15 June 2021

A New Leadership Model for Artsource


With this the year for rebuilding of Artsource, comes new thinking about existing models and structures, and remodeling for improved outcomes. Our focus on direction, purpose and overall viability have led us to overhaul our leadership model.


Following a period of reflection and consultation, Artsource has reimagined a purposeful, relevant, and connected future, through its Strategic Plan 2020-2024: Creative Connected Change. This presented the Artsource board the opportunity to re-envision a new model of leadership, taking into consideration: past learnings; arts sector comparisons; the organisation’s structure and functions; the economic climate; and available workforce.

We recognised one of our primary leadership requirements is to rebuild trust within the sector and our relationships with stakeholders. We listened to your feedback through the REBOOT process regarding the central importance of the role of advocacy to Artsource’s purpose.

“…Advocacy should be Artsource’s core focus. By this I mean promoting the social, cultural and economic benefits of the arts and in doing so building relationships with local + state government, media, other creative industry organisations and business outside the arts”

“Advocacy on behalf of members has minimal cost, predominantly requiring knowledge of the issues (research) access to the right people (network) and the right to speak on behalf of members (agency). I see this as the greatest strength of an organisation such as Artsource”.

The board considered the reduced pool of arts leadership talent. We noted that while many candidates may have strengths either as commercial or economic managers, or as arts directors, rarely do they have expertise in both. This is supported by the research and by recent trends in the visual arts sector, such as at AGWA and NAVA. Hence, we have defined two roles – those of General Manager and Artistic and Advocacy Director.

Our board also noted a lack of arts leadership development for West Australians. For example, participation by Western Australian candidates in the Australia Council Leadership Programs over the past 3 years have been only 10% of those trained, and only 1.6% of those have been from the Visual Arts area. The question has arisen: what is being done to retain or develop arts leaders in Western Australia?    

Creating a culture of learning and professional growth in the Visual Arts and Arts sector is vital to its longevity and innovation. Hence, we have defined the creation of an Arts Leadership Development model which will further develop accomplished candidates to fulfil the demanding role of leading a diverse arts organisation. A culture of leadership development in an organisation will filter down; good leaders, create and leave leaders behind them. The more leaders developed, the more advocates, the more empowered artists - the greater the force for change in our society.

Functions of the Lead Roles


General Manager
The General Manager (GM) is responsible for leading the business administration of Artsource. Together with the Artistic and Advocacy Director (AAD), the post will manage an incorporated registered charity operating as a membership services organisation in the visual arts sector. The position holder will work with the AAD to establish and develop the business model and organisational structure, in consultation with the board. Other key duties include setting and operating a budget and ensuring that the team works cohesively as a unit to deliver Artsource’s mission as per the agreed Budget. The General Manager is responsible for the overall business management of Artsource and operations of the studios and premises.


Artistic and Advocacy Director
This position will fulfil representation and advocacy functions, and build relationships with a variety of people, from members and staff, corporate executives, government officials, politicians, policy makers and opinion formers. As Artsource embarks on a period of transformation, the Artistic and Advocacy Director leads change for the organisation and sector.
A prime role of the Artistic and Advocacy Director for the next two years is to enable and execute the RISE Project, a two-year funded program that is in response to COVID-19 which will include:

  • Exhibitions, workshops, arts events and a Festival that responds to current needs and demands of artists and the community, and
  • Reimagine and develop new ways of presenting programmes and opportunities, to maximise reach and access to audiences in metro, regional and remote areas, and beyond to Australia through livestreaming capacity.

A prime role of the Artistic and Advocacy Director is to motivate staff and volunteers, with personal drive and energy, in order to deliver Artsource’s mission as per the agreed Budget. The Artistic and Advocacy Director will develop and manage the artistic programming of exhibitions and events, and audience development. The position requires a demonstrated capability and innovation in art gallery exhibition programming. The position holder will transform and reimagine new ways to deliver existing programs to reach wider audiences by providing accessible digital experiences.

The role will develop and oversee the implementation of the educational and professional development programs for artists and community, including industry partnership with secondary and higher educational institutions for the development of professional placement programs. The role requires an understanding of delivery systems for the dissemination of knowledge, such as global online marketing platforms and learning management systems.

The role holder requires an understanding of the needs and issues facing contemporary visual artists, and the ability to quickly get up to speed with the specific membership needs, and the nature and aims of the services provided. The role requires a broad understanding of arts policy, arts trends, recent research, practices, forms and artists, from global, international, national and local perspectives, and of the impact of these influences on the visual arts in WA. The position requires the holder to have the ability to advocate and engage in dialogue, particularly with government and policy makers to influence and enact change and opportunities to improve the working lives of West Australian artists.

Leadership news


General Manager
We are pleased to announce that Soraya Ramsey, currently our Operations Manager, has accepted the position of General Manager. Soraya has nine years senior office management experience responsible for financial and administrative management, employment, HR and OHS requirements for art events, architects, professional membership and not for profit organisations.
Soraya was the Administrator for Artist Open House Fremantle (AOHF) from 2014 to 2017; and worked as the Awards Coordinator for Learning Environments Australasia (LEA), organising an international awards program. Previously a registered nurse, Soraya is friendly, organised and efficient.

Soraya studied architecture at Curtin University and has a B. Applied Science (Architectural Science). She has a strong interest in the arts, especially visual arts, performing arts and architecture.

Soraya will commence the role in a leadership development capacity, working four days per week and studying a formal Master of Business (Arts and Culture), undertaking mentoring, and other relevant professional learning. We are currently finalising these arrangements and Soraya will commence formally in this role in July 2021. We welcome Soraya and her significant skills and look forward to her flourishing in this new role.

Vacancy


Artistic and Advocacy Director
As our valued members, we are asking you to consider your networks within our visual art community to help identify a suitable Artistic and Advocacy Director to be the public face of Artsource.
This is a newly created position to fulfil representation and advocacy functions, and build relationships with you, our members, our staff, corporate executives, government officials, politicians, policy makers and opinion formers. The Artistic and Advocacy Director will lead change for the organisation and sector. 

A prime role of the Artistic and Advocacy Director for the next two years is to enable and execute our new two year RISE Project, in response to COVID-19 which will include:

  • Exhibitions, workshops, arts events and a Festival that responds to current needs and demands of artists and the community, and
  • Reimagine and develop new ways of presenting programmes and opportunities, to maximise reach and access to audiences in metro, regional and remote areas, and beyond to Australia through livestreaming capacity.

We are seeking someone with demonstrated capability and innovation in art gallery exhibition programming, experience in reimagining and executing delivery to broaden our audience reach via contemporary channels.
Please forward any queries to our website and vacancies page, or contact Kirrily Wesley: kirrily@wcasolutions.com or 0411 429 580 for more information.
 
New Co-opted Board Members


 We are thrilled to announce the co-option of two new board members.


Melissa-Langdon.jpegDr Melissa Langdon
As an award-winning advisor on innovation, education and engagement, I will contribute to the Artsource Board skills in business development, partnerships and engagement for the arts and culture sector.

I hold a PhD in digital art, am a former Senior Lecturer in film and media, and have been a keynote speaker at TEDxPerth, EduTech, Behind Closed Doors, the Kids Conference, and the Social Impact Festival, and is a Women in Technology WA, SPERA, and Vice-Chancellor's Award Winner.

My professional approaches are underscored by commitments to ethical best practices, equity and inclusion, creativity and innovation.
Through my consultancy Melissa Langdon Consulting, I offer innovation and engagement advice to education, arts and start-up sectors and will be able to advise Artsource in these areas.
Current affiliations

  • Principal, Melissa Langdon Consulting
  • Chair, Curtin School of Education Advisory Board

Dr Rachael Hains-Wesson
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Dr Rachael Hains-Wesson is the Director of the Work-Integrated Learning Hub and an Associate Professor in Work-Integrated Learning at the University of Sydney Business School. She holds a Master's in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne (which ranked the top Master's in the world at the time), a Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia, and a Ph.D. in Education from Deakin University.

Rachael has extensive management & leadership experience as an Entrepreneur, Creative Industries practitioner, and mobility expert (non-exchange, short-term immersion programs). She is a renowned leader in higher education blended learning and Work-Integrated Learning, career development learning & employability, placements/internships, student-sourced placements, business practicums, and study tours.

Rachael has extensive senior management experience for leading international and Australian not-for-profit organizations, the military, and start-up initiatives for a number of local, national, and global enterprises.

Rachael is well-known for her work (idea formation, implementation & evaluation for large-scale higher education learning programs), providing university-wide policy, systems, and learning improvements, enhancing the student experience (online, face-to-face, and blended). Her leadership skills have resulted in the establishment of five higher education large-scale innovative programs, projects, and hubs.

Rachael has received top teaching awards, including Vice-Chancellor awards for Outstanding Teaching and is Queen Elizabeth 11 Silver Jubilee Trust awardee for Young Australians as well as a Myer Foundation awardee for her acclaimed, social impact work in Theatre-in-Education, focusing on anti-bullying programs for primary and secondary schools in Australia. Rachael’s media, journal articles, book chapters as well as plays and books (over +100 publications) have been published in a number of reputable outlets, nationally and internationally. Rachael regularly reviews high-quality, peer-reviewed journals and is an active member on a number of boards, working parties and centres.

Rachael’s eclectic career journey as well as her diverse qualifications and expertise has provided her with extensive experience in leadership, governance, and risk management, including developing, instigating, and evaluating key, large-scale strategic initiatives.

Rachael is passionate about supporting Artsource’s strategic goals and its members.


As we head into the first month of winter, we remind everyone to stay COVID-safe, observe hygiene guidelines, and take care.

 Wishing you the very best for the month of June,
 
Stay warm and well
 
Margaret Teusner
Artsource Chair


 

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Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative


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Events at Old Customs House are funded by the Department of Local Government,
Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) Culture and the Arts WA.