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Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board

The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board (TAAB) was established under the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board Act (1975) to provide policy and funding advice to the State Government.

The Board comprises members from various sectors of the arts and the wider community, appointed by the Minister for the Arts. The Board provides advice to the Minister through recommendations for the expenditure of the annual arts grant and loan allocations.

Board updates

See the TAAB Board Updates page.


A robust, diverse, vibrant arts sector in Tasmania which is valued by Tasmanians and which is nationally and internationally recognised.


Through Arts Tasmania's grant funding programs, the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board strives to support, facilitate, advocate and enable creativity, diversity, cultural excellence and quality arts practice in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board acts as an advocate for the arts and cultural sector and provides broad policy advice on arts industry issues to Government.


The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board will support activities which demonstrate excellence; which nurture talent across the span of careers; and which express the unique perspectives of Tasmanian artists in a global context.


  • To support and develop the skills, potential and viability of our artistic talent and product; and support and strengthen the management of our arts organisations.
  • To broker opportunities for the arts by leveraging Tasmania�fs unique identity.
  • To increase accessibility, engagement and participation in arts and cultural activities.
  • To increase the cultural and economic value of the arts to the Tasmanian community and strengthen the connections between artists, arts organisations, business and the broader community.

Board members

The members of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board are listed below:

Damian Bugg

Damian Bugg AM QC was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1969. He was a Senior Litigation Partner in the Hobart law firm Dobson Mitchell and Allport when he was appointed the first Director of Public Prosecutions for Tasmania in July 1986. He took silk in 1994. On 2 August 1999 Mr Bugg was appointed the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and held this position until 12 October 2007. In 1998 Mr Bugg was made a Fellow of the University of Tasmania and appointed Chancellor in 2006.

Sheila Allison

Sheila Allison has a long history in scholarly publishing and editing in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. As manager and publisher at the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies (ACYS) from 1989 to 2007 Sheila developed ACYS into a national specialist publishing house based at the University of Tasmania.  She has also previously operated a small press specialising in Tasmanian writing, both fiction and non-fiction. Sheila continues to work in book, journal and thesis editing, and recently researched and wrote a course on publishing and technology for the University of Southern Queensland.

Nicki Fletcher

Nicki Fletcher is the Community Engagement Officer for the Cradle Coast Campus of the University of Tasmania and coordinates the Campus�fs cultural program. Nicki is a former Tasmanian Regional Arts board member and from 2003 to 2007 held joint positions as arts@work Project Officer with Arts Tasmania, and Cultural Tourism Officer with the Cradle Coast Authority. Nicki has been seconded to the University from Women Tasmania, where she holds the position of Regional Manager North West. She has a background in community development, marketing and journalism and is currently studying a Post Graduate Certificate in Business at the University of Tasmania.

Clayton Hawkins

Clayton Hawkins has an MBA from the Southern Cross University amongst a number of other qualifications. An elected representative on the Waratah-Wynyard Council, Clayton works as a Lecturer for the University of Tasmania's Institute for Regional Development at its Cradle Coast Campus in Burnie and has a long history of community involvement. He has previously been a musicians' agent & event promoter.

Katherine Hough

As Director of Arts Tasmania Katherine is responsible for the delivery of State Government policy and programs for funding for the arts across all arts sectors, public museums and art galleries, and for industry development programs through arts@work statewide. Her career highlights include coordinating the Festival of the Dreaming as part of the Sydney Olympics Arts Festivals, being the operations manager of the Sydney Dance Company and the program manager of the Canberra Theatre Trust. She came to Tasmania in 1999 to be the chief executive officer of the Theatre Royal in Hobart. For four years, Katherine worked as the arts advisor to former premier Jim Bacon. Most recently she was the Director of the Policy and Projects Unit in the Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment.

Jeannette James

Jeannette James is a traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace stringer. In 2000, Jeannette  was a prize winner in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Telstra Art Award and again in 2001 and 2007, she was selected as a finalist. Jeannette has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally. Her work is featured in the permanent collections of the National Museum Canberra, Queensland Museum, South Australian Museum, Darwin Museum and Art Gallery and at the Queen Victoria Museum and Arts Gallery, Launceston. Jeannette's work is also held in private collections around the world. From 2003-2006 Jeannette sat on the Arts Tasmania Aboriginal Steering Committee and in 2007 she was appointed by the Australia Council for the Arts to the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Advisory Board.

Andrew Legg

Dr Andrew Legg is the Deputy Head of School and Director of Contemporary Music at the University of Tasmania�fs Conservatorium of Music. Andrew is the pianist, founder and director of the ARIA nominated Southern Gospel Choir. Andrew�fs areas of speciality include the piano and choral director in particular within the African American contemporary gospel music tradition.

Laura McCusker

Laura McCusker is an international award winning furniture designer and maker based in Hobart, Tasmania.

She has exhibited regularly since completing her training in Fine Woodworking in 1996, at venues as diverse as the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts in Hobart. Her work is featured regularly in Australian and international interior design publications and she has taught Furniture Making, Design and Contemporary Art & Craft at university, TAFE and secondary school levels.

Mary Scott

Mary Scott is Senior Lecturer and Head of Drawing at the Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania. She also coordinates the unit Specialised Methods in Creative Arts Research as part of University’s Graduate Certificate in Research. Mary exhibits her artwork widely, her work is referenced in numerous professional texts and catalogues and is included in significant public and private collections. In 2010 she was recipient of Rising Stars Research Grant, University of Tasmania and since 2000 has been awarded five University of Tasmania Teaching Merit Certificates, a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (2008) and Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (2008).

Lynne Stacpoole

Lynne is a Board member of the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) and has been a Company Director of Stacpoole Enterprises Pty Ltd a state-wide family business, for over 30 years. She has had strong volunteer, cultural and community involvement over the last decade. Lynne is the Chair of the Small Museums and Collections Panel.

Simon Westcott

Simon Westcott has worked in senior commercial publishing roles in newspapers, consumer book publishers and digital media and has extensive global experience, working in the UK and Australia, and leading strategies in China, the US and Europe.  He is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Mr & Mrs Smith (Asia Pacific), and was previously Global Publisher and Executive Director at Lonely Planet.  Simon is the Chair of Malthouse Theatre, the Board of which he was been a member of since 2007.  He has also served on the boards of arts organisations Castlemaine State Festival and Chunky Move.

Panels and committees

The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board (TAAB) seeks input to its assessment process from specialist peers on panels appointed by the Minister.

The TAAB operates on two inter-related principles: arm's length funding and peer-group assessment and decision making.

The arm's length funding principle refers to the TAAB maintaining a distance from the day-to-day business of government. This goes hand in hand with the principle of peer-group assessment and decision making. The Board, its Panel and Committees form an independent body from the artists and arts organisations that they assist, comprised of people with relevant knowledge or experience for deciding how support should be given.

The majority of panel members are practising artists or arts workers or have practised in the arts. This means that they bring practical knowledge and experience of their artforms to the Board. Members who are not practising artists but are community representatives or who have expertise in areas identified as relevant also contribute their knowledge.

You can find the members of the panels and advisory groups here:

Nominating for the Board and its Panels

The Minister for the Arts encourages you to self-nominate or to nominate others to the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board and its Panels. Board and Panel members are in the unique position of providing policy advice and funding recommendations to the Minister and play an instrumental role in helping to shape the arts in Tasmania.  

Whilst nomination does not guarantee a position all nominations are considered.  The Minister for the Arts is responsible for all appointments.

TAAB Nomination Form - MS Word - 223 KB