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COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS COMMITTEE ANNOUNCED

Community partnerships is a new section at the Australia Council for the Arts that brings together the Council’s work in the areas of community cultural development [CCD], youth, education, disability and regional development. It sits within the Council’s community partnerships and market development division.

Community partnerships is an overarching term used to incorporate the Australia Council’s wide range of strategies, programs and activities which, in a variety of ways, reflect partnerships developed between communities, between the Council and communities, and between artists and arts organisations and communities.

The committee has been established by the governing body of the Australia Council to provide strategic, advisory and policy leadership to the community partnerships section. It will have oversight of the community partnerships section, initiatives and CCD.

The chair of the committee, Tim O’Loughlin, has been appointed by the Council, and he is also one of the community interest representatives on the Council appointed by Senator the Hon Rod Kemp, Minister for the Arts and Sport.

Other members of the committee are Norm Horton, coordinator of Brisbane based Feral Arts and co-secretary of the National Arts and Cultural Alliance; Tiffany Lee-Shoy, regional cultural planning coordinator at the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils; June Moorhouse from June Moorhouse Consulting in Western Australia; Scott Rankin of BighART in Tasmania; Jack Ritchie, executive officer of Arts North West in New South Wales; and Titiana Varkopoulos, a community theatre worker and playwright based in Victoria.

The members of the committee have been selected for their understanding and specialist knowledge, expertise and skills in the areas of community partnerships and initiatives, and/or CCD practice, and experience in community development and capacity building through the arts.

Through the community partnerships section, the Council aims to increase non-arts support for the arts in the community from government, non-government and private sources. The Council will take a whole of government approach to create opportunities for greater community development through arts organisations and arts practice.

The committee plans to hold its first meeting in November.

Community partnerships committee

Tim O’Loughlin (Chair), South Australia

Tim O’Loughlin is a senior executive within the South Australian Public Service, and was most recently chief executive, Department of Transport and Urban Planning. Prior to that he was executive director of Arts SA.

Mr O’Loughlin’s knowledge and experience includes cultural development policy in South Australia, including oversight of grant programs and development of arts organisations; urban regeneration planning and policy; whole-of-government solutions to social and economic issues; and community capacity building and its relationship to provision of government services and infrastructure.

Mr O’Loughlin is chair of both the Australia Council’s Community Partnerships Committee and the Community Cultural Development Assessment Committee, and is a community interest representative on the governing Council of the Australia Council.

Norm Horton, Queensland

Norm Horton is a coordinator of Feral Arts, a Brisbane-based community cultural development organisation. Over the last 10 years, Feral Arts has grown into one of the country’s leading CCD organisations. It is recognised for its long-term approach, investigating obstacles to cultural development for marginal communities in south Brisbane and north-west Queensland through visual arts, video and new media, and in the process developing new models for CCD practice. Mr Horton is co-secretary of the National Arts and Cultural Alliance.

Tiffany Lee-Shoy, New South Wales

Tiffany Lee-Shoy is the regional cultural planning coordinator at the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, an association of 11 local government bodies in Western Sydney. Her project seeks to expand resources and collaboration between councils for cultural planning; to promote the cultural life, arts and creativity of Western Sydney; and increase opportunities for community participation.

Previously, Ms Lee-Shoy was the curator of Contemporary Art with Wollongong City Gallery and director of a community cultural centre, where she initiated cultural and business partnerships and revised the strategic plans for the centre to enable its sustainability. Her own textile/ installation arts practice explores issues of cultural identity.

Ms Lee-Shoy is also deputy chair of the Community Cultural Development Assessment Committee.

June Moorhouse, Western Australia

June Moorhouse has more than 20 years professional experience in the arts, working in senior positions across all art forms. She is currently Manager, Culture and Recreation, at City of Fremantle.

She has experience in providing project and special events development and management; expert chairing and facilitation; community development and capacity building through the arts.

Scott Rankin, Tasmania

Scott Rankin is known for his work in comedy, mainstream theatre, experimental community based projects, film and television. His work has been included in Tasmania, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Edinburgh Festivals and his plays have set box office records and received exceptional reviews.

Mr Rankin also provides expertise in CCD, project design, writing, directing and editing.

In 1992 in collaboration with John Bakes, he established BIG hART Inc and has initiated, mentored and/or created more than 20 productions for BIG hART, working primarily with disadvantaged people in regional, rural and isolated areas of Australia. BIG hART projects have received five Commonwealth Heads of Government Violence Prevention awards in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 & 2001, as well as Awards for Excellence. BIG hART is at the forefront of international best practice in CCD.

Jack Ritchie, New South Wales

Jack Ritchie is the executive officer of Arts North West, a position he has held for more than a decade. Arts North West supports the development of arts and culture regionally and is involved in the successful development of regional projects and initiatives.

Arts North West was established in 1996 as a Regional Arts Development Program and established as an independent Regional Arts Board in 1997. The program receives financial support from the NSW Ministry for the Arts and 12 local governments in the New England and North West NSW region.

Titiana Varkopoulos, Victoria

Titiana Varkopoulos is a ccd practitioner and playwright. She has worked with young people from diverse cultural backgrounds on theatre projects at local government in Melbourne and at Footscray Community Arts Centre for Y3P and SCRAYP. She has co-directed and co-written a number of plays and worked as a writing/script facilitator.

Ms Varkopoulos received a playwriting mentorship from YPAA in 2000. In 2003 Titiana was awarded an Arts and Skills Development Grant from the CCD Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.

Ms Varkopoulos is a former Artistic Director of Backbone Youth Arts (2004). She presently works as a Cultural Development Officer for Local Government in Melbourne.

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