February 28, 2024

March Member Meeting and Professional Development Conference

March Member Meeting and Professional Development Conference


Date: Tuesday, 19th & Wednesday, 20th, March.
Venue: The Round (397 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading, VIC, 3131) 

We are excited to invite you to our first member meeting for 2024, held next month! We will be gathering at The Round, the incredible new performing arts centre in Nunawading. This meeting will be focussed on the future of programming, understanding current trends and emerging challenges. With increasing costs of touring, the emergence of slow touring, and a greater focus on equity and inclusion within programming practices, venue managers and programmers need to ensure their practices and policies are evolving and adapting. Join us to hear from sector leaders and participate in vital discussions with colleagues. 

We are thrilled to announce two key speakers: Matt Jones, CEO of Montsalvat, and Jade Lillie, arts leader and community engagement specialist. Please see below for details on their presentations.  

A finalised agenda will be available in March. Please follow the link below to check out the accommodation recommendations and travel documentation. 

Matt is a leader in sustainable public space management with over two decades of experience spanning Australia and the United Kingdom. His career highlights include serving as CEO for Place Leaders Asia Pacific, General Manager at Urban Screen Productions, and overseeing programs and events at Melbourne’s Federation Square for a decade. Matt’s expertise extends to strategic consultancy projects for public spaces like Prahran Square, Bunjil Place, and Queen Victoria Market. Matt is currently the CEO of Montsalvat, Australia’s oldest artists’ community, where he is leading a process of regeneration and renewal in the precinct’s 90th year.

What are the markers of a successful public space? How are public spaces programmed and activated in ways to encourage visitation and ongoing community loyalty – and what happens when it all goes wrong? Matt Jones will share a potted history of his two decades managing and consulting on a variety of iconic and distinctive public environments. From both operational and strategic perspectives, Matt will share examples of what has worked, what has not, and why our public spaces remain such a compelling opportunity for community-building.

Jade is a distinguished leader, executive, and community engagement specialist with extensive experience in government, non-profit, and private sectors across Australia and Southeast Asia. With a background in diverse roles, including Director and CEO at Footscray Community Arts Centre, Jade is recognised for her expertise in facilitation, strategy, governance, and cultural leadership. She is committed to shaping contemporary models of practice and has curated “The Relationship is the Project,” a resource on community engagement, advocating for diversity and access. 

Jade Lillie is invited to share her thoughts on what contemporary community-engaged practice is for venues and arts centres in Australia. She asks how we can consider communities and audiences as stakeholders in programming and operations while sharing practical suggestions on relevancy, self-determination and agency. 

Her new book, The Relationship is the Project, created in collaboration with over 40 Australian practitioners, will also be available at the event.

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