About Us

Supporting the Arts in Regional Victoria

Regional Arts Victoria backs artists and communities across regional Victoria to make, participate in, and experience creative work.

Regional Arts Victoria is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation working in long-term partnerships with every level of government, fostering contemporary and innovative regional cultural practice. We advise and impact on decision-making across multiple portfolios and levels of government.

Our Vision

Regional creatives leading the way in diverse communities. 

Our Purpose

RAV is the peak body for regional creatives. We enable regional Victorians to make, participate in, and experience creative practice.  Anchored by our members, we activate our networks to inform public policy, identify resources and seek “a seat at the table” for creatives in the decisions that impact them.

Our Values

Leadership, care, transformation, equity and celebration

Regional Arts Victoria’s Constitution

On 2 May 2024, at the Annual General Meeting of Regional Arts Victoria Members a revised constitution was adopted.

Child Safety Standards

Regional Arts Victoria is a Child Safe organisation. View our Child Safety Standard Policy

What We’re Working On

Regional Arts Victoria’s Strategy 2024-2028 sets out a revised strategy that responds to:

  • Demographic and economic changes in regional Victoria.
  • RAV’s current operational structure and financial capacity and the wider economic sector.
  • Regional audiences and their behaviour as well as general economic conditions impacting our sector.

The organisation’s mission has been revised to centre our members, and the relationships among creatives and audiences in regional settings.

Regional Arts Victoria will empower artists, venues and communities in our regions to see their creative practice as a driver of their local community, their creative work as a driver of their local culture, and themselves as drivers of creative places.

We have articulated four strategic initiatives that we will pursue to deliver this mission:

  1. Supporting nodes of capacity
  2. Advocacy and membership
  3. Participation
  4. Strategic Growth and Equity for Good Governance.

Each of these initiatives is outlined in further detail in the Strategy.

Equity Action Plan 2020-2025

RAV’s original Equity Action Plan was drafted in 2020 after RAV participated in the Fair Play Initiative delivered by Diversity Arts Australia. In 2023 the Plan was reviewed to address the interrelated themes of Inclusive Practice and Cultural Safety. Read the Equity Action Plan here.

Our History

Founded in 1969, the Victorian Arts Council began its life as an umbrella body of regional arts councils, serving as the Victorian branch of the Arts Council of Australia (now Regional Arts Australia). Initially, the Victorian Arts Council supported performing arts touring, as well as offering resources and support for its affiliated regional arts councils. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the organisation developed in complexity in response to regional arts needs, and its formal incorporation in 1981 streamlined its business practices.

A comprehensive independent review in the late 1990s undertook valuable work in reflecting on the artistic legacy of the Victorian Arts Council’s first three decades. Its key recommendations centred around the need to create a unique suite of Victorian arts programs, rather than serving as the Victorian branch of the national body.

In response, the organisation’s artistic programming in the 2000s developed sophisticated new focuses in education, cultural partnerships, major projects, and of course touring, in what was fast becoming an increasingly intricate national touring landscape. Government partnerships were strengthened, resulting in devolved grant relationships with all levels of government, as well as partner-funded Regional Arts Development Officer positions.

Today’s organisation is a company limited by guarantee, rebranded as Regional Arts Victoria in 1999. The organisation broadened its vision and its scope to encompass artists and arts organisations across Victoria, connecting artists and communities. Regional Arts Victoria’s current scope encompasses all artforms, all creative practices, and all modes of artistic experience.

Regional Arts Victoria’s Leadership

  Chairs  Directors
1969 – 1976 David Hamer
1977 – 1983 John Riordan
1984 – 1988 Gwendolyn Stainton
1989 – 1990 Bill Cook
1991 – 1996 Brian W Hewitt
1997 – 2002 David Madden
2003 – 2008 Mike Zafiropoulos AM, JP
2009 – 2013 Dennis Goldner
2013 – 2018 Bruce Esplin AM
2018 – 2022 Kath M Mainland CBE
2022 – Present Sue Hunt
  1969 – 1971 Neil Case
  1971 – 1972 Patricia Marshall
  1973 – 1974 Peter Batey
  1975 – 1998 Don MacKay
  1998 – 2004 Peter Matthews
  2004 – 2012 Lindy Allen
  2012 – 2017 Esther Anatolitis
  2017 – 2022 Joe Toohey
  2022 – present Jo Porter

Regional Arts Victoria’s Board

CHAIR Sue Hunt
Sue Hunt was CEO of The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation from 2010 until April 2024. Prior to this Sue was Founding CEO of CarriageWorks; Director of Performing Arts for the Sydney Opera House; General Manager of the Queensland Theatre Company and General Manager of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre.  She is currently Chair of Auspicious Arts Projects, a life member of Live Performance Australia, a Trustee of the Penguin Foundation on Phillip Island and was Deputy Chair of Melbourne’s Rising Festival. 

Tom Molyneux is a Gunditjmara theatre actor, director and playwright living on Wadawurrung Country in Geelong, Australia. He holds degrees in Performing Arts, Law, and Arts Management, and is a graduate of the Executive Indigenous Leaders Program at UNSW. Tom currently works as the Senior Producer, First Nations at Monash University Performing Arts Centres (MPAC) and holds a number of arts governance roles. He received the 2023 Green Room Award for Best Performer (Independent Theatre) for ‘The Mission’, which toured across Victoria in 2019 and then nationally in 2022. He is also a founding member of multi-award-winning theatre ensemble ‘Bloomshed’.

Sally is a finance professional with over twenty years’ experience in the arts and not-for-profit sectors, and Local Government. Currently she is the Community Grants and Partnerships Manager at City of Greater Geelong. Sally has a Bachelor of Commerce and qualified as a Certified Practicing Accountant. She has a background working in the performing arts including as General Manager of Geelong Performing Arts Centre.

Richard Hull
Richard Hull is a producer and organisational leader, passionate about the arts. His early career embraced technical theatre and production before moving into executive management. In London he was manager of several West End theatres and on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a producer with Assembly Theatre. As an independent producer, Richard presented a range of comedy and theatre shows that toured the UK and internationally. In 2006, Richard was appointed Head of Customer Service at Sydney Opera House, a role he held for three years before joining the Sydney Fringe as Festival Director in 2010. Since 2012, Richard has been Chief Executive Officer of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australia’s National Youth Circus. Richard is on the Board of Regional Arts Victoria and Murray Arts, an advisor to Company2 and a committee member of the heritage listed Barnawartha Hall.

Hisham Moustafa
Hisham Moustafa is a business improvement professional, specialising in risk management, governance and strategy, insurance and business continuity. Hisham is currently Assistant Director, Risk, Resilience & Insurance with the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), providing stewardship over the department’s risk, business continuity and insurance programs. Hisham is also an Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee with MCCA Ltd, a mortgage and financial services company with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. When he’s not chasing his kids around the house, he loves to spend time in the great outdoors of Victoria and beyond.

Rebecca Hosking
Rebecca Hosking lives on Gadubanud country on the Surf Coast and whose committee experience includes the role of Acting President of La Trobe University Bendigo’s Student Association, a board member of the High Tide Festival, Festival of Words, Surf Coast Art Space and most recently at the Anglesea Art House Inc (AAH).  Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Philosophy and Literature, participated in the Women’s Program at the Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures, and is currently completing a Diploma of Governance with the Institute of Community Directors Australia.  Rebecca has produced art events alongside facilitating and teaching ecology and environmental education and is a practicing artist.

Mark Avery 
Mark Avery is currently chairman of Fabelo Incorporated a not for profit organisation whose vision is to be a major contributor to the cultural and artistic community of South Gippsland. Fabelo auspices Fishy Stories, the Fish Creek Childrens Festival of Stories and Prom Recitals a South Gippsland classical music promoter. Prior to this Mark worked as a CEO and a Non-Executive Director in the live entertainment industry working with global organisations, corporations and governments. He has produced and promoted 100+ tours, events and shows around the world. Mark has a Masters degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Rohan Morris
Rohan Morris is a practicing multi-disciplinarity artists and curator working in Northern Victoria. A passionate advocate and leader in the arts, Rohan works across multiple industries including not-for-profit, community, corporate, arts, events, education, and health. His passion sees him on various committees including the Magenta Art Prize and Committee of Management for the Northern Mallee Leadership Program. Founder and Creative Director of Workspace 3496 a gallery and workshop space in Red Cliffs and Managing Director of rdot consultants, Rohan has worked in various roles and institutes including Arts Mildura, Mildura Palimpsest Biennale, La Trobe University, Sydney Dance Company, Biennale of Sydney, and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

Karla Conway
Karla Conway is an award-winning director, dramaturg, theatremaker and arts leader. She studied Theatre at the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA and graduated from NIDA (Directing) in 2009. Since then, Karla has worked professionally in numerous leadership roles as Artistic Director & CEO at Canberra Youth Theatre, Acting Executive Director of Warehouse Circus, Program Manager at Canberra Theatre Centre, and as Artistic Director & CEO HotHouse Theatre, where she currently remains AD. She has created numerous innovative works as a theatre maker, including site-specific works for the National Library and the National Gallery of Australia; and has collaborated with artists and companies across the country including on works for: Sydney Opera House, Black Swan State Theatre Company (WA), The Street (ACT), Action Transport Theatre (UK), Canberra Youth Theatre, Warehouse Circus, Long Cloud Youth Theatre (NZ) and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.

Donate to Regional Arts Victoria

Help us to provide support to regional Victorian artists and communities.
All donations are tax deductible.