29 May 2019

Music powerhouse Adam Briggs, fashion designer Lisa Barron, media and marketing guru Russel Howcroft and game developer Lisy Kane are among the twenty Victorians appointed to a new advisory group that will help shape the Victorian Government’s strategy and investment in the creative industries from 2020.

melbourne at night

The group will help develop Victoria’s next four-year creative industries strategy, following the landmark Creative State, launched in 2016 and now in its final year. The strategy’s 40 actions and $115 million investment has ensured Victoria’s creative and cultural offering remains the strongest in the country.

The group brings together established and emerging creative industries leaders spanning artforms, creative disciplines, commercial, community and academic settings, and a broad range of areas of interest and expertise.

Members include dance artist Rosalind Crisp and multi-talented writer Alison Croggon - who each have 30 years’ professional experience - alongside emerging producer and community arts worker Lana Nguyen and spoken word artist and author Abraham ‘Abe’ Nouk who was illiterate when he and his family arrived in Australia in 2004.


Image of Lisa BarronLisa Barron - Fashion Designer and Director, Lisa Barron Pty Ltd

Lisa Barron is a fashion designer and business owner whose career began in the early 80s when Lisa personally made and supplied her garments to niche boutiques around Melbourne, 35 years later Lisa is an Australian fashion success story with her own store and national distribution.

Alongside her career successfully navigating the fast moving and fickle fashion industry, Lisa is committed to furthering opportunities for women and embracing diversity in the arts. She is a current founding member of the International Women’s Forum Australia, an ambassador for C2 Melbourne, and a member of the Women Deliver Conference Advisory Panel.

Image of Nicole BeyerNicole Beyer (Deputy Chair) - Executive Director, Theatre Network Australia

Nicole Beyer is the founding director of Theatre Network Australia, an influential national service organisation for small-to-medium and independent performing arts, with a dedicated Victorian program.  Nicole was awarded the Sidney Myer Facilitator’s Prize in 2018 for her advocacy work leading Free The Arts, and she has held leadership roles with ArtsPeak national and Arts Industry Council (Vic).

Nicole's past positions include CEO roles at Back to Back Theatre and Arts Access Victoria. Nicole was also on the inaugural Creative State Advisory Board 2015-2018. Nicole has a Masters of Public Policy and Management (MPPM), Monash University.


Caroline Bowditch 2Caroline Bowditch - Chief Executive Officer, Arts Access Victoria

Performance artist and choreographer Caroline Bowditch describes herself as a performer, maker, teacher, speaker and mosquito buzzing in the ears of the arts industry.

After 16 years living and working in the UK Caroline returned to Australia in 2018 to take up the role as CEO at Arts Access Victoria.  In addition to creating her own works for audiences of all ages, Caroline has led creative residencies in Italy, Switzerland, Mozambique and Germany.

She is a respected consultant on accessibility and inclusivity and is regularly invited to mentor local, national and international artists at all levels of their artistic development.


Image of Adam BriggsAdam Briggs - Founder and CEO, Bad Apples Music

Adam Briggs is a Yorta Yorta man and a multidisciplinary artist working as a musician, writer, actor, comedian and creative business leader.

Adam is ARIA award winning artist whose music has contributed to the new wave of Australian hip-hop. In 2015 he founded Bad Apples Music, the first Indigenous owned and operated record label in Australia.  He is also Founding Director of the Barpirdhila Foundation, a newly established foundation to nurture and promote Aboriginal excellence within the arts.

Beyond music, Adam is a writer for the Netflix animated series Disenchantment, wrote and performed in sketch comedy series Black Comedy, and is a regular on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.


Image of Erin CastellasErin Castellas - Chief Impact Officer, Impact Investment Group

Dr Erin Castellas is the Chief Impact Officer for Impact Investment Group, a group that works to invest in and manage funds for projects that blend financial returns with deep social and positive environmental impact.

Erin has more than 15 years’ experience working at the interface between social, environmental and economic outcomes. She has worked as a university researcher and lecturer on sustainability measurement and social impact and built her own sustainability consulting practice where she led projects in the US, India and Australia, primarily in the area of clean tech.

Erin also currently holds a position as adjunct fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University.


Vicki CouzensVicki Couzens - Interdisciplinary artist, Vice Chancellor Indigenous Research Fellow, RMIT University

Dr Vicki Couzens is a Keerray Wurrong woman from the Western Districts of Victoria with a practice that spans painting, installation, visual arts, printmaking, mixed media, performing arts, language, ceremony and teaching. She is widely known for her central role in the revival of the possum skin cloak making tradition which began in Victoria and is now established across south-eastern Australia.

Vicki has worked in Aboriginal community affairs for almost 40 years and is actively involved in leadership roles in the Indigenous arts and cultural industry. She is dedicated to the reclamation, regeneration and revitalisation of cultural knowledge and is currently a Vice Chancellors Indigenous Research Fellow at RMIT University.


Image of Rosalind CrispRosalind Crisp - Dancer and Choreographer, Omeo Dance

Rosalind Crisp is one of Australia's most respected dance artists who has worked for thirty years to generate numerous dance works informed by her rigorous and experimental engagement with the materiality of the body. In 1996 in Sydney Rosalind founded the Omeo Dance studio, a home to contemporary dance research, which she operated for ten years.

In 2003 Rosalind was invited to Paris where she became the first choreographic associate of the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson. The Atelier managed and toured her Paris-based company for ten years. In 2016 France awarded Rosalind a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Dame of the Arts) for her services to dance. She currently lives and works between East Gippsland and Europe.


Image of Alison CroggonAlison Croggon - Writer, critic and editor

Alison Croggon is an award-winning novelist, poet, librettist, critic and the co-editor and founder of Witness – a curated critical website for the performing arts.

Alison has 30 years’ experience reviewing performance for outlets such as the Australian, the ABC and The Monthly and generated an international reputation as a performance critic with her influential blog Theatre Notes.

Alison has published eight collections of poetry and several novels, including the acclaimed fantasy quintet The Books of Pellinor, Black Spring and The River and the Book. She has written libretti for eight critically acclaimed operas and in 2019, her play My Dearworthy Darling will be produced by The Rabble and Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne.


Image of Treahna HammDr. Treahna Hamm - Contemporary artist and Artist in Residence, Catholic Education

Dr. Treahna Hamm is an internationally renowned and award-winning Yarrawonga/Mulwala contemporary Aboriginal artist. She rejects the hierarchy of artforms as a Western bourgeois construct and embraces a multi-disciplinary practice that works to reinforce and reaffirm Aboriginal culture.

Possum skin cloak maker, printmaker, sculptor, weaver, and painter, Treahna allows the medium to take her on a journey, exploring the intersection of identity, belonging, culture and history.

Treahna has exhibited extensively since beginning her practice in 1982. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Visual Arts from Charles Sturt University and recently completed her PhD Philosophy (Education) at RMIT University.


Image for Russel HowcroftRussel Howcroft - Partner and Chief Creative Officer, PwC

A leader in brand marketing and media, Russel Howcroft is a Partner and Chief Creative Officer at PwC where he works to explore how creativity can drive business growth through strategic, accountable and bold marketing. Russel has over 30 years career experience working with many of Australia's, and the world’s, most iconic brands, rising to the role of CEO of advertising agency Y&R ANZ before being appointed the Executive General Manager of Network TEN.

Russel has held a number of important advisory and leadership roles, including a successful tenure as Chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia, and inaugural Chairman of Think TV. Russel is the Chair of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, is well-known as a media commentator, has published a book, and is a regular panellist on ABC1’s Gruen.


Image of Martyn HookMartyn Hook - Dean, School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Partnerships, College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University

Professor Martyn Hook is Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Partnerships in the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He also holds the position of Dean at RMIT's School of Architecture & Urban Design and is Professor of Architecture.

Martyn is a passionate advocate for a maintaining a strong and critical relationship between architectural practice and education. In addition to his work at RMIT, Martyn is a director of multi-award winning architecture studio iredale pedersen hook architects, which has offices in Melbourne and Perth and is dedicated to designing sustainable buildings with a responsible environmental and social agenda.


Image for Lisy KaneLisy Kane - Videogame Producer, League of Geeks

Lisy Kane is a videogame producer at Victorian studio League of Geeks. In 2017, Lisy was recognised by Forbes in its prestigious “Forbes 30 Under 30 - Games” list, ranking her alongside the world’s best game makers. Lisy was the only Australian to make the ‘who’s who’ of the global gaming industry.

In 2014, Lisy joined forces with four other digital professionals to co-found Girl Geek Academy with a mission to teach one million women to get into tech and launch their own startups by 2025.

Girl Geek Academy is behind Australia’s first all-women hackathon, #SheHacks, #SheMakesGames and #SheHacksGames.


Image of Helen Marcou AMHelen Marcou AM - Co-founder, Bakehouse Studios and Co-founder, SLAM

Helen Marcou AM is a curator, producer, speaker, mentor and agitator who has spent decades at the coalface of Australian music culture.

Alongside her long-term partner Quincy McLean, Helen co-founded the renowned recording and rehearsal space Bakehouse Studios and she co-founded SLAM (Save Live Australia’s Music), a grassroots movement to rally against laws and regulations that negatively impact the music industry.

In 2018 and 2019 Helen was named as one of the ‘Power 50’, a list of Australia’s most influential people in music and in 2019 she was recognised with an Order of Australia for her contribution to music and the arts.


Image of Lana NguyenLana Nguyen - Executive Producer, Due West Arts Festival

Lana Nguyen is an emerging creative producer, community arts worker and artist based around Naarm (Melbourne). She is currently Executive Producer of the Due West Arts Festival in Melbourne’s inner west. She is passionate about practice that is rooted in collaboration, deep listening and place.

Recent projects Lana has worked on include the MoreArt Public Art Show, a community-centred site-specific festival with Moreland City Council.

She also was the dramaturg for La Nonna, a theatre piece exploring the intersection of queer and immigrant identity, which premiered as part of the 2018 Midsumma Festival, and Planning Atlantis, a site-specific performance that explored the impact and future of Melbourne’s rapidly-growing suburb Docklands.


Image of Abe NouAbe Nouk - Spoken-word poet and author

Abraham ‘Abe’ Nouk is a celebrated spoken-word poet, hip-hop fanatic, MC and author. He is also the founder and director at Creative Rebellion Youth, a free 24-hour recording studio in Collingwood, Melbourne.

Born in Sudan, Abe was illiterate when he and family arrived in Australia in 2004 under the UN High Commission Refugee Status and has since made a name for himself as an award-winning author and performer of written words.

Abe has been a finalist in the Australian Poetry Slam numerous times, performed at the Sydney Opera House and has independently published two poetry collections Humble (2013) and Dear Child (2014).


Image of Katrina SedgwickKatrina Sedgwick (Deputy Chair) - Director and CEO, ACMI

Katrina Sedgwick is the Director/CEO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Prior to joining ACMI, Katrina was Head of Arts for ABC Television and ABC Arts online.

From 2002 to 2011, Katrina was the founding Director/CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival and its investment fund which was established to support Australian features, documentaries, shorts, cross-platform and installation works. Katrina has held key artistic positions at a number of arts festivals in South Australia and was Chair of the South Australian Youth Arts Board from 2003 to 2008.

Katrina is currently on the board of Back to Back Theatre and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.


Image of Ross SymonsRoss Symons - Founder and CEO, Big Ant Studios

Ross Symons is a video game and entertainment software development pioneer with a professional history that stretches back over forty years, when he first authored a number of internationally published books on programming, graphics, and games.

Ross is the founder and CEO of Big Ant Studios - one of Melbourne, and Australia’s, largest studios – where he was worked with the AFL, NRL, the Don Bradman Foundation, Cricket Australia and Tennis Australia to produce games based on much loved sports and sporting heroes.

Ross is the longest serving board member of the Game Developers Association of Australia and one of the founders of Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP).


Image of Peter TullinPeter Tullin - Co-Founder, REMIX Summits

Peter Tullin is the Co-Founder of REMIX Summits which explores the intersection of culture, technology and entrepreneurship, and CultureLabel.com, a venture-capital-funded e-commerce site that sold art and design products from leading culture brands such as Tate and the V&A.

Peter is co-author of Intelligent Naivety, which helps creative entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality. He helped develop ACMI X, ACMI's co-working space for the creative industries, and has collaborated with State Library Victoria on a range of projects including StartSpace, a new hub supporting early-stage entrepreneurs.

Peter has also spent time at Google, helping to create the Google Cultural Institute in Paris. He is a board member of Museums Victoria and Geelong Performing Arts Centre.


Image of Fiona TuomyFiona Tuomy - Writer, director and producer

Fiona Tuomy is an award-winning screenwriter, director, producer and developer. As well, as being a creative practitioner, Fiona has worked in a diverse range of leadership and educational roles across the screen, arts, literary and disability sectors.

In 2012 Fiona was employed by Arts Access Victoria to establish the award winning Write-ability – writers with disability program in partnership with Writers Victoria. Over a five year period, Fiona’s ongoing work on this program has established her as a leader in the design and delivery of disability led arts programs (which are now being used as best practice examples on a national and international scale). Currently Fiona is Artistic Director of The Other Film Festival and buoyed by her participation in Screen Australia’s Seeing Ourselves: Developing the Developer initiative, Fiona is developing a bold slate of disability-led screen projects.


Image for Angharad Wynne-JonesAngharad Wynne-Jones - Head of Creative Engagement, Arts Centre Melbourne

Angharad Wynne-Jones is the Head of Creative Engagement at Arts Centre Melbourne where she leads a team of creative producers to create innovative participative arts programs that are artist led, accessible and inclusive, engage with young people, promote creative learning and activate public spaces.

From 2011-2017 Angharad was Artistic Director at Melbourne contemporary performance space Arts House and she was a lecturer for NIDA’s Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) course from 2014-2017, which she co-designed. Angharad is also Founder Director of Tipping Point Australia, an arts and sustainability network activates cultural responses to climate change.