Creative industry experts appointed to the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board
  • Tuesday 16 August 2016

The future of the arts and culture sector on the Sunshine Coast is in good hands with the announcement and first meeting of the newly formed Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board today, Tuesday, August 16.

Following a nationwide expression of interest process, six highly credentialed art industry experts commenced on the Arts Advisory Board along with Mayor Mark Jamieson and Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski.

The inaugural meeting of the Board saw members including Collette Brennan (20 years arts leadership including a directorship on the Australia Council for the Arts), Phil Smith (Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance), James Birrell (Director/Owner, James Birrell Design Lab), Jennifer Radbourne (former board member with QPAC, Queensland Ballet, Qld Arts Council and Australian Institute of Arts Management), Kathi Holt-Damant (Executive Director, Nero Holt) and Tracey Vieira (CEO, Screen Queensland) come together for the first time to begin work on the region’s first Arts and Cultural Strategy.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Board would provide strategic advice and direction for council as it develops an ambitious future agenda for arts across the region.

“The region’s vision for the arts is a vital component of our growth and maturity,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The calibre of individuals on the Arts Advisory Board sets an exciting scene for the further development of the arts sector on the Coast.

“The depth of experience and creative insight the newly appointed Board members have is exceptional and I welcome their participation, advice and vision as we develop a blueprint to take the industry forward.”

Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said that the board would bring a wealth of experience, contacts and skills to the task of creating an inspiring 20 year vision for the arts in the region.

"The world is hungry for creative content,” Cr Baberowski said.

“This board will strengthen our focus on becoming a region that produces it.

“The role of our creative communities is changing – it’s well understood that the arts set the scene for innovation and smarter cities in general.

“By establishing this board we now have an opportunity to provide a strong foundation for creative growth that will benefit generations to come.”

Chairperson of the newly formed board Collette Brennan said arts and culture strengthened the quality of life and the community’s health and well-being and also impacted positively on the social, physical, economic fabric of the Sunshine Coast.

“I know that I speak for each board member when I say how honoured we are to serve the Sunshine Coast Council and Sunshine Coast community as part of the region’s first Arts Advisory Board,” Ms Brennan said.

“We aim to create an inspired vision of arts and culture on the Sunshine Coast, culminating in a world class, sophisticated and comprehensive community development and planning strategy.

“We relish the opportunity to be part of an impressive program of development for arts and culture on the Sunshine Coast.” 

The Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board will meet at least quarterly.

The first priority for the board is to develop a framework for the development of a strategic, 20 year Regional Arts and Cultural Plan including a vision for the region’s cultural future.

The Board will also be required to establish an Art Foundation, which will be key to the ongoing success of the arts and creative industry on the Coast.

More generally, the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board will:

  • Guide, promote and help build the identity of the Sunshine Coast as an arts destination for tourism and industry.
  • Advocate the region’s advantages to secure new investment in arts and cultural infrastructure.
  • Provide strategic advice to Council in relation to arts and cultural facilities and infrastructure.
  • Provide advice on strategic direction of wider cultural policy and strategy.
  • Provide opportunities to develop philanthropic activity in relation to the regional arts offer.

For more information about the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board visit :


Collette Brennan (Chair): Collette Brennan has 20 years arts leadership and management experience, and extensive knowledge of arts based practices issues and opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. Collette is an arts consultant focused on national and international audience and market development.

Previously, Collette was Director of International Development, Acting Executive Director of Arts Development and Director of Market Development at the Australia Council for the Arts; Executive Director of Brisbane’s internationally acclaimed contemporary circus Circa; the founding Creative Director of The Edge, State Library of Queensland’s program for children and young people; General Manager of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Out of the Box Festival for 3 to 8 year olds, and; Executive Officer of Youth Arts Queensland, the state’s peak body for youth arts and cultural development.

Collette has also worked as a lecturer at QUT, in schools as a drama and history teacher and as a youth arts worker in a range of school and community contexts with children and young people.

Current committee memberships include:

  • International Society of Performing Arts
  • Fellowship and Governance committees

Panel member:

  • Arts Queensland Peer Assessor

Phil Smith, president Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance: Phil is an energetic, mid-career architect and urban designer with 25 years practice on the Sunshine Coast across a wide range of projects. Phil has worked alongside gold-medal awarded architects Lindsay and Kerry Clare and Gabriel Poole. In 1994 he established (with architect Liza Neil) the boutique, multi-award-winning design firm Gomango Architects to explore new models of sustainable regional architecture.

Phil’s past roles with Maroochy Shire Council were as Principal Urban Designer and Project Manager of the Maroochydore CBD Master Plan project.

In 2006 Phil joined Deicke Richards, establishing their Sunshine Coast office. He has been Project Leader of a Bokarina Beach Master Plan for Stockland (2008-2015) and the Yeerongpilly TOD Master Plan for the State Government (2010-2014).

Phil currently leads the design team for Stella Maris Catholic Community project in Maroochydore and the design review team advising the State Government on the Queens Wharf Project. The USC Seniors Infill Housing Research Project he co-authored won a 2012 QLD PIA Award for Cutting Edge Research & Teaching and was awarded the 2013 Australasian Research Award by IAP2.

Phil is passionate about promoting the value of creative enterprise and artistic expression as drivers of innovation, business, culture and regional identity.

Current board membership:

  • Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance

Panel member:

  • Sunshine Coast Council’s Urban Design Advisory Panel
  • Past-chair of the AIA Sunshine Coast Region

James Birrell: James has extensive experience in music and visual arts events and networks including with art curators, production, international artists, media organisations and illustrators.  James has experience in events, landscape architecture, urban design, furniture design, art curation, urban renewal and property development, business ownership and the non-profit sector. 

James has established several organisation with the purpose of creating cultural revitalisation on the Sunshine Coast with a particular focus on generating investment and opportunities for young creative and entrepreneurs.

Current board memberships include:

  • President, Maroochydore Revitalisation Association

Jennifer Radbourne, Emeritus Professor: Jennifer brings extensive experience in the performing arts and academia. Jennifer has researched and published internationally in the areas of arts audiences, arts marketing, arts fundraising and business development in the arts. Jennifer developed Queensland’s first Graduate Diploma in Arts Administration at QUT in the 1990s and has presented papers at arts management and cultural policy conferences in North America, Europe, the UK, and Asia, and was a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management (AIMAC). Her most recent book, published in 2015 by Melbourne University Press was Philanthropy and the Arts, the first such publication in Australia.

Jennifer has provided consultancy to arts organisations in Australia and overseas, local and state governments, in arts governance, arts marketing and strategic marketing.  She is a graduate of the AICD and a former member of the Sunshine Coast AICD Committee with previous Board experience with APACA, QPAC, Qld Ballet, Qld Arts Council and Australian Institute of Arts Management.

Current board memberships include:

  • President, Maleny Arts Council
  • Member Sunshine Coast Grammar School Council
  • Chair, Sunshine Coast Grammar School Foundation Pty Ltd

Kathi Holt-Damant, Executive Director - Nero Holt: Adjunct Associate Professor Kathi is an architect, urban designer and academic with over 26 years teaching and research experience.  Kathi specialised in urban space and placemaking and has extensive experience in the arts and cultural sector with a great understanding of cultural policy.

Kathi has organised key events for QLD Government’s Heat Architecture program at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and an opening event for the Israeli Pavilion with Tami Dance Company (Israel) and QUT dancers. She has also worked with QLD State Government’s Expo team, Brisbane City Council and QUT. As Bid Leader for the Resilient Regions Cooperative Research Centre, Kathi worked with key members to set up the governance structure for the RR-CRC.  

Previous board memberships include:

  • European Union-Australia ICI Education Mobility program Advisory Board for DARC
  • Board of Urban Design Alliance

 Panel member includes:

  • Innovative Health Hub advisory committee for RDA (Logan and Redlands)
  • AURIN Expert Technical panel for Lens 4 Urban Housing
  • AURIN Expert Technical panel for Lens 10 Innovative Urban Design – Demonstrator Project in Logan QLD

Tracey Vieira, CEO - Screen Queensland:  Tracey is currently working as head of Screen Queensland and has a keen interest in the Arts. Tracey is a member of the AICD and has completed the company director’s course. Tracey is experienced in cultural policy and works closely with entities that include other cultural organisations such as QAGOMA, TEQ and QPAC.

Tracey has also worked closely with the Minster for the Arts (Qld Premier) and has strong relationships in the corporate sector with private investors and within State and Federal Government.

Current board memberships include:

  • Board Director – QMusic
  • Board Director – RSPCA Queensland
  • Board Director - Ausfilm