NAVA welcomes new Directors to the Board

Sophia Cai, Kate Just and Janice Falsone have been welcomed as the newest Directors to the NAVA Board, while Brian Tucker CPA steps into the role of Treasurer for NAVA.

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) is thrilled to announce Sophia Cai (Vic), Kate Just (Vic), and Janice Falsone (ACT) as new Directors to the NAVA Board, all of whom were elected unopposed. Additionally, Michelle Vine (Qld) has been re-elected, and Brian Tucker CPA has been appointed as the new Treasurer for NAVA.

Sophia Cai, elected Organisation Representative Director, is a curator and writer based in Naarm/Melbourne. She is the current Artistic Director of Bus Projects, one of Australia’s longest-running artist-run organisations, while maintaining an independent curating and writing practice. From 2020 to 2023, she taught as a lecturer at the Victorian College of Arts, University of Melbourne and Monash Art Design & Architecture, Monash University.

‘I am honoured to join the NAVA Board and represent Bus Projects,’ said Sophia Cai. ‘Having previously contributed to NAVA's revision of the Code of Practice, I look forward to continuing the work of advocating for greater equity and positive change in the visual arts sector.’

Kate Just, elected Artist Representative Director, is a US-born Australian feminist artist best known for her inventive use of knitting in sculptures, pictures, text works and clothing that explore social and political issues and reflect on her own lived experiences. In addition to her solo practice, Just often works socially and collaboratively within communities to create large-scale, public art projects that tackle significant social issues including gender-based violence. Just is also a Senior Lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts, where she has educated visual artists in both undergraduate and postgraduate areas for the last twenty years.

‘I am thrilled to join the NAVA Board. As an educator and artist working for social and institutional change, I am committed to working collaboratively to positively shape and transform our sector,’ said Kate Just.

Janice Falsone, newly elected Organisation Representative Director, is the Director of Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS). Falsone is a values driven and entrepreneurial leader who has served in a range of curatorial and arts management roles in Canberra and Brisbane, including at PhotoAccess (Director, Manuka Arts Centre Manger), ANCA (Gallery Manager), M16 Artspace, Australia Business Arts Foundation, Australian Institute of Architects and Queensland Artworkers Alliance.

‘NAVA is invaluable for a healthy and thriving sector, and I have long admired the important work it does in advocating for the rights and needs of artists and arts workers. I am delighted to be joining the NAVA Board,’ said Janice Falsone. ‘I’ll also look forward to bringing to the role my experience as the Director of a small-to-medium contemporary art organisation that’s also a member of Contemporary Art Organisations Australia (CAOA).’

Re-elected Artist Representative Michelle Vine continues in her second term on the NAVA Board. Vine is an artist, educator, and researcher whose practice explores sensory experience, disability, and wellbeing. 

Brian Tucker CPA joins NAVA as its Treasurer. Now retired, Brian dedicated forty years to his career as an arts accountant, specialising in auditing arts organisations and Indigenous art centres across Australia for the last two decades. Leveraging this extensive experience, he has been a staunch advocate for the arts and artists. Currently, Tucker serves as Treasurer for seven organisations and chairs another. He has held similar roles in over twenty organisations, ranging from the Queensland Poets Society to the considerably larger Queensland Performing Arts Trust.

'I have known NAVA since I started working in the arts in 1980 and worked with the organisation on many issues, with the ATO on gaining Sales Tax exemption on glass and wearable art, and the amendment of rules on tax and Australian Business Numbers for Indigenous artists, among others, and tramped around Parliament House with NAVA, buttonholing MPs and anyone we thought could help working artists,’ said Brian Tucker. ‘I have made submissions to, and been asked to attend Senate and other Inquiries. My working life has been dedicated to supporting artists and the organisations that support and further their interests. I am honoured to have been invited to join the Board and am looking forward to contributing in any way I can.’

At the AGM, NAVA farewelled elected artists Abdul Abdullah and Lisa Radford and elected organisation representative Patrice Sharkey. Tributes were also made to Imogen Beynon who resigned as Co-opted Director in March 2024, Kate Joannou who served as Company Secretary for three years and Anjli Punia as NAVA’s Treasurer for two years.

'I extend heartfelt thanks to all of our departing Directors for their invaluable input and guidance, along with their insightful perspectives. NAVA has greatly benefited from each of their contributions,' said Executive Director of NAVA, Penelope Benton. 'I also thank all the nominees in this year’s election and extend a warm welcome to Sophia, Kate, Janice and Brian.'

The tenures of Sophia Cai, Kate Just, Janice Falsone and Brian Tucker began as of NAVA’s Annual General Meeting today, Thursday 23 May 2024.

Image credits

Photo of Sophia Cai by Malcolm King. Photo of Brian Tucker by Rhett Hammerton. Photo of Kate Just courtesy of the artist.

ID: Portrait of Sophia Cai on top left. She has dark shoulder length hair with a fringe and black round framed glasses. She is smiling and wearing a pale blue collared shirt over a white and black spot tshirt. In the background there is water and a distant cityscape. Photo of Janice Falsone in top right of the frame. She has light hair brushed to one side, her head is tilted and she is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a white shirt. The three portraits divided by thin white lines. On the next line is a photo of Brian Tucker wearing a red t-shirt and thin framed glasses. He is sitting in front of a large bookcase. To the right of Brian is a portrait of Kate Just in the centre. She has short dark hair and red lipstick, and is holding a large red knitted artwork with white text that says 'look at art', in the background are more knitted signs hanging on the wall. 

NAVA welcomes new Directors to the Board