Tune into the Governance Conversations webinar series

28 Mar 2024

Lena Nahlous, Pippa Bailey & James Arvanitakis

Lena Nahlous, Pippa Bailey & James Arvanitakis

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Creative Australia in partnership with Diversity Arts Australia is presenting Governance Conversations; a series of 6 free, monthly webinars exploring contemporary issues in arts governance.  

Tune in to learn how good governance frameworks, bold leadership and a commitment to diversity can support transformative outcomes in the arts and creative industries. 

Governance Conversations will explore practical aspects of governing arts and creative industries organisations, explore innovative approaches, and share best practice models for ensuring diversity and cultural safety. The webinars are open to individuals and organisations. 

Diversity Arts Australia’s CEO Lena Nahlous (she/her) hosts each session, which will feature thought-leaders with lived experience, including First Nations, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. 

The series responds to critical findings on the importance of diversity on arts boards and in creative leadership positions, from the Arts and Cultural Governance Spotlight Report (Institute of Community Directors Australia) and the Shifting the Balance Report (Diversity Arts Australia).

Accessibility and cultural safety are prioritised in the delivery and these principles inform discussions around governance throughout the series. 

The series has been produced by respected educator and creative producer Görkem Acaroğlu.

Register for a free webinar:


Conversation 1

Doing it Differently: Fit-for-purpose governance models
Thursday 27 July, 12pm-1.30pm AEST

Join our panellists as they dig into the core purpose of governance to understand how arts and creative industries organisations can confidently manage risk, resources, equity, and power-sharing through fitforpurpose governance models. Learn more about innovative and equitable frameworks that emphasise flexibility while upholding directors’ responsibilities and accountability.

Conversation 1: Host Lena Nahlous. Speakers: Cecilia Anthony and Kate Larsen

Lena Nahlous (host)
CEO at Diversity Arts Australia. Lena drives sector-wide change through strategic partnerships, research, and innovative projects that empower artists as advocates. Her exceptional management and creative expertise resonate in recent achievements: DARTS’ Shifting the Balance report, the transformative Creative Equity Toolkit, the groundbreaking Pacesetters project, and the Fair Play capacity-building program. 

Cecilia Anthony (she/her)
General Manager, Advisory at Inside Policy, a First Nations-led business. With 30+ years of board experience, Cecilia has worked on employment, cultural, and justice issues across government, community, and business sectors. Cecilia serves on the boards of Diversity Arts Australia, Tiddas In Business, and Yilabura Employment Services.

Kate Larsen (she/her)
A highly experienced writer and arts/cultural consultant with over 20 years of diverse expertise spanning non-profit, government, and cultural sectors across Australia, Asia, and the United Kingdom. Recognised as a leading authority in arts governance, cultural leadership, workplace culture, and well-being, Kate is dedicated to fostering inclusive communities and amplifying underrepresented voices.

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Conversation 2

Board Representation: Promoting Cultural Safety and Addressing the Power Gap
Thursday 31 August 2023, 12-1.30pm AEDT

How can arts and creative organisations diversify their Boards and overcome historic and structural power imbalances? Join this session to learn how inclusive structures enhance governance and lead to improved outcomes. In addition, our discussion will focus on the practical implementation of cultural safety and First Nations engagement protocols, as well as empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills they need.

Lena Nahlous (host), Tasneem Chopra OAM (panelist) and Dr Lilly Brown (panelist)

Lena Nahlous (host)
CEO at Diversity Arts Australia. Lena drives sector-wide change through strategic partnerships, research, and innovative projects that empower artists as advocates. Her exceptional management and creative expertise resonate in recent achievements: DARTS’ Shifting the Balance report, the transformative Creative Equity Toolkit, the groundbreaking Pacesetters project, and the Fair Play capacity-building program.  

Lilly Brown (she/her)
Dr Lilly Brown is a scholar, facilitator, educator, director and more recently, executive director in the youth mental health space. She has spent the last decade and a half advocating for the self-determination of First Nations people, including supporting organisations in the arts and culture sector to develop practices of cultural safety and racial literacy, and to establish mechanisms of meaningful and sustainable governance that centre the critical knowledge and lived experience First Nations people bring to the table.

Tasneem Chopra (she/her)
A Cross-cultural Consultant, Tasneem addresses issues of diversity, equity and inclusion through an intersectional lens within government, corporate, arts and community sectors. For her efforts she has been appointed an ‘Anti-Racism Champion’ by the Australian Human Rights Commission and awarded an OAM. Tasneem is a Strategic Advisor to the Victorian Public Service Commission, Fire Rescue Victoria, Co-Chair to the NSW Legal Aid External Anti Racism and Inclusion Committee and inaugural Ambassador for Women of Colour, Australia.

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Conversation 3

Succession Planning: Who are the Board Members of the Future?
Thursday 21 September 2023, 12pm-1.30pm AEST

Why is it important to embed equity principles into succession planning and how can organisations expand recruitment and development of new talent beyond established sector networks? Join this insightful session on Board recruitment in not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations, unpacking the process of appointing new Board members and seeking future leaders. Don’t miss this vital discussion on the role of governance training in engaging the next generation.

Lena Nahlous, Caroline Bowditch and Clothilde Bullen

Lena Nahlous (host)
CEO at Diversity Arts Australia. Lena drives sector-wide change through strategic partnerships, research, and innovative projects that empower artists as advocates. Her exceptional management and creative expertise resonate in recent achievements: DARTS’ Shifting the Balance report, the transformative Creative Equity Toolkit, the groundbreaking Pacesetters project, and the Fair Play capacity-building program.  

Caroline Bowditch
Caroline Bowditch is the Chief Executive Officer/Artistic Director of Arts Access Victoria. Caroline Bowditch enjoyed an acclaimed career in the UK for over 16 years as a performance maker and industry leader. Caroline returned to Australia to lead Arts Access Victoria. During her tenure, Caroline has developed strong partnerships with Arts Centre Melbourne, Regional Arts Victoria, MAV (formerly Multicultural Arts Victoria), Melbourne Fringe Festival, Music Victoria and many more. Caroline’s strong advocacy has resulted in significant reform of funding programs for Deaf and Disabled artists. 

Clothilde Bullen
Clothilde Bullen is a Senior Curator and Head of Indigenous Programs at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Prior to that she worked for four years as a Senior Curator of First Nations art at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and a decade previously at the Art Gallery of WA. She is co-Chair of Indigenous Voices, Board Member of the International Association of Art Critics (Australia), and Chair of the Board of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).
 

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Conversation 4

Governance vs. Management: Optimising the CEO, Chair, and Board Relationship for Success
Thursday 19 October 2023, 4-5.30pm AEDT

This session explores how operational and strategic roles within organisations interact to influence the goals and mission. Join us to gain insights into effectively managing the Chair, Board and CEO relationship, including essential governance requirements and collaboration on essentials like finances, risk and fundraising. We’ll also explore best practices for conflict resolution that result in improved outcomes and practices for organisations.

Lena Nahlous, Hilary Carty & Nareen Young

Lena Nahlous (host)
CEO at Diversity Arts Australia. Lena drives sector-wide change through strategic partnerships, research, and innovative projects that empower artists as advocates. Her exceptional management and creative expertise resonate in recent achievements: DARTS’ Shifting the Balance report, the transformative Creative Equity Toolkit, the groundbreaking Pacesetters project, and the Fair Play capacity-building program.  

Nareen Young
Nareen Young is Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) at the University of Technology, Business School, Sydney. She also leads Jumbunna Indigenous Education and Research Institute’s Indigenous People and Work Research and Practice Hub which focuses on robust research and analysis, policy, practice, people and law reform. The Hub leads the National Indigenous employment sector and convenes the First Nations Employment Alliance. Nareen is one of Australia’s leading and most respected workplace Diversity practitioners, thinkers and influencers. She has lead and managed two Diversity peak bodies (Diversity Council Australia and NSW Working Women’s Centre), with enormous impact and success, for nearly 15 years, and was then Director and Employment Lead at a large Indigenous consulting firm for three years.   

Hilary Carty
Hilary Carty is the Executive Director, Clore Leadership, a role she took up after six years as a consultant, facilitator and coach specialising in leadership development, management and organisational change. Hilary’s earlier roles include Director of the Cultural Leadership Programme; Director, London (Arts) at Arts Council England; Director, Culture and Education at London 2012; Director of Dance for Arts Council England; Visiting Professor on leadership (Austria); and HLF London Committee Member. In recognition of her contribution to the arts, culture and heritage, Hilary has been awarded three Honorary Doctorates and three Fellowships from UK Universities.  Hilary is a Governor of the Royal Ballet.  

Register for Conversation 4

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Conversation 5

Governance Conversations: Impact and stakeholder governance

Thursday 22 February 2024, 12-1.30pm AEDT

It can be complex to balance your organisation’s needs with those of stakeholders, partners and sponsors. How can good governance support this process, so that you can secure partnerships that enable your organisations social and ethical impact? Join us as we explore this and more – learn about handling conflicts, maintaining integrity, and reconciling different values while meeting stakeholder needs. Gain insights into impact and stakeholder governance in the creative sector—essential for today’s arts and cultural landscape.

Lena Nahlous, Mindy Leow & Elaine Chia

Lena Nahlous (host)
CEO at Diversity Arts Australia. Lena drives sector-wide change through strategic partnerships, research, and innovative projects that empower artists as advocates. Her exceptional management and creative expertise resonate in recent achievements: DARTS’ Shifting the Balance report, the transformative Creative Equity Toolkit, the groundbreaking Pacesetters project, and the Fair Play capacity-building program. 

Mindy Leow
Mindy Leow is the Director of Impact and Growth at B Lab Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand. Mindy started her career in the media and advertising industry before moving from the USA to Australia, where she has been working at the intersections of purpose and profit for more than a decade. Prior to joining B Lab in 2016, Mindy was involved in growing the social enterprise sector in Australia through her roles at Social Traders and StartSomeGood.  Mindy holds qualifications in business and journalism and an MBA in Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship. She is also an Ambassador for Better Futures Australia, proudly working to support Australians to drive ambitious climate action. 

Elaine Chia
Elaine Chia is an arts leader, advocate and producer with over 20 years’ experience in senior roles in the performing and visual arts across venues, festivals, touring and cultural infrastructure projects. Her previous roles include Executive Director at the Adelaide Festival, CEO at Sydney City Recital Hall and Director of International Signature Projects at the Australia Council for the Arts delivering as public-private partnership projects the Australian representation at three Venice Art Biennales and the redevelopment of the Australian Pavilion in Venice, Italy. 

Register for Conversation 5

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Conversation 6

Governance Conversations: Regenerative practices and climate justice

Thursday 28 March 2024, 12-1.30pm AEDT

What is the relationship between governance and climate justice? Join us as we investigate what it looks like to be both economically sustainable and environmentally regenerative. We accept that climate change mitigation is an intrinsic part of governance responsibility, so how do we formulate new ways of working and start implementing them? The last in our Governance Conversations series and an essential conversation that looks to the future of our work with an important critical lens.

Lena Nahlous, Pippa Bailey & James Arvanitakis

Lena Nahlous (host)
CEO at Diversity Arts Australia. Lena drives sector-wide change through strategic partnerships, research, and innovative projects that empower artists as advocates. Her exceptional management and creative expertise resonate in recent achievements: DARTS’ Shifting the Balance report, the transformative Creative Equity Toolkit, the groundbreaking Pacesetters project, and the Fair Play capacity-building program. 

Pippa Bailey
Pippa Bailey is an independent producer, director and consultant who works on Wangal Land in Sydney.  She is committed to connecting artistic practice to plans for a fairer future where Climate Justice leads. As Director and Producer for ChangeFest 2019-21, Pippa worked in collaboration with Elders and communities to create events that imagine systems change and rehearse fairer futures. She co-convenes the Cultural Gardeners – Australian Cultural Alliance for Climate Justice with Climarte and Arts Front, is a coordinator with Culture Declares Emergency UK, a member of Collaborative Futures and a board Director of Theatre Network NSW and IETM – International Network for the Performing Arts. 

James Arvanitakis
Professor James Arvanitakis is the Director of the Forrest Research Foundation, which brings together the five Western Australian-based universities to attract world class research to the state and confront the world’s grand challenges. He is an award-winning educator, cultural researcher, and media commentator. James is a Fulbright alumnus, having spent 12 months at the University of Wyoming. In 2021, he was appointed the inaugural Patron of Diversity Arts Australia. In 2022 he founded Respectful Disagreements, a brave spaces project that promotes the lost art of civility in political disagreement as well as the educational power of discomfort. He sits on the Education Committee of the Governance Institute of Australia and is an Adjunct Professor at Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. 

Register for Conversation 6

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