New Leadership Model for NAVA

NAVA is re-structuring to a Co-Director model of leadership to take the organisation into its next chapter and to align more with the work we do.

Photo by Zan Wimberley, NAVA's Future/Forward, Parliament House, Canberra ACT, 2018.

In strategic planning meetings late last year the Board agreed on moving away from traditional hierarchical structures to support a new collaborative leadership model.

“Last year the NAVA Board found itself in an opportune moment to reflect upon the organisation's operating model. Restructuring with a collaborative, shared form of leadership aligns with NAVA’s values, as well as arms the organisation with strong leadership across advocacy, governance and Member services”, says NAVA’s Acting Co-Chair Patrice Sharkey.

Penelope Benton NAVA’s General Manager for six years and presently the Acting CEO is confirmed as Executive Director. She will be working collaboratively with a new Advocacy Director to lead NAVA.

"I'm really thrilled to be part of this new direction for NAVA. The shift to collaborative leadership among arts organisations and other not-for-profit sectors has been growing in recent years as we move toward more equitable and inclusive forms of decision-making," said Penelope Benton.

"This re-structure builds on our collaborative approach to revising the Code of Practice and I'm looking forward to working with the new Advocacy Director and our team to further strengthen NAVA's collective workplace culture as well as our approach to improving conditions for artists and arts workers across the sector."

The immediate focuses for the two leaders are NAVA’s major project Ambitious & Fair: a new, national Code of Practice for the visual arts, craft and design sectors, upcoming annual advocacy program Arts Day on the Hill and advocating for arts and cultural policy in the lead up to the next federal election.

The new role of Advocacy Director will support the application and implementation of the new Code of Practice, and the needs of Australian artists, arts workers and organisations. The role will further promote the development of a robust arts ecology that can sustain and support artists’ careers while preparing organisations, institutions and policymakers for working with artists in financially transparent, culturally competent and ethical ways.

This new role is a rare opportunity to be both hands-on and strategic, sharing the senior management responsibilities with the Executive Director and collaborating with a small team for a big impact on artists’ rights, sector development and arts policy.

Applications for the position of Advocacy Director are invited from across Australia until 30 April 2021. 

NAVA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly welcome applicants from First Nations, culturally diverse, disability and Deaf, and/or marginalised communities.

Follow the link below to access information about the role including the position description, contact details for queries and details on how to apply.

Job enquiries:

Kathir Ponnusamy


Media enquiries:

Leya Reid


The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) acknowledges the Gadigal peoples of the Eora Nations where our office is located and all Custodians of Country throughout all lands, waters and territories. Sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.