Sageraw Thonar on display at the Tableland Regional Gallery

Black and White linocut print of eight turtles of different sizes swimming.

Matilda Malujewel Nona, Araw Warul, 2016, linocut print on paper, 119 x 200.5 cm, edition of 12. Photo: Jon Linkins

Tableland Regional Council is hosting the travelling exhibition Sageraw Thonar — Stories from the Southeasterly Season: Contemporary Expressions of Cultural Knowledge from Badu Art Centre.

Sageraw Thonar was curated by NorthSite Contemporary Arts in partnership with Badu Art Centre, Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh (TSI) Corporation. The exhibition examines cultural traditions and knowledge through large-scale linocut prints.The works visually respond to the season of Sageraw Thonar in which the southeast winds blow. Animal totems, island flora, and current environmental and cultural issues are discussed in the works that reveal the artists’ most important stories.

NorthSite curator Aven Noah Jr. delivered a curators talk eariler this week at the Tableland Regional Gallery.

The exhibition is on display at the Tableland Regional Gallery from Thursday 23 March to Saturday 13 May.

Artists: Joseph Au, Aiona Tala Gaidan, Edmund Laza, Laurie Nona, Matilda Malujewel Nona, Michael Nona and Alick Tipoti.

More information: https://www.trc.qld.gov.au/services-and-facilities/galleries/#1623962939293-5d446a10-0bdd

Sageraw Thonar was curated by NorthSite Contemporary Arts (formally KickArts Contemporary Arts) in partnership with Badu Art Centre, Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh (TSI) Corporation. This project was supported through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program and assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Additional support was from The Picture Framer and Black Square Arts. All prints are published by Badu Art Centre unless otherwise stated. NorthSite is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating three women who are showcasing their incredible work in the NorthSite Gallery at Bulmba-ja: India Collins (Artist), Regi Cherini (Artist) and Tess Maunder (NorthSite Guest Curator).

India Collins is a Cairns-based artist specialising in woven sculptural forms and digital technology. She is also the Exhibition Manager for Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) and is currently part of the SITUATE Art in Festival programme. India has greatly contributed to the Far North Queensland arts community and is showcasing her exhibition in ‘e VULVA lution’ at NorthSite. You can get involved in her exhibition by sharing a personal story or contributing an item of pre-loved clothing. Visit www.northsite.org.au/e-vulva-lution/ for more information.

Regi Cherini is another Cairns-based artist who has embraced regional and remote northern Australia. Through her art practice, Regi is interested in challenging and undermining notions of imposed boundaries and hierarchies of creativity, raising embroidery out of the realm of craft and into that of fine art. Her exhibition Sweet Nostalgia is showing in the NorthSite gallery at Bulmba-ja until 11 March 2023.

Tess Maunder is a curator, writer and editor based in Melbourne. She has a decade of experience working in the cultural sector focusing on programming contemporary visual art practice. Tess has curated the exhibition ‘Planetary Gestures’ bringing together a range of artists who think deeply about alternative geographies. The exhibition was devised to explore ideas surrounding ecological systems, ancient knowledge, celestial blueprints and tidal movements across the land, sea and sky known as Australasia, part of the wider Asia-Pacific and the ‘Great Ocean’. Planetary Gestures is showing in the NorthSite gallery until 15 April 2023.

Happy IWD!

Media Event

This week we had the Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP, Michael Healy MP and CIAF Artistic Director Francoise Lane at NorthSite to announce the Palaszczuk government is investing an addition $1.6 million over 4 years to Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF). Congratulations CIAF!

NorthSite Acting Director, Hamish Sawyer, spent time with Leeanne Enoch MP, Michael Healy MP and Francoise Lane to talk about the artworks presented in the Bulmba-ja foyer by leading Far North Queensland artists.

We’re excited to once again be showcasing satellite exhibitions of CIAF 2023. Keep an eye out for more information about the exhibitions in the coming months.

Public Art From Gab Titui Cultural Centre

Vibrant marine life stories of Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands) abound through the Gab Titui Cultural Centre offering on the Bulmba-ja art centre digital façade.

Featuring artworks from Moana Ahwang, George Gabey, Laura De Jersey, and Jimmy K Thaiday, seafaring scenes portray crayfish freediving in bommies and dugong feeding trails in the shallows, with Spanish mackerel game fish, mating turtles, and birds in flight.

The shape of dugongs in the dhari (headdress) symbolically align with the swimming shark illustrating cultural connection. Depicting ancestorial totems and patterning through painting and linocut techniques relates deep knowledge and listening to the endemic wildlife that traverses and calls the region home.

Come and experience these artworks on the Bulmba-ja LED facade: 96 Abbott Street, Cairns City 4870

Commissioned by NorthSite Contemporary Arts through the Bulmba-ja Digital Artwork Commissioning Program for Arts Queensland.

Digital LED screen covering the facade at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre. The artwork is of 3 dugongs in white with black outlines and blue water.

Artwork on Bulmba-ja Facade, 2022, digital animation, LED strips on building. Courtesy of Gab Titui Cultural Centre and NorthSite Contemporary Arts.

On ‘Pressing Topics’

A multi-media installation of projection, sculpture, digital collage, video and sound to critically examine the unseen labour of women.

Written by Melania Jack of The Ironing Maidens

The Ironing Maidens project is the art love child of Patty Preece and myself, Melania Jack. Over many years of shifting industry paradigms, from live shows to live streams and back, the project has seen many incarnations. During lockdown our inbox filled with cancellations of the live show into which we had just invested a year of work., So we adapted to the strange times by experimenting with media new to us, including a pilot episode of a narrative-based podcast, a live stream project, and most recently installation work. Some of these projects were a great experience, helping us to acquire new skills and experience new collaborations; others were like random op shop finds: we took them home, and they just didn’t quite fit.

We slowly realised that the previous show, A Soap Opera, would not tour again. It would be too long until venues reopened; and more personally, we had outgrown this work. Our political views on these subjects had changed too much. The world also felt different, more serious. How can we pun about ironing while people are dying from covid? How can we broach these domestic issues when people have had no choice but to be contained to the domestic home? It’s like calling a caged bird lazy. Still, it felt like there was so much left to say. While families isolated, more people spending more time at home meant more work for women. Sourdough bread and home improvements became just another expectation for women to add to their massive daily list of to do’s.

Statistically, and anecdotally, the housework situation hasn’t changed much for women since the 1950s. The stats show that from cleaning the home to cleaning up the environment, it’s still women doing the bulk of the work – physically and emotionally. On top of that we are not getting paid for it. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency, in a report released on the 12th December 2022, show that women earned, on average, $26,596 less than men in 2021-22.

We’ve spent generations teaching girls that they can ‘do anything’: more women as CEOs, more women learning to code, more women in tech; but when women in Australia are spending the equivalent of one whole month of housework each year more than their partners – how do they find time to further their careers and invest in themselves? How do we reinvigorate the stalled feminist revolution of the ‘70s that was meant to free women from the role of ‘domestic goddess’ when social media is bursting with cleaning influencers like Mrs Hinch, who are glamourising and cashing in on the collective social anxiety of the (COVID) moment?

With a lack of real solutions to the gender imbalance in the domestic debate, the common response is to send the work further down an even more feminised and also racialised line – hire a cleaner, send the clothes to the dry cleaner, pay for help, and in the spirit of the 4 hour work week – outsource, outsource, outsource. This excess work is increasingly the lot of low-paid, migrant and women of colour who are then experiencing rising rates of exploitation and abuse.

Feminists can call out for women to march, smash the patriarchy, pull down the capitalist structures, decolonise the country – but how do we start any of that while standing at a kitchen sink full of the greasy slippery dishes of romantic promise, family expectations and the ground-in grime of gender socialisation?
This is what I am exploring in Pressing Topics, a sound and projection installation that is presenting at NorthSite Contemporary Arts from December 2022.

In Strike, a projection and sculpture piece, I use the lens of glitch feminism (a term coined by Legacy Russell) to explore ironing itself – utilising a 1950s image of the quintessential housewife ironing. This is the image that second wave feminists rallied against – a white, middle class housewife doing all the housework among the avalanche of white goods designed to lure her back into the post war household. But there is a glitch, an error; the image breaks and reveals what is underneath: the women working in the factories to sew and iron those clothes she irons, the women in the factories building the iron and its components. Women are employed for their patience, attention to detail and ‘nimble fingers’. This trend that has moved from the fashion industry to the IT and new tech sector is seeing millions of women existing in modern day slavery conditions. Their slavery builds irons, for other slaves to iron. The irony is real.

In Domestic Body, I explore my own gender training within my family and society as an eldest girl child. The need to please, the guilt of not doing enough, the idea that satisfaction should come from a clean kitchen floor. The patronising pink used in this work is overt and constant, bleeding into the skin while the forced smile gleams. The body has become part of the machine: washing machine belly, iron hands – I am the tool and the work itself. Again, the glitch disrupts, exposing other emotions – fear, sadness, regret, loss, mania, anger. How is my self imagined in this domestic body?

I am sometimes asked: why do I care? As a queer, non-binary person who is trying to build a different life to the one I was raised in, I can choose to sit and read a book and let the dishes wait. But can I? I still feel the pressure to do the dishes first. Since taking on the co-care of an elder with dementia, I feel keenly the sense of duty to provide this care. As a woman. It seems cellular, but it is sold as feminine and nurturing – I know it is socialised. Children and elder care are a massive global themes. It is the work of women and like all feminised industries, it is underpaid and unacknowledged.

This gender imbalance seems to run all the way into our futures. Technology will not save us; it didn’t save the women of the 1950s, who just ended up with more work at home, managing the new machines. Now the smart homes of the future require new attention – to program the smart fridge, to talk to the assistant who will turn the lights on. Studies such as those in the recent book, ‘The Smart Wife’ by Jenny Kennedy and Yolande Strengers, show that in this ‘smart future’ the work is still feminised; from the voices of the assistants, to the design of modern robots, we are building this sexism into our future.

They (seem to) burn with a strange fury, a comment by a critic of the original Wages for Housework activists of the 1970s, is the title of one of the pieces of this exhibition. In it I have used an algorithm to explore the extent of our gendered programing around domestic labour. I use the words ‘cleaner’ and ‘housework’ to search online video and image. The top image results from these search terms are generally women. I project these images onto ironing boards that stand around a burning fire of irons. Are they planning a revolution? Are they burning the tools that oppress them? Are they the ghosts of the past or are they people from our future?

These strange years have birthed this new work, a deeper exploration of the themes of The Ironing Maidens project.
My hope with this exhibition is that I can navigate a path out of my own gender training, to check myself and my privilege. To find ways to revive that stalled domestic revolution, with a more expanded and inclusive view. Because really, I am tired of the housework. I am busting to get onto the next work, a new world, the next question – what does a non-binary, de-capitalised, de-colonialised world look and sound like?
I don’t know yet, but I have some ideas; I imagine you might too.

Words by Melania Jack
The Ironing Maidens




The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

NorthSite appoints Katrina Iosia as Programs Coordinator

NorthSite Contemporary Arts is thrilled to announce the appointment of
Katrina Iosia in the position of Programs Coordinator.

Katrina joins the team from New Zealand, where she was working mostly in Public Programmes Assistant, Gallery Assistant at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, and formerly an Art Tutor/ Educator at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design.

I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to be part of the amazing team here at NorthSite. The amount of support has made settling into the role so much easier, especially being part of a healthy work environment that supports inclusion, cultural diversity and a positive work and family life balance.

A huge thank you to Ashleigh, NorthSite staff and the Board for their support. I’m really looking forward to working together to create art and design workshops with the arts community. Continue to support the astonishing and well-established printmaking society, and introduce creative technologies, NFT workshops, and activities that will increase engagement for families, youth, and outreach into the wider community,” said Katrina Iosia.

As a celebrated Niuean artist and designer, Katrina Iosia is recognized as a leading female AR designer and developer in Aotearoa.

We are thrilled to be welcoming Katrina into the NorthSite family and I can see that her passion, drive and skills will really benefit artists and designers in Far North Queensland. Particularly as we build a program of art workshops and activities and increase community delivery and programs from our new venue, NorthSite Art Studios in Cairns.
Katrina’s knowledge and culturally embedded approach to arts education and design will be an asset to creatives in Far North Queensland and Australia more widely.” said Ashleigh Campbell, Artistic Director / CEO.

Katrina has hit the ground running and this week has been invited to present and participate in the Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney Modern Opening Week Program, presenting digital interactive art and also presenting a deep dive into the world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
Link to book

Congratulations Katrina and welcome to Aus and NorthSite!!


Katrina Iosia has quickly emerged as a dynamic and leading woman in Augmented Reality as a designer, developer and artist in Aotearoa (NZ). As a Pasifika woman in Art and Technology, she has traversed seamlessly into the international Mixed Reality art scene. She has exhibited with ‘Digital Art Month’ in Paris (2021), a featured artist in the 2022 Vancouver Mural Winter Arts Festival. Katrina is the only lens creator with Snapchat from Aoteroa, an ambassador, and creator for Snap Spectacles AR powered glasses. She has years of experience as an NFT creator and coordinator, who has been a voice within the NFT Pasifika Pilot Program (Creative NZ), Digital Fellowship Program Partnership(Australian Council for the arts), Panelist for Digital Moana, Pacific Summit and currently Digital Moana Fellowship (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Welcoming Hamish Sawyer

On behalf of the NorthSite Board and Artistic Director/CEO Ashleigh Campbell we are pleased to announce that Hamish Sawyer is joining the NorthSite team as Acting Director in November 2022. Hamish has extensive experience and expertise within the creative arts industry and will support NorthSite during Ashleigh’s maternity leave from March 2023.

“NorthSite is in a stable and exciting position, and I’m extremely grateful to our dedicated staff and Board who have worked hard over the past years to reach our position.

It means a lot to be well supported, at this time of incoming baby while running a multifaceted, not-for-profit arts company.

I’m particularly thrilled that we’ve engaged Hamish Sawyer as Acting Director. Hamish brings a wealth of insight and curatorial skills, and his perspectives are valued and supported as we work with our team to look ahead, collaborating across our organisation to build the next 5-year plan for NorthSite.

I have no doubt that Hamish’s appointment will strengthen our artistic program and the profile of artists in the north, through his close working relationships with the arts community, NorthSite curator and gallery office Aven Noah Jr and the rest of our creative team,” said Ashleigh Campbell.

Hamish is well respected within the arts industry and is highly experienced as a curator and senior leader.

“I’m very grateful to the NorthSite board for this opportunity to join the organisation at a pivotal moment in its history. NorthSite plays a leading role in the development and presentation of contemporary visual art in Far North Queensland, one of the most culturally diverse and dynamic arts ecologies in Australia.
I’m looking forward to working with Ashleigh Campbell and the amazing NorthSite team to deliver next year’s calendar of exhibitions and events; as well as developing longer-term strategic exhibition and program priorities.
I can’t wait to get started,” said Hamish Sawyer.

Welcome to the team Hamish! 

Hamish Sawyer standing at a 45 degree angle with arms crossed. He is wearing a blue cardigan with a white collared shirt underneath. Charcoal chinos, orange socks and white shoes.

Hamish Sawyer, Acting Director – NorthSite Contemporary Arts

New creative space

You may have heard the buzz… NorthSite and our friends at InkMasters are excited to have been through a process of transition recently, with the handing over of the baton!

NorthSite is commencing operations of NorthSite Art Studios, 55 Greenslopes Street, Edge Hill.

This phenomenal workshop space was managed by InkMasters recently and operated as Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking 2009 – 2012.

We’re aware we have huge shoes to fill in terms of the extraordinary work that the InkMasters committee have achieved for printmaking in the region over the past decade, but we’re also aware of the huge potential of the site for the far north community of artists.

We want to hear from you. Tell us your experiences and aspirations and if you have a burning idea for a creative workshop you’d like to deliver or participate in – let us know by filling in the survey here.

Yours in art – Team NorthSite

Read more in Tropic Magazine: Click here




Upcoming exhibition insights

Andrea Huelin takes us inside the studios of the collective group Sixfold Project to delve into their upcoming exhibition, Meanwhile, showing at NorthSite from 18 November 2022 to 28 January 2023.

Ask an artist why they choose to work alongside others – even if they don’t really see them much, collaborate or socialise with them – and they may talk about a number of practical benefits. Important factors for many artists are the sense of shared endeavour, of community, of invisible moral support in what can be an emotionally fraught, physically challenging business involving sustained effort and will, often with unpredictable outcomes. The artists of Sixfold Project have devised a shared creative space like this, but it is not under the one roof. Indeed, it is not even in the same Australian state.

The six women met and began exhibiting together in Cairns, far north Queensland, but they are now working in their own studios, from various locations around Australia and New Zealand. Still, they benefit from this sense of working communally. Highly self-motivated, and prolific in their own careers, these mid-career artists don’t seek coaching, banter, or comparing notes as they negotiate their place in the art world – they already have the runs on the board. They are professionals who have seen the benefit in connecting with each other and sharing their journeys towards their collaboratively determined goal, purely because of the energy and reinforcement of purpose that is created by their common, simultaneous striving. As they have shown in the past, the power of their collective artistic sensibilities is powerful indeed.

The latest exhibition by the artists of Sixfold Project – Barbara Dover, Louisa Ennis-Thomas, Rose Rigley, Raewyn Biggs, Julie Poulsen and Jennifer Valmadre – is called ‘Meanwhile’, celebrating the power of the collective creative experience, while bringing their own philosophical and personal frameworks to the themes of time and place. New work for the exhibition has been created simultaneously by these artist colleagues, across disparate geographic locations.

The artists work in isolation but meet regularly via video connection to exchange thoughts and processes, and to seek candid responses; gradually refining and clarifying their intentions and experiments. The artists describe this process as an ‘energising’ opportunity to ‘reject, reshape, reaffirm and renavigate their works through a shared creative process’. Their work includes painting, sculpture, photography and installation, with a variety of experimental mixed media, as is the group’s usual multi-disciplinary approach. In each other, these individuals have recognised a similar work ethic, and a willingness to be fearless with their art making. Supported by each artist’s simultaneous efforts, they contemplate their experiences and preoccupations, and seek to express their evolution.

For some of the Sixfold Project artists, these contemplations are biographical. As she often does in her work, Julie Poulsen began with an idea expressed in words, in this case a poem reflecting on her experience of time. The resulting paintings and assemblage fragments are joyful jumbles of beaches and bodies, pets and play – perhaps a realisation that the act of collecting experiences through photographs, sketches and memories, and then giving them new life in her skilfully haphazard paintings is a beautiful way of experiencing life. Like so many memories or thoughts leading from one to another, her semi-abstract images seem to continue from panel to panel within the large diptych ‘Meanwhile the beach is warm’, with lines of stitching providing a visible manifestation of the intuitive process of resolving an artwork. Padded panels give a sensory dimension to the artworks, accentuating the assembled nature of the pieces.

Similarly, Rose Rigley began with a poem, written in the style of a fable, reflecting upon her family of origin. In her moving story about being a witness to the experience of victims of the Stolen Generation, Rigley contemplates ideas of connection, belonging, cruelty, kindness, strength and healing. The resulting sculptural pieces are organically shaped, tubular and transparent, crocheted from salvaged copper wire with what must have been no small degree of sustained physical exertion, determination and patience. As the artist says, ‘These disembodied tongues… (are) an ongoing mantra to hope and a helpless penance to the challenge of an unchangeable past.’ The installation has a gentle poignancy that characterises Rigley’s work.

For Raewyn Biggs, time and place were distorted by sudden illness in her family and international lockdowns, as she found herself a stranger in an unfamiliar expat community within a foreign city – Auckland, New Zealand. For ‘Meanwhile’, Biggs presents large-scale photographic projections that place her within, but clearly outside her new environment with its seemingly welcoming, colourful shopfronts. The artist portrays herself as a masked superhero figure, bravely landing in this new place that needs her, but she is unable to reveal her true identity.

Jennifer Valmadre’s mastery of her mediums is such that she can break the rules and let her ideas be guided and influenced by the materials themselves as she pushes them to uncharted places. Her trust in her process and her resulting track record of extraordinarily original work has led to this new series, ‘Bowls of colour’, multiples of wall-mounted, semi-spherical forms made from casting plaster with nylon and fibreglass. The gelato-coloured concave surfaces have the inlaid techniques of encaustic painting, which contrast with the dark, nut-like shell on the convex side. The product of a long process of experimentation in colour theory and aesthetic conventions, this installation is highly original and intriguing.

Louisa Ennis-Thomas continues to experiment with form, texture and challenging materials in ‘Parasite (Clinging to the belly of the world)’: her speculative investigation of themes of exploitation and adaption. The textile installation is made up of more than 50 human-sized forms, cut and sewn from discarded agricultural sacks and suspended from the ceiling in an upside-down ‘forest’. The open weave of the hessian brings to mind skin as well as bark, creating an unsettlingly sense that the forest might be natural, but it is clearly a human-made plantation of sorts, with the limp forms clinging to the ceiling in rows. The installation, which Ennis-Thomas describes as an exploration of ‘our human desire to control, cultivate and harvest resources…and the global impacts this relentless preoccupation sets in motion’, shows the curiosity and intellect that characterises her oeuvre.
In a magnificent synergy of ideas, Barbara Dover’s new work ‘Reckoning’ continues her career-long focus on the perils facing our environment, particularly animals who are caught up in the effects of a warming planet. The sculptural installation is foreboding exemplified: it takes the form of traffic safety cones formed from concrete, with found animal hair encased within, and protruding in places as if the animal was trapped in the form. The contrast between the organic animal-derived materials and the brutal concrete delivers that sucker punch of heartfelt recognition that Dover does so well. Dark, pockmarked forms of bollards in the installation, ‘Sentinel’, bring to mind charred ruins, while porcelain safety lights in ‘Detour’ suggest warning and threat.

Accompanying their individual bodies of work are two installations made in collaboration by all six artists. ‘Meanwhile’ is a playful video showing footage from each of the artist’s lives and working processes, giving environmental context to the artworks on show, and illustrating that the artists are simultaneously living different lives in different regions, with the connecting thread of creative progress towards the exhibition.

The installation in the Void space at the NorthSite Gallery is a collection of multiple artworks and objects that represent the creative development processes in each artist’s studio. The installation is like stolen peeks through windows or curtain partitions into the artists’ private studio workplaces, where there is evidence of the artists’ trials and errors pinned to walls, laid out on the floor, or waiting for attention on easels. This is the scene of the artists’ battle with their materials, processes and their own ambitions (and shortcomings) for the body of work they are focused on.

The Sixfold Project artists have circumvented the challenges of many mid-career artists, as well as those of artists living in isolated regional areas, by creating their virtual co-working space. Within this space, the artists have permission – indeed, more like an imperative – to be ambitious and to aim for excellence within their own practices. Working together, they have the confidence to go down the dark and sometimes scary path of the unknown, and to wrestle with materials and processes that might bring their ideas to light. In doing so, they are lifting the standard of contemporary art in their own regions by modelling determination and hard work, quality and professionalism to their fellow artists, their art students and mentees, their collectors and their gallery networks. Most importantly, their highly resolved and thoughtful artwork is adding to the visual language archive of human (and animal) experience; bringing us new ways to understand our world and ourselves.

Words by Andrea Huelin




The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Careers: Acting Director



Position title: Acting Director
Category of employment: 1 year contract, full-time position
Reports to: NorthSite Board Chair and Board
Closing date: 19 October 2022



NorthSite is a leading contemporary art gallery located within the Cairns CBD. Each year, NorthSite engages with over 300 artists to deliver exhibitions and programs to Far North Queensland and beyond.

The NorthSite Mission is to link ideas, artists, audiences and supporters to present contemporary art and design that brings people together, stimulates conversation and provides transformative experiences.

NorthSite has a fundamental role to play in ensuring the promotion of contemporary art in Cairns and greater North Queensland, through the on-going development, delivery and promotion of exhibitions and programs and provision of artist services.


The Acting Director will lead the organisation’s artistic vision, exhibitions, and programs throughout 2023, during the Artistic Director/CEO’s maternity leave (1 March – 1 November 2023 -provisional), as set out in the 2023 program aligned with NorthSite’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025.

As Acting Director, you will be responsible for leading a team of 8 professional arts workers, across exhibitions, programs, retail, communications and finance portfolios with a hands-on approach to exhibition development and delivery.

The Acting Director will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of the overall strategic objectives, artistic output, retail activities, communications and financial performance of the company in 2023, guided by and enhancing NorthSite’s vision, purpose and values. The Acting Director will be responsible for reporting the financial and operational performance of the company to the Board of Directors at bi-monthly meetings.

The Acting Director will oversee the company’s exhibitions and creative programs, supervise and mentor staff to assist with the delivery of all aspects of daily operations. The Acting Director will ensure personnel are supported and have all the information they require to carry out their duties in the most effective, efficient, and professional manner.

The Acting Director will be supported by the Executive Administrator and Chairperson to ensure strong governance processes are upheld and ensure ongoing financial stability. A four-month handover and collaboration period will be allowed for with the Artistic Director/CEO.


Applicants must be able to demonstrate commitment and experience in related roles, with:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal and negotiation skills
  • Experience with HR and excellent team management
  • Proven project management skills, inc. financial processes and contract management
  • Ability to prioritise team and individual work to meet deadlines – self-motivated, flexible and resourceful
  • Experience with statistics and reporting, writing/updating processes, protocols and plans
  • Evidenced familiarly sourcing new avenues of financial support for artists & arts activities
  • Knowledge of all-ability and diversity access principles, high cultural competency
  • Understanding of diverse artistic practices and operation of studio/gallery environments
  • Detailed understanding of industry with ability to identify and articulate important issues
  • Experience in safe-handling of works of art and managing WH&S processes
  • Precise attention to detail and commitment to transparency & accuracy
  • Good time-management skills and ability to manage workflow and provide regular updates to colleagues, partners and Board members


  • Driver’s License
  • Experience with Mac computer systems, software integrations and applications including Microsoft Office, Filemaker Pro, Trello, Hubspot, Vend, Eventbrite and Adobe Creative Suite


  • Reports to the NorthSite Board Chair and Board
  • Internal liaisons – NorthSite Board of Directors, other staff including Executive Administrator, Curator, Communications Coordinator, Retail Manager, Gallery Officer, Events and Content Producer, Programs Coordinator, volunteers, studio technicians, contracted facilitators, artists, and other Bulmba-ja tenants
  • External liaisons – workshop and program participants, patrons to the galleries, arts peers, community, government, industry, and business associates


Download the Position Description document to ensure you meet the criteria. Provide the information outlined in the Position Description document and click the “Apply Now” button to submit your application.