The Creative Recovery Network’s vision is for Australian communities to be self-determined in their preparedness and recovery supported by Community Arts and Cultural Development practices. 

Community Arts and Cultural Development (CACD) is a collaborative process between artists and community whereby direct participation in art making is as important as the creative outcomes.Worldwide, community arts theory and practice have been linked to civil and human rights advocacy…..that community arts and cultural development practice is a powerful vehicle for marginalised voices to tell their own stories and in doing so the process has social transformative qualities for individuals and communities. At the individual level, practitioners, participants, and community members report increased cultural competencies and awareness, articulation of hope, healing, enhanced artistic skills and a renewed sense of possibilities. At a community level, there is evidence of strengthened cultural identity, having fun and improved social interactions amongst groups. 

Community Arts and Cultural Development: A Powerful Tool for Social Transformation, Pilar Kasat, 2013

The Creative Recovery Network has been born out of the tears, joy, frustration, love and commitment to building resilience within our families, communities and country  – the stories and experiences of artists, community members and disaster responders working through disaster impact and recovery.

Understanding the need to capture our learning and new insights into the building of community resilience, a platform for advocacy and sharing of skills and knowledge around process and practice has been formed.

We work from a starting place that recognises that if we are able to truly connect and join each other in the human story of endeavour and survival we will be stronger, adaptable and hopeful – the corner stones of resilience. We believe that the arts are the bridge that enables us to meet and build strength together. 

The Creative Recovery Network works with professional artists, cultural workers, community members, arts and non-arts organisations, community-based workers, humanitarian workers and those interested in the power of the arts to positively change communities. We work with communities in the development of high level and locally relevant projects and activities to build capacity and drive social change.
Derived from a summation of learnings from our work, the Creative Recovery Network is driven by the following specific value set:
We value the role of culture and the arts in disaster recovery.
We value 
community-led engagement where possible.
We value the support of 
local capacity.
We value fostering 
collaboration, and
We value acknowledgement of 
appropriate timeframes for recovery response.

Together we have achieved so much, join us to help grow, support and enrich our communities

Management Committee – Making it happen

Bill Ash

Bill Ash


ARC Coaching

Through his journey, whether as a co-parent of four children, a business leader, a lawyer and coach, Bill has experienced the nurturing and empowering role the arts play in our lives. This experience has been enhanced by travelling with his partner of over 30 years, Margi Brown Ash, in her role as actor, director, playwright, counsellor, coach and teacher.

Bill highly values and is proud to be part of implementing the Creative Recovery Network’s vision for Australian communities to be self-determined in their preparedness and recovery supported by Community Arts and Cultural Development practices. A vision that is supported by Creative Recovery Network’s Way of Being, that of First Peoples First, Deep Listening, Cultural Competency and Community-Led.

Rakesh Nairn

Rakesh Nairn


Qualified Chartered Accountant specialising in tax and accounting services with over 5 years’ experience in public practice with a passion for taxation and finance.

With over 10 years in public practice accounting firms, Rakesh has joined CRN to learn more about the inner workings of a not-for-profit organisation. Choosing to serve on the board of directors will enable him to become an integral part of solving problems in the community. Rakesh hopes to get the opportunity to be a representative of the diversity and social culture of the CRN community. It is also an opportunity to serve in a leadership position in an organization that serves others.




Jen Rae

Jen Rae


Dr Jen Rae is a Narrm (Melbourne)-based artist-researcher of Canadian Métis-Scottish descent. Her 15-year practice-led research expertise is in the discursive field of contemporary environmental art and arts-based environmental communication. It is centered around cultural responses to climate change, specifically the role of artists. Her work is engaged in discourses around food in/security, disaster preparedness and ecological futures predominantly articulated through transdisciplinary collaborative methodologies and community alliances. She is the Creative Lead of Fair Share Fare; a board member of the International Environmental Communication Association and, has lectured at the postgraduate level in socially engaged art and performance at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University.

Amanda Jolly

Amanda Jolly


Executive Director, Queensland Theatre

Amanda has extensive experience working in marketing and development in the cultural sector both in Australia (Praxis, Fremantle Arts Foundation, Ausmusic, Victoria State Opera, State Library of Queensland) and internationally (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Massachusetts USA; Centaur Theatre Company, Montreal, Canada and La Direccíon de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos, Santiago, Chile).  She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music and Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia. 

Amanda was the recipient of a Mobil Fellowship for the Arts enabling her to spend two months researching individual giving programs at arts companies in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Alessia Anibaldi

Alessia Anibaldi


Alessia is a development and humanitarian professional with over 16 years’ experience acquired within the United Nations (UN), Palladium, and other private sector organizations in different countries. She has successfully developed and managed complex programs to achieve ambitious objectives for the improvement of the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable. Countries of experience include Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

As Emergency Response Manager for FAO of the UN in the Philippines, she led the response to Typhoon Haiyan, scaling its scale and impact through bold and innovative approaches. The program is now considered the “flagship program” for humanitarian response by FAO.

In her former role as Director, Business Delivery Integration at Palladium, Alessia successfully implemented innovative and people-centred approaches to program delivery and implementation for the generation of positive impact. Prior to embarking in development and humanitarian work, Alessia worked for a number of years in the film industry for a leading Italian production company, travelling and working extensively in both Italy and Eastern Europe. Alessia holds a Bachelor of Arts, with majors in Media Studies and Literature, and a Master of Science in Poverty Reduction and Development Management.

Staff – driving the tiny house

Scotia Monkivitch

Scotia Monkivitch

Executive Officer

Scotia has a broad range of professional experiences in the community arts and cultural development sector, which have taken her throughout Australia and internationally.  She has diverse experience in training, mentoring, strategic planning, project management, research and facilitation of community cultural development programs and strategies, specializing in working with people experiencing disability and disadvantage, creative ageing and rural and remote communities.

Scotia is currently Manager of the Creative Recovery Network, advocating and supporting the role arts and creativity plays within disaster preparedness and response. The Creative Recovery Network aims to gather, critique, develop and share the knowledge gained nationally and internationally for engagement of the arts in disaster recovery and preparedness, along with developing tools and support for artists working in this field.

Scotia has a performance background spanning 25 years in movement-based theatre, devised performance, and coordination of projects and theatrical productions, performance crosses through traditional theatre forms, installation performance, film, live-art and on-line exchanges. She established Australian chapter of the Magdalena International Project, which aims to give voice and recognition to the skills and achievements of women in theatre.

Advisors to the Committee – raising flags and offering provocations

Karen Hethey

Karen Hethey

Independent Performing Arts Professional

Karen is a Perth based professional Animateur/Director, Puppetry Artist, large scale Spectacle Theatre Maker and performer.

I love theatre and live performance and have a commitment to giving voice to the stories from our ever increasing complex fabric of Australian communities – whether that be through narrative theatre, physical performance, film, music, visual arts, puppetry or installation arts. I have a commitment to making creative and artistic possibilities accessible to diverse audiences, especially to people in situations of disadvantage and it is my aim to use my experience, skills and artistic practices to develop, promote and encourage cultural change through innovative performance

Ron Bradfiled

Ron Bradfiled

Cultural Advisor

Ron Bradfield Jnr is a saltwater fella from Bardi Country, north of Broome but grew up in Geraldton, WA. He now calls Whadjuk Boodjah, his home.

He has worked across the visual arts sphere and how this connects to communities for the last ten years; having been the Operations Manager for Urban Indigenous and, the Membership and Indigenous Development Manager for Artsource, where both roles involved working closely with local artists and assisting them in sharing their practices or, assisting them with issues they may face on a day-to-day basis!

Ten years serving in the Australian Defence Force, has given him many skills in preparing, planning and implementing tasks, thus allowing me the opportunity to better manage projects and personnel. Operating and co-existing in confined and pressured environments also teach you how to work closely with all types of people and personalities, to get the task done.

His experiences to date – across such a diverse field – all have one thing in common: working intimately with other people, often in their own environment. To do so requires the ability to build real relationships, based on trust and understanding.

This combined with his own Indigenous background gives him the unique ability to act as a ‘bridge’ between differing parties – encouraging people to actually speak with each other on a level footing, to develop clearly understood outcomes for all concerned.

Primarily he aims to empower Indigenous peoples so they can be clear on their own needs, determine their own goals and build more effective relationships with non-Indigenous peoples, communities, business groups and organisations.

John Smithies

John Smithies

Cultural Development Network

John is an arts manager with a background of arts programming, specifically in cinema, new media arts, and screen education, and experience in policy development.

He studied at the Tasmanian School of Art, the South Australian School of Art, Monash University and the Academy of Fine Art Karlsruhe, Germany. From 1992, John was Director of the State Film Centre of Victoria, leading it through its development to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

He was responsible for opening the new public facilities at Federation Square in Melbourne in October 2002. Since joining CDN, he has worked with the Board and a highly skilled team to support stronger planning within the cultural development activities of local government.

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