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On the Move: Latest sector appointments and departures

Information + Cultural Exchange appoints new Producer, First Nations Programs; new staff join Writers SA; Artistic Director and Curatorium announced for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, and more.
On the Move: Latest sector appointments and departures Image Shutterstock.

Performing Arts Editor

Monday 14 September, 2020


Colombian curator José Roca has been announced as the Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, which will take place 12 March – 13 June 2022. 

José Roca is the Artistic Director of the non-for-profit contemporary art space FLORA ars+natura in his home city of Bogotá. He was the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art for the Tate, London (2012-2015) and for a decade managed the arts program at the Museo del Banco de la República (MAMU) in Bogotá, establishing it as one of the most respected institutions in Latin America.  

Roca was also the chief curator of the 8th Bienal do Mercosul (2011) in Porto Alegre, Brazil and co-curator of the I Poly/graphic Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2004), the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006) and the Encuentro de Medellín MDE07 (2007). He was the Artistic Director of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international Triennial celebrating print in contemporary art, and served on the awards jury for the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007).

Roca’s work is heavily influenced by the relationship between art and nature and the 23rd Biennale of Sydney will have a strong focus on sustainability and collaboration. His concept for the next edition will be developed and realised by a team of curators – the Curatorium – who represent the Biennale of Sydney’s core exhibition partners including:

  • José Roca, Artistic Director, 23rd Biennale of Sydney
  • Paschal Daantos Berry, Head of Learning and Participation, Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Anna Davis, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
  • Hannah Donnelly, Producer, First Nations Programs, Information + Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.)
  • Talia Linz, Curator, Artspace

In addition to the Curatorium of Australian curators, Roca will reduce the environmental impact of the Biennale, limiting international travel during the research process by working with a worldwide network of colleagues, (re)producing works locally, and working inter-institutionally to optimise resources. Roca will move to Sydney as soon as travel restrictions permit and stay for the entire duration of the process.

‘In this particular day and time – in the wake of a planetary halt that forced us all to give a hard look at our real needs and priorities – we need to be conscious of the impact of our decisions and actions on the social, political and natural environment. We should realise that the task of artists and cultural producers lies not only in raising awareness of these pressing issues, but in acting accordingly and consequently,’ Roca said in a statement.

‘We must think of more sustainable ways to do exhibitions, work collaboratively with and for local audiences, and learn from the peoples that have lived in harmony with nature. I am honoured to be appointed Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney and look forward to working with a team of experienced colleagues towards a project that will reflect the issues and concerns of the complex times we are living.’

Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney said: ‘I am thrilled to be working with José Roca – a highly experienced, connected and professional international curator – as the Artistic Director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022). Recent world events have highlighted that there is no such thing as business as usual. The Biennale was born to be agile and present the best international contemporary art that speaks to the most pressing challenges of our time, for audiences around the world to enjoy. The new way forward is all about collaboration. I look forward to seeing the Curatorium’s vision develop over the coming year and sharing that vision with our global community in March 2022.’


Information + Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.) has announced the appointment of Hannah Donnelly as Producer, First Nations Programs as of 24 August.

Donnelly is a Wiradjuri curator, writer and producer interested in Indigenous futures, speculative fiction and responses to climate trauma. Winner of the National Indigenous Story Award in 2018, most recently she was Head Curator of Aboriginal Programs at Carriageworks. Donnelly has also worked as a producer on Next Wave Festival 2018 and Laukatim Solwara, AsiaTOPA 2017.

Performing regularly as DJ SOVTRAX, she has curated First Nations events and playlists, and hosted a feature segment on PBS Radio. She is currently a participant of the Australia Council’s 2020 Custodianship program and chief editor of BLACKLIGHT, a new Sweatshop anthology of First Nations storytelling.

Last week, Donnelly was also announced as one of the four curators on the Curatorium working with Colombian Artistic Director, José Roca for 23rd Biennale of Sydney. Roca’s work is heavily influenced by the relationship between art and nature and the 23rd Biennale of Sydney will have a strong focus on sustainability and collaboration.

I.C.E. will be a curatorial partner for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, alongside other leading art institutions, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) and Artspace Sydney.

Donnelly will spearhead collaborative projects between the Biennale of Sydney and I.C.E., working closely with local First Nations communities and Traditional Custodians in Parramatta. Her curatorial process includes deep collaboration and cultural care within projects and she will apply this process to her work with both I.C.E. and the Biennale of Sydney.

Donnelly will work closely with board member and Dharug Traditional Custodian and Knowledge Holder, Julie Clarke-Jones (Webb), and I.C.E.’s Dharug Knowledge Holders Group to develop new projects in collaboration with other organisations and First Nations artists with a particular focus on intergenerational programming and cross disciplinary artforms.


Victoria’s screen agency Film Victoria has appointed experienced executive and public policy expert David Hanna as its new president.

Hanna has had a long involvement with the screen industry and brings to the role a wealth of leadership experience and expertise in economic development and innovation policy. Since 2016 he has been Chair of Docklands Studios Melbourne and played a pivotal role in building the case for the studio’s $46 million sixth soundstage which is due to commence construction later this year. The experience that Mr Hanna brings will stand Film Victoria in good stead as it supports the state’s screen industry to recover from the impacts of coronavirus and respond to new technologies and the global growth in screen production.

‘This is a challenging but also an exciting time for the screen industry and I am looking forward to working with the board to grow this vibrant and valuable part of our economy and our society,’ Hanna said in a statement.

Hanna is also a longstanding committee member of Film Victoria’s Production Incentive Attraction Fund, which seeks to attract Australian and international film and television projects to Victoria, and a member of the course advisory committee for the VCA’s School of Film and Television. He is currently Director of Business Strategy at Monash University, and prior to this dedicated 30 years to working in the Victorian and Commonwealth governments.

The two-year term appointment follows the retirement of Ian Robertson who has served as president of the Film Victoria board since 2011. During Robertson’s tenure, the agency recorded significant growth including setting new records for screen industry jobs and economic contribution to the state. Also retiring from the board is Lyn Maddock, who has served since 2011.

Business and communications strategist and former director of the Melbourne Film Office, Louisa Coppel, has been appointed to the board while game developer and co-founder of Melbourne digital games studio League of Geeks, Blake Mizzi, has been re-appointed for another term.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: ‘The screen industry here and around the world is facing unprecedented challenges but Victoria is well placed for a strong recovery and future employment growth.

‘David and Louisa are passionate about the future of our screen industry. I look forward to working with them to continue to invest in local content, stories and screen jobs as we emerge from this pandemic,’ he said.


Three new staff members have joined the team at Writers SA. Nelya Valamanesh, Ryan J Morrison and Alysha Herrmann join as Digital Workshop Assistants and will support participants and troubleshoot during the presentation of online workshops as Writers SA continues to adapt its programs to the constraints of the pandemic. Visit the Writers SA website to learn more.

More recent appointments.

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