JohnSmithiesJohn Smithies, Director, (appointed December 2005)

John is an Arts Manager with experience working on policy development and a background of arts programming, specifically in cinema, new media arts, and screen education. He studied at the Tasmanian School of Art, the South Australian School of Art, Monash University and the Academy of Fine Art Karlsruhe, Germany. From 1992, John was Director of the State Film Centre of Victoria leading it through its development as the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and was responsible for opening the new public facilities at Federation Square in Melbourne in October 2002. John left ACMI in 2004 and joined CDN in 2005 as Director.  Since then, he has worked with the CDN Board and a highly skilled team to support stronger arts planning within the cultural development activities of local government.

Contact John


Kim DunphyKim Dunphy, Research Program Manager (appointed October 2004)

Kim came to CDN after experience in local government at the Cities of Hobsons Bay and Melbourne, and managing community centres in Hampton and Altona North. Kim’s long standing interest in the contribution of arts to community life has been played out in diverse roles including community artist and educator in primary, secondary, tertiary and community sectors. Kim’s research interests include arts evaluation, cultural indicators, accessibility and the arts, community revitalization, expressive arts and dance movement therapy. Her recent PhD examines the role of participatory arts in social change in Timor-Leste.  Kim has also been a dance critic for The Age and between 2002 and 2008 she was Director of Kita Performing Arts Company where she worked with Asian artists to share their cultural traditions with Australian audiences. She is Past-President of Ausdance Victoria and a former Board member of the Arts Management Advisory Group. She is Vice-President of the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australia and Director of NGO Many Hands International where she has established a cultural centre in regional Timor-Leste. Kim’s publications are available here.

Contact Kim

Lyndall MetzkeLyndall Metzke, Board Secretary (appointed September 2010)

Lyndall is an arts administrator, researcher, teacher and musician. She has worked for a variety of arts organisations during her twenty-year career including the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Melbourne International Festival for the Arts and the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and MCM, the University of Melbourne. One of the highlights of Lyndall’s career was working in orchestra management at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London for a production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle conducted by Bernard Haitink. Lyndall holds a Bachelor of Music (Arts Administration) (Melb), a Master of Arts and Entertainment Management (Deakin), and is currently undertaking her PhD in arts governance at Deakin University. Lyndall is a keen advocate for community arts has participated in community advisory groups for the Stonnington City Council since 2003. She was also an adviser for the Melbourne Prize for Music.

Contact Lyndall

Leda Yazgin, Research Assistant (appointed February 2014)

Leda completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne in Arts (Anthropology and Social Theory) and a Diploma in Modern Languages (German). She undertook a student exchange year in Germany at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she fell in love with the city and its omipresent history and cultural vitality. Back in Australia she became significantly involved with Melbourne International Relations Society, a student organisation for which her major achievement was her role in initiating and co-organising the Victorian Model United Nations Conference (VicMUN) 2013. This was a three-day student conference themed Gender Equality, where participants debated issues in simulated UN committees, and enjoyed a range of speaker events and social activities. At CDN, she has recently been involved in the organisation of the Vital Signs: Cultural Indicators for Australia Forum with Arts Victoria. Her long term vision is to study the JD at Melbourne Law School, geared towards social justice. She believes strongly in the role of cultural dialogue, understanding and values in this area. Relishing the opportunity to learn about cultural planning and project logic, she looks forward to applying these thinking systems and experiences into future endeavours.

Contact Leda.

Amy Stevenson, Administration and Research Officer (appointed April 2015)

Amy is currently completing a Master of Cultural Heritage at Deakin University and holds a Diploma of Visuals Arts, a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) and qualifications in Project Management, all from RMIT University. She is interested in what role culture has to play within post-conflict development and in 2014 spent a year supporting NGO Many Hands Internationals’ work, in the remote community of Lospalos, Timor-Leste. Following this, she worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with the Bophana Center, who collect, preserve and share film archives. In her role she supported events such as the ‘Cambodian International Film Festival’ and the ‘Acts of Memory Festival’. Since 2012, Amy has co-managed ‘the Matadalan Ba Malu Program’, located within the Centre for Global Research, at RMIT University. This program provides English language training and cross-cultural exchange opportunities for East-Timorese women, working in the community development sector. Coordinating a number of community and school based art programs here in Australia; she has also locally engaged diverse groups, such as asylum seekers in detention and indigenous youth, in exploring themes such as climate change and Human Rights Law. Amy believes culture plays a pivotal role in creating vibrant, inclusive and innovative communities and enjoys developing her knowledge and contributing to, this essential component of sustainable development.

Contact Amy

Nicola Long, Research Intern (August- November 2015)

Nicola is currently studying an undergraduate Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) and Bachelor of Business (Marketing) double degree at Monash University. She is interning at CDN in her final semester of her Health Science degree, having developed strong health promotion knowledge and the ability to effectively plan new, and evaluate existing health promotion programs. Nicola is an avid traveller and art-lover, with a keen interest in how art and culture, whether it be through creation, participation, or observation, positively impacts upon individual and population health and wellbeing. Earlier in 2015, as part of her study, she undertook a self-lead literature review and research essay on the benefits of participation in community-based art initiatives on mental and social health and wellbeing, with a specific focus on marginalised and disadvantaged groups in Australia. With CDN, she is hoping to further this research and conduct a broader literature review encompassing the overall positive impact of arts and cultural expression on health and wellbeing.

Contact Nicola

CDN Contractors

CDN’s work is supported by a team of specialist contractors:

Meredith Windust and Au Nguyen of FameGroup
Kitka Hiltula of Kitka Web Design
Alan Reddick of Reddick Design
Barrett Housten of Jim’s Computer Services

CDN Staff and Contractors 2014

CDN Staff and Contractors 2014 (640x433)

CDN staff and contractors 2014
(from L to R):

John Smithies (CDN Director), Leda Yazgin (CDN Research Assistant), Alan Reddick (Reddick Design),
Kitka Hiltula, (Kitka Design), Kim Dunphy (CDN Research Program Manager),
Barrett Housten (Jim’s Computer Services), Lyndall Metzke (CDN Administrator),
Meredith Windust (The Fame Group), Au Nguyen (The Fame Group)