NAVA announces new Advocacy Director Mimi Crowe and new Chair Clothilde Bullen

Image L-R: Mimi Crowe in front of Kungkarangkalpa‑ Seven Sisters by Pitjantjatjara artist Nyunmiti Burton, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © the artist | APY Art Centre Collective, photo by Saul Steed; Clothilde Bullen, photo by Jamie James, 2021.

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) is very pleased to announce that Mimi Crowe will join the organisation as our new Advocacy Director and Clothilde Bullen will Chair the NAVA Board.

Executive Director of NAVA, Penelope Benton, said ‘I am absolutely delighted to welcome both Clothilde and Mimi to the NAVA Board and team respectively. At this critical time the organisation will strengthen markedly with contributions from these experienced professionals. Both are demonstrated forward thinkers, collaborators, mentors and visionaries. I cannot wait to work with them to ensure NAVA’s Code of Practice, advocacy work and other projects into the future serve Australian visual artists and arts workers at optimum level.’

Mimi Crowe comes to NAVA from the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), where she currently works as Producer of Tarnanthi, a national festival of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. With over a decade of experience as an arts and creative industries leader and advocate, Mimi has worked with South Australia’s major cultural institutions and arts organisations for over a decade, previously holding roles such as the Head of Development & Strategy at State Theatre SA, General Manager, Office for Design + Architecture SA (formerly Integrated Design Commission SA) and Manager Cultural Heritage at Arts SA. Mimi is currently a Board Member at Brink Productions and previously for ActNow Theatre. 

Mimi will be working collaboratively with Executive Director Penelope Benton as part of NAVA’s recent restructure towards more equitable and inclusive forms of decision-making and leadership. Mimi will be based in South Australia, reflecting NAVA’s national identity. 

Mimi says of her new role, ‘I am thrilled to join NAVA and be a part of the important work it does. I have been committed to driving great policy outcomes for artists and the arts sector throughout my career and relish the opportunity to join NAVA at this point of transformation and growth. I value being a part of a great team and can’t wait to work under Clothilde’s leadership, in partnership with Penelope and with support from the amazing team at NAVA to advocate for artists, organisations and the broader sector.’

NAVA thanks all applicants for their interest in the new role of Advocacy Director, and thanks the recruitment panel for their expertise.

Newly appointed Chair of the NAVA Board, Clothilde Bullen, is the Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and is a Wardandi (Nyoongar) and Badimaya (Yamatji) Aboriginal woman. She was previously the Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia for over a decade and most recently co-curated the award-winning John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new, and The National: New Australian Art, and will open Richard Bell: You Can Go Now in June 2021 for the MCA. 

Clothilde is on the international selection panel for the British Council’s Intersect program and is a current Board member for the Australian charter of the International Association for Art Critics. She is also a Museums and Histories Board member for Create NSW and is an Alumni member of the British Council Accelerate Scholarship for Indigenous Leadership in the Arts. Clothilde’s advocacy continues with her position as co-Chair of Indigenous Voices, a program supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentors and emerging writers in collaboration with Art Monthly Australasia and the Power Institute at Sydney University. 

Clothilde says of her new role, ‘I am delighted to take on the role of Chair for the NAVA Board. It is a privilege and responsibility to serve our arts community and one that I take seriously. This particular moment in time offers us an opportunity to guide the organisation forward honestly with renewed purpose and critical awareness, and I look forward to supporting our co-Directors in undertaking this challenge.’

The NAVA team, Board and Members sincerely thank the outgoing NAVA Chair James Emmett, who served from 2016–20. During his time with NAVA, he farewelled Tamara Winikoff and appointed Esther Anatolitis as Executive Director in 2017, contributed to the marriage equality movement in Australia, began work on revising NAVA's constitution, and was generous in his philanthropy to the organisation.

Mimi Crowe's first day as Advocacy Director of NAVA is 21 June 2021, while the tenure of Clothilde Bullen on the NAVA Board began on 11 May 2021.

Opportunity: NAVA Company Secretary

Emma Page Campbell resigned from the NAVA Board late last year due to other commitments. NAVA is currently seeking a new Company Secretary. Applications close on 7 June 2021. Follow the link below for more information and how to apply.