New Chair for Arts OutWest

Filed : Governance .

Following a great AGM in Parkes on Sunday May 28 we farewell retiring Chair Libby Oldham and welcome new a Chair, Fran Charge.

This year was Parkes Shire’s turn to host the Arts OutWest Annual General Meeting, also a chance to showcase Parkes’ arts and cultural facilities, activities and plans (thanks to Parkes and to Parkes Shire Council for having us and to our Parkes Board member Warwick Tom for organising such great entertainment).

More than 40 people attended, some taking the mini-bus with Arts OutWest staff from the east of the region.

The packed day included a tour of Parkes Shire Library to hear plans for the library’s expansion and see the Shaun Tan exhibition; a wonderful performance by Parkes Musical & Dramatic Society from their current production of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’; lunch and networking at the Hart Bar at the Railway Hotel; a short meeting where executive director Tracey Callinan recapped Arts OutWest’s 2016 activities; then it was off for a tour of Parkes’ new street art and a quick stop at the Henry Parkes Centre (Elvis facts and memorabilia galore). A big day. So wonderful to catch up with old friends and new from across the region.

AGM guests were treated to songs from Parkes M&D’s production of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and a backstage tour of the Little Theatre. New Arts OutWest Chair Fran Charge is in the centre of the top photo, wearing an orange top. Photo: Parkes Shire Council.

New chair for Arts OutWest

Libby Oldham, director of Jayes Gallery in Molong, has retired from the Board of Arts OutWest after seven years on the Board and six years as Chair.

“I am stepping down as Chair of Arts OutWest to pursue another challenge and I would like to thank our executive director Tracey Callinan for the time and effort she puts in to making Arts OutWest a stand out regional arts development organisation and for her continued support of me,” Libby Oldham said. “I would also like to thank other members of the Board for their work and dedication in helping make Arts OutWest a regional arts development organisation admired throughout NSW.”

Cover image: Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan, retiring Chair Libby Oldham, and new Chair Fran Charge at a past event.

The new chair, elected unopposed at the AGM, is Fran Charge.

Fran is Chair of Oberon Arts Council. A semi-retired high school teacher, Fran has lived in Oberon and been a tireless leader in local arts projects for many years as well as involvement in local theatre productions.

Fran joined the Board of Arts OutWest in 2010 as the representative of Oberon LGA and has held the position of secretary for the past two years. She has represented Arts OutWest at the last two Regional Arts NSW annual advisory meetings (meetings of all Chairs from each of the 14 networked regional arts development organisations). Fran has also attended national regional arts conferences, as an Arts OutWest Board member, in Dubbo (2016) and Launceston (2010).

As incoming Chair Fran is looking forward to working with strongly as a team with fellow board members from across the region as well as supporting Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan and her staff.

“Arts OutWest is a really strong organisation, the envy of other arts organisations, especially as leaders in the area of arts and health,” Fran Charge said.

“We have a really good set of Board members and I’ll be trying to utilize the skills everyone has,” Fran Charge said.

“As Board members we can keep encouraging our local councils to realise the benefits of being a part of their regional arts organisation and to make the most out of Arts OutWest as a resource,” Fran Charge said.

In coming months the Board will be further focusing on drafting a new constitution for the organisation and planning for the move to a smaller, skills-based (rather than representative) board, in line with all other regional arts development organisations across the state.

Fran (centre) has already jumped into the role of Arts OutWest Chair, accompanying executive director Tracey Callinan (on right) to meet NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in Bathurst in May.

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