Consultants appointed to create Arts Plan for South Australia

The Marshall Government has engaged Mr Tony Grybowski, the former Chief Executive of the Australia Council for the Arts, to lead the development of a new Arts Plan for South Australia.

He will work in partnership with strategic consultant Mr Graeme Gherashe and a team of experts to undertake a comprehensive review of the state’s arts, cultural and creative sector and its funding structures.

Premier Steven Marshall said the development of the first arts plan since 2000 is a pillar of his government’s election commitments for the arts.

“We are very pleased to be working with such great leaders in the field of arts and cultural strategy,” said Premier Marshall.

“I am pleased that Mr Grybowski and Mr Gherashe’s approach to the significant task ahead is positive, and moreover, I’m confident that their collective experience will result in the development of a plan which is based on broad and extensive consultation.

Mr Grybowski and Mr Gherashe will be joined by award-winning author Dr Claire Scobie, arts policy specialist Kathryn Deyell and creative director and cultural geographer Dr Sarah Barns to engage with stakeholders.

These consultations will take the form of digital surveys, focus groups, interviews and ‘town-hall’ meetings that will be held across the state. An Advisory Group comprising South Australian and national arts and industry leaders will be established early in the process.

Mr Grybowski said the importance of physically going to rural and remote areas and communities, and not just Adelaide for meetings, is critical.

“We're looking forward to meeting artists and stakeholders in metropolitan, rural and remote areas to hear their stories, ideas and aspirations. This will help us to understand better the needs of the rich and diverse communities across South Australia,” said Mr Grybowski.  

South Australia’s reputation as an arts and culture centre is well-known around the world. The sector employs more than 16,000 people and is characterised by a rich diversity of practice and practitioners, unique and historic assets and facilities, world-renowned festivals and collections, and state-of-the-art creative industries.

The resulting plan will introduce a fresh narrative about arts and culture throughout South Australia and propose a compelling story of what the state’s arts, cultural and creative sector aspires to become.

The Arts Plan will be developed over the next six months and delivered by mid-year.


Graeme Gherashe’s experience and track record in business, strategic planning, teaching, coaching and consultancy spans the not-for-profit sector, academic communities and the ‘top end of town’ for profit business community. Having worked in Australia, the UK Singapore and Hong Kong in international roles has given Graeme an international perspective and network.  Graeme spent many years as a line executive, board member and CEO of commercial businesses before focusing on coaching, executive development and strategic planning. His passion for the NFP sector has seen him focus on the Arts and NFP sector for the past decade. Graeme has facilitated the strategic planning process in renewing a number of international businesses including Aviva International, IFACCA, and Standard Chartered Equitor and more recently a number of domestic organisations including, News Limited, IPMA and Arts organisations including the Australian Art Orchestra, Opera Australia , National Association for the Visual Arts and Sydney City Ballet. The Australia Council for the Arts partnered with Graeme from 2007 to 2014 to design and deliver the Emerging Leaders Development Program as well as a number of other interventions including workshops on strategic thinking. As an executive coach Graeme has worked with a large number of CEO’s in change management and the realignment of their businesses.

Tony Grybowski is one of Australia’s leading arts administrators with a unique 30-year career spanning a range of areas in the arts community and government. Tony is now based in Melbourne and for the past 12 years has worked at a national level and engaged with government and arts sector in all jurisdictions. This has included executive leadership roles with a range of Australian arts organisations and significant arts policy work across state and federal government bodies. Tony was Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body from 2013 to 2018. Tony led the Council through its most significant period of strategic and organisational reform, resulting in a new arts funding model, international strategic arts development, research and support for First Nations people. Tony is particularly passionate about the role and power of art in our lives, and the role of creativity in the future workforce. Tony has extensive government Policy experience working for the Victorian Government in the roll-out of its landmark arts strategy, Creative Capacity + and in the development, launch and implementation of the Australia Council’s inaugural overarching plan – A Culturally Ambitious Nation launched in 2014. As a keen networker Tony has fostered Australia’s role in the international arena of arts management.

Dr Claire Scobie is an award-winning author who brings to the project a unique approach through the power of narrative and storytelling. Through her consultancy Wordstruck, Claire works with ASX-listed companies, tech start-ups, not-for-profits and arts organisations to help them harness the power of storytelling as a strategic business tool. She coaches CEOs, leaders of industry and their executive teams, to find the right words to influence, motivate and inspire. Her clients include Evolution Mining, IAG, Coca Cola Amatil, Stryker, Woolworths, the Australia Council, the Smith Family, Lane Crawford and Perpetual Limited. Claire is also a senior associate with Cox Inall Ridgeway (CIR), a specialist Indigenous agency. In this role she assists CIR with narrative development, creative thinking and workshop facilitation across community projects. In 2017-18 she helped design and write a new narrative approach for the Gumbaynggirr Aboriginal Cultural Values and Community Aspirations’ Project, initiated by the Board of Management of the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) National Park on the NSW Mid North Coast, and undertaken by Cox Inall Ridgeway.   Claire has lived and worked in the UK, India and Australia.

Kathryn Deyell is a cultural diplomacy and arts policy specialist with more than 20 years experience in the arts and government. Kathryn is the founding director of arts consultancy Arvosun and in 2016-18 was appointed as the Australia Council’s International Development Consultant for North America based in New York and Los Angeles. As an Australian diplomat, Kathryn held senior cultural and public diplomacy roles with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Australian Consulate in New York and the Australian High Commission in New Delhi where she led teams to deliver Australia’s international cultural engagement in the US North East and India. In New Delhi, Kathryn was founding co-creative director of Oz Fest – the largest Australian cultural festival ever held in India - and was responsible for developing and delivering the festival, which resulted in a range of pioneering cultural collaborations and connections. Kathryn has held a range of policy, strategy, research and governance roles at the Australia Council and the then Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. A proud South Australian, Kathryn was awarded an Honours degree in International Studies from the University of Adelaide before embarking on her international career.

Dr Sarah Barns is a creative director and cultural geographer whose work spans the fields of creative place-making, urban strategy and interpretation. She has led media and design group Esem Projects for the past five years, and is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University where her work has been supported by the UK Urban Studies Foundation. Sarah's creative practice reflects her long-standing interest in the relationship between media cultures and urban transformation, and in capturing how different eras of electronic media have been used to capture the nature of urban form and experience, from photography, through to radio, film and documentary and more recently the rise of data-driven platforms and methods. Most recently Sarah was Lead Curator for the redevelopment of Rutherford’s Den at the Arts Centre of Christchurch, NZ, relaunched in 2016 as a new science museum devoted to New Zealand's most iconic and celebrated scientist Lord Ernest Rutherford. Sarah has a background as a strategy and research manager for some of Australia’s top cultural and media organisations including the Australia Council for the Arts and the ABC, and supported the creation of the Federal Government’s Creative Industries Innovation Centre at UTS. Her PhD The Death and Life of the Real-Time City, was awarded by UTS and spans the fields of architecture, urban history, cybernetics and digital futures.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Created with NationBuilder