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Future-proofing arts organisations – new professional development program to transform business models

The Australia Council for the Arts has today launched a new professional development program designed for small to medium arts organisations to transform and reimagine their business models.

Future Form will be presented nationally by our delivery partner the Australian, Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and is designed to transform organisations through innovative thinking.

Australia Council Executive Director Strategic Development and Advocacy Dr Wendy Were said the program will support the creative and cultural industries to address immediate and future challenges.

“Our creative organisations are increasingly critical to emerging high-growth areas of the world economy. This new program is an important part of developing and ensuring the sustainability of our creative sector. It’s one of the many ways we are working to connect cultural organisations with ways of thinking to ensure that arts and creativity are thriving to the benefit of all Australians,” she said.

In a supported environment led by industry experts, participants will be guided through a four-phase process to discover, ideate, experiment and evolve.

AFTRS Chair Russel Howcroft said: “Creative organisations have an incredible opportunity to innovate and grow their organisational and business models through harnessing their imaginative thinking. This program will inspire the sector to apply their creativity, innovation and risk-taking skills to future proofing their businesses.”

The Australia Council strongly encourages organisations affected by the recent bushfires to apply for this program, and these applications will be prioritised.

Apply or find out more on the Australia Council website.


Future Form is presented nationally
with our delivery partner, the Australian,
Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). 

Media contact:

Brianna Roberts

Media Manager, Australia Council for the Arts

Phone: (02) 9215 9030   Mobile: 0498 123 541


Core Facilitator

Tarra van Amerongen

Tarra van Amerongen is the Managing Director of ustwo design studio in Sydney whose clients include Qantas, Google and CBA. Her team works with corporates and startups alike to bring new value propositions to market by combining design, technology and data. Tarra was previously at ANZi, a venturing unit at ANZ Bank where she was the Director of Strategic Design, responsible for setting up the design capability for start-ups being built across Australia and developing the methodology for venturing. Before this she was the Group Director for the Fjord Sydney and Canberra studios, accountable for managing client relationships, finance and commercials, people, creative outputs, and operations for both studios as well as running the Business Design practice across Australia and New Zealand.

Tarra brings with her a deep passion and expertise in strategy, design and consulting and she is the current practice lead at the UTS Entrepreneurship in Practice MBA course, teaching students the right skills to launch their ventures. Tarra’s practice is based in real-world challenges and includes extensive experience in the not-for-profit and creative sectors.

Tarra is a highly skilled and engaging facilitator and has led several successful innovative programs for AFTRS.


Gauri Bhalla

Gauri is an educator and design thinking coach. As founder of Curious Collective, she lifts the capability of people to think and do differently.

She designs and delivers Academy programs and executes on innovation for organisations such as CBA, Department of Education, Ricoh, Lion, Remarkable and Stockland. She challenges stale business models and thinking.

She has worked both in global organisations and Universities such as Cambridge, Stanford and UTS.

She is Faculty at The School of Life, teaching “How to Think Like an Entrepreneur” and “How to Fail”.

Gauri finds people irresistibly interesting. She understands the power of curiosity to transform and enable people to fulfill their potential.

Tony Shannon

Tony Shannon is a specialist in operating and growing businesses in the creative sector. Originally studying writing, Tony worked for 20+ years in senior management roles in digital and creative businesses, particularly print, then digital and mobile publishing. He was part of the management team for the successful IPO of HWW Limited in Dotcom ’99 and a director of the ASX-listed entity until its sale to ninemsn in 2006. He was also a founder and CEO of Australian Property Monitors, a joint venture between HWW and Fairfax Media.

Tony is a specialist in the 21st century business environment – for digital, non-digital and creative businesses. He has a keen interest and experience in strategy development; business model innovation; digital transformation; platform development; e-commerce; and creating and exploiting intellectual property.

For the past nine years Tony has been working as a Business Adviser in the federal government’s Entrepreneurs’ Program. For the first six years he was part of the team at the Creative Industries Innovation Centre followed by three years in the Digital, Design and Professional Services sector. Since July 2018 he has been working as a Digital Business Adviser specialising in helping businesses across the food, manufacturing and digital sectors transform their businesses.

Tony teaches a “Make A Maker Business” workshopinar for start-up maker businesses at the Makerspace in Marrickville. He also works in the business faculty at UTS as a tutor at undergraduate level and as a project executive in UTS’s Executive MBA course. Tony has previously tutored in the screen business faculty at AFTRS.

Tony holds a Master of Management (Macquarie Graduate School of Management) and a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing) from University of Canberra.


Learn more about Future Form: Transforming arts business models



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030

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