Community Arts Network is located on the ground floor of the King Street Art Centre. Entry is via 357 – 365 Murray Street Perth or Munster Lane, off king Street.
After 7 years of working with CAN I currently have the privilege of job sharing the General Manager role with the wonderful June Moorhouse. As General Manager I enjoy leading a fantastic, professional and creative team who are committed to inspiring arts outcomes that honour the stories from the communities we work with. In 2017 I also begin my Master of Human Rights at Curtin University’s Centre for Human Rights Education, which I look forward to synergizing with what we do here at CAN.
During the last seven years at CAN, I have managed the organisation’s training and capacity building, managed community projects, led operations and contributed to CAN’s strategic direction. Previous to CAN, I gained extensive experience in business by teaching skills to a range of sectors from community services, mining, state, local and federal government departments and even the emergency services sector!
During this time I also studied human rights and literature – areas that I’m very passionate about. In 2010 I graduated from Curtin University with a Double Degree in Bachelor of Arts – Communication and Cultural Studies, Bachelor of Social Science – Sociology.
I have more than 30 years professional experience in the arts, working in senior positions and as a consultant across all artforms.
I graduated as a theatre animateur from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1984 and job-shared the inaugural Executive Officer position at CAN Victoria, then worked on the NSW Bicentennial arts program before returning to my hometown of Fremantle where I ran the Fremantle Arts Centre for six years.
Since then, my consulting practice has seen me work in diverse contexts with organisations, communities and individual artists. I have been a member of both the Community Cultural Development Board and the Community Partnerships Committee of the Australia Council and was recipient of an Australia Council Fellowship in 2002.
I have had a long connection to CAN through my Australia Council involvement and as a consultant. I love it so much I had to come and visit for longer!
Strategic Operations Manager
My role at CAN is to provide high-level support to the Managing Director and General Manager in all operational activities and I am thrilled to be part of the CAN family after such a longstanding connection with the organisation. I have been a CAN Board member, Catalyst grant recipient, Cultural Planning course participant and, in those early days, a constant visitor to CAN for much-needed support and guidance.
I have worked as a Psychologist, Family Support Worker, community arts practitioner, Community Development Coordinator, Festival Director, Grants/Funding Manager and Strategy and Policy Officer in Port Moresby, Perth, Karratha and, most recently, at Regional Arts NSW in Sydney. Wherever I have lived, worked and played, I have been constantly inspired by the power of the arts to break down barriers and transform communities and individuals and its limitless capacity as a vehicle for cultural expression.
Media and Marketing Manager
My role at CAN involves coordinating projects in regional communities that support people to share both personal and collective community stories through visual arts, oral histories and theatre.
I have a background in community cultural development and have worked in a variety of roles across community arts, youth services, women’s wellbeing groups, refugee services, festivals and art galleries. More recently, I have coordinated art enterprises and visual arts development programs in Melbourne and remote Indigenous communities in central Australia.
My role as Funding Manager at CAN involves coordinating specific projects and programs, namely the Catalyst Community Arts Fund. In managing the fund I am privileged to come across a diverse range of community members from across the state. I assist applicants with their applications, helping to hone community arts projects and develop applications that address the selection criteria. Being able to follow the progression of these projects from beginning to end, and witnessing the positive impacts they have in their communities, is the rewarding part of my job.
Arts as a tool for community engagement, empowerment and transformation is what drives my interest in the arts. Working at CAN, I get to play a role in helping to make this happen, while working alongside a great team who are equally as passionate about community arts.
My role at CAN is to manage the accounts and payroll for the organisation. I have been working in the accounts industry for over 20 years, with several arts and community organisations during that time. I enjoy being a part of what we do here and feel privileged to work alongside the passionate crew at CAN.
Marketing & Admin Officer
As the Marketing and Admin Officer I assist with the day-to-day operations across all areas within CAN. My role provides a wonderful opportunity to develop an understanding of both the Arts and Community Development.
Currently studying BA in Internet Communications, previously obtaining Advanced Dip in Graphic Design and having completed multiple certificates with The Australian Writers Centre I am delighted to assist with CAN’s Social Media campaigns and e-newsletters.
I am looking forward to being part of the CAN team and contributing to their work across WA.
Rachel Riggs is the project coordinator of Lullabies, CAN’s new early childhood Noongar language and song writing program. She is also the team leader of the Waugal Wall Mural Project at Narrogin Primary School.
Rachel originally trained in community arts at Manchester University, then puppetry and theatre arts at Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, London.
She has worked in British theatre and television, and founded DNA puppetry & visual theatre in the UK. Following her Masters in Fine Art and Early Years Professional status award, she moved to Australia and became a founding member of Sensorium Theatre for special needs children.
Since then, she has travelled to Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Malaysia and Indonesia to work with young children developing internationally her ‘Imaginary Leaps’ methodology of action play research and storytelling.
In 2013 she received funding for her Early Years Professional Development from CAN and Australia Council for the Arts to work with Indigenous & Emerging communities in WA. Rachel has developed Creative Play Program with the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the State Library of WA, Awesome Children’s Festival and Perth International Arts Festival.
Being an Anthropologist and bilingual native speaker in Portuguese and Spanish, I have a high interest in multicultural education. Since I was a teenager I have involved and committed myself in a number of intercultural experiences either in South America and, most recently, in Australia. This early and strong call led me to a journey which I have never given up.
In my early twenties I initiated a 5 year travel throughout South America. During this time (2000 to 2005) I had the privilege to fund and develop a project called “Oniria Infancias Latinoamericanas” (Oniria, Latin American childhoods). The project allowed me to experience the deepest and most reciprocal exchanges I ever had with a number of indigenous communities. This project started in South America 15 years ago facilitating cross-generational educational arts workshops that were shared amongst the community involved at the time. The workshops were developed and adjusted according to the community’s interests, using different ways of expression, such as “pin-hole” photography, short films production, drawings, songs, story-telling.
In 2009, already in Australia (since 2006), I have created Oniria Language Studio, a sole trade business that offers Portuguese and Spanish courses for many private, groups and corporate students.
In 2011, with a small and dedicated group, we have funded the Latin American Film and Cultural Association (LAFCA) INC, whose main work is to produce CINE VIVO, Perth Latino Film Festival, annually.
CINE VIVO runs Perth’s premier Latino Film Festival. Every year, over ten nights, the festival features an exciting program of multi-award winning dramas, comedies and documentaries at the forefront of Latin American cinema. CINE VIVO’s program also holds especial events such as Latino Short Film Competition, music & dance performances, Q&A sessions, workshops, round tables, food demonstrations and degustation.
In the last 5 years I have learnt and developed different roles on behalf of Cine Vivo. Main areas are: event production, film programming, community networking, marketing and exhibition curation. Currently, I am the Festival Director and Film Programmer at CINE VIVO.
Since 2014, I have managed and delivered with a small group of volunteers, two international world music tours including cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Broome, helping to connect musicians from Latin America and Australia.
In 2015, I have started my first documentary project based on these musicians exchange in Australia (2015) and Argentina (2018 – work in progress). The documentary is called “SONGLINES, Many tongues one voice”.
Melanie Henderson is the Manager of CAN’s new Place Names project which will use art and creativity to explore a Noongar perspective of sense of place and identity.
After six years in the desert, CAN is sending Mel off to the beaches, bush and bustling towns of South West WA.
Melanie says it was a case of ‘why not’ which initially led her to the desert to kick starting a career in arts management and community engagement.
Since then she has held numerous dynamic roles within the arts and NFP sector across the Central Desert and remote communities in the Northern Territory.
Mel’s career includes working alongside indigenous artists from the Anangu Pitjantjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, SA, Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Lands, WA and Martu People, Pilbara, WA.
As a consultant or an Art Centre Manager for an Australian Disability Enterprise or Indigenous owned and governed Art Centres, she has worked in environments that provide creative artistic opportunities from the ground up.
“I am obsessed with all things bright and audacious, a philosophy that spills into my professional work life. I am at my happiest covered in paint, sipping tea and having a laugh with artists, spending hours on end in rich atmospheres throughout some of Australia’s most striking locations. It is with a bold energy that I strive to create opportunities for individuals in cross-cultural and community orientated dialogues,” she said.
Art centres play a pivotal role to community life in remote Australia, operating as a community hub and a place of connection.