Supporting the Arts in Ballarat and Surrounds

Member Organisations

Ballarat Arts Alive is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation that provides a flexible forum for discussion, development, advocacy and action supporting the arts and artists of Ballarat and surrounds

Board of Management

HAYDN SMITH • President

Haydn has spent the past 30 years working in the arts & culture, media and software sectors. He has worked variously as an Educator, Librarian, Business Manager, IT Manager, Data Manager, Programmer, Web Producer, Business Analyst and Executive Producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Cinemedia (ACMI), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sausage Software. He is currently Director of the arts consultancy business imuse pty ltd and Director of artadata software providing cloud based web applications to manage arts, music and writers festivals across Australasia. Read More

Merle Hathaway • Secretary & Public Officer

Merle is a freelance art curator, advisor and consultant. Currently a Secretary of BAA, Secretary and media officer for Save Civic Hall, and media officer for Ballarat Rural Australians for Refugees. Previous roles include Executive Officer of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria; Director of Horsham Regional Art Gallery; Curator/Educator at Dromkeen Children’s Literature Collection; Community Arts Officer for Ballarat; Education Officer at AGB; Art Consultant for the Education Department and art teaching at secondary and tertiary levels in Ballarat. At her home, The Buninyong Brewery, she organises or hosts occasional workshops, concerts and other community events. Read More

Tim Gay • Treasurer

Tim joined Crowe Horwath in 1989 while completing his degree at Ballarat University (or BCAE as it was back then). Tim has over 24 years experience in accounting services and specialises in business and taxation services providing advice in taxation, tax planning, business structuring, Capital Gains Tax, GST, and Fringe Benefits Tax. Professional background: Deputy chairman of Her Majesty’s Theatre, served on various local committees and boards including Ballarat District Scout Association, Sunways Retirement Home, BLOC Music Theatre and the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra. Member of several local theatre companies. Read More

Susanne Graham • Membership Officer

Susanne has recently moved to Ballarat from Melbourne and built a studio at her home in Haddon. She is a black and white artist who also works with textiles. She studied Textile Design at RMIT and has recently completed a two year weaving course with Spinners and Weavers of Vic. Susanne is secretary for the Ballarat Society of Artists, a member of the Contemporary Artists Society of Victoria, part of the Textile Network in Ballarat, member of Spinners and Weavers Guild and the Embroidery Guild of Vic. Read More

Kiri Smart • Events Officer

Kiri moved to Ballarat from Melbourne in 1994 to study sculpture the University of Ballarat with Peter Blizzard and Adrian Mauriks. After completing her BA she got involved with the Ballarat Winter Festival in 1997, organising to borrow a shop in Sturt St for 3 weeks. This led to the creation of Anachronism Access Art Gallery, which provided low cost exhibition and studio space for emerging artists. In 1998 Anachronism closed to concentrate on booking the much larger potential at Grainery Lane Theatre & Gallery in Doveton St North (est. 1994). Kiri works full time at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Read More

Aldona Kmiec • Social Media & Website Officer

Born and raised on a Polish farm, Aldona migrated to the United Kingdom and later to Australia. A Ballarat local for more than 6 years, Aldona now divides her private & professional life between Ballarat & East Gippsland. Aldona studied Commercial Photography at London Metropolitan University. In 2013 she facilitated We R You murals project and has been heavily involved in Ballarat Arts scene and Multicultural Ambassador in 2012-14. Award-winning photographer, recipient and promoter of Ballarat art scene. Read More

David Twomey

David has been a journalist, writer and photographer all his life and has worked across a broad spectrum of the media, newspapers, radio, television, the internet and social media. A lifelong interest in almost all forms of the arts began while growing up in Ballarat being involved in light opera and theatre productions. His current involvements with a range of Arts activities are a way of giving back, while continuing to pursue a work life both writing and photographing. Read More

Susan Mitchell

Susan is a 4th generation performer, and has lived and worked in the performing arts her entire life. The early years in Ballarat saw her involved with Lyric Theatre, Light Opera Company, Ballarat Youth Theatre, National Theatre, Ballarat Theatre Workshop and Wendouree Arts Council. Former Fringe Producer for Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Susan came back to Ballarat 5 years ago, and is the former Entertainment Manager for Kryal Castle, and also works for Federation University, Constant Logistics, and a variety of events based businesses as a freelance advisor. Susan is pleased the arts focus in Ballarat has grown, and looks forward to more community events of artistic excellence. Read More

Peter Sparkman

A locally born and bred creative Ballaratian, Peter has been a visual artist for 40 years or more and has a BAVA in Drawing/Sculpture with a minor in Printmaking and an ADGD (Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design). He tends to use both photography (a major interest) and drawing as means to an end with many of his works. Creativity, local history and Communications are of great interest to him, as he enjoys networking information and disseminating it to interested parties in order to help create a better environment and culture around us. He designs the City of Ballarat’s Arts & Culture ‘ARTeFACT’ Newsletter. He hopes to help make Ballarat a better place by contributing to BAA via his local knowledge and skill base. Read More

Pauline O’Shannessy Dowling

Pauline is a visual artist based in Ballarat, also know as POD. She creates intricate, whimsical drawings that blur the line between figurative & abstract art. Pauline is not afraid to work with bright, bold colour, & uses fineliner pens to distort everyday motifs. Her images both challenge & delight the viewer. Read More

Alison Eldridge • Marketing Officer

Alison is a busy mum and a fabulous graphic designer at Green Envy Design. She helps us greatly with marketing and designs our posters! Read More

Shane van der Akker

Shane is a professional scenic artist whose work includes large scale murals and theatrical set painting. Read More

A vibrant creative culture in Ballarat and surrounds