The Council of the Australian Academy of the Humanities is the governing body for A New Approach.


Several advisory committees have been established for A New Approach which provide input into the program of work.

Reference Group

The Reference Group provides strategic advice on A New Approach’s research agenda and public engagement initiatives. They are also a crucial part of the think tank’s work of building a cohort of well-informed champions for the importance of effectively investing in a strong creative and cultural life for Australia.

Rupert Myer AO – Chair, Reference Group 
Rupert was appointed to The Australia Council for the Arts in 2012 and completed his six-year term as Chair mid-2018.  He serves as a member of the Felton Bequests’ Committee, the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics Advisory Board and is an Emeritus Trustee of The National Gallery of Victoria.  Rupert is a Director of AMCIL Ltd, The Myer Family Investments Pty Ltd, Mutual Trust Pty Ltd and Hong Kong based eCargo Holdings Limited.  His previous roles in the arts include serving as Chairman of the National Gallery of Australia, Opera Australia Capital Fund, Kaldor Public Art Projects and National Gallery of Victoria Foundation, as a Board Member of Creative Partnerships Australia, The Australian International Cultural Foundation and as a Trustee, National Gallery of Victoria, a Board Member, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney,  He chaired the Australian Government’s Inquiry into the Contemporary Visual Arts and Crafts Sector which completed its report in 2002.  He is President-elect of The Myer Foundation and is due to commence the role in November, 2020.

Kim Allom is a young leader in the Australian games industry, recognised by both government and industry through several awards (Women in Games Awards; Unsung Hero 2018, Queensland Young Achiever of the Year, online achievement 2017; Screen Queensland inaugural Mentorship 2017; Industry Champion, Australian Game Developer Awards 2017). Kim is currently a video game producer at Titanium Studios, formerly studio manager at Defiant Development and the co-founder of the Blushbox Collective. Her experience includes production, publishing, event and release support in the video game space including: Heartbeat 2018 (conference and game jam), 2018; Hand of Fate 2 (PC/MAC/Linux, PS4, XB1), 2017; Hand of Fate (PC/MAC/Linux, PS4, XB1), 2015; Ski Safari : Adventure Time (Android, iOS), 2013.

Jane Curry has spent over 25 years in book publishing starting straight from university in England to join Time Life Books in London before coming to Australia in 1985. Over her career she has been Managing Director of Weldon Publishing, Lansdowne Publishing, Macquarie Library and National Book Distributors. Jane published her own list at Pan Macmillan Australia prior to establishing her own trade-publishing house Ventura Press in 2002 publishing across the genres of literary fiction, memoir and narrative non-fiction. Ventura was shortlisted in the ABIA small publisher award in 2015.  For 12 months in 2010 she was Managing Director of Quarto PLC’s Asia Pacific division with responsibility for China, Korea and SE Asia and Australia. Jane has extensive international experience and attends all the major book fairs in Frankfurt, London and since 2017, Beijing. Jane was instrumental in establishing the APA’s Australian stand at the Beijing International Book Fair in 2017 and followed up with a second visit this year. Jane is a director of the Australian Publishers Association and is convenor of the APA’s Independent Publishers Committee and has been a director of Copyright Agency Limited since 2015. Jane was a winner in the 2014 Westpac/AFR 100 Women of Influence awards.

Dr John Daley has been the Chief Executive of the Grattan Institute since it was founded eleven years ago. He has published extensively on economic reform priorities, budget policy, tax reform, retirement incomes, housing affordability, and generational inequality. He was the Chair of the Research and Strategy Panel of the Australia Council, Deputy Chair of Malthouse Theatre, Deputy Chair of the Next Wave Festival, and is currently the Chair of the Australian National Academy of Music. John graduated from the University of Oxford in 1999 with a DPhil in public law after completing an LLB (Hons) and a BSc from the University of Melbourne in 1990. He has worked at the University of Oxford, the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, McKinsey and Co, and ANZ Bank, in fields including law, public policy, strategy, and finance.

Genevieve Lacey is a recorder virtuoso, serial collaborator and artistic director, with a significant recording catalogue and a career as an international soloist. She creates large-scale collaborative works across radio, film, dance, theatre and public art, and has premiered scores of works, written for her. Her wide-ranging musical interests have seen her representing Australian culture with a performance at the Lindau International Convention of Nobel Laureates, playing for the Queen in Westminster Abbey, playing on a basketball court on Thursday Island with Australian indigenous ensemble The Black Arm Band, playing as a concerto soloist in Albert Hall for BBC Proms, making music in a prison in remote Western Australia, and at the opening night of the London Jazz Festival. Genevieve’s work has won Australia Recording Industry Awards, a Helpmann, Australia Council, Freedman and Churchill Fellowship and Outstanding Musician, Melbourne Prize for Music. She holds degrees (including a doctorate) in music and English literature from universities in Melbourne, Switzerland and Denmark. Genevieve was Melbourne Recital Centre’s 2018 Artist in Residence and the 2019 winner of the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for an individual. She is currently Chair of the Australian Music Centre, Artistic Advisor for UKARIA, and curatorial consultant for the new Melbourne Festival.

Shelagh Magadza, Executive Director, Chamber of Arts and Culture WA, Perth. Shelagh has had an extensive career as an Artistic Director and Producer of major events and Festivals. For the last decade, she has held leadership positions as Artistic Director of two of Australasia’s largest multi-arts Festivals in Perth and New Zealand. She has commissioned and produced new work with artists from across Australia, New Zealand and internationally. These have included concert performances, outdoor spectacle events, theatre, dance and site-specific installations. She has been an advocate for artists both at a community level and creating international opportunities for touring and exchange. She has as strong track record of successful partnerships with arts organisations, government agencies and the private sector.

Damien Miller is currently the Assistant Secretary of the Soft Power, Partnerships and Research Branch at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra. He is co-Faculty Head of the “Understanding Australia” Faculty at the Australian Government’s Diplomatic Academy.  In 2017 he joined the inaugural cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity.  From May 2013 to May 2017 he was Australia’s Ambassador to Denmark, with non-resident accreditation to Norway and Iceland.  He was the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed head of an overseas mission. Damien previously served overseas as Australia’s Deputy Ambassador to Germany (2010-2013) and at the Australian High Commission in Malaysia (2000-2003).  He joined the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1995.  Damien holds a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.  He was selected “Aboriginal Scholar of the Year” by the National NAIDOC Committee in 1993.  He is a descendant of the Gangalu people of central Queensland.

Alison Page is a Walbanga and Wadi Wadi woman and is an award-winning Designer and Film Producer whose career spanning 22 years links indigenous stories and traditional knowledge truth telling with contemporary design and film. She appeared for eight years as a regular panelist on the ABC TV show, The New Inventors and in 2015, was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame. She is an Adjunct Associate at the University of Technology’s Design School and the founder of the National Aboriginal Design Agency. In 2020 she was appointed to the Federal Governments Creative Economy Taskforce and the Senior Advisory Group for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

Laura Tingle is a Journalist, Essayist and Author and has reported on Australian politics and policy for more than 35 years. In 2018, she joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as chief political correspondent for its flagship current affairs program 7.30, after 16 years with the Australian Financial Review where she was political editor, and previously, senior reporting positions with other major Australian mastheads. A multi-award winning journalist, she is the author of Chasing the Future – a book about the early 1990s recession; and three Quarterly Essays: Great Expectations (2012); Political Amnesia (2015) and Follow the Leader (2018). An assembly of her essays, In Search of Good Government, was published in 2017. She also regularly appears on Insiders on ABC TV and Late Night Live on ABC Radio.

Dr Mathew Trinca AM is the Director of the National Museum of Australia, Chair of the International Council of Musuems (ICOM) Australia,  and Co-Chair of the Australia Singapore Arts Group. Under Dr Trinca’s leadership, the National Museum has developed strongly engaged national and international programs that focus on bringing alive the stories of Australia for audiences around the country and overseas. The Museum has partnerships and programs with a range of cultural institutions abroad, including organisations in Singapore, China, Japan, Vietnam, France and the United Kingdom. A major program of work with the British Museum saw the return of early Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections to Australia in 2015 – marking the first time they had been seen in Australia since their collection. Mathew’s interests span the twentieth-century history of Australia, with a focus on the social and cultural relationships between Britain and Australia. He also has a professional interest in the historical and contemporary links between Australia and Asia. His publications include contributions to debates on museum theory and practice, the history of Australian travel to the United Kingdom, on convictism in Western Australia, and on that State’s constitutional history. Dr Trinca worked as a history curator and manager of the MuseumLink program at the Western Australian Museum, in Perth, and as a consultant historian for public history projects, including work on conservation plans, exhibition developments and short documentary films.

Research Working Group

Professor Malcolm Gillies AM FAHA Chair, Research Working Group
Malcolm is a musicologist and linguist, and Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University. He was Vice-Chancellor of London Metropolitan University from 2009 to 2014, and Vice-Chancellor of City University London in 2007 to 2009. During 2002 to 2007 he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University. He was President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities from 1998-2001.

Malcolm recently assisted the Australia Council for the Arts with the national consultation process on the Major Performing Arts Framework.

Distinguished Professor Ien Ang FAHA is Distinguished Professor of Cultural Studies at Western Sydney University, where she was the founding Director of the Institute for Culture and Society. She is internationally renowned for her work in transnational, multi-cultural and cross-cultural studies. She has published influential work on globalisation and media audiences, Asians in multicultural Australia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and is frequently engaged as a speaker at both academic conferences and in public on dilemmas and challenges of living with difference and diversity in a globalising world. She has been the recipient of nine Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery or Linkage grants, including an Australian Professorial Fellowship awarded in 2005. She has served on the ARC College of Experts and has been a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities Council. She has held visiting professorial positions in Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Sweden, Britain and the United States.

Professor Tony Bennett AcSS FAHA is Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. He was previously Professor of Sociology at the Open University, where he was also a Director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change, and Professor of Cultural Studies at Griffith University where he directed the ARC Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy. He is a member of the UK Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS), of the Association of Cultural Studies, and the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia. Tony has published work on cultural studies, cultural sociology, literary and aesthetic theory, and museum studies. His books include Formalism and Marxism (1979), Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (1987, co-author), Outside Literature (1991), The Birth of the Museum (1995), Culture: A Reformer’s Science (1998), Pasts Beyond Memory: Evolution, Museums, Colonialism (2004), Accounting for Tastes: Australian Everyday Cultures (1999, co-author), Culture, Class, Distinction (2009, co-author), Making Culture, Changing Society (2013), and Collecting, Ordering, Governing: Anthropology, Museums and Liberal Government (co-author).

Distinguished Professor Stuart Cunningham AM FAcSS FAHA is Distinguished Professor of Media and Communications, Queensland University of Technology. He directed the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, the first Centre of Excellence based in the humanities, from 2005 to 2014. He has served in leadership roles in advocacy, advice and governance in research and higher education, and in the screen and library sectors, including: President of the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; Treasurer and Council Member, Australian Academy of the Humanities; Director, Screen Queensland; Member, Library Board of Queensland; Panel Member, National Cultural Policy reference group; Board Member, Australian Film Commission; Member, Cooperative Research Centre Committee; Member, ARC College of Experts and Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts Panel of the College. Honours and awards include: Member of the Order of Australia; inaugural Fellow of Cultural and Communication Studies Section, Australian Academy of the Humanities; Fellow of the UK-based Academy of Social Sciences; Fulbright Senior Scholar, Leverhulme Foundation Visitor. His most recent books are Hidden Innovation: Policy, Industry and the Creative Sector (2014), the co-authored Social Media Entertainment: The new intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley (2019), Key Concepts in Creative Industries (2013), Screen Distribution and the New King Kongs of the Online World (2013), and Media Economics (2015), and the co-edited Digital Disruption: Cinema Moves Online (2012) and The Media and Communications in Australia (2014).

Professor Jennifer Milam FAHA is Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Excellence) at the University of Newcastle. She was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2013-17. As an art historian, her research brings together studies of Enlightenment philosophy and the visual arts to develop theories of reception focussed on painting, architecture and garden design during the eighteenth century. She has made a contribution to the reassessment of the Rococo as a period of complex aesthetic interests and agendas.

Steering Committee