The region’s peak body for arts and culture, Arts Northern Rivers, has announced Tony Duke as their new CEO, replacing founding CEO Lois Randall.

Out of Africa to the verdant valleys of the Northern Rivers, Tony has just arrived back in Australia following a year spent in Ghana, where he was employed as Executive Director of Culture and Development International, organising the 2nd International Conference on African Culture and Development.

Throughout his career he has worked in the arts and creative industries, taking on diverse roles and projects across music, theatre, dance, visual arts, publishing, festivals, community cultural development and community broadcasting, in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico and Ghana.

Previous appointments have included Executive Officer at ARTback Northern Territory visual and performing arts touring; Senior Program Officer at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council; Community Festivals Development Manager in Manukau City New Zealand; Artistic Director/Executive Producer of the First Night Millennium New Year’s Eve celebrations in Auckland New Zealand; Research Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Tourism and Hospitality, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand; Manager Blackbooks at Tranby Co-operative for Aborigines Ltd; Producer of the Sydney Building Bridges concerts; Youth Services Co-ordinator for Warringah Shire Council and Community Arts Officer for Bondi Pavilion (Waverly Council).

Chair of Arts Northern Rivers Board of Directors, Ballina Councilor Susan Meehan, says: “The Board of Arts Northern Rivers anticipates the continuation of the highest quality arts development with the appointment of Mr Tony Duke.

“Tony comes to the Northern Rivers with a diversity of outstanding arts experiences and a philosophy of valuing culture as a foundation to human development. We sincerely welcome Tony to his new position.”

Tony said: “The Northern Rivers is a place rich in culture and people. I am privileged to have this opportunity to work and share my skills and experiences with the artists and communities across the region.

“I will be working to enable the sustainable growth and development of the region – socially, economically and environmentally, through using the arts to enhance individual and shared cultures.”

Arts Northern Rivers is the peak body for the arts and cultural sector in the Northern Rivers region, working to support and develop the arts and creative industries.

Tony Duke is based at Arts Northern Rivers’ offices in Alstonville and can be contacted at

For more information on Arts Northern Rivers go to