Promoting the arts
I am a passionate advocate of the arts in Australia. As well as being an artist and author, I was a senior executive in public and private sector roles and have applied the skills gained in those roles to the provision of expert advice on cultural leadership, advising on directions and trends in the arts and on opportunities for collaborative projects that promote the development of the arts in Australia.
I was the Chair of the Gorman House Arts Centre in Canberra, Australia, for many years, and have been on the Frankston Arts Centre Board and the Frankston Arts Board (having played a constructive role in the creation of this Board) for the past nine years. In these roles I have negotiated the relationships between arts bodies and government, and facilitated a strong community interest and involvement in the arts. I understand the intrinsic value of an arts culture in strengthening communities, and the contribution the arts make to improved liveability in cities, as well as creating attractive destinations for business and tourism.
Frankston is beautifully located outside Melbourne. I am proud to report that amongst other things, the Frankston Arts Board persuaded the Council to invest in an impressive sculpture program which will increase significantly in the future as we partner with the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery (a favourite project of the now deceased patron of the arts in Australia, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, mother of Australian-born newspaper mogul, Rupert Murdoch). Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was also a founding patron of the Frankston Arts Centre.
In 2018 and 2019 a street art festival, Big Picture Fest was staged with the full support of the Frankston City Council. I enjoyed the opportunity to promote the young Australian street artists invited to paint the city walls, including Smug, DVate, Order 55, Makatron, Clap Meat Axe and other highly talented international artists such as SatOne (Germany), Peeta (Italy) and Phat One and Diva (New Zealand).