NSW Minister for the Arts Virginia Judge met with Mayors and councillors from the Northern Rivers and Member for Page Janelle Saffin last night to celebrate six years of partnership in supporting the arts in the region through Arts Northern Rivers.

One of 13 Regional Arts Boards in NSW, Arts Northern Rivers was established in 2004 as a partnership between Arts NSW and the seven councils of the Northern Rivers region to support regional arts development. 

In 2007 the Federal Government joined the partnership to fund the Indigenous arts program.

Guests included Cr Phillip Silver, Mayor of Ballina Shire; Cr Jan Barham, Mayor of Byron Shire; Cr Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore; Tweed Shire councillor Joan Van Lieshout; and representatives from Kyogle, Clarence and Richmond Valley Councils, and Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin.

The function was held to celebrate the successful and enduring partnership, and to announce a change of leadership for Arts Northern Rivers with a change of chair of the Arts Northern Rivers Board, and the departure of founding CEO Lois Randall.

Cr Phillip Silver announced that he would step down from the position of chair of the Arts Northern Rivers board, which he has held for the past four years. 

Ballina Cr Sue Meehan was elected as the new Chair of Arts Northern Rivers, and the recruitment process is under way for a new RADO to take over from Lois Randall. 

Cr Silver said that he is proud of Arts Northern Rivers and the organisation’s achievements.

“It is a great example of a strong working partnership between the seven local councils of the region, with State and Federal government working together to support regional programs,” he said.

Lois Randall said: “The organisation has played a key role in delivering millions of dollars in arts funding to the Northern Rivers and delivered substantial enduring outcomes including the Visual Arts Network project, a strong Indigenous Arts Program, establishment of the 3 Rivers Aboriginal Arts Space in Lismore, a regional museums development program, and development of the first regional Creative Industries Strategy in NSW.”

PICTURES: NSW Minister for the Arts Virginia Judge (right) with outgoing Regional Arts Development Officer and CEO Lois Randall and Bundjalung artist Digby Moran.

Newly elected Chair of Arts Northern Rivers and Ballina Councillor Sue Meehan, takes over from Cr Phillip Silver.