Adrian Collette is Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Federal Government’s principal arts investment, development and advisory body.
In his previous role as Vice-Principal (Engagement) at the University of Melbourne, Mr Collette was responsible for the development of the University’s Engagement strategy. His portfolio also included the oversight of the University’s museums and galleries and its many cultural sector partnerships.
Previously, Mr Collette held the position of Chief Executive of Opera Australia, Australia’s largest performing arts company for 16 years. He also worked in book publishing for a decade, including as Managing Director, Reed Books Australia, a Division of Reed Elsevier.
He has served on the Australia Council Board and was a member of the Sydney Grammar School’s Council. He is also a Life Member of Live Performance Australia.
He was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2008 for service to the performing arts particularly through executive roles with Opera Australia, as a mentor to young artists, to publishing and to the community.
Editor of Meanjin Esther Anatolitis is one of Australia’s leading advocates for arts and culture. With an arts and media leadership career spanning over two decades, Esther is Hon A/Prof at RMIT School of Art, a member of the National Gallery of Australia Governing Council, and Principal of creative consultancy Test Pattern. A prolific writer and commentator, her book Place, Practice, Politics was published in 2022.
Peter Sipeli has more than two decades of expertise in using and managing advocacy through artistic expression. He is an Arts Manager, and supporter of the Spokenword arts movement in Fiji. Peter founded 'The Poetry Shop, Fiji' six years ago and facilitates regular poetry events in Suva and poetry circle discussions with new and emerging Fijian writers.
He works as a gay activist using storytelling as advocacy. Peter founded the online arts magazine ARTtalk, Fiji that in 2017 ran 10 issues showing arts in Fiji and across the region. From 2018 to 2020, ARTtalk, Fiji is incubated at the Oceania Centre for ARTS, Culture and Pacific Studies, alongside a podcast series, an audio component to ARTtalk.
Peter is passionate about developing the literary arts in Fiji and addressing prolonged silences in the art form. A SLAM poet with a large following, he is a champion of the revival of the literary movement in Fiji, working to provide spaces for new and emerging poets and artists to enable the framing of authentic local voices. In 2016, Peter was among seven presenters who participated in the inaugural Tedx Suva in which he spoke on 'Storytelling for Advocacy'.
Jo Thomas is CEO and Artistic Director of Metro Arts, Queensland's preeminent multidisciplinary arts hub. Over the past 3 years Jo has guided Metro Arts through a period of once-in-a-generation change redesigning the organisation's business model and creating the Metro Arts Future Fund (MAFF) to sustain art and artists into the future. For this work Jo was awarded the 2020 Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year; as well as being the state winner of the For Purpose and Social Enterprise category. Under her leadership Metro Arts has also won significant awards including a Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award (2020) and the Palliative Care Queensland Award for Innovation in Community. Jo has also worked as a performer in film, television and theatre and toured locally and nationally with her works. She is a Churchill Fellow and holds a Masters Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) from NIDA.