Regional // Regional brings representatives from regional arts festivals and platforms across Australia and the Asia Pacific together to exchange insights from their respective regions, build long-term connections, and develop strategic initiatives and projects to jointly implement. After strategic engagements in Australia in 2021, we officially launched the program and the Alliance of 30 APAC and Australian festival directors in 2022.
Regional // Regional addresses barriers to international engagement for regionally and remote focused festivals and platforms. The three year initiative is designed to seed and support cross-cultural collaborations between Australia and the Indo-Pacific. The program promotes the sharing of insights, long-term connections and development of strategic initiatives, creative exchange and collaboration.
The program will have direct impacts on arts and cultural activity, knowledge sharing, well-being, audience development and diversity outcomes in local regional and remote communities. Insights and emerging projects will be shared across Australia and the Indo-Pacific through public forums from 2023 and publishing, as well as in new festival co-productions.
Participants will exchange knowledge and perspectives from their respective programs and regions, build long-term relationships – developing collaborations and new projects for regional audiences both in Australia and the Indo-Pacific.
Regional // Regional Alliance Participants
The Regional // Regional Alliance is a group of up to 30 producers and directors from across Australia and the Indo-Pacific coming together to share insights, address barriers and promote opportunities for international engagement.
Alex Wisser is an artist and creative producer living and working in regional NSW in the town of Kandos. His practice involves large scale, long term projects within a cross disciplinary, community engaged practice exploring the potential of art to participate in everyday cultural contexts.
He has participated in the establishment and development of Cementa Festival and the Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation, both regionally based, socially embedded arts initiatives that work to adapt and engage contemporary art culture to real world contexts with social as well as cultural benefits.
He has participated in delivering five successful Cementa festivals, giving over 200 artists the opportunity to explore the socially engaged form and works to constantly refine and rethink the capacity of art to function in cultural contexts other than the gallery or artworld.
Ashleigh Campbell is a skilled strategic thinker, creative leader, curator/producer who hails from Jagara/Giabal Country, the Great Dividing Range township of Toowoomba. Experienced in the formation and delivery of regional arts festivals, she’s worked in curatorial and arts management roles for local government public galleries, art fairs, artist-run spaces and organisations.
Ashleigh trained in studio practice, majoring in visual culture/sculpture/ printmaking and holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and a Masters in Art Curatorship. She’s passionate about placemaking in regional contexts and ever-committed to forging fresh pathways, supporting and profiling Australian artists.
She’s the Vice President of Public Galleries Queensland. Ashleigh took on the leadership of KickArts in late 2018, guiding the re-visioning of the organization to grow into NorthSite at Bulmba-ja in 2020; a multi-arts platform that continues to support 300+ artists across Far North Queensland each year.
Brian Ritchie first came to prominence as bassist/multi-instrumentalist for American folk-punk legends Violent Femmes. 40 years later he is still touring with the band.
Brian moved to Tasmania in 2007 and in 2009 launched Mona Foma festival, which has won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Music Festival four times. Mona Foma emphasises unique approaches to music, cross-genre collaborations, and unusual use of spaces. The festival expanded from its Hobart origins to include Launceston starting 2018. In 2011 Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) opened to the public and Brian expanded his duties as Music Curator onsite. This represents hundreds of performances a year in up to four venues a day.
Brian’s contribution to regional arts in Australia includes acting as Music Mentor for Bush Bands Bash in Alice Springs, and as Musical Director of Spirit of Churaki within the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
David Maseng Nalo
David Maseng Nalo has led and created festivals in Vanuatu to support youth engagement in creative industries. He has travelled in the pacific to promote Vanuatu music taking bands on tours to Australia, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and to Europe, organising and creating opportunities for various bands and performers via the establishment of relationships with partners regionally, and working with musicians for live and recorded productions.
In 2009 David and Dely met and have since then been working together on numerous projects in the arts and cultural sector, and community development in Vanuatu. David is now an Executive Director for LOKOL EYES supporting Dely’s vision for arts and community projects.
Dely Roy Nalo
Dely Roy Nalo has been supporting kastom as a means to encourage respect in youth-led initiatives, involving arts. From 2011 to 2015 she founded and led a grassroots movement in Vanuatu called TEKS, to revive and maintain biocultural knowledge and practices in rural communities through projects support and co-producing creative multimedia content.
Activities she supported include: creative arts workshops for children, water music touring in Australia and Borneo, the creation of a DVD on water music, research on traditional music instruments, the Singaot Musik Kamp involving musicians from Europe and the Pacific, and support of festivals in outer Vanuatu islands such as Gaua, Santo and Ambrym. TEKS supported a range of traditional wisdom practices such as dances, music, songs, stories, carving, weaving, painting, drawing, and fabric art.
In 2018 Dely created LOKOL EYES to continue pursuing her vision for endeavours that give back to communities.
Diat Alferink is a performing artist, festival director, comedian and creative producer from the Kala Lagaw Ya language group of the Western Torres Strait Islands. She’s a skilled project manager with extensive experience leading, developing and directing community arts organisations, large scale festivals and events, and community and youth arts projects.
Born in Port Augusta and raised in Lyndhurst, Diat’s mum Daisy was from the Badu and Mabuiag Islands and her dad is well known SA sculptor Cornelis Alferink ‘TALC ALF’.
Diat now lives with her partner and three young children on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, where she’s Chief Executive Officer of the Torres Strait Islander Media Association. She’s passionate about the positive contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and media can make to the lives of all Australians
Doni Maulistya studied photography at a formal institution before focusing his study on documentary photography non-formally at Angkor Photography Workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia (2009) and Foundry Photo Workshop in Istanbul, Turkey (2010). His artistic journey as a photography-based artist has continued since then.
His artworks have been presented in exhibitions such as Sumonar Festival, Yogyakarta (2019); Photo Bangkok, BACC, Bangkok (2018); Ceritera, Kuala Lumpur International Art Festival (2017); POLA, Jim Thompson Museum, Bangkok (2017), and ARTJOG, Yogyakarta (2013 & 2012). He is also active as a cultural professional for creative projects and festivals in the sector.
He participates in other functions as Art Director, Festival Director, Curator, Producer, Exhibition Designer, Art Manager, and Cultural Archive Practitioner. Since 2021, he has been appointed by the Department of Culture as Director of Yogyakarta Cultural Festival (2021-2022); and serves as Deputy Chair on the Board of Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja Art Centre
Emma Porteus believes deeply in the power of art to positively transform both people and communities. She has over 15 year’s experience working as a performance maker and producer on dance, community and festival projects throughout Australia and Internationally, including with Vrystaat Festival (South Africa), ANTI Festival (Finland), Sydney Festival (NSW) Dancehouse, FOLA, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Next Wave (Vic), Tracks (NT), Dark Mofo, Mona Foma, Tasdance, Ten Days on the Island, Festival of Voices, Junction Arts Festival and Tasmania Performs (Tas).
In her current role as Co-Creative Director of Assembly 197 and Executive Producer of Situate Art in Festivals, she is really interested in performance and art-making models that connect people and places. She creates and produces tourable live, visual art, and festival events that can be delivered in any community, in any country, to produce rich experiences that speaks directly to the place, the people, and communities who help create it.
Headshot photo credit: Melanie Kate Creative.
Erin Milne is an independent producer whose practice, Bureau of Works, is deeply driven by a passion for contemporary and experimental art that speaks to the here and now.
Erin works with a number of regionally-based artists and organisations. In the Regional // Regional program, she is representing live art company Punctum who are based on Dja Dja Wurrung country, in Castlemaine, Victoria.
Erin has worked with Punctum since 2018, focused on the development of new work, networks and residencies for regionally-based experimental practice. She is a sought-after collaborator with some of Australia’s most distinctive and ambitious artists and companies, bringing a combination of strategy, insight and networks to create exceptional projects.
Erin was awarded a Facilitator Prize at the 2022 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards, the 2021 Geoffrey Milne Award for Outstanding Contribution to Contemporary & Experimental Performance at Melbourne’s Green Room.
Headshot photo credit: Sarah Walker.
Felix Preval has been the Artistic Director of Darwin Festival since 2017, after four successful years as Festival Producer of Melbourne Fringe Festival.
He is passionate about supporting the practice of regional artists, connecting Darwin with the cultures of the Asia-Pacific region and finding new ways to create communities through the celebration of these voices.
Glyn Roberts is the Festival Director and CEO of the Castlemaine State Festival, Australia’s oldest regional multi-arts festival, spanning over 17 days, 100 events, 56,000 visitors, and every art form. In parallel to the festival, Glyn has been leading a highly successful project through the development of a large heritage site as multi-use art and cultural space for the community and HQ for the organisation.
Before arriving in Castlemaine, Glyn worked as as a curator of contemporary performance for Brisbane Festival.
2022 has seen Glyn sit on the jury for Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards in Bangalore, India, and represent Australia at the European Union's Global Cultural Relationships Programme held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Glyn is known for working across the Australian and international creative industries with a unique capacity to translate creative strategy into financially sustainable arts programs that engage and grow diverse audiences.
Hannah Clissold is the Director of Horizon Festival, the Sunshine Coast’s leading contemporary multi-arts festival, which takes place on the lands of the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara Peoples.
She is passionate about developing artists and audiences within the region and beyond.
Hannah has an extensive background in the arts and culture sector and has held previous roles in partnerships, funding and program management at the Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art, Woodford Folk Festival, The Planting Festival and The Dreaming Festival.
Julien Poulson is an Australian arts producer working on a range of collaborative Asia Australia arts projects and festivals. In 2007, Julien received an Asialink Residency for Cambodia, and has since spent much time creating arts project in Cambodia where he is best known as the founder and guitarist of psychedelic rock band The Cambodian Space Project.
Julien is also co-founder of the Fish Island Community Arts Centre a grassroots arts organisation offering international artist residencies and facilitating arts training, skills share and collaborations.
This year, Julien is co-directing funk opera The Ratcatcher of Angkor Wat – an exciting new music theatre work that brings together Australian and Cambodian artists, and will be launched at its world premiere soon! At this year’s OzAsia Festival. Julien currently based in Yuendumu where he is engaged by PAW Media to produce Indigenous musicians Central Australia and will be performing with the PAW HOUSE BAND at First Sounds at Darwin Festival.
Japan simultaneously embodies opposite extremes, with futuristic technologies mingling with ancient traditions. Whether it's a vending machine placed beside a 300-year-old temple or depictions of ancient relics adorning a cellphone charm, the country consistently mashes up styles and time periods. This theme lies at the heart of Kyoko Nakamura's works. Using digital tools like Photoshop and analog materials like acrylic gouache, she captures the dichotomies with great specificity and neon intensity.
Kyoko first started making artwork when she was young and is inspired by the many local temples in Kyoto, where she lives. “Recently, I like to draw interiors of rooms and shops. On one hand, the rooms are full of decorative antiques and traditional Japanese crafts. But on the other, the rooms also incorporate contemporary elements such as neon billboards and smartphones,” she explains.
Hoping to work full-time as an illustrator, Kyoko is focusing on prints, book covers and posters.
Lauren Carroll Harris
Lauren Carroll Harris is the curator of the Prototype moving image platform and has curated video programs for Carriageworks, the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial, Kings Artist-Run, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and Bunjil Place.
Her essays and cultural criticism have been published in Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, Sydney Review of Books, The Lifted Brow, The Baffler's website and the Open Secrets book anthology.
Dr Lily Yulianti Farid
Dr Lily Yulianti Farid is a published author and art event producer with expertise in cultural links between Australia and Indonesia. She is the founder and director of Makassar International Writers Festival and co-director of Rumata’ Artspace.
Before pursuing her PhD, Lily worked as a journalist at Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Australia and Online News, Indonesian Service), Radio Japan, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and Morning Daily Kompas, Indonesia.
She is also postdoctoral research fellow at Global Encounters Monash, Monash University, Australia. Her research interests include Australia – Indonesia’s pre-colonial contacts, gender and media in Indonesia.
Lotte Waters has over 25 years experience in the arts and culture sectors in Australia as a project manager, writer, curator and producer. She has managed and facilitated major arts, events and multimedia projects in remote indigenous communities and cross-cultural projects Australia-wide and internationally.
She is the General Manager of Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre and coordinated the 2021 and 2022 Mowanjum Festivals.
Executive Director, NPO Japan Contemporary Dance Network, Norikazu Sato joined the butoh group Byakkosha in 1980. In 2001, he established the NPO Japan Contemporary Dance Network in Kyoto to bring together individuals and organizations involved in dance including artists, event hosts, critics, companies, and foundations. The Japan Contemporary Dance Network connects society and dance through various activities, including hosting Odori ni Ikuze!! (Let's Go Dancing), producing Dance File, operating dance performance workshops, and the coordination of performances.
Starting in 2013, he has been carrying out exchanges with dancers from overseas and Japan to visit various parts of Tohoku (particularly areas affected by the earthquake) to learn folk arts.
The Human Celebration--Sanriku International Arts Festival 2014 combined local folk arts; gamelan from Bali, Indonesia; Korean pungmul folk music; community dance; and contemporary dance. There are plans to continue this festival in the future.
Early in her career, Ruchira Das decided to leave the corporate world to follow her heart and work with the arts. After 15 years of working with various arts organisations across India, in different capacities, she founded ThinkArts in December 2013. Based in Kolkata, Think Arts has collaborated with partners across India and internationally to bring a diverse programme of literary, visual art, dance, theatre and story-telling events to young audiences in several cities across India.
She currently works as the Artistic Director at Arthshila, overseeing the programming of their multi arts spaces in India and continues to be a mentor and guide for ThinkArts.
She is also the President of the India chapter of ASSITEJ International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People and Deputy Director of India's premier arts management fellowship programme, ARThink South Asia.
With a diverse background in cultural arts/environmental/ social/ justice/ youth work and Indigenous Medicines Therapy, Ruth Langford divides her time into projects that reflect her passion for uniting ancient traditions and contemporary innovations for optimistic action and healing for all.
As a Songwoman and Storyteller, Ruth draws upon the cultural knowledge of her Yorta Yorta lineage and the Tasmanian Aboriginal community where she was born and continues to live.
Combining over twenty years traveling the world sitting with Indigenous Elders, Senior Knowledge Keepers and World Wisdom Teachers with conscious research, Ruth’s vision is to connect people to the ancient wisdom of Indigenous teachings in a contemporary and relevant context through the expression of cultural arts, ceremony and ritual.
Establishing Nayri Niara Centre for the Arts of Healing and Nayri Niara good spirit Festival, Ruth is a capable facilitator and coordinator of programs, which have as their guiding principles, Connection to Country, Culture, the Self and the Sacred.
Sarah Parsons is the Creative Producer/CEO of Outback Theatre for Young People, on Wamba Wamba Perrepa Perrepa country in South West NSW, a role that sees her design and deliver projects with regional and remote communities across a 30,000 square km area.
Most of her arts practice to date has been dedicated to arts in counter-urban areas, and Sarah is fiercely passionate about theatre for young people, community driven work, advocating for regional based practice and sustainable arts engagement in remote and regional Australia.
In April 2018, Sarah was appointed as a Director on the Board of Regional Arts NSW. Sarah also currently sits on the ASSITEJ Advisory Group for Theatre Network Australia and is a Peer Assessor on the Theatre and Musical Theatre Board for Create NSW.
In the past, Sarah has been engaged as Lecturer of Theatre for Young People at Charles Sturt University, Director of the Bathurst Youth Theatre, Education Facilitator for Jigsaw Theatre Company (Canberra), and Workshop Manager for Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP).
Shay Vigona-Goudge is a local First Nations woman born and bred in the Territory with family from the Tiwi Islands. Shay has worked for many years in the Northern Territory arts and cultural sector and has an extensive understanding of the diversities, challenges and opportunities that make up the rich fabric of the Territory.
She has a network of national and local connections and a broad knowledge of Territory and Federal Government funding environments, including a wide range of Aboriginal programs.
Shay is an alumni of a number of national leadership programs such as the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation’s Milparanga Program and the National Gallery of Australia | Wesfarmers’ Indigenous Arts Leadership Program.
She is also a Regional Arts Australia National Fellowship recipient and is currently completing the Australia Council Arts Leaders Program.
Sherika Nulgit Duckhole
Sherika Nulgit Duckhole is a Ngarinyin curator, cultural researcher and coordinator of the Digital Media and Collection at the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre.
Her traditional country is in north-west Kimberley, Western Australia. In 2019, she was a recipient of the National Museum Australia’s Fellowship. Sherika was the lead curator of the recently opened Mowanjum Musueum.
She is a young singer of junba (cultural songs and dance), and plays a key role in the annual Mowanjum Festival.
Smriti Rajgarhia is Director of the Serendipity Arts Foundation and the Serendipity Arts Festival. Trained as an architect with a Masters in Design, Smriti began her career in the arts fourteen years ago working with a private archive for the collection. During this stint, her interest expanded into bringing art to the public and contextualising art within the region through arts education and awareness.
Smriti has also curated exhibitions on subjects that reflect the history and relevance of archives. Currently, Smriti us leading the Foundation and working on the Serendipity Arts Festival to bring her passion for art and design to the forefront by creating unique opportunities for creative individuals. With these two platforms, she endeavours to explore newer forms of representation and re-contextualize the kind of programming institutions need to engage with to widen the demographic of the audience for the arts in India.
Her personal interest also lies in adapting urban spaces to presentation of the arts, reclaiming the urban and questioning the impact of art and cultural interventions for a city/state/country.
Soula Veyradier is a cultural profucer, curator and arts manager having worked on projects across the visual arts and museum areas in Australia and overseas. As Programs Director at Spaced, she has worked with artists and organisations across Australia and the Nordic countries to produce contemporary arts experiences and artist residencies in regional settings.
On the board of Regional Arts WA, and previously Community Arts Network WA, she was involved in advocating and supporting the development of arts initiatives in regional spaces. Previous roles include Manager or the Perth site of the Western Australian Museum, Manager and Curator of the Goolyagatup-Heathcote Museum and Galley, Wirless Hill Museum and Melville Discovery Centre, Project Coordinatior National Geographic in Greece and Coordinator Pulstart Artists Collective in France.
She is interested in the interface between an artwork and its public, and the way it can shift how we ourselves within the context of space, whether in physical, cultural, political and social terms.
Tama Waipara is the Chief Executive/ Artistic Director of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival in Gisborne. He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, composer, actor, performer, Musical Director and Producer. He is Co-Chair of SOUNZ – Centre for NZ Music, Deputy Chair of the Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust, a member of the Te Hau ki Tūranga Governance Group and a staunch advocate for ngā toi Māori.
A Masters graduate of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York, Tama was signed by New York label ObliqSound as a singer/songwriter and released his debut album Triumph of Time to high critical acclaim at Central Park Summerstage in New York.
He has performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington and Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
Tama has worked across multiple art-forms and as composer, actor, musical director and producer. Along with Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper, he recently won the 2017 APRA Silver Scroll for Best Original Music in a Feature Film for MAHANA.
Tony Yap, born in Malaysia, is a leading figure in inter-cultural discourse and has contributed significantly to the development of contemporary dance & performance practice, particularly bringing a non-Western perspective to the palette of work being created.
His practice is grounded in: Asian philosophies, sensibilities and forms; inter-cultural and multi-disciplinary approaches; ongoing relationships and collaborations that deepen over time.
Tony is the creative director of MAP fest (Melaka Arts and Performance Festival).
Born and raised in the mining town of Queenstown, on the West Coast of Lutruwita/Tasmania, Travis Tiddy is deeply invested in an arts-led revival of his community. The founding director of the biennial Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival (2010-2014) and now The Unconformity (2018-onwards), Travis is an award-winning designer, director and community arts and cultural development practitioner.
Travis holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication (First Class Hons) through University of Tasmania (2005), a Churchill Fellowship to research geo-tourism concepts for post-industrial communities (2011), the Tasmanian Premier’s Young Achiever in Tourism Award (2014) and the Claudio Alcorso International Residency (2019).
He has held governance roles in numerous arts organisations including Tasmanian Regional Arts, Ten Days on the Island and the Contemporary Art Tasmania Programming Committee.
Virginia Hyam’s career in the arts has spanned 30 years starting in Youth Arts in South Australia, moving on to Directing Melbourne Fringe Festival and then to Sydney Opera House, where she worked as Executive Producer of the Studio and the Head of Contemporary Culture, specialising in the presentation of contemporary performance. She then worked as a freelancer curating, advising and producing in contemporary performance- hybrid art forms.
Working as creative producer with Festival 2018 (Arts and Cultural Festival of the Commonwealth Games) brought her to the Gold Coast on Yugambeh country where she is now located and holding the position of Head of Programming, HOTA (Home of the Arts) – a position that enables her to drive new programming initiatives across the cultural precinct, for indoor, outdoor across a range of scales. With HOTA’s increased visibility in the national cultural landscape, they are now keen to start broadening the connections between local artists and our regional counterparts in other locations around the world.
- July 2021
Asialink Arts developed a panel session to present at Artlands, the Regional Arts Australia national conference. The intent of the discussion was to share insights and consider adapted approaches to the sharing of cultural heritage.
The program explored contextual links between people, place and practice and considers a narrative of art as social change and emphasises the importance of cultural identity.
- October 2021
Leading on from discussions in July, Asialink Arts presented Foreground // Foresight at Cementa's Spirit of 21 event. The program introduced key arts leaders from Japan to discuss arts and culture led community-engaged placemaking and regional renewal.
This session explored future collaborations and possibilities in NSW’s regional communities, inspiring international conversations through a local lens and leading to an actionable future agenda.
- June 2022
An Expression of Interest process was undertaken to create the Regional // Regional Alliance of regional festival directors from across the Indo-Pacific.
Applications were assessed on the following criteria:
- Evidence of innovative and community connected multi-arts festivals or programs/platforms, with a prioritization of cross-disciplinary practice.
- Level of ambition and aspiration to connect with peers and collaborator in the Indo-Pacific.
- Track record of collaborative practice and willingness to listen and share with peers.
- August 2022
After a year of community consultations and stakeholder engagement, the Regional // Regional program was launched in Darwin.
This two-day event brought together the Regional // Regional Alliance members along with government officials, community leaders and key stakeholders to discuss the program and its intended outcomes.
- August 2022 - ongoing until June 2024
Alliance members come together through bi-monthly online-meeting to seed and support cross-cultural collaborations, to develop and present new programs in regional communities and build ongoing autonomous relationships and capacity, while also attracting and growing new audiences.
- Q4 2023
An international summit will be a cross-sectoral conversation which will expand beyond the arts and work to embed the creative industries across sectors. This summit will bring together the Alliance members as well as representatives from Government, the private sector, business, education and diplomacy. The program will have long-term benefits for regional Australian arts communities, policymakers and businesses and result in innovative and culturally diverse programming for regional arts audiences in Australia.
Interviews with Alliance Members
Asialink Arts is grateful for the generous support of the Yulgilbar Foundation, Circle 5, Creative New Zealand, Creative Victoria, the Australia Council for the Arts and Events Tasmania.