John 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.
Kim 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 is working to establish a cultural centre in regional Timor-Leste.
Lyndall Metzke, Administrator (appointed September 2010)
Lyndall discovered her passion for music when she was six years old while attending a school in upstate New York during a one-year family exchange. When she was ten she began clarinet lessons and this led to her later gaining a music scholarship to University High School. Lyndall attended the Conservatorium at the University of Melbourne specialising in Arts Administration and has a Master of Arts and Entertainment Management from Deakin University. Lyndall 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 is a keen advocate for community arts and was a member of the Stonnington Arts Reference group from 2003 – 2011. She is also an adviser for the Melbourne Prize for Music.
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.
Emma Asscher, Intern (September – December 2014)
Emma is a community development worker and community lawyer who has worked in the community legal centre sector for 10 years. She has been involved in access to justice projects for St Kilda Legal Service that focus on preventing family violence, human rights, reconciliation, credit and debt issues, legal issues impacting on newly arrived migrants, and access to legal information for sex workers. Emma is an intern at the Cultural Development Network as part of her studies at the University of Melbourne—she is undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Arts course with a sociology specialisation. Emma is interested in the intersection between the arts and social change. Recognising that local government plays an increasingly important reconciliation role, she is undertaking research for the Cultural Development Network into how local councils’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts policies and activities are contributing to reconciliation.
Yuji Weisgard, Intern (February-September 2015)
Yuji comes to CDN from Copenhagen, Denmark, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts at Roskilde University (Geography and Urban Planning) in 2014 and is currently undertaking his Masters in the same field. During his studies, he completed several reports on urban planning themes, researching specific examples and more general themes, such as: gentrification in the suburb of Nørrebro in Copenhagen, the use of temporary urban spaces (using examples from all over Europe), the ongoing urban development in the harbour of Copenhagen, urban development and community organizing by the Copenhagen municipality. Through these studies he has gained an insight as to how urban planning is performed and the various outcomes these may inflict on a given community.
With these results in hand, he started the organisation Foreningen Samspil with some fellow students. They sought to channel the knowledge gained through their studies into actual projects. These include: RumOS (an office co-op in an otherwise unused factory), Spis Dansk (a farmers market focused on local produce and creating a connection between farmers and consumer), Videomøllen (the revitalization and administration of a public projector in a public space) and FB44 – Den Flydende Læsesal (an old ship which the group are looking to turn into a reading room for students – still in work). These projects have allowed an ongoing cooperation and communication with both local communities and the municipality of Copenhagen, thus connecting academic theory with praxis.
At CDN, Yuji is looking to gain further insight in to cultural planning and experience and knowledge outside of Denmark. Ultimately his goal is to see how cultural planning can be further integrated in an urban planning context and how an independent organization might do so. The resolution-based approach used by CDN and its specific framework, which takes advantage of active involvement, is much admired and he hopes to bring back the knowledge to advance his studies and prospectives for future work in this field.
CDN’s work is supported by a team of specialist contractors:
CDN Support Team 2012
CDN support team 2012
(from L to R):
Lyndall Metzke (Administrator), Kim Dunphy (Research Program Manager), Kitka Hiltula, (website),
Alan Reddick (IT/membership system), Au Nguyen (finances), Meredith Windust (finances),
John Smithies (Director), Barrett Housten (IT services).