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.
Regional Arts Victoria is the peak body for regional artists and arts organisations, and the leading organisation for regional creative practice in Victoria.
Regional Arts Victoria’s Constitution
On 8 December 2022, at a Special General Meeting of Regional Arts
Victoria Members, members adopted a revised constitution.
What We’re Working On
Regional Arts Victoria’s 2021-25 Strategic Framework outlines externally-facing (1-3) and one internally-focused (4) Objectives, each with Intended Outcomes and planned Activities:
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.
- Regional Partnerships: Victorian regions equipped with locally-relevant creative strategies, personnel and resources;
- Programming: Artists exchanging experiences with regional communities;
- Strategic Initiatives: Artist-led responses to significant issues facing regional Victoria; and,
- Governance and Policy: A well-governed organisation trusted and respected by our communities and partners.
Each of these Objectives is outlined in further detail in the Strategic Framework you can download here
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
|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
CHAIR Sue Hunt
Sue is CEO of The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. 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 Trustee of the Penguin Foundation on Phillip Island and was Deputy Chair of Melbourne’s newest arts Festival, Rising.
DEPUTY CHAIR Rebecca Brezzi
Rebecca has degrees and qualifications in law, psychology and business systems. She is a barrister at the Victorian Bar and has taught in the areas of commercial, administrative and corporate law. Before becoming a lawyer, Rebecca was a senior project manager with the carriage of change management projects in the telecommunications, energy and IT sectors. Rebecca served 5 years (4 as chair) on the board of Express Media, a not for profit organisation promoting young Australian writers.
TREASURER Victoria Crane
Victoria is an experienced banking and risk professional and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws (Hons). Having formerly held roles with ANZ Institutional Bank and Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens Linklaters), Victoria is now the General Manager – Operations at Learning for Life Autism Centre.
Jes John is one of the co-operators of Foundry, a not-for-profit arts co-operative retail store + gallery space, specialising in showcasing art made by artists living + working on GunaiKurnai country. Foundry is located in downtown Bairnsdale, and has spent the past seven years growing from strength to strength. Taking the lead in all things art-admin, Jes now also works as a bookkeeper for the East Gippsland Art Gallery. Although she is currently taking a small hiatus from the working world to raise a curious toddler, Jes’ past involvements speak for themselves; chair of F.INC, a successful localism and community-based arts group in East Gippsland, leading member of (f)route and FROUTEVILLE, board member for the East Gippsland Art Gallery, and is consistently a creative committee member for local events. Jes is socially-engaged in the best of ways, and has long recognised that art doesn’t always live inside galleries – it is often found within community, and builds strong connections between those regionally. Jes is a qualified digital designer with over ten years experience in arts, and a more recent divergence into a capacity-building role assisting practising artists with their business skills and finance management.
After completing a Bachelor of Music (Jazz), Emma built a career in web and e-learning development working in Canberra, London and Melbourne. Experience gained working on many projects during this time led Emma to her current role as a Project Manager specialising in implementing IT systems in large organisations. Emma has a long association with arts organisations and projects in Northeast Victoria, including the King Valley Art Show and four years as deputy chair of Wangaratta Festival of Jazz. Her artistic practice spans music, printmaking and textiles. Qualifications: Bachelor of Music – Jazz Performance 2000 ANU, Diploma Software Development 2002, Dip Project Management 2015.
Greg Pritchard is a multi-disciplinary artist with a long history as theatre maker, performance artist, and writer (in many genres). In the visual arts he works with digital media, installation, and conceptual art. He has worked independently and as part of various collectives and partnerships to produce works that range in scale, from solo shows on salt lakes to producing the giant community engaged celebratory spectacles of Artlands Opening (2016) and Poppet Bendigo (2018). His personal performances deal with philosophical, political and environmental issues. He is an experienced teacher and arts administrator, and has a Doctorate in Literature and Environmental Philosophy (Deakin) and a Masters in Art (Art in Public Space “ RMIT).
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.
Tom Molyneux is a Gunditjmara theatre actor, director and playwright based in Geelong, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Performing Arts from Monash University, a Graduate Certificate of Management from the Australian Institute of Business and is currently completing a Master of Business (Arts and Cultural Management) at Deakin University. Tom has an extensive history of work in successful independent theatre productions. He is currently the Indigenous Inclusion Coordinator at Deakin University, and has experience working in Diversity and Inclusion roles.
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.
Donate to Regional Arts Victoria
Help us to provide support to regional Victorian artists and communities.
All donations are tax deductible.