About Us

ART STARTS HERE

METRO ARTS ENSURES CONTEMPORARY ART IS BORN: TODAY, TOMORROW AND BEYOND!

Metro Arts enables thought-provoking and exhilarating art from current and future Australian artists. That is why our ethos is Art Starts Here: we support the artist every step of the way – from the early development of ideas through to presenting and touring work.

We know that when artists are properly supported, they have the resources to create powerful work that expands and shifts our hearts and minds. Investing in artists enables them to create, perform and present works that forge a new understanding and a new way forward.

At Metro Arts…

Our job is contemporary art; live and living art, challenging and experimental and diverse art. Work that starts conversations, builds communities, challenges thinking, and enriches lives.  Work that spans borders and engages with urban and regional populations nationally and internationally.

Metro Arts believes in the capacity of arts and culture to connect and strengthen communities, to stimulate creative thinking and conversation.  We advocate for the social and health benefits of regular arts and cultural experiences and the intrinsic value to our society.  This is the driving vision behind Metro Arts as a cultural organisation and the art we present.

Board

Brian Wyborn

Brian Wyborn

Deputy Chair
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Brian is a Senior Wealth Adviser, Non-Executive Director and a current serving Australian Army Reservist. As a proud Torres Strait Islander, Brian brings valuable and diverse experience from the public sector, private sector and military.

Brian is a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Regional and Remote Community Services (ARRCS); Australia’s largest remote service provider delivering aged care, community services and children’s programs throughout the Northern Territory.

As a Senior Wealth Adviser with JBWere, Brian is responsible for the provision of strategic financial and investment advice to not-for-profit and charitable organisations.

Brian also serves in the Australian Army Reserves and has experience in both domestic and international operations. Brian has recently been appointed to undertake the Army Reserve Officer Commissioning Course.

Dr Fiona Hawthorne

Chair
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Fiona started her career as a registered nurse in Brisbane. She has taught bioethics, clinical communication and preparation for professional practice in schools of nursing and medicine at various universities for a number of years, as well as working as a perinatal counsellor supporting families whose baby was likely to die shortly before, during or after delivery. Fiona completed a PhD in 2006 examining the construction of risk and sources of influence when contemplating pre-natal screening. From her PhD work, Fiona was fortunate enough to be awarded the Bob and June Prickett Churchill Fellowship to undertake an extensive study tour of the UK and USA investigating how a perinatal palliative care service may be developed for Australia. Fiona has worked as the Clinical Ethicist for a large metropolitan Australian hospital and in the healthcare context in Queensland, primarily in the area of adverse events and clinical incident management.

Currently, Fiona is the General Manager of Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only children’s hospice.

In 2018, based upon her work with Hummingbird House, Fiona was awarded an opportunity to participate in the Global Leadership Practices Program in India. This program, offered by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia, and Yellow Edge – Performance Architects, is designed to expose globally minded leaders to what’s going on behind the scenes in China, the USA and India. She is also a member of the Churchill Fellows’ Association of Queensland. Outside of work, Fiona sings loudly in her car and is trying to convince her husband and two children to worship her as a living goddess.

Dr Daniel McKewen

Director
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Daniel McKewen is a Brisbane-based visual artist and academic whose practice investigates the intersections of contemporary art, popular culture, and the entertainment and financial industries. Since 2007, Daniel has been teaching in visual arts at the Queensland University of Technology.  In 2013 he was awarded his Doctorate of Philosophy from QUT for his thesis The Art of Being a Fan: Complicity and Criticality in Contemporary Art and Fandom. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally since 2006, and is held in private collections. Daniel is a founding member and serves on the board of Boxcopy a contemporary art space which provides exhibition opportunities and support for emerging artists, writers and curators.

Dr Mellissa Naidoo

Director
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Mellissa is a non-executive director with a keen interest in health and the arts and more than 20 years’ experience as a doctor in leadership and executive management roles across the health and insurance industries.  Values and purpose-driven, Mellissa is committed to working towards improved health outcomes and equity.  She has a passion for the arts and its role in individual and community health and wellbeing and, as a thought leader in her field, her background, commercial and industry experience, stakeholder engagement and specialist skills in governance and risk management, brings a unique combination of skills and diverse perspective to the board.

In addition to her role with Metro Arts, she sits on the University of Queensland Senate and is a board member with Multicultural Australia and the North West Hospital and Health Service.

Brad Coombs

Director
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Bradley is an senior property and infrastructure executive and is passionate about creating great places throughout the development process. He brings a wealth of knowledge in the conceptualisation and delivery of complex urban regeneration projects, as well as residential developments, commercial headquarters, retail, hospitality and infrastructure delivery. Bradley has held long term senior positions within Australia’s leading diversified property and infrastructure groups including Lendlease, Mirvac and CIMIC Group, and led high performing teams to deliver award winning projects of the highest quality for each of these Australian institutions. Brad maintains an ongoing engagement of the arts through his work with Metro Arts and invests in emerging Australian visual artists.

Paul Bowker

Paul Bowker

Treasurer
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Paul is a lawyer and CFO with an extensive background in corporate governance, equity markets and complex commercial transactions.

Alongside his current role as co-founder and Managing Director of Brick Lane Brewing, one of Australia’s largest independent breweries, Paul has held executive level roles in ASX listed companies, regulatory bodies and worked as a lawyer internationally for major law firms.

Paul has a passion for music and the arts and through his current executive role supports a number of music and arts initiatives across Australia. Paul is also involved and a supporter of the hospitality and events sector and as a side interest is currently completing a Diploma in Wine.

Kim Hughes

Director
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Kim has over 25 years’ executive, Board, and Board advisory experience in the profit-for-purpose, public, private, and government sectors across a range of industries including superannuation, life insurance, funds management, financial planning, and health. In addition to her role on the Board of Metro Arts, she is a Board member of Volunteering Australia, and has extensive Board advisory experience providing trusted advice to the Boards and Sub-Committees of the complex, highly regulated businesses of QSuper, QInsure, QInvest, Suncorp Public Offer Superannuation Fund, Suncorp Staff Plan, Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), and Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC). As a Theatre student in a prior life, Kim has always maintained a passion for the arts, and recognises the important role that the arts play in our community.

The Team

Jo Thomas

CEO and Artistic Director
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Jo has been CEO of Metro Arts since 2017 and recently has guided the organisation through a period of once-in-a-generation change redesigning the  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. She has also won Awards for her work at Metro Arts including a Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award (2020) and the Palliative Care Queensland Award for Innovation in Community for Deathfest.

Jo’s previous experience is in programming, producing and performance, working on projects for Brisbane Festival, Brisbane’s contemporary circus company CIRCA, Queensland Music Festival and Bleach* Festival to name a few. Jo has also worked as a performer in film, television and theatre and toured locally and nationally with her works and was a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Churchill Fellowship. She holds a Masters Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) from NIDA.

Genevieve Trace

General Manager
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Genevieve has been a staple feature of Metro Arts for the past 10 years, having worked with the organisation as an artist, producer, and on staff making coffees, selling tickets, in general administration and most recently in Partnerships and Development.  She is a QUT graduate with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Drama), and Master of Creative Industries (Arts Management and Creative Production).  Genevieve is driven to create meaningful relationships between the corporate, government and arts sectors, and continues to hone her legal and arts administration skills to this effect. She is inspired by the social egalitarianism offered by community driven contemporary art and enjoys working with Metro Arts artists to achieve this on a daily basis.

In a former life, Genevieve was a multidisciplinary contemporary performance maker. Her arts industry experience includes stage management, producing, curatorial management, directing for performance, lighting design, costume design, performing and facilitating performance workshops/lectures.

Linden Tierney

Head of Fundraising and Philanthropy
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Linden joined Metro Arts in April 2022 and works across the organisation to secure the ongoing viability and development of Australian contemporary arts practice. Linden returns to Brisbane after development and programming roles held at Auckland Theatre Company, Auckland Conventions, Venues & Events and more recently Glasshouse Port Macquarie. With experience working for creative industries stakeholders within local government and tertiary sectors, Linden enjoys building authentic long-term connections for strategic advancement in the value of the arts. She is looking to make a strong contribution towards the 42 years Metro Arts has been helping artists to create, experiment and present their work. 

Shani Gould

Company Administrator
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Starting at Metro Arts in 2016 as an intern, Shani has since held a variety of roles across marketing, producing and ticketing. In her current capacity she manages Metro Arts’ ticketing, internship and volunteer programs, and undertakes some administration based tasks such as contracting, maintenance of statistical and audience feedback data, and Metro Arts’ CRM.

Shani has a Bachelor of Entertainment Industries from QUT (2016) and a Certificate III in Visual Communication (Photo Imaging) from the Design College Australia (2013).

Bianca Bality

Venue and Events Coordinator
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Bianca recently joined the Metro Arts team in 2022 as Venue Hire and Events Coordinator. In this new role she will be assisting and facilitating hire for artists and general community alike, through providing support in bringing their ideas, celebrations and functions into Metro Arts’ unique and eclectic spaces. Prior to this, Bianca has been a familiar face around the local theatre industry, as a Front of House all-rounder, theatre maker, performer and playwright. She is also a co-founder, producer and core creative for independent theatre collective, The Naughty Corner.

Bianca holds a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary and Applied Theatre from Griffith University, and is particularly passionate about the creation and production of new and evocative performance works within the independent sector.

Jenna Green

Producer – Special Initiatives
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Jenna is an arts producer with a background in visual art and architecture. As Producer – Special Initiatives, Jenna oversees the development and coordination of special initiatives that sit beyond the organisation’s core government-funded program. She is currently looking after the MAVA Substation and MAVA Pathfinder Program.

Jenna is passionate about supporting artists to realise big ideas and equally interested in how arts organisations function and thrive. Prior to Metro Arts Jenna was Co-Director of people+artist+place, an arts initiative focused on temporary public art projects. She has previously worked with Queensland Museum, UAP, Creativemove, and Positive Solutions. Jenna is currently studying a Masters of Business majoring in philanthropy and nonprofit studies.

Danielle Carney

Producer
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Danielle joined Metro Arts in early 2021 as Lead Producer for Performance. Prior to this, she has worked across Brisbane as an Independent Director and Producer of theatre, Events and Festivals. Danielle holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama, a Diploma of Event Management, and five years of experience in the finance industry working as a team leader. With a passion for people management, creating immersive experiences and audience development, Danielle is committed to creating teams and work environments that facilitate meaningful collaboration.

Kyle Weise

Curator (Exhibition Program)
Open Bio

Kyle joined Metro in 2018. He is a writer and curator and, together with Simone Hine, co-founded and co-directs Kuiper Projects, a project-based Artist-Run-Initiative with a space in Brisbane’s CBD. Previously, Kyle, again alongside Simone, co-directed and co-founded two Melbourne art galleries: the not-for-profit gallery Screen Space (2010-2016) and the commercial gallery Beam Contemporary (2010-2014). Screen Space was dedicated to screen-based practices, reflecting his interest in the moving image across both art and cinema. He has curated or co-curated exhibitions in Italy, the USA and throughout Australia, and has written widely about contemporary Australian art, in catalogue essays and publications such as Millennium Film Journal, Eyeline, Dissect and Un Magazine. Kyle is a graduate of the University of Queensland.

Paula Araujo

Marketing Coordinator
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Paula is a marketer and storyteller passionate about fostering communities. She holds a BCA in Theatre from USQ, and postgraduate qualifications in Creative Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications from QUT (leveraging narratives is kind of her thing). In her role, she draws on previous work in social media and customer experience to build meaningful relationships. More than just being the human behind Metro’s DMs and getting bums in seats, she works to connect people and foster community in digital spaces.

Teegan Kranenburg

Venue and Technical Coordinator
Open Bio

Teegan is a stage manager, technician, venue manager, and production manager who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary and Applied Theatre from Griffith University. She has been freelancing in Brisbane and beyond since 2014 across many disciplines, including festivals, theatre, dance, and circus. She is particularly interested in site-specific, immersive, gamified performance work and how these forms of performance change and challenge the technical process. Teegan has worked on many productions at Metro Arts over the years as a freelancer, and was wildly excited to join the Metro Arts team in 2021. In another life, Teegan could be found onstage herself, performing in a Big Band-era quartet as a vocalist. These days, when she isn’t coordinating venues, updating spreadsheets, or drinking too much coffee, she can be found scaling cliffs for fun.

Riley Towers

Design Coordinator
Open Bio

Riley is a maker, scavenger and all-round creative born and raised in Meanjin. She is a QUT graduate with a Bachelor of Interactive and Visual Design (Hons) and a passion for creative works that experiment with technology. She joined Metro Arts in 2021 as an emerging graphic designer, developing the visual identities for the Young Artist Forum, Mad Dance Festival and Restrung Festival. As a designer, she combines elements of her eclectic art-making practice with traditional principles of graphic design, resulting in a bold communication style that packs a punch.

Yaneth Bautista

Finance Officer
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Yaneth began her career 14 years ago after graduating with honors as a Public Accountant; she migrated from Colombia in 2012. Yaneth joined Metro Arts in 2019, currently working as a Finance Officer and although she is new to the art industry, she has enjoyed and learned a lot during her time at Metro. For some people numbers do not sound interesting but she loves helping her colleagues to attain the goals of performance and exhibition seasons, even if she is being out of sight. When she is not keeping busy with accounting issues, she recharges herself spending quality time with her family; and counting the days down to have holidays back home.

Nicholas Southey

Associate Producer
Open Bio

Nicholas Southey is an award-winning independent Producer and Theatre-maker. Using his creative practice, he aims to shape the cultural footprint of Brisbane’s arts sector by growing its vibrant independent theatre. He has worked with or alongside several of Brisbane’s most renowned arts organisations including Queensland Theatre, La Boite, Circa, The Good Room, The Little Red Company, Blak Social (in association with QPAC) and THAT Production Company. He also runs the new-work generator, The Black Box Collective, which has provided over 20 professional opportunities to young Artists. For his work, Nicholas received the 2021 MILKE Emerging Producer Award.

Peta Kishawi

Development Assistant
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Meg Hamilton

Associate Producer
Open Bio

Meg is a producer and creative who loves the variety and vitality that a life in the Arts affords her. Beginning her career as a performer with a Bachelor of Musical Theatre from QLD Conservatorium Griffith University, Meg delights in connecting and collaborating with artists to have their stories seen and heard. Meg has worked in theatre, jazz, opera and musical works in venues across Australia; from QPAC, The Tivoli, Brisbane Powerhouse, and Brisbane Festival, to exquisit regional and rural theatres, council venues, and schools.  Meg is a strong believer in our Australian culture and legacy living and thriving within shared stories and art. She is passionate about audiences both near and far to Metro Arts’ doors having access to these experiences.

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