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

Giovanna D’Abaco

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

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.

Diego Ramirez

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

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. 

Madeleine McClelland

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 Mackay

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 O’Neill

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.

Councillor Susanne Newton


Councillor Gaetano Greco


Banner image: Stained glass window by Auguste Fischer. Photo by Artificial Studios.