Elliott Bledsoe

Marketing and Communications Manager, Queensland Writers Centre 

Elliott does all things that publish, play, post, tweet and trend. Apart from working for Queensland Writers Centre, he is Digital Producer at Backbone Youth Arts. Elliott has previously been Digital Producer at Regional Arts Australia, Acting Marketing Manager at ABC RN and Digital Content Officer at the Australia Council for the Arts. He also co-runs This Must be the Place, an art gallery, jewellery workshop and drop-in work space in Fortitude Valley.

Presentation: Working the crowd: crowdfunding basics

This session will explore practical tips on how to run successful campaigns, including setting your target; planning your campaign; developing compelling pitches; spreading the word and what to do when it all looks like it’s going wrong.

Michael Brealey

Director, Policy and Strategy, Arts NSW

Michael Brealey is responsible for policy development and co-ordination, stakeholder engagement, whole of Government co-ordination, strategic initiative development, overall program evaluation and implementing the Arts and Cultural Policy. Michael has 20 years’ experience in public policy across the private and public sectors.

Presentation: The new NSW Arts and Cultural Policy

Michael will give an update on the new policy framework, explaining how the policy may affect regional cultural organisations such as smaller regional museums. He will also discuss the new policy in relation to regional tourism.

Caroline Downer

Regional Arts Development Officer, Arts North West

Caroline Downer has over 20 years’ experience in the gallery sector, in public programs, and on curatorial projects and as Director of the New England Regional Art Museum.  She has extensive experience in project and event management and interested in a broad range of the arts from music, to visual arts and film.

Presentation: pARTicipate – a practical guide to developing the visitor experience

For many museums, resourcing is a major issue, both in terms of feet on the ground, and cold hard cash.  Caroline will share some ideas of cost effective and simple projects that can enhance your programs and entice visitors to your museum.

Brett Dunlop

Director Museums, The Sovereign Hill Museums Association

Sovereign Hill is a major outdoor museum and tourist destination in Ballarat, Victoria. Brett leads its collection, research, interpretation, education, costume and volunteer areas, and oversees the satellite venues – Gold Museum and Narmbool farm. Brett started his museum career in 1985 as an Education Officer for the Powerhouse Museum.

Presentation: New Gold Mountain: the Chinese Tourist Market

The Sovereign Hill Museums Association is a not-for-profit community-based organisation that has survived 45 years by being responsive to visitor needs, and by evolving in light of economic trends.

This presentation describes the programs, people and promotions that have attracted over 80,000 tourists from China last year, out of a total 500,000 visitors. Brett will talk about Sovereign Hill’s plans for future success in domestic and international markets.

Andrew Gray

General Manager, South East Arts

South East Arts (SEA) is the regional arts and cultural development organisation in the south east of NSW. Andrew’s work with SEA includes supporting the various museums in the region. This draws on his previous work experience in museums including Old Parliament House and the Australia War Memorial, with roles in education, public programs, visitor services and exhibitions.

Presentation: Arts Activating Museums

Andrew will share his experience of creating public programs at national cultural institutions, particularly in museum theatre. He will consider this in the context of regional volunteer-run museums and highlight the need for ongoing audience development.

Harlan Hall

Volunteer, Berrima District Museum, Berrima

Harlan Hall has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He is a past member of the NSW Ministry for the Arts Grants Council and currently a member of the Wingecarribee Shire Council Arts & Culture Committee.  His museum background includes working at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, and General Manager, Sydney Maritime Museum.  His experience includes project management, marketing, selling, and writing proposals.

Presentation: All you have to do is ask

Harlan has raised funds and support for museum projects for many years and his recent experience of building and fitting out a new gallery for the Berrima District Museum may provide insights into how you may achieve fundraising success for your museum.

Jacqui Hemsley

Director, Murray Art Museum Albury

Queensland born, Jacqui has been working in the Visual Arts sector for over 25 years, particularly in regional galleries across QLD, NSW and Victoria. In 2015 Jacqui was appointed as the inaugural Director of MAMA. Jacqui has Degrees in Business, Accounting, and Post Graduate Degree in Arts & Event Management and a Masters in Cultural Heritage.

Presentation: The new MAMA

MAMA, the Murray Art Museum Albury is a brand new $10.5M redevelopment in the heart of Albury. From years of considered design and in sympathy with its heritage, MAMA will be nearly 3 times larger than her original appearance as Albury Regional Art Gallery and has been designed to present exhibitions and programs of excellence. Celebrating contemporary art, culture, technology and spirit.

Marcus Hughes

Indigenous Programs Producer, MAAS

Marcus has worked within the arts and cultural sector throughout Australia and the UK as a producer, presenter and advocate across all artistic disciplines, contexts and environments. In 2014 he addressed the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture, and was Adjunct Associate Professor at Victoria University’s Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit. Marcus is a descendant of the Mununjali peoples of the Yugambeh nation.

Presentation: Breaking the spear

Sometimes, non-Indigenous organisations perceive that the process of making meaningful connection with Indigenous stakeholders will be fraught with difficulty and operationally confronting.  Often it is – but the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

In this presentation Marcus will provide opportunities to discuss simple ways of taking the initial steps toward deepening the relationship and connection between keeping places and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) community based on the principles of respect, recognition and integrity.

Lily Katakouzinos

Head of Programs, MAAS

Head of Programs is MAAS’s key programming creative leader, responsible for determining and evaluating the conceptual, strategic framework and context for the development and delivery of public programs spanning all venues (Powerhouse Museum, Powerhouse Discovery Centre and Sydney Observatory) and delivering across digital and physical means. The Programs department delivers a diverse array of programs including Sydney Design, Sydney Science festival, MAASive Late Nights, Makers Faire, Primary and Secondary School programs, Regional and Indigenous programs.

Tamara Lavrencic

Museum Programs and Collections Manager, Museums & Galleries of NSW

Tamara is responsible for developing and coordinating museum programs to support sustainability, including grants for professional development and collection related projects, Standards for Sustainable Community Museums and the Museum Advisor Program. She provides advice on a broad range of issues such as museum management, community engagement and collections management.

Fiona MacDonald

Volunteer, Kandos Museum

Contemporary artist Fiona MacDonald makes art that draws on local cultural traditions, social and natural history. While maintaining a diverse practice including public art work and community based collaboration, her work has been installed in the South Australian Museum, Museum of Sydney, Museum of Brisbane and Elizabeth Bay House, Sydney.

Presentation: Artist Run Museum

Fiona leads a team that is putting meaning back into a collection that became just a whole lot of ‘stuff’ when Kandos Museum was suddenly closed and packed up in 2013. Unpacking has become an opportunity for hands on learning about Kandos and its place in the world. Artists have brought their visual literacy to reinterpret old stories. The emptied out spaces of the Museum are filling with new juxtapositions of familiar objects.

Vic McEwan

Artistic Director, The Cad Factory

The Cad Factory is an innovative organisation based in Narrandera, NSW. Vic explores experimental and contemporary arts practice in partnership with diverse communities. Vic is the inaugural Arts NSW Regional Fellow, the 2015 Artist in Residence at the National Museum of Australia and is working in the UK exploring arts and health.

Presentation: Activated Communities

Vic will share his experience working with diverse communities and museums throughout Australia and Internationally.  He will share his process of exploring local stories using contemporary arts practice and how ethical arts practice allows for the emerging of unique and engaging experiences.

Vic has worked with many communities, exploring historic stories, assisting in trauma recovery after natural disasters and in helping to explore and understand the unique challenges in regional life.

Elizabeth Rogers

Chief Executive Officer, Regional Arts NSW

Elizabeth joined Regional Art NSW as the Chief Executive Officer in December, 2006.  Since that time she has developed and implemented a new strategic direction for the organization, focusing on its role as a peak body and service agency for arts and cultural development across rural and regional areas of the state. She works closely with the state-wide network 14 regional arts boards and acts as an advocate for the network with the state and federal governments.

Debbie Sommers

Volunteer, Port Macquarie Museum

The Port Macquarie Museum is a volunteer run museum on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Debbie is the volunteer curator, media and grants officer. She is also the President of Museums Australia Mid North Coast Chapter and managed the recently completed Waterways – Our Rivers Our History project.

Presentation: Turning the Invisible into the Visible

Debbie will share her experience of commissioning and actioning a Cultural Tourism Plan for the Port Macquarie Museum, the factors underpinning the plan and its impact on the Museum’s strategic directions. She will also share the highlights and challenges of working on a volunteer initiated collaborative project – Waterways, the outcomes of the project for the 7 participating museums and the project’s synergy with regional tourism and the visitor economy.

Kevin Williams

Regional Arts Development Officer, Arts Mid North Coast

Kevin has 25 years’ experience in cultural tourism including leading Commercial and Marketing Services at the then Historic Houses Trust of NSW and as a consultant to many Sydney museums, Destination NSW and more recently a number of regional museums. His clients have won numerous NSW and Australian Tourism Awards.

Presentation: Cultural Tourism… That Means You!

Kevin will outline the increasing importance of cultural tourism in the marketplace and the benefits museums can secure from being more actively engaged with the industry. He will share 10 simple steps that any museum regardless of size or resources can undertake to achieve involvement and benefits.