NAVA Chair welcomes new Board Member Bianca Beetson

Bianca Beetson, in front of Dibirdibi Country 2008 by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarrnda (Mrs Gabori), Brisbane City, 2021. Photo by Chloë Callistemon, courtesy of QAGOMA.

Chair of the NAVA Board Clothilde Bullen today welcomes Dr Bianca Beetson to the NAVA Board as an Organisation Representative. Bianca joins the Board as an appointed Co-Opted Member, replacing Wesley Enoch who recently left the Board due to other commitments.

Dr Bianca Beetson is a Kabi Kabi (Sunshine Coast) Wiradjuri (NSW) woman and has been a practising artist for over 26 years. Bianca works across a broad range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, fibre arts and public art. In 2018 Bianca was awarded a Doctor of Visual Art, from the QLD College of Art, Griffith University.

Bianca carved out a path for herself in the Indigenous arts as a trainee curator at Fireworks Gallery, where she worked on major projects including the 1996 Campfire Groups "All Stock Must Go" Installation as a part of the 2nd Asia Pacific Biennial. From 1999 to 2007 she worked in various arts worker roles including the regional Indigenous community arts officer for Access Arts, artistic director of Catalyst Youth Arts and the community arts officer for Brisbane City Council. These previous roles greatly informed her community-engaged and collaborative arts practice.

Currently Bianca is working on a collaborative arts-led research project called "Listening to Country", which explores the impact of sound, and in particular the impact of sounds of Country on the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within Institutions. This collaborative approach has allowed Bianca to mentor and support many generations of young and emerging artists, not only as an educator, but through her practice and passion for cultural sharing.   

Bianca has lectured and directed the Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art (BCAIA) degree at the Qld College of Art, Griffith University and is currently the Director of Indigenous Research Unit at the same institution. Bianca was also a founding member of the seminal Aboriginal artist collective proppaNOW Aboriginal artist collective. 

Her current board and advisory group memberships include the board of trustees of the QLD Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art and its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel. She is also a member of the Museum of Contemporary Art Artist Advisory Panel, on the board of Digi Youth Arts and a member of the newly formed Arts QLD First Nations Arts and Cultures Advisory panel. 

On her new appointment, Bianca says, ‘Having been a member of NAVA for a number of years, I solidly support and believe in the important role it plays nationally in advocating for improved industry conditions, engagement protocols and access opportunities for visual artists. I am looking forward to gaining a greater insight into NAVA as an organisation and working with the other members of the Board and NAVA's executive staff to support and strengthen the great work NAVA undertakes.'

In March 2021, Wesley Enoch resigned from the NAVA Board. Wesley has returned to Country and taken up the role of Indigenous Chair in the Creative Industries with QUT where he will contribute to the national conversation on global issues including climate change, aged care, technology and human rights. The NAVA team, Board and NAVA Members would like to sincerely thank Wesley Enoch for his generous and expert contribution to NAVA over the years. Executive Director of NAVA, Penelope Benton, said, ‘Wesley Enoch’s contribution to the Board was epitomised by his strong governance, vast experience, brilliant advocacy and widely respected public voice.’

NAVA now has four First Nations Board Members, with Bianca Beetson joining the Chair of the NAVA Board Clothilde Bullen, Rohin Kickett, and Genevieve Grieves, who has been re-elected unopposed to the NAVA Board at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting. 

Bianca’s tenure on the NAVA Board began on 18 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.