The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

Board

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Board.

Chair

James Emmett is a barrister at 12th Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers and an adjunct senior lecturer in law at the University of New South Wales. James was Chair of Artspace, Sydney from 2012 to 2016. He is also Chair of the Inner City Legal Centre Foundation, a director of Twenty10 incorporating the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service (for whom he has been a phone counsellor for many years) and on the Advisory Board of the La Trobe University Centre for Legislation. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts sector generally and the visual arts in particular.

James Emmett

Photo: Wendell Theodoro

Treasurer and Company Secretary

Kathir Ponnusamy has over 18 years of experience in a range of finance and accounting roles both in Australia and Asia. Kathir has worked across several industries including banking, business services, telecommunications and retail. Kathir is a member of the CPA Australia and Malaysian Institute of Accountants.

Kathir Ponnusamy

Elected Representative - Artists

Pippa Dickson (PhD) is a designer and creative consultant in the private and public sectors. She is Chair of Design Tasmania, and was the founding CEO of the Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park (GASP!) and Co-Chair of the National Craft Initiative Steering Committee an initiative of NAVA and the ACDC network.

Pippa Dickson

Co-opted Representative

Maria Farmer Public Relations [MFPR] is one of Australia’s leading PR companies. The company, which is characterised by the energy, authority and experience of its principal, specialises in brand building/protection, publicity and public relations.

More than a simple PR agency, MFPR provides clients with a bespoke service, drawing on more than 30 years experience at the forefront of the communications industry in Australia. With a proud history representing some of the best-known creatives, actors, fashion and lifestyle brands, restaurateurs and authors this country has produced, MFPR leverages its unrivalled network of media and industry professionals - plus its enviable reputation - to achieve only the best outcomes for its clients.

Maria Farmer

Elected Representative - Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

Amala Groom is a conceptual artist whose practice is informed by, and reflects, First Nations methodologies, epistemologies and ways of being. Her work, as a form of passionate activism, delivers penetrating and insightful commentary on contemporary society, politics and race relations. Articulated across diverse media, Groom’s work seeks to subvert and unsettle Western mythology and iconography in order to enunciate Aboriginal stories, practices and histories. By foregrounding Aboriginal narratives and experiences the artist interrogates and erodes those mechanisms of colonialism which seek to suppress and obscure Aboriginal sovereignty over the many countries now known collectively as ‘Australia’. To this end Groom often appropriates and reconfigures popular, majority-culture language, symbols and icons in order to tell intrinsically Aboriginal stories in ways that non-Aboriginal people can understand and empathise with. Groom finds herself increasingly drawn to performance as a means of effectively and emotively enacting, embodying and invoking the message she seeks to communicate to her audience. Here, the artist uses her body, and the bodies of others, to carry and perform, stories which matter and need to be told. Always informed by extensive archival, legislative and first-person research, Groom’s work is intrinsically socially engaged, a means of speaking truth to power and taking a stand against hypocrisy, prejudice, violence and injustice.

Amala Groom

Elected Representative - Organisations

Hannah Mathews is a Melbourne-based curator with a particular interest in the lineage of conceptual art and performative modes of practice. She is currently Senior Curator at Monash University Museum of Art. Hannah graduated with a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne in 2002 and has worked in curatorial positions at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2005-07); Monash University Museum of Art (2005); Next Wave Festival (2003-04); The South Project (2003-04); Vizard Foundation Art Collection, the Ian Potter Museum of Art (2002); and the Biennale of Sydney (2000-02). Hannah has curated a number of institutional and independent exhibitions, includingPrimavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2008); Linden1968, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne (2008); Johanna Billing: Tiny Movements, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2009); and NEW11, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. She has completed curatorial residencies in New York, Berlin, Tokyo and Venice, and in early 2008 moved to Melbourne to undertake freelance curatorial work, including an ongoing role as an associate curator with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Her most recent exhibitions include, Power to the People: Contemporary Conceptualism and the Object in Art which launched the Melbourne International Arts Festival's Visual Arts Program in 2011 and Action/Response, a two night cross-disciplinary program for Dance Massive 2013.

Hannah Mathews

Elected Representative - Organisations

Kelli McCluskey is an artist and co-founder of tactical media art group pvi collective and co-founder of CIA studios, the Perth-based artist run initiative. Kelli writes,colludes, researches and directs for pvi and is responsible for special operations at CIA studios. In 2011 she co-founded Proximity Festival, Australia's first annual one-on-one performance festival. Kelli recently received the Australia Council's highest award for Emerging and Experimental Arts.

Kelly McCluskey

Co-opted Representative

Bill Morrow is an artist practising drawing, painting and photography. His work is principally concerned with the landscape and the human figure. He is a graduate of the South Australian School of Art (1996). Since 1981 he has photographed in the city of Yogyakarta in Central Java and exhibited there with solo exhibitions in 1995 and 2004. Now retired from the law, Bill worked as a solicitor in South Australia for over 30 years. He practised in the fields of intellectual property and information technology law. He also wrote and lectured about art and law (copyright, moral rights, indigenous intellectual property, freedom of expression and artists' commission contracts). He was a volunteer lawyer for the arts through the Arts Law Centre of Australia. Bill attended the National Symposium on Moral Rights held in Sydney in November 1979 as a representative of the Experimental Art Foundation and addressed the Art Workers' Union Conference in Adelaide in October 1980. Since that time he has been a strong advocate for, and defender of, artists' rights. Bill is currently a director of Artlink Australia.

Bill Morrow

Deputy Chair, Elected Representative - Artists

Sally Smart is one of Australia’s significant contemporary artists recognised internationally for large-scale cut-out assemblage installations and increasingly, performance and video, her practice engages identity politics and the relationships between the body, thought and culture including trans-national ideas that have shaped cultural history.

Smart’s most recent work includes artisan embroideries as assemblage elements in her project The Choreography of Cutting she re-imagines and encapsulates a dynamic discourse between the historical and contemporary avant-garde using experimental performance, costume design and visual art forms, mapping multiple ideas, temporalities and space—a materialisation of thought/gesture/ action.

The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, Smart is currently Vice -Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, and was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship (2014) and Sackler Fellow Artist-in Residence, University of Connecticut, USA (2012). Sally Smart’s major public art commission Shadow Trees was installed in Melbourne Australia (2014).

Sally Smart

Co-opted Representative

Dr Terry Wu is a respected specialist plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon. He is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Terry is the Supervisor of Training for plastic surgery at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and specializes in microsurgery and major head and neck cancer reconstructions.

Terry’s other passion is contemporary visual art. Through being a collector and an indefatigable advocate, Terry endeavours to materially contribute to the wellbeing of artists and visual art in Australia. Terry serves as a Board Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art and supports institutions and events including National Gallery of Victoria, The Melbourne Festival, Sydney Biennale and the new Australian Pavilion for Venice Biennale. In 2014, Terry initiated a project of fostering ethical investments in the arts with the aim of providing quality and affordable studio spaces in inner city Melbourne. This has resulted in the establishment of John Street Studios in Brunswick East accommodating 12 visual artists of varying generations and representations. Where needed, Terry undertakes direct assistance of artists for major projects. For the 2015 Venice Biennale, Emily Floyd is curated by Okwui Enwezor to install a large outdoor installation called “Labour Garden” in the Arsenale as part of his “All The Worlds Futures” show. Terry provided significant direct support to facilitate the realization of this project. In 2013, Terry assisted in bringing Sam Jinks to participate in “Personal Structures”, a collateral event of the Venice Biennale at Palazzo Bembo.

Terry Wu

Elected Representative - Artists

Michael Zavros is an artist who works across painting, drawing, sculpture and film. He has exhibited widely within Australia and internationally and his work is held in the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery, Australian National Portrait Gallery and Tasmanian Museum and Gallery. Michael has been the recipient of several international residencies, grants and prizes, including the 2002 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, the 2005 Robert Jacks Drawing Prize and the 2007 Kedumba Drawing Award. He was the recipient of the 2004 MCA Primavera Collex Art Award and in 2010 won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. In 2012 Michael received the inaugural Bulgari Art Award. Between 2007 and 2011, he served on the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.

Michael Zavros