Firstdraft operates through the dedicated work of its staff, board, advisory committee and volunteers. The board consists of a diverse group of early-career artists and arts professionals, whose skills and knowledge are key to realising the success of our vision.
Georgia Hobbs is a curator and arts manager with nearly a decade’s experience working across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She is a passionate supporter of emerging and experimental practice and has delivered a broad range of exhibitions both nationally and internationally. As the General Manager of Firstdraft, she oversees the delivery of a diverse and innovative artistic program. Prior to this Georgia worked as Art Consultant, Artbank; Assistant Curator, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and was the Gallery Manager of Darren Knight Gallery for four years from 2013-2017. She is the Treasurer of Runway Australian Experimental Art (2019-2020) and served on the Firstdraft Board of Directors (2017-2018). Georgia graduated with a Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership from the University of New South Wales Art & Design in 2014 and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Art History & Asian Studies) from the University of Sydney.
Communications & Engagement Coordinator
Sophie Penkethman-Young is a Sydney-based video artist and digital arts administrator. Sophie’s works have been included in group exhibitions across Australia, Hong Kong, USA, Europe and the UK. She has been a finalist in several prizes including most recently The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane (2018) and the Fisher's Ghost Art Award Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2017). Prior to her role at Firstdraft, Sophie was Marketing and Content Coordinator, Carriageworks and Graphic Designer, .M Contemporary. She gained a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography Media Arts) from the Australian National University School of Art & Design in 2013 and completed her Honours at The Sydney College of Arts, University of Sydney in 2014. She is currently completing a Master of Art Curating at the University of Sydney focusing on digital museum culture and internet-based practice. Sophie is the current Digital Manager of Runway Australian Experimental Art (2019-2020).
Bryden Williams is a Sydney-based artist and technician. Their practice explores the interplay between technology and nature and the idiosyncratic potential of generative art. Through site-engaged, sculptural and image-based works, Bryden speculates on the aesthetic, functional and social uses of water and other natural elements. Bryden has exhibited their works across Sydney, NSW and internationally. As a technician, Bryden enjoys all aspects of exhibition and event production. With experience working at some of Sydney's major institutions, Bryden brings a strong knowledge of exhibition design, installation, WHS, risk management and problem solving to their role as Gallery Coordinator. Bryden holds a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Visual Arts from The Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
Claudia Roosen is an arts worker with a background in advocacy and engagement and a passion for creating holistically inclusive spaces. While completing a Bachelor of Art Theory from UNSW Art & Design, she was the elected Engagement Officer on the Student Council, received an Intern Scholarship with Kudos Gallery and was a part of Brightside Program. She has worked in various roles at organisations such as Kaldor Public Art Projects, Carriageworks, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences and the National Association for the Visual Arts. Currently, she is the Producer, Marketing & Communications at Information + Cultural Exchange, who work to transform and enrich Western Sydney by co-creating authentic, locally made community art that impacts personally and resonates globally. Outside of her day job, she collaborates on creative and community-based projects.
Julia Mendel is a creative producer whose work is focused on socially engaged practices and community led projects. She is currently Public Programs Producer at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Previously she held the position of Community Engagement Producer at Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), Parramatta, where she initiated the All Girl Electronic program for Western Sydney female, transgender and non-binary youth, offering training and mentorship in electronic music production. From 2015-2017 she co-directed the Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium as part of This is Not Art, Newcastle. In 2012 Julia graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship (Honours).
Jamey Nguyen is a Sydney-based marketing professional who works closely with local commercial and contemporary artists. She has delivered community engagement programs over the past 6 years that include public art installations, activations, and events, for the likes of City of Sydney and Transport for NSW. She holds a Bachelor of Business with a double major in advertising and marketing. Jamey is extremely passionate about supporting local contemporary and emerging artists in both a commercial and philanthropic space.
Tian Zhang is a curator, writer and researcher interested in socially-engaged, alternative and activist curatorial methodologies. Her work has been shown at Customs House Sydney, Peacock Gallery in Auburn, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and Metro Arts, Brisbane. An alumni of the Australia Council’s Future Leaders Program 2018, her curatorial project ‘I Am, You Are, We Are, They Are’ (2017) was nominated for a MGNSW Imagine Award. Tian has produced multiple award-winning shows for Urban Theatre Projects and is currently Programs Officer at Parramatta Artist Studios.
Tahjee Moar is an emerging curator, writer and educator of Meriam and Barkindji descent. Over the past 5 years Tahjee has worked in curatorial and educational positions at a variety of institutions, focusing on the area of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art practice. Tahjee has worked as Assistant Curator, Visual Arts at Campbelltown Arts Centre, and on curatorial projects for Carriageworks, Next Wave Festival and Wollongong Art Gallery. In 2014, Tahjee graduated with a Bachelor of Art Theory from UNSW Art & Design.
Justine Youssef is an emerging artist who will be practicing at the Parramatta Artist Studios in 2018. Her work is a response to site-specific research into the social, cultural and political structures that shape moments and places.This lends the work to a range of disciplines including installation, sculpture, video, text and scent. She has participated in group exhibitions in Sydney at spaces such as Bankstown Art Center, Bankstown; 475 King Street, Newtown; and Lilac City Studios, Surry Hills. Her work has also been featured in Antidote’s Moving Nations 2017, Collab Gallery, Chippendale. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Association for the Visual Arts; the National Art School Drawing Archive; and the Sydney Gallery School.
Athena Thebus’ is an artist who works with sculpture, photography, video, and writing. Her practice harnesses the productive force of Desire. The works often have an undercurrent of celestial Catholicism as influenced by her Filipina mother. Her recent exhibitions of solo and collaborative work include; Next Wave Festival, Sugar Mountain Festival, Liveworks, and Campbelltown Arts Centre Real Real #3. She is a Scorpio with a Sagittarius rising and a Capricorn moon.
Nadia Hernández is an emerging artist whose visual arts practice is informed specifically by the current political climate of her home country and her diasporic experience as a Venezuelan woman living abroad. Articulated through textiles, paper constructions, painting, music, installations, sculptures and murals, her identity allows her, or perhaps encourages her, to create work that negotiates complex political narratives through the personal, the institutional and their intersections. Nadia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Queensland University of Technology and Certificate IV in design from Shillington College. She has partaken in both solo and group exhibitions across Australia, most recently at Firstdraft, and was selected as the official artist for City of Sydney’s NYE 2017. She is a successful recipient of the Bundanon Trust Artist-in-Residence program and will undergo her residency in 2019.
Ohni Blu is an emerging artist, curator and events producer currently based in Sydney, Australia. They are passionately committed to collaboration and community focused events and outcomes. They have just finished a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts and plan to continue their studies. Their work and projects explore themes of gender & identity, radical healing, disability, rituals of care, community relationships and the power of vulnerability.
Soo-Min Shim is an arts writer based in Sydney currently completing her Bachelor of Art History and Theory (Honours) at the University of Sydney. Her research interests are focused around contemporary Asian art and she has written for several Australian and international publications including Art & The Public Sphere, The Artling, Art + Australia, Art Almanac, Runway Conversations, un Extended, and Running Dog.
Firstdraft’s Advisory Committee is integral to the sound governance of Firstdraft. Comprising business and cultural leaders, their expertise in the areas of strategic direction, partnerships and governance enable the directorate to continue to strengthen and advance the role of Firstdraft in the Australian arts sector.
Lisa Havilah – Director, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences
Phillip Keir – Founder, Keir Foundation
Steven Miller – Managing Director, Steven J Miller & Co
James Roland – Partner, Gadens
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Committee
Nardi Simpson - Singer, Songwriter and Artist
Clothilde Bullen - Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Exhibitions and Collections, Museum of Contemporary Art
past board members
Founding Roger Crawford, Paul Saint, Tess Horwitz, Narelle Jubelin
Adam Weiderman, Adriane Boag, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Alex Cyreszko, Alex Gawronski, Alex Kiers, Alexandra Clapham, Alice McAuliffe, Amelia Wallin, Amy Griffiths, Andrew Brooks, Andrew Moran, Anna McMahon, Astrid Kriening, Brenda MacDuff, Bridie Moran, Camille Serisier, Cassy Sutherland, Catherine Connolly, Cathy Nunn, Connie Anthes, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Cy Norman, Daniel Green, Dara Gill, David Capra, David Lawrey, Debbie Pryor, Di Smith, Dylan Quirk, Elliott Bryce Foulkes, Elizabeth Reidy, Elvis Richardson, Emma White, EO Gill, Eva Morosy Weide, Flora Grant, George Dann, Georgia Hobbs, Georgie Meagher, Gianni Wise, Gina Mobayed, Grace Archibald, Harley Ives, Helena Leslie, Helen Hyatt Jonson, Holly Williams, Ingrid Mills, Jacqueline Millner, Jade Muratore, Jaki Middleton, Jana Hawkins-Andersen, Jane Gillespie, Jane Polkinghorne, Janet Shanks, Jay Hastings, JD Reforma, Jess Olivieri, Jessica Tyrrell, Joanne McCambridge, Julie Burke, Justin Balmain, Kate Scardifield, Kate Britton, Kathryn Gray, Katie Kaars, Katie Winten, Katy Plummer, Kelly Doley, Lea Barnett, Lionel Bawden, Liz Reid, Lydia Rodrigues, Maggie Brink, Marley Dawson, Michael Moran, Michaela Gleave, Mikala Dwyer, Nairn Scott, Nathan Dunne, Nicholas Folland, Nina Machielse, Paul Williams, Penelope Benton, Peter Fitzpatrick, Peter H. Johnson, Philipa Veitch, Rowena Hall, Sara Oscar, Sarah Goffman, Sean Rafferty, Sharon Ragget, Simone Douglas, Sonny Day, Spence Messih, Tanya Peterson, Tesha Malott, Tess Knight, Tulleah Pearce, Vaughan O’Connor, Virginia Ross, Vicky Clare, Will French, Wilna Fourie