2015 Summit - The Art of Reinvention

The 2015 Summit is the key professional development event for those working within the public gallery sector, conceived to generate critical discourse on issues affecting contemporary regional and public gallery practice at a local, national and international level. Over 200 delegates from across Australia and New Zealand will come together in Bendigo to learn from their national and international peers, think creatively, engage with colleagues, develop new skills and extend their professional networks. 





Documentation of the Summit is available on Facebook or Twitter @2015_Summit.



About the Summit

The 2015 Summit was held in the arts precinct of Bendigo from Wednesday 4th - Friday 6th February 2015.  Keynote and plenary sessions were held in The Capital Theatre and La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre.


The theme of the 2015 Summit was “The Art of Reinvention” – examining ways galleries are responding to change, to challenges and to opportunities. The sessions over the three days explored best practice approaches to remaining viable, collections & programming and audience engagement.


The 2015 Summit program was supplemented by two important networking events – an Exclusive Viewing of Bendigo Art Gallery over drinks and canapés – included with full registration, and the Summit Dinner at The Capital Theatre Banquet Room Bendigo. 




Keynote: Dr Rebecca Coates, Lecturer, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

Keynote: Tony Ellwood, Director, National Gallery of Victoria

Keynote: Tony Grybowski, Chief Executive Officer, Australia Council for the Arts

Keynote: Patrick Pound, Visual Artist & Senior Lecturer - Photography, Deakin University


Helen Berkemeier, Schools Education Manager, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)(Vic)

Aileen Burns & Johan Lundh,Directors, Institute of Modern Art (Qld)

Rebekah Butler, Director, Museums & Galleries Queensland (Qld)

Michael Dagostino, Director, Campbelltown Arts Centre (NSW)

Lindsay Farrell, Director, Australian Catholic University Gallery Banyo (Qld)

Kiersten Fishburn, Director, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (NSW)

Richard Harling, Director, The Cultural Commerce Consultant (NSW)

Christine Healey, Education Manager, Heide Museum of Modern Art (Vic)

Kirstie Jamieson, Project Officer, Regional Galleries Association of South Australia (SA)

Courtney Johnston, Director, The Dowse Art Museum (NZ)

Jonathan Jones, Visual Artist (NSW)

Graeme Lewsey, CEO, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (Vic)

Anne Loxley, C3West Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) (NSW)

Maz McGann, CEO, Creating Australia (NSW)

Melinda Martin & Sarah Brennan, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts (Vic)

Gill Minervini, Creative Director – Events, Culture & Creativity, City of Sydney (NSW)

Susi Muddiman, Director, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre (NSW)

Karen Quinlan, Director, Bendigo Art Gallery (Vic)

Brian Robinson, Visual Artist (Qld)

Virginia Rigney, Senior Curator, Gold Coast City Gallery (Qld)

Katie Somerville, Senior Curator, Fashion & Textiles, National Gallery of Victoria (Vic)

Anna Thurgood, Gallery Director, Artspace Mackay (Qld)

Ian Tully, Director, Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery (Vic)

John Waldron, Director, Blue Sky View (Qld)



Master Classes

Master classes were held Wednesday 4 February 2015 from 10am – 3:30pm at La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre. The Curatorial Intensive was held Saturday 7 February 2015


The Bendigo Effect

Presenters: Karen Quinlan, Director, Bendigo Art Gallery & Stan Liacos, Director, City Futures, City of Greater Bendigo.

Overview:  Bendigo Art Gallery has been attracting record visitation and generated over $16 million dollars for the regional economy through its international exhibition programs. Councils across Australia have taken notice and are asking their galleries to replicate this success and “do a Bendigo”. Hear directly from those involved -  Karen Quinlan, Director of Bendigo Art Gallery and Stan Liacos, Director of City Futures at the City of Greater Bendigo will speak candidly about how they have achieved this success.

Target audience: This forum is suited to CEOs, Directors, Senior Managers, Board and Advisory Committee members at public galleries and within local government.

Topics covered: arts-led regional development, social and economic development, leadership, advocacy and collaboration.


Cultural Tourism – insights from galleries, for galleries

Presenters: Nicole McLean, Tourism Victoria, Melinda Martin, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts & Kathryn McKenzie, City of Greater Bendigo. 

Overview: This master class will provide insights into the many ways galleries can attract and meet the needs of cultural tourists. Nicole McLean from Tourism Victoria will provide an overview of cultural tourism, Kathryn McKenzie will share insights on Bendigo's successful approach to cultural tourism and Melinda Martin will outline the many ways Linden is tapping into and building cultural tourism in St Kilda. 


Marketing & Audience Engagement for Galleries

Presenter:  Lucy Shorrocks, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre

Overview: In 2014 Morris Hargreaves McIntyre undertook one of the largest surveys into audiences for arts and culture in Australia – and we want to share it with you.  Audience Atlas Victoria outlines motivations for attending, artform crossover, media consumption, level of spend and much, much more! This master class gives you a chance to make the research work for your gallery. 

This session is delivered by Lucy Shorrocks, a Consultant for MHM.  Before joining MHM Lucy lived and worked in Melbourne  – initially as Marketing and Sponsorship Director for the 



National Exhibition Showcase

Gallery directors and curators are invited to see a range of exhibitions from large and small institutions from around the country that are available to program in the coming years. This event comes out of the National Exhibitions Register <> and is presented by National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Australia, the national network committed to the delivery of best practice touring exhibitions of contemporary visual culture to remote and metropolitan communities throughout Australia. Annually, we tour over 50 exhibitions to audiences of more than 500,000 people across nearly 7.7 million square kilometres featuring works by over 1000 artists.


Curatorial Intensive

The Curatorial Intensive will explore conflict and consensus in curatorial practice. Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, Directors, Institute of Modern Art (IMA) in Brisbane  will deliver a short lecture before participants split into groups to work through making an hypothetical exhibition together. This will be followed by group presentations and discussion. Places are strictly limited to 12.

Presenters: Aileen Burns & Johan Lundh, Directors, Institute of Modern Art (IMA)




Summit Program

Download the Summit Program, which includes keynote and presenter biographies: 

S.5 Summit Program 



Media Coverage of the Summit

The Summit attracted national media coverage:


Do we need a National Public Galleries Association, Michael Rolfe, Museums & Galleries of NSW, Wednesday 21 January 2015.


Bendigo Art Gallery hosts the Public Galleries Summit, Grace Millar, Bendigo Advertiser, 5 February 2105.


Galleries Propose split from Museums Australia, Madeline Dore, Arts Hub, Friday 6 February 2015.


Provenance Row sparks art galleries’ push for national peak body, Debbie Cuthbertson, The Age, Saturday 7 February 2015.


Fears museums split would damage lobbying power, Madeline Dore, Arts Hub, Thursday 12 February 2015.


The art of reinvention, Michael Rolfe, Museums & Galleries of NSW, Tuesday 10 February 2015.


Articles stemming from the Summit

The following articles were written in response to plenary sessions at the Summit:


How to identify your market segment, Madeline Dore, Arts Hub, Wednesday 4 February 2015.

(Summit Master Class: Market & Audience Engagement in Galleries. Presenter: Lucy Shorrocks, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre)



Making a pact with the devil, Madeline Dore, Arts Hub, Wednesday 11 February 2015.

(Summit Presenter: Anna Thurgood, Mackay Artspace, Plenary 3: Viability) 


Putting the social back in social media, Madeline Dore, Arts Hub, Friday 13 February 2015.

(Summit Presenter: Courtney Johnston, The Dowse Art Museum, Plenary 4: Audience Engagement) 


10 Quirky ways to engage audiences, Madeline Dore, Arts Hub, Tuesday 24 February 2015.

(Presenters: Tony Ellwood, NGV, Plenary 6: Innovation & Change at the NGV & Kiersten Fishburn, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Plenary 4: Engaging Audiences)  



Summit Partners 

The 2015 Summit is an initiative of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) in partnership with Bendigo Art Gallery, the City of Greater Bendigo and the Visual Arts Centre - La Trobe University, together with Artback NT: Arts Development and Touring; Country Arts SA; Museums & Galleries of NSW; Museums & Galleries Queensland; National Services Te Paerangi, NZ; NETS Victoria; Regional Galleries Association of Queensland; Regional and Public Galleries Association of NSW; Regional Galleries Association of SA; Tweed River Art Gallery; and West Australian Public Galleries Association.


Summit Sponsors & Supporters

Many thanks to our fantastic sponsors and supporters.


Artwork Transport        






Summit Personnel

PGAV Staff: Anne Robertson, Executive Officer & Josephine Harkin, Summit Intern.


PGAV Board: Karen Quinlan (President), Melinda Martin (Vice President), Rami Eltchelebi (Treasurer), Anthony Camm, Charlotte Day, Tony Ellwood, Jody Evans, Wendy Garden, Jennifer Kalionis, Dianne Mangan, Tom Mosby, Debra Morgan, Claire Newhouse.



The PGAV would like to acknowledge and thank: Summit presenters and facilitators for sharing their experiences and insights over the three days. Summit Working Committee Members: Louise Partos at Artback NT, Craig Harrison & Eleanor Scicchitano at Country Arts SA, Michael Rolf at Museums & Galleries NSW, Rebekah Butler & Debra Beattie at Museums & Galleries Queensland, Georgia Cribb & Emily Jones at NETS Victoria, Brett Adlington at Regional & Public Galleries NSW, Melinda Rankin & Kirstie Jamieson at Regional Galleries Association of SA, John Walsh & Tracy Cooper Lavery at Regional Galleries Association of Queensland, Susi Muddiman at Tweed Regional Gallery, Victoria Esson at National Services Te Paerangi, NZ and Julian Bowron at Western Australian Public Galleries Association. Karen Quinlan, Simone Bloomfield, Susan Bruce, Tansy Curtin, Bronwyn Durham & Leanne Fitzgibbon at Bendigo Art Gallery. Stan Liacos, Terry Kalamaloudis, Claudette Earl, Stephen Henderson and Shelley Slade at the City of Greater Bendigo. Paul Northam & Gail McNaulty at La Trobe University VAC. Georgia Cribb & Eleanor Adams at NETS Victoria. Dom Forde at Famous Visual Services and Summit Volunteers: David Challis, Jeanette Hanson, Margaret Lenaghan, Heather McNeill, Val Phillips, and Marion Wright. A special thank you to Josephine Harkin.


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