ReGenerating Community Conference
Sept 2 - 4, 2009. RMIT University, Melbourne


The conference featured speakers from all around Australia and the world.

International Keynote Speakers

Anmol Vellani

Anmol Vellani became the Executive Director of the Indian Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in 1995, which currently supports more than 100 projects in 17 states of India. Vellani is particularly concerned with 'cultural meetings and how we imagine other cultures'. Although he has welcomed Richard Florida's notion of 'creative industries' he is concerned that a bland notion of creativity can undermine the importance of cultural diversity and the integrity of artistic cultural expression. The community arts sector in Australia has drawn most of its inspirations from Europe (especially UK) and USA. It can be argued that India offers a much older tradition in regard to embedded community art and that the IFA has a startling array of experiences to draw on in asserting the importance of investing in community-based art. It is widely acknowledged that Australia's relationship with India is growing rapidly in importance and Anmol Vellani is very well placed to talk about what we can learn from India in regard to community-based art development.
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Lyz CraneLyz Crane, Director of Program Development, Partners for Livable Communities USA.
Lyz's work focuses on the development and implementation of programs, initiatives, and conferences under the themes of culture as a community building and economic development force, cultural heritage tourism, the creative economy, community engagement, asset-based community development, and more. She is the Program Manager of the Ford Foundation’s Shifting Sands Initiative, which works with community-based arts organizations on upward mobility, neighborhood identity, and community development, and the Douglas Redd Fellowship, which is available to individuals working on projects that build the field of arts and community development.
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Invited Speakers

Robyn ArcherRobyn Archer is a internationally renowned singer, writer and Artistic Director who has performed throughout Australia and the world. Her artistic directorships include the National Festival of Australian Theatre in Canberra, the Adelaide Festival in 1998 and 2000 and Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She has been chair of the Australia Council's Community Cultural Development Board, a consultant to the new Melbourne Museum and a participant in the Prime Minister's 2020 summit in Canberra. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2000, and holds honorary doctorates from Flinders and Sydney Universities. In 2006 in New York she was awarded the International Citation of Merit by the International Society of Performing Arts. Robyn is also an adviser to RMIT's Globalism Research Centre.
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Paul CarterPaul Carter is an interdisciplinary scholar with an international reputation as a pioneer of 'spatial history' and place-making. His contribution to the methodology of public space design has been made through a number of leading papers and in a book, Material Thinking: Collaborative Realisation and the Art of Self-Becoming (2004). Paul also has a unique record of achievement as an artist working in the public sphere through large public space design/public art commissions.
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Chris GibsonChris Gibson is Associate Professor in Human Geography at the University of Wollongong. He has published widely on the creative industries, urban development and popular culture, particularly in the Australian context. His books include Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place (2003) and Deadly Sounds, Deadly Places: Contemporary Aboriginal Music in Australia (2004). His PhD examined the creative industries in rural NSW and he was chief researcher on Australia's largest ever survey of cultural festivals in rural communities.
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Penny HutchinsonPenny Hutchinson, Director, Arts Victoria. Before commencing with Arts Victoria, Penny was an accountant in partnership at BDO Nelson Parkhill. She had previously worked at the Department of Management and Budget and the National Companies and Securities Commission. Penny has been on a number of government boards, including Medibank Private, Federal Airports Corporation, Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian String Quartet.


Kathy KeeleKathy Keele, CEO, Australia Council for the Arts, previously worked in promoting private sector support for the arts in her role as Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF). Prior to this, Kathy had a more than 20-year career in executive, marketing and corporate affairs roles with iconic Australian and international companies. Kathy has served on the boards of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Cabrini Institute for Research and Clinical Education, the BHP Foundation and Young Achievers Australia. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
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Martin MulliganMartin Mulligan is the Deputy Director of the Globalism Research Centre at RMIT University in Melbourne where he specialises in research on community formation and reformation in the context of globalisation. He was project leader for a major study conducted for VicHealth on community art, celebrations and community wellbeing across four diverse Victorian communities, which resulted in a report titled Creating Community (Mulligan et al 2006). This led to the research on the Generations projects and it also led to research for Regional Arts Victoria on their program for placing Regional Arts Development Officers (RADOs) across Victoria.

Martin initiated and co-ordinated the first Two Fires Festival of Art and Activism held in the NSW town of Braidwood to celebrate the legacy of prominent Australian poet and conservationist Judith Wright. He is the author of three books, including Ecological Pioneers: A Social History of Australian Ecological Thought and Action (with Stuart Hill, Cambridge University Press 2001).
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