NAVA Welcomes New Board Members

NAVA today welcomed newly-elected board members Ionat Zurr and Peter White, and re-elected board members Sally Smart, Michael Zavros and Hannah Mathews, as the result of the recent Members’ ballot.

“A warm welcome to Ionat and Peter, and welcome back to Hannah, Sally and Michael!”, said James Emmett, Chair. “We’re delighted to be joined by practitioners of Ionat and Peter’s depth of expertise at this exciting time in NAVA’s work. We’re also extremely heartened at the high level of member engagement in the nomination and election process.


“I would like to thank and recognise Pippa Dickson and Kelli McCluskey who leave NAVA having reached their maximum tenure of six years on the board. NAVA has been enriched by their enormous contribution throughout their whole tenure. We look forward to staying in touch.”


Dr Ionat Zurr, the newest Artist Representative board member, is a world leading experimental artist, curator, researcher and assistant professor at the School of Design, UWA. In 1996 she co-founded the Notorious tissue culture and art project which explores the use of tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. She went on to establish SymbioticA, a research facility dedicated to artistic inquiry into knowledge and technology in the life sciences. Ionat is considered a pioneer in the field of biological arts internationally. She has been an Australia Council peer, committee member of ISEA and ANAT, and a member of the Art Architecture History Assembly since 2013.


Peter White, the newest Organisation Representative board member, is a Gamilaroi Murri man from north-west NSW currently working as a freelance adviser on First Peoples’ cultural and creative development. Peter has held a number of senior positions in major cultural institutions and government arts agencies including the National Film and Sound Archive and now Sydney Living Museums. He is a former board member of Regional Arts Australia and a former Chair of Regional Arts NSW.


Re-elected Artist Representative board members Sally Smart and Michael Zavros are two of Australia’s significant contemporary artists, both recognised nationally and internationally for their work. Re-elected as an Organisation Representative member, Hannah Matthews is Senior Curator at Monash University Museum of Art, with a particular interest in the lineage of conceptual art and performative modes of practice.


Voting was conducted by secret ballot according to the terms of the NAVA Constitution with Members asked to cast three votes for the three vacancies for Elected Representative – Artists. Brigid Phelan from the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies served as independent scrutineer, validating the election outcome and the confidentiality of the process. There being two candidates for the two vacancies of Elected Representative – Organisations, Hannah Mathews and Peter White were deemed elected as provided by the terms of the NAVA Constitution. Elected members of the NAVA Board can serve a maximum of two three-year terms and newly-elected members join the Board as of the Annual General Meeting on 29 May.


NAVA leads advocacy, policy and action for an Australian contemporary arts sector that’s ambitious and fair. Through the Code of Practice for the Professional Australian Visual Arts, Media, Craft and Design Sector, we set national best practice standards for the contemporary arts industry. Our vision – that artistic courage ignites Australian culture – inspires everything we do. 

Pictured above:

(L) Ionat Zurr, photo by Senni Luttinen/Uniarts Helsinki

(R) Peter White, photo by Campbell Henderson