The Australia Council announces new Board members

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Monday 28 March 2011.

The Australia Council for the Arts has welcomed three new board members to its Visual Arts and Music boards and four new members to its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board.

The appointment of the seven leading Australian artists to the Australia Council’s artform boards will bring fresh ideas and perspectives on how each artform can promote innovation, leadership and artists’ careers.

Board members are typically appointed for three years and play a key role in setting policy and assessing grant applications for their artform.

The Visual Arts Board has appointed Queensland artist, Victoria Reichelt, who brings a keen knowledge of contemporary visual art, including the work of young and emerging artists.

The Music Board has also appointed two musicians who will bring a youthful perspective and a diverse knowledge of contemporary music to the board.

Winner of the 2009 Youth Arts West Australian Citizen of the Year, freelance composer, arranger and pianist, Johannes Luebbers, is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where he now lectures in jazz and contemporary music.

Brisbane-based media artist, composer and curator, Lawrence English, is internationally-renowned for his live performances, installation and ‘found sound and vision’ works. Lawrence also curates sound and media programs at Queensland’s Institute Of Modern Art and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.

Among prominent appointments to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts (ATSIA) Board is Rachael Maza-Long, one of Australia’s most recognisable screen and theatre actors.

Currently Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Ilbijerri Theatre, Rachael’s film credits include the award-winning Radiance, Cosi and Lillian’s Story and her TV credits include Halifax f.p., Stingers, Sea Change and A Country Practice. Rachel has had a long association with Sydney’s Company B and she played leading roles with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney’s Bell Shakespeare and Melbourne’s Playbox Theatre and directed plays in Melbourne and Perth.

Also new to the ATSIA Board is Monica Stevens, a founding member of Bangarra Dance Theatre and a key player in the formation of the national Indigenous dance peak body, Blak Dance.

As a professional dancer, Monica has performed in numerous productions with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre and worked with leading lights including ballerina Roslyn Watson, choreographer Dorothea Randall, Michael Leslie, Richard Talonga, Malcolm Cole and Sylvia Blanco.

Monica has been taught many significant traditional dances and continues to maintain cultural connections with her community. She is also an accomplished choreographer and director, and is currently working on a project coding Indigenous dance at Deakin Motion.Lab in collaboration with the Yirrkala and Saibai communities.

Melissa Lucashenko is a Yugambeh/Bundjalung novelist who explores the stories and passions of ordinary Australians. Her novels have won, or been shortlisted for, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, the Courier-Mail Book of the Year, Anita Kibble Award, Dobbie Award, Fairlight Talking Book awards and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize.

She has been a guest of every major literary festival in Australia and is currently working on Mullumbimby, a contemporary novel of romantic love and cultural warfare set in a remote NSW valley.

Also appointed to the ATSIA Board is Tasmanian shell necklace stringer, Jeanette James, who works in a tradition handed down from her mother, Auntie Corrie Fullard, one of just three senior custodians of the stringing tradition.

Her necklaces have been acquired and exhibited by museums and private collections throughout Australia.

“This is an amazing group of artists whose knowledge and experience will provide our boards with new perspectives and ensure their discussions and policy making are lively and meaningful,” says Australia Council CEO, Kathy Keele.

“This expertise contributes to our unique system of governance, where all decisions about funding are made by practicing artists, and refreshes yet again our connection to the arts community.

“I welcome these artists aboard and look forward to learning more about their careers.”