The Government of South Australia has established a new taskforce to recommend actions that address the work insecurity and income inequality experienced by some South Australian artists and creatives.

About the Taskforce

The Artists at Work Taskforce is a non-statutory advisory body established in March 2024 to provide high level independent advice to the Minister for Arts on issues related to work insecurity and income inequality experienced by some South Australian artists and creatives.

Members will convene regularly over a four-month period to examine current challenges facing people working across the arts, cultural and creative industries in South Australia.

The delivery of this election commitment acknowledges that work for artists and creatives is particularly precarious, with only a small proportion earning all their income through their creative work alone. The reality is that many artists and creatives work casually or part-time, in both arts and non-arts-related work (industries like teaching, hospitality and tourism).

Members will use the first meeting of the Taskforce to define the direction, lines of enquiries and scope of work the Taskforce will undertake.

The Taskforce will make recommendations for actions within the parameters of authority and levers available to the South Australian Government to address these challenges. These recommendations will address industry-wide issues as well as the specific needs of different sectors of the South Australian arts and culture landscape. Recommendations will be detailed in a final report to the Minister for Arts.

Terms of Reference

The Taskforce’s Terms of Reference articulate the scope of the work for the members.

Artists at Work Taskforce Terms of Reference (PDF, 205.9 KB)

Members of the Artists at  Work Taskforce

Headshot of Alison Lloydd-Wright

Alison Lloydd-Wright is the Deputy Chief Executive for Community, Culture and Place within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. In her role, she is working towards a more integrated approach to supporting and promoting arts, culture, and creativity in South Australia. This includes supporting the creation of a new arts, culture, and creative industries policy for the state. Alison also leads a whole-of-government approach to growing South Australia’s population and is passionate about helping South Australia to unleash its potential and reclaim its identity and confidence as a place for people who want to live with purpose.

Headshot of Elena Carapetis

Elena Carapetis is a NIDA graduate and an award-winning actor, writer and director whose international stage and screen career spans 30 years. She has performed in, directed and written plays and films across independent, commercial and mainstage industries, and is proud to have taught and mentored dozens of emerging actors, writers and directors based in South Australia. A fierce advocate for artists and the arts, Elena has been an active campaigner for best practice work standards, and is a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the Australian Writer’s Guild. She also participated in the culture shifting Safe Theatres movement which designed policies which were adopted nationally, as well as the MEAA Diversity Committee which advocated for better representations of underrepresented cultural groups on our stages and screens. Elena is the daughter of Greek and Cypriot migrants and now has the privilege of living on Kaurna land.

Headshot of Dr Daniel Connell

Dr Daniel Connell is a full-time practising artist born on Kaurna Country. Daniel’s socially engaged multidisciplinary art practice spans 35 years in Tartanyangga/Adelaide and has gathered wide and diverse experience as an advocate and as a low-income earner and artist. He co-founded the South Australian Professional Networking Association for Migrants, Australia's largest free and voluntary employment service for new migrants and Kirat Karo, an advocacy service for victims of wage-theft, and Matilda St Houses for new migrants. He was invited to submit to the Parliamentary Inquiry on Wage-Theft, and be on the Anti Racial Discrimination Advisory Round Table and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network Multicultural Advisory Round Table. Daniel’s PhD investigated representation and social practice art across cultural difference. Daniel is an affiliate researcher at University of Glasgow and an affiliate artist with UNESCO’s Refugee Integration through Language and Arts. He also teaches at Adelaide Central School of Art.

Headshot of Aaron Connor

Aaron Connor has more than a decade of experience working as an Industrial Organiser with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) SA/NT Branch. Since its amalgamation in 1992, MEAA has been the union for people working across the diverse arts, entertainment, sports, outdoor, music and events industries – both behind the scenes and in front of the camera or onstage. He has worked with performers, media, and crew as an industry advocate for creative professionals, successfully campaigning on major issues, organising to fight for members’ rights, workplace health and safety, and helping to protect wages and conditions. His work involves negotiating numerous enterprise bargaining agreements at both state and national level. He has regular contact with actors’ agents and members advising on contract and workplace issues and understands the complex and variant challenges facing crew and performing artists in their chosen profession.

Headshot of Mimi Crowe

Mimi Crowe is a strategic leader who is driven by innovation, generosity and professionalism. She is currently the CEO of Carclew, Australia’s largest multi-artform cultural institution dedicated to children and young people. Prior to this role, Mimi led the Creative City program at the City of Adelaide. Other recent leadership positions include Advocacy Director at the National Association for the Visual Arts; Producer of Tarnanthi, a national festival of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of South Australia; Head of Development & Strategy at State Theatre Company of South Australia; General Manager at the Office for Design + Architecture SA; and Manager, Cultural Heritage at Arts South Australia. She has also held roles across multiple youth and children’s arts programs. Mimi is a Board Member at Brink Productions. She holds an MBA from the University of South Australia and is committed to a culturally safe, diverse and respectful professional environment.

Headshot of Christopher Drummond

Chris Drummond is a theatre director, opera director and dramaturg. Chris was Artistic Director of Brink Productions from 2004 to 2023 and Associate Director of the State Theatre Company South Australia from 2001 to 2004. Chris’s productions of new writing, original adaptations and devised works have been presented by most major theatre companies in Australia and toured internationally. Highlights include When the Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell (with Hossein Valamanesh) for Adelaide Festival, Melbourne Festival, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre and Araluen Theatre; Night Letters by Robert Dessaix (adapted by Susan Rogers & Chris Drummond) for Adelaide Festival and Playbox Theatre; and The Flying Dutchman for State Opera South Australia. Chris has sat on various arts boards and is currently a director for Patch Theatre Company. Chris was a member of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia (2014-16) and in 2002-03 was Chair of the Arts South Australia Grants Panel for Independent Artists.

Headshot of Sarah Feijen

Sarah Feijen is an experienced South Australian leader in arts, culture and creative industries, working across state and local government and at a range of cultural organisations, including Guildhouse, City of Adelaide, Arts South Australia, State Library of South Australia and Artlab Australia. Recognised as a positive communicator, creative thinker and doer, Sarah brings deep and inter-connected arts business knowledge that spans strategic policy development, partnerships, programs, advocacy, artist services and operational leadership. Sarah is passionate about the power of creative practice to inspire, encourage new ways of thinking, stimulate economic vitality and to grow the wellbeing of communities. In all her roles, Sarah has championed the voice of the artist as the foundation of a thriving arts sector and a cohesive society. Sarah is currently Chief Executive Officer of Guildhouse, South Australia’s peak body for visual arts, craft and design.

Headshot of Jennifer Greer-Holmes

Jennifer Greer Holmes works across live performance and video, as a producer, curator and DJ. Jennifer currently works with experimental performance company Branch Nebula (Sydney) and First Nations-led dance company Karul Projects (Gold Coast). In 2022-23 she was a Curatorial Associate for Sydney WorldPride and Special Projects Officer with Blacktown Arts (Western Sydney). In addition to working with organisations, Jennifer maintains a passionate connection to the independent sector and is currently working with many South Australian theatre makers and interstate artists. She has a decades-long collaborative practice with artist Heath Britton with whom she has produced dozens of creative short performance video documentaries and installations. Jennifer has been a peer assessor at state and federal levels, a board member and chair of several arts and non-profit organisations and was an industry recipient of the inaugural Stigwood Fellowship.

Headshot of Angela Heesom

Angela Heesom is a multi-award-winning casting director who in 2000 established South Australia’s first and only accredited casting agency, Heesom Casting. She has around 100 casting credits to date including Mortal Kombat, Aftertaste, Storm Boy, and the Wolf Creek movies and TV series, as well as commercials, and has worked closely with Australian and international producers and directors as well as highly regarded local film makers and emerging short film makers.

Angela trains, coaches, and mentors South Australia’s emerging acting talent, helping to springboard their careers, and is proud to have employed and mentored scores of film industry professionals and trainers, many of whom continue to flourish in today’s vibrant local film industry. In 2014, Angela was listed by The Advertiser as one of South Australia’s 50 most influential women. Angela was appointed to the Board of the South Australian Film Corporation in December 2022.

Headshot of Justyna Jochym

Justyna Jochym is the Chief Executive of Festival City Adelaide – the peak body for South Australia’s festivals and events. The organisation aims to enhance skills and training pathways, as well as career quality within the sector. Prior to her current role, she led international cooperation and development at the Krakow Centre for Culture, Business and Festivals in Poland, managing global partnerships and international programs. Prior to this, Justyna spearheaded new strategies to expand international education and attraction of international students to the City of Krakow. Justyna serves as a board member of the Wyatt Trust, South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Industry Council SA, and Kadaltilla Adelaide Parklands Authority. She is also a member of the national Strategic Workforce Advisory Group for the Arts formed by Services and Creative Skills Australia.

Headshot of Nicholas Linke

Nicholas Linke is a Partner and Director of legal firm Dentons Australia Ltd and has served on numerous arts boards in South Australia over more than 20 years. Nicholas has 29 years’ experience as a lawyer specialising in employment law. Nicholas is a member of the Law Society of South Australia’s Industrial Relations Committee. He currently serves as Chair of Restless Dance Theatre Inc, Deputy Chair of the Adelaide Central School of Art Inc and on the Boards of the Adelaide Fringe Inc. and the Hospital Research Foundation Inc’s Centre for Creative Health. He is the former Chair of South Australian Living Artists Festival and a former Australian Business Arts Foundation Councillor.

Headshot of Nathan Luscombe

Nathan Luscombe has a lifelong love of the arts, having had the privilege of growing up surrounded by parents involved in the arts industry. Nathan has an extensive background in Technical Theatre, specifically lighting and design, and has worked locally, nationally, and internationally as a Lighting Technician for opera, ballet, musicals, and arts festivals. Nathan has been with Adelaide Festival Centre for more than 20 years working across all areas of production, managing technical departments, and as part of the executive team. People, culture, and careers in the arts play an integral part of Nathan’s career journey. Nathan is passionate about providing mentoring and creating pathways for the next generation through providing insights to the various roles of the industry, opportunities to help support people entering the industry, and ways to contribute to a healthy sustainable future for the arts in South Australia.

Headshot of Amanda Macri

Amanda Macri is a passionate arts manager with more than 15 years’ experience and is currently General Manager at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design on Kaurna Country. Amanda has previously held senior leadership positions at Carclew, Artlink and Malthouse Theatre and was formerly Treasurer on the Board of Vitalstatistix in Port Adelaide and Sydney-based creative social enterprise, Brand X. Amanda’s key areas of interest and expertise include arts governance, grants and financial management, people and culture, strategic leadership and arts administration. Amanda has been an employer of artists and artworkers across the spectrum of arts jobs, including commissioning, developing, making and presenting new work, delivering community projects, workshops and mentoring, as well as overseeing a casual workforce of venue, box office and production staff. Amanda’s early career experience at the Australia Council (now Creative Australia), Arts Law Centre of Australia and Playwriting Australia provided a strong foundation in advocating for sustainable artist careers.

Kath and Ruth are appointed together and will share a single Taskforce position.

Headshot of Kath Mainland

Kath M Mainland has worked in and around festivals for more than 25 years and is currently Chief Executive of Adelaide Festival. Prior to this, she was Executive Director and co-CEO of RISING – a celebration of Melbourne’s distinct cultural and creative strengths. Previously, she was CEO of Melbourne International Arts Festival; Chief Executive of Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the world’s largest arts festival; and Administrative Director of Edinburgh International Book Festival. Kath has also acted as a trustee on numerous arts boards, including chairing Festivals Edinburgh. Prior to relocating to South Australia, she helped develop and sustain creative communities and artistic practices across Victoria as Chair of Regional Arts Victoria. Kath currently sits on the board of Festival City Adelaide, the Finance Committee of the International Society of the Performing Arts in New York, and Live Performance Australia’s Executive Council. She was recently appointed as Chair of Country Arts SA.

Headshot of Ruth Mackenzie

Ruth Mackenzie brings more than 40 years’ experience in the arts world, with a particular focus on international festivals, and is currently Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival. Having served as director of prestigious festivals such as the Holland Festival, Manchester International Festival, and Chichester Festival, Ruth has a wealth of expertise. She led the official cultural program for the 2012 London Olympics and served as Artistic Director for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Her contributions extend to founding roles, including General Director for the inaugural Manchester International Festival and Dramaturg for the Vienna Festival. Ruth has also directed acclaimed productions for Scottish Opera and helmed major theatres in Nottingham and Chichester. Ruth is a Trustee for Serpentine Galleries and a Board Director of Adelaide UNESCO City of Music.

Headshot of Lewis Major

Lewis Major FRSA is an award-winning regional South Australian choreographer, director and creative entrepreneur with a background in sheep shearing and a foreground in contemporary dance theatre. As a dancer and performer, Lewis honed his career in Europe over a decade spent working with seminal contemporary dance makers. He now runs the project-based regional dance company, Lewis Major Projects. Lewis has been awarded multiple coveted international choreographic residencies and is the recipient of the Frank Ford Award, John Chatway Innovation Award, Dame Roma Mitchell Churchill Fellowship for Excellence in the Performing Arts, a Regional Arts Australia Fellowship, an Impulstanz Vienna DanceWEB Scholarship, the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Travel Scholarship, the South Australian DEEWR Creative Young Stars Award, an AMP Foundation Tomorrow Maker Award, Ausdance Innovating in Dance Practice Award and he is an alumni of the South Australian Business Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurship Scheme.

Headshot of Ross McHenry

Dr Ross McHenry is a highly respected arts industry leader, cultural sector advocate and current Executive Director of Windmill Theatre Company. Ross has more than 15 years’ experience producing contemporary theatre and performing arts projects including major national and international tours. Ross’s previous roles include Executive Producer of Windmill, Nexus Arts and the Media Resource Centre. Ross has been an Arts Industry Council of South Australia Executive Committee member and has worked extensively in sector advocacy as an arts organisations and independent project peer. Ross is also a multi award-winning composer and musician and has been recognised through major awards including the 2019 APRA AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence in Jazz, the 2020 APRA AMCOS Art Music State Luminary Award for South Australia and the 2020 Arts South Australia Ruby Award for Best Work Outside a Festival. Ross holds a PhD in jazz performance and composition from the Elder Conservatorium at the University of Adelaide.

Headshot of William Mellor

William Mellor is a barrister with experience across a broad range of civil and commercial disputes and has a particular interest in intellectual property law. He regularly provides pro bono assistance to artists and arts organisations through the Arts Law Centre of Australia and JusticeNet. William is also a board member of ActNow Theatre Company and regularly performs with Adelaide based improvised comedy group, the Changing Jennifers.

Headshot of Jo O'Callaghan

Jo O’Callaghan is dedicated to creating inclusive community experiences for both artists and audiences, bringing skills in project management, philanthropy, and creative storytelling. Her career is diverse and includes delivering many festivals, major events and community programs. In her current role as Executive Director, Programs and Development at Adelaide Fringe, Jo works with hundreds of artists. Adelaide Fringe is responsible for generating more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs through the Festival and the Honey Pot International Arts Marketplace. In 2022, Jo was elected to the Executive Committee of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia. She has previously held roles at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Short+Sweet Melbourne, and Melbourne International Film Festival. Jo is dedicated to empowering artists and encouraging brave creative practice, ensuring artists have an independent voice and a platform to present it.

Headshot of Anthony Peluso

Anthony Peluso is Chief Executive/Executive Director at Country Arts SA. He has overseen the organisation’s most ambitious changes, working with the many artists and communities, government funders, corporate and individual supporters who invested time, energy and resources into the impact of the organisation’s arts programs. Working in regional contexts has broadened Anthony’s outlook and understanding of his place in community. He is dedicated to championing First Nations peoples’ rights and celebrating the diversity of regional communities. Anthony is driven by the stories of regional South Australia to create experiences that can’t be made anywhere else in the world.

Headshot of Rhys Sandery

Rhys Sandery has more than 25 years’ experience working in the creative industries and is the Chief Business Officer at the award-winning creative studio Monkeystack. Starting as a visual artist specialising in printmaking, Rhys has experience as an independent practising commercial artist, of being both ‘on the tools’, and as part of leadership teams from small local creative industry to a national level in larger enterprises. With a broad understanding of the creative sector’s end-to-end ecosystem and what this means in terms of artistic, cultural, economic and social opportunities for all practitioners from emerging to highly experienced, he has a strong focus in the application of creative industry skills across diverse industries and the promotion of artistic practice and value in regional areas. Rhys has consulted for the Department for Education, participated in the South Australian Film Corporation Workforce Development Strategy, and sits on the Industry Skills Council - Creative Industries, Business, ICT and Cybersecurity for the South Australian Skills Commission.

Headshot of Simon Tait

Simon Tait has worked across the arts over his 37-year career in the field. He is a graduate of the University of South Australia, trained in visual art, working on film and TV over the past 10 years. Being forced to work interstate to keep employed, Simon has a deep interest in the structure and viability of working in the arts in South Australia, and is dedicated to furthering the industry. He is the current Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance State President and has been a member of the South Australian Film working group. He has worked in the art department for streamers Stan and Paramount+, and has worked for many of the major studios such as Universal and 21st Century Fox, as well as Channel 7 and the ABC. He believes working in the arts is a real career that deserves both a living wage and the opportunity to participate in the parts of society that every other sector enjoys.

Headshot of Sandy Verschoor

Sandy Verschoor was Lord Mayor for the City of Adelaide from 2018 to 2022. Prior to that, as a General Manager for the City of Adelaide (2012-15) she delivered several multimillion-dollar projects, including the City Library, and spearheaded the City Activation program, including the small venue licence, mobile food vans, public art and music strategies and the cultural activation and pedestrianisation of city streets. Sandy worked for more than 20 years in senior leadership roles largely focused on Australia’s arts and culture scene. She is a successful activation and cultural strategist and has fostered, promoted and developed some of Adelaide’s rich cultural experiences, including Adelaide Festival, Australian International Documentary Conference, WOMADelaide, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Fringe, and the renowned Windmill Theatre Company. Sandy is a proud South Australian and passionate about Adelaide’s ongoing journey to become a creative city where arts and culture, innovation and a pioneering spirit are celebrated.

Headshot of Patricia Walton

Patricia (Tricia) Walton is an experienced arts leader with a 30-year background across the arts. As Chief Executive of Carclew (2008-23) she oversaw a nationally recognised state-wide program for children, young people and early career artists, including arts and cultural development projects in urban, rural and remote schools and communities. A focus of her work has been industry pathways and career development for early career artists through grants, mentorship programs and other strategies to support artists in the critical early years of professional practice. Some of her past roles include Director of the regional arts program at Country Arts SA and Company Manager of Kurruru Aboriginal Youth Performing Arts. Tricia has served as Chair of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia and as a non-executive director of Australian Dance Theatre. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the South Australian Governor’s Leadership Foundation. Tricia is currently a member of the Child Development Council.

Headshot of John Wardle

John Wardle is a renowned expert in live music policy and strategy, and possesses a wealth of experience in facilitating coordinated regulatory development within the intricate landscape of the music industry. His expertise extends to working seamlessly across the three tiers of government in Australia and he is now regularly engaged to work internationally. With two decades of experience, John's project and advisory work with national, state and local governments, alongside his work with the Live Music Office (LMO) continues to build on years of success navigating the regulatory and legislative landscape for the night-time economy and cultural industries. Serving as the live music consultant for both the LMO and APRA AMCOS, John is the lead on collaborating closely with the live music sector to forge partnerships with government to develop effective live music policy within the broader context of built environment, cultural policy, and industry development frameworks.

Headshot of Emma Webb

Emma Webb OAM is a curator, creative producer, and activist. She was the Artistic Director at multidisciplinary arts organisation Vitalstatistix, based in Port Adelaide at the Waterside Workers Hall, from 2010 to 2024. Some of her focuses have included curating a five-year climate change program called Climate Century; annual national arts lab, Adhocracy;  championing feminist, queer and First Nations artists and their work; and curating a multi-year commissioning project about art, labour, and the future of work, called Bodies of Work. Emma is active in cultural policy advocacy work as a long-term member of the Executive Committee of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia, and collaborator in the Reset Arts and Culture Collective. She has talked and published around the themes of artists at work nationally, globally, and locally. She is actively involved in local politics in her home community, the proud union city of Port Adelaide, Yartapuulti.

Headshot of Samuel Whiting

Dr Sam Whiting is a Lecturer in Creative Industries at the University of South Australia, a member of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia’s executive, and author of Small Venues: Precarity, Vibrancy, and Live Music. His work focuses on issues of capital, labour, and value as they relate to the creative industries and the cultural economy. He is an internationally recognised creative industries scholar with research strengths in live music ecosystems and their policy environments; the political economy of the music industries; cultural policy; basic income for artists; the effects of artificial intelligence on cultural labour; and small venues. As a leading public expert in the arts, cultural and creative sector with strong ties to industry in South Australia as well as nationally, Dr Whiting has a considerable understanding of current issues and future trends affecting this sector.

Headshot of Rebecca Young

Rebecca Young is an experienced and passionate leader, ally and advocate in the for-purpose sector. Prior to finding her passion and taking up work in disability and social services more than 15 years ago, Rebecca gained a wealth of experience across a variety of roles in marketing, advertising, media and communications in a range of industries. Rebecca completed her MBA in 2014 and the Governor’s Leadership Foundation program in 2016. She also has a Certificate II in Auslan, a forklift licence and suite of less useful qualifications. She contributes a strong focus on developing emerging leaders and increasing diversity and inclusion, as well as accessible communications, strategy and sustainable organisational development. In addition to her role as Chief Executive at Access2Arts, Rebecca volunteers as a mentor for several leadership development programs and until recently was the chair of inclusive social circus school Lolly Jar Circus.


Enquiries to the Taskforce can be addressed to:

Artists at Work Taskforce – Secretariat
GPO Box 2308