Creative Victoria is a government body dedicated to supporting, championing and growing the state's creative industries, spanning arts, culture, screen and design.
We are part of the Victorian Government's Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) and report to the Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson MP.
Danny Pearson was sworn in as Victoria's Minister for Creative Industries on 29 September 2020. He has served in the Victorian Parliament since 2014 and is the State Member for Essendon.
He is also the Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Government Services and Minister for Regulatory Reform.
Claire Febey is an experienced and passionate leader with boundless energy and a strong commitment to inclusion and social justice.
She has extensive expertise in public policy, strategy and in the delivery of community services, and has held senior positions at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and not-for-profit organisations such as Save the Children Australia.
In her previous role as Associate Deputy Secretary, Tourism and Events at DJPR, Claire has been responsible for driving Victoria’s economic and social recovery and growth through tourism, events and the visitor economy. This work has a strong intersection with the creative industries.
Claire’s previous work has included leading a review of regional tourism in Victoria, creating a new entity to drive inclusive employment outcomes, and driving outcomes for bushfire affected communities in the aftermath of the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires.
Claire is Chair of the Fitzroy Legal Service, has qualifications in photography, communications, and public policy, and has lived and worked in Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and the Solomon Islands. She started her career as a photographer.
Executive Director, Governance and Infrastructure
Max Coffman leads a branch that is responsible for overseeing Victoria's State-owned creative industries institutions, as well as infrastructure projects across the Creative Industries portfolio. His team is also responsible for Creative Victoria's corporate and financial operations.
Since migrating to Australia from the United States in 2009, Max has held leadership roles in the planning and infrastructure portfolios in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and with the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority which delivers the Metro Tunnel and other transport mega projects.
Max holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University in Oregon. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
His direct reports include the Directors of:
- Strategic Marketing and Communications
- Agencies and Infrastructure
- Melbourne Arts Precinct
Executive Director, Creative Industries
Sam Strong leads the branch responsible for Creative Victoria’s investment in the non-government arts and cultural sector, First Peoples arts and creative practice, and the screen, contemporary music and design industries. He is also responsible for strategy development, research and international engagement. This includes oversight of Creative Victoria’s suite of funding programs and initiatives, and delivery of the Creative State 2025 strategy.
Prior to joining Creative Victoria, Sam was the CEO, co-CEO and Chair of leading arts organisations across the country. His previous positions include Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre and Griffin Theatre Company; Chair of Melbourne Fringe and Circa; and Associate Artistic Director of the Melbourne Theatre Company.
As an award-winning artist, Sam has directed productions for all Australian state theatre companies, Victorian Opera, Belvoir, Griffin, Red Stitch, and the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Festivals.
A graduate of the University of Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts, Sam has been admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in the Supreme Court of Victoria and is currently completing an MBA at AGSM/UNSW.
Director, Communications, Media and Marketing
Lainie Kluska leads a team of marketing, communications and digital specialists that promotes Creative Victoria's programs and initiatives and raises awareness and appreciation of the range, quality and value of Victoria's creative industries.
Lainie is a communications leader with expertise in government relations, issues management and stakeholder engagement, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of Victoria’s creative sector.
She started her communications career in the not-for-profit sector in the UK, before returning home to Melbourne and joining what was then Arts Victoria.
Since then, she has worked on a multitude of projects from city-shaping cultural infrastructure and major events to the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategies.
Lainie has a degree in Marketing and qualifications in Strategic Communications and Engagement.
Director, Melbourne Arts Precinct
Michael leads the development of long-term strategy and infrastructure projects as part of the Victorian Government’s portfolio of State-owned cultural facilities, with a particular focus on the $1.4 billion redevelopment of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.
Previously Michael led the Museum Project Office for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney, spearheading the planning and development activities for the Powerhouse Museum relocation to Parramatta, and led the setup and development of the cultural infrastructure team at Create NSW. Prior to his time in Sydney, Michael was Deputy Director of ACMI. He has consulted for and led major projects for a wide variety of cultural and arts institutions across Australia, Canada and the US, with a focus on infrastructure development, technology, strategy and innovation.
Director, Agencies and Infrastructure
Leanne leads a team of urban planning specialists, finance and governance experts and project and asset managers, overseeing Victoria's State-owned creative organisations and cultural facilities worth over $2.3 billion, and holding a State collection of over $4.8 billion
Before moving to Creative Victoria in 2018, Leanne had a significant career in asset and project management and has been involved in the development and delivery of several significant state infrastructure projects across Victoria with key specialist knowledge in development of strategic business cases, commercial and procurement strategy, and asset management frameworks.
Creative Victoria comprises approximately eighty staff and has four key branches:
- Governance and Infrastructure
- Creative Industries
- Strategy, Screen and Design
- Communications, Media and Marketing
Executive Director, Governance and Infrastructure - Max Coffman
Director, Agencies and Infrastructure - Leanne Seddon
Staffed by urban planning specialists, finance experts and facilities managers, the Agencies and Infrastructure unit oversees Victoria's State-owned creative organisations and is responsible for a portfolio of State-owned cultural facilities and the state collection, worth $7 billion.
The facilities and assets managed by the unit range from Arts Centre Melbourne with its iconic spire to the acoustically perfect Melbourne Recital Centre; the UNESCO World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building to the state of the art circus centre that is home to Circus Oz. The branch also has responsibility for public artworks including the much-loved Keith Haring mural in Collingwood, and the interactive Federation Bells at Melbourne's Birrarung Marr.
Agencies and Infrastructure supports the maintenance and redevelopment of these buildings and public artworks and is responsible for projects ranging from internal fit outs and facilities, to major capital works projects.
The unit is responsible for issues concerning storage and long-term care of Victoria's vast collections, which include everything from Phar Lap's hide to John Brack's iconic artworks; Ned Kelly's armour to Kylie's gold hotpants. It also helps to showcase these collections through digitisation projects.
For the State-owned cultural organisations, the Agencies and Infrastructure unit provides strategic leadership and advice in relation to governance and reporting arrangements, business plans and budgeting, board appointments and legislative reforms. The unit also oversees Creative Victoria's finance and corporate development functions.
Executive Director, Creative Industries - Sam Strong
The Creative Industries group is responsible for leading strategies for the state’s support and development of Victoria’s creative industries, along with the associated design and delivery of the state’s investment into Victoria’s non-government creative industries sector. Comprising experienced creative industries professionals, this is the largest team at Creative Victoria.
The group is responsible for the development and design of Victoria’s strategy for the creative industries in accordance with obligations under the Creative Victoria Act 2017. The state’s creative industries strategy is formally reviewed on a four-yearly basis and guides all state investment into government-owned, not-for-profit and private creative industries organisations, ensuring that state support remains relevant and well-targeted.
The Creative Industries group manages a suite of funding and investment programs and strategic initiatives that contribute to the development and sustainability of Victoria’s creative industries and oversees the online grants application portal.
This includes direct support for individual creative practitioners, independent creative industries businesses and organisations, collectives and micro businesses along with peak body and service organisations, and oversight of two of the state’s screen agencies, VicScreen and Docklands Studios Melbourne. The group is responsible for maintaining and managing partnerships with the Australia Council and the Commonwealth Department of Communications and the Arts along with other state government departments and local government authorities.
In addition, the Creative Industries branch delivers a range of strategic initiatives designed in partnership with industry to drive increased industry and market stability and development and international outreach. These include the Australian Performing Arts Market and the Victorian Music Development Office.
Communications, Media and Marketing
Director, Communications, Media and Marketing - Lainie Kluska
The Communications, Media and Marketing team works to promote Creative Victoria's programs and initiatives and to raise awareness and appreciation of the range, quality and value of Victoria's creative industries.
The team assists the sector to reach new audiences, and to create new markets for Victorian creative products, works and ideas through initiatives such as the Building Audiences Fund. Through the Creative Exchange it helps creative professionals and organisations to strengthen their business capabilities and networks.
Key initiatives for the Communications, Media and Marketing team include Audience Research (Audience Atlas Victoria, COVID19 Audience Outlook Monitor), the DIY Audience Research Toolkit and the Respectful Workplaces program.
Communications, Media and Marketing offers strategic advice and expertise relating to marketing, communications and digital to the Minister for Creative Industries and to artists and creative organisations.
The team also manages Creative Victoria's website, the Victorian Premier's Design Awards site, the Gamesweek Melbourne site, and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Vimeo) and issues a monthly industry eNews.