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Mary Dimech 1951-2009

The Australia Council for the Arts and many community and multicultural arts groups deeply mourn the passing of Mary Dimech this week after a determined fight against cancer.

Mary joined the newly established Community Cultural Development Board at the Australia Council in 1987 and worked with us for close to ten years. She came with a significant reputation as an informed and relentless advocate for all minority groups and ethnic communities in particular.

Mary was a qualified social worker whose strength and passion came from her deeply held community development principles and commitment to opening the arts in Australia to all Australians. She led the way at the Australia Council for the development and implementation for its first multicultural arts policy and enabled the swell of multicultural arts practices across Australia.

The immediate impact of her knowledge, connections and personality saw a change in the face of the Australia Council and our cultural life. Many of todayís established artists approached the Australia Council for their first grant with Maryís advice and guidance.

Critical discourse and theoretical debate around the contribution of ethnic artists to Australiaís cultural heritage and identity were established during Maryís time at the Australia Council. Her leadership saw the formation of the Australia Councilís Multicultural Advisory Committee. Her legacy also includes the requirement that there is ethnic representation on all our boards and committees, as well as within our staff.

She will be deeply missed across Australia.

Frank Panucci

Director, Community Partnerships



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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