around the environment (Ecologising Museums, 2016) and feminism (Feminisms, 2018) with L’Internationale Online, and co-edited a chapter on the 13th Istanbul Biennial in I Can’t Work Like This (2017).
Her research interests encompass conceptions of public space, representations of nationhood in public art collections, and the climate. She holds a Masters of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.
Madeleine is an accomplished arts manager with expertise in local government and community cultural development. She currently works as the Arts Engagement & Development Team Leader at Melton City Council. Madeleine has skills in identifying community needs, facilitating program development and nurturing partnerships to support desired outcomes.
Bridie is a communications and pr specialist with extensive experience in corporate health, education and the arts.
Her work history focuses on roles that bring the Arts and Health sectors together, in particular working with children and young people. Bridie currently works as the Account Director at That Communications Company.
Jane is a curator and founder of Art Aficionado Tours. She has experience in tourism, audience development, and public art. Jane has worked as a freelance curator across municipal, university, commercial and artist-run sectors within Australia since 1996 my experience includes the curation of more than fifty projects. She currently works as the Public Art Officer at Maroondah City Council.
Sean is a Kuku Yalanji man. He is a traditional singer, dancer, and digeridoo player. Sean has over 30 years of experience as a traditional performer across Australia and internationally. Sean has expertise in tourism, hospitality and cultural engagement and education. He has worked as a curator and interpretive guide at the MCA & Art Gallery of NSW.
For the past 3 years, Sean has established a working relationship with the Wurundjeri Lands Council, providing traditional performances in dance, song and didgeridoo at community events.
Veronica is the CEO of Multicultural Arts Victoria. Previously, for nine years, was the Executive Director of Arts Access Victoria, the state’s leading arts and disability organisation. Through her work, she has led an ambitious agenda of social and artistic transformation for people with a disability and the communities in which they live.
With a passion for social justice and equity, she has spearheaded campaigns relating to the inclusion of all people in arts and culture, as audiences and cultural innovators. Veronica has a successful history of employment at senior levels in the not-for-profit sector, with a major focus on policy and advocacy.
Councillor Susanne Newton
Councillor Lina Messina
Banner image: Stained glass window by Auguste Fischer. Photo by Artificial Studios.