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Our Board

Arts Access Australia is a disability-led company limited by guarantee, governed by a volunteer board. It was originally established as a project of Arts Access Victoria in 1992, and became a fully incorporated organisation in 1998.
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Martin Sawtell

Chair / Ordinary Board Member from SA

Martin Sawtell started his career as a Journalist but soon traded in writing the news for being part of the creative industry that sought to make the news (for all the right reasons) instead.

Martin has over twenty years’ experience as an arts and cultural development practitioner, arts manager and disability arts worker. Having worked both in local government roles and for Not for Profit arts producers and sector development organisations including; Kurruru Youth Performing Arts, Community Arts Network of SA, No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability and most recently Access2Arts, Martin strongly believes that arts and cultural activity offer a vehicle for people to build their understanding of diverse experiences.

Passionate about empowering Deaf and disabled people to live their best life by dismantling barriers that exclude and prevent equitable participation in arts and culture, Martin workes closely with both disabled and non-disabled emerging and established artists, arts workers and communities to; strengthen relationships to place, build capacity to participate, celebrate identity, and forge connections to create a cohesive and accessible society.

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Larissa MacFarlane

Deputy Chair / Ordinary Board Member from VIC

Larissa MacFarlane (she/her) is the proud owner of a 21-year-old brain injury. Acquired when she was 29, she has gone on to nurture and develop her new ABI (acquired brain injury) talents, which include as artist and community leader.

Larissa is a Naarm/Melbourne based visual artist, working across the mediums of printmaking, street art and a community art practice. Her work investigates ideas of Disabled culture and pride, community and identity. Since 2006, her work has been exhibited in galleries and streets across the country. Larissa is also known for her street art practice that investigates her daily ritual of performing handstands, a key part of her disability self-management. In 2017, these works were exhibited at the Arts Centre Melbourne.

Larissa has also been involved in the Self Advocacy movement and disabled community for almost two decades and has led many community arts projects, with groups such as Arts Access Victoria and Footscray Community Arts Centre. She recently led Brain Injury Matters to create the world’s first app about ABI made by people with ABI. She is also the creative producer of Australia’s first Disability Pride murals and the 2019 short documentary film The Disability Pride Wall.

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Kevin du Preez

Acting Treasurer/ Board Member from NSW

Kevin is an arts executive, strategist and facilitator with experience working in a range of industries including government, arts, film and media. His impact areas focus on leadership development, innovation, organisational sustainability and partnerships.

With a career spanning over 23 years, Kevin has pioneered and led internationally recognised programs that are an integral part of transforming creative leadership, knowledge and skills in the Australian arts and cultural industry.

Prior to joining Monkey Baa, Kevin worked at the Australia Council for the Arts where he was the Director of Capacity Building. During his 11-year tenure, Kevin developed major industry development programs including the Australia Council leadership programs; national policies, such as the digital culture strategy; many large sector events and hundreds of professional development programs. He coaches and mentors alumni from around Australia and the Indo-Pacific.

Kevin has a strong background in operations and business management that he developed in previous roles, including film festival production, technology and media business analysis and project management.

Kevin is currently a member of the ASSITEJ Australia committee and previously been on the NSW selection committee for the Sir John Monash Scholarship since 2015. He was a board director for Assisted Community Living Ltd and the chair of the ACL Foundation Ltd. He co-chaired the Global Arts Leadership Program Organisers network with members across 14 countries.

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Madeleine Little

Original Board Member from QLD

In 2020 Madeleine Little was appointed Festival Director for Undercover Artist Festival, and drove the 2020 Festival postponement Strategy due to the pandemic, creating a virtual two-day celebration ‘Undercover Artist:Online’ which attracted national and international viewers.

Brisbane-based performer, theatre maker, writer and access consultant for the performing arts, Madeleine is currently delivering Disability Awareness Training for 390 employees and volunteers for Home Of The Arts (HOTA), Gold Coast.

Madeleine’s original play, Hold, was presented as part of her MA research testing the implementation of accessible theatre practice conventions in a new work. It was later published in Australasian Drama Studies Journal (Issue 76) – Hold On: Australian Innovations in Access Aesthetics with co-authors.

Aged 25, Madeleine was awarded the inaugural Stella Young Award from Arts Access Victoria (2018), an Access Arts Achievement Award Special Mention (2019), and the inaugural National Leadership Award from Arts Access Australia (2019).

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Jeremy Hawkes

Original Board Member from VIC

Jeremy Hawkes is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and occasional performer with over 30 years’ experience exhibiting extensively in Australia and overseas. He has a BA in Fine Art from SCU and post-graduate qualifications from RMIT and VCA.

His work in represented in many private and public collections and he is the recipient of a number of awards and prizes, most recently the Create NSW Fellowship and the Australia Council for the Arts Art and Disability
Mentoring Initiative.

In 2019 he attended residencies in both New York and Berlin, with a resulting exhibition at BAI. He has worked extensively in disability-led community based projects and as a disability consultant for many organisations including NAVA, Australia Council for the Arts; and ADAHK, Hong Kong.

Jeremy is passionate about disability culture, and the arts as a vehicle for social change.

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Caroline Bowditch

Ordinary Board Member from VIC

After 16 years living and working in the UK, Caroline returned to Australia in July 2018 to take up the role as CEO at Arts Access Victoria. She is best known as a performer, maker, teacher, speaker, and mosquito buzzing in the ears of the arts industry in the UK and further afield.
Caroline is a regular consultant on access and inclusion internationally, and has also led international residencies in Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. She is regularly invited to mentor local, national, and international artists at all levels of their artistic development. With the support of the Australia Council for the Arts, Caroline took part in the prestigious CEO Leadership course at Harvard Business School in 2019-2020.

Sarah Houbolt

Ordinary Board Member from VIC

Sarah has worked in the wider disability advocacy and policy sector and digital access space for several years, with a career highlight of speaking at the United Nations on the rights of women and girls with disability. She has been on various Boards, including Queenslanders with Disability Network and SAMAG, and on several access and inclusion advisory committees. Sarah received the inaugural Arts Access Aotearoa Artistic Achievement Award, and the inaugural Australian Disability Leadership Institute Arts Award.

Sarah holds a Bachelor for both Social work and Arts (Politics and Sociology) from the University of Queensland. She was a finalist at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics, and a featured TEDx speaker.

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Allison Reynolds

Ordinary Board Member from NSW

Allison is an emerging visual artist from Gamilaroi country, NW NSW. The first half of Allison’s career was in IT and opening her own businesses. She retired from corporate life after 10 years as a manager at IBM.  After moving from Sydney to north of Coonabarabran she founded Creatives Collective ARI inc, a disabled artists’ group in 2017. Under her guidance the group opened SPACE in 2019 – a NFP social enterprise gallery and creative space that serves the entire local community and visitors.

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