Our Board

CHAIR Bruce Esplin AM

Bruce is a photographer and sculptor who held senior Victorian emergency management positions for over 20 years. For ten years, Bruce was the inaugural Victorian Emergency Services Commissioner. He has been awarded the Centenary Medal and Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for emergency management public service. Other board positions include GreenCross Australia, Outdoors Victoria and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. 

Kaz first joined local government in Melbourne in the mid 1990s. She established the Culture & Leisure Department in the Colac Otway Shire in the late 90s. She is currently the Manager for the Arts & Culture Department of the City of Greater Geelong . Kaz has been a board member of many arts organisations. She was a founding board member of the Cultural Development Network of Victoria and was Vice Chair of RAV when she was last a board member (co-opted back to the Board in 2011). She is a 2012 Churchill Fellow. Before local government Kaz trained as an actor in Australia and the United Kingdom. She subsequently worked as an actor and community theatre worker both in Australia and overseas including four years as producer, actor and teacher with the National Improvisational Theatre Company in New York.

TREASURER Julie Stanley
Bachelor of Commerce; Member, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia; Registered Company Auditor. Julie is a former Assurance & Advisory Partner at Deloitte, having started with the professional services firm as a graduate.  A passionate supporter of the Arts, with a particular interest in visual arts. 

Elise Armitage
Bachelor of Arts – Anthropology and International Development, and currently completing Masters – Ethics and Legal Studies. Elise has extensive management and administrative experience in both public and not-for-profit sectors, across Arts, Health and Tourism. Elise has directed and managed many festivals, events and creative projects across Victoria, and is a practicing artist. 

Peter Giddings
Diploma of Technical Teaching; Graduate Diploma of Education and Training (Technology). Peter is a Member of East Gippsland Shire Council Arts and Culture Strategic Advisory Board; Past President and current committee member Mallacoota Arts Council; and former Chairman, Technical Teachers Registration Board and Teachers Registration Council. He has over twenty years’ experience as a Technical / Secondary Design & Technology Teacher. 

Martin Paten
Bachelor of Arts – Fine Arts in Photography, Graduate Certificate in Corporate Management. Martin is Director of Castlemaine State Festival. He is an artist, arts administrator and director in the public and private sector, and was ten years in a senior management position with City of Melbourne. Martin is Regional Arts Victoria's representative on the Regional Arts Australia board. 

Karen Whitaker-Taylor
Karen has been the Cultural Development Officer at Baw Baw Shire since 2007. She was a representative on the Cultural Tourism Victoria Board from 2008-2012; is a Regional Arts Fund Panel member; (Honorary) Member of the Baw Baw Arts Alliance, and has been involved on the Creative Gippsland Committee since 2004. Karen has a long association with many Community Arts activities in the Baw Baw Shire and also over the wider region through Creative Gippsland and the Gippsland Arts Festival.