The Creative Recovery Network is a not-for-profit Australian organisation that secures and promotes the critical role of the arts in disaster preparedness and recovery efforts.

Typically an afterthought when planning community recovery, the Creative Recovery Network aims to get arts and culture sector a ‘seat at the table’ when the responses are being planned. We demonstrate the value and importance of integrating arts and culture into disaster recovery from the ground up. We are the arts-ambulance ready to respond.

The Creative Recovery Network is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Creative Recovery Network acknowledges the country, culture and traditional custodians of the land upon which we walk, work and live. We pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future of Indigenous nations in Australia and abroad. We acknowledge that Australian Aboriginal sovereignty was never ceded.
+61 423 987 207

PO Box 101, Annerley QLD 4103


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.

Liz Zito

Liz Zito

Deputy Chair


Liz Zito is the Director of Partnerships at Regional Arts Victoria. Liz manages the Partnerships department which includes membership, the delivery in Victoria of the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, an Arts Connect Series and the Regional Cultural Partnerships Program which provides four Creative Arts Facilitators across nine regional LGA’s who support creative arts activity and is funded by local, state and federal governments. This program has extended at times to include creative recovery response in areas affected by bushfires.

Liz’s arts industry roles have included 11 years local government experience as Acting Manager of Performing Arts and Conventions and Festivals and Events Coordinator at Greater Shepparton City Council and Manager Theatre and Function Centre, COPAC Colac Otway Shire. Liz was the inaugural chair of the Creative Recovery Network. She describes her qualifications as grass roots – learning on the job whilst living and working in regional communities.


Kirstin Sillitoe

Kirstin Sillitoe



Kirstin has a wealth of experience in arts management. She currently works as a Team Lead in Google’s Creative Lab, exploring the intersection between arts, culture and technology. 

Prior to this Kirstin was Co-CEO with national arts and disability peak body Arts Access Australia, and transformed Vulcana Women’s Circus, Brisbane into a successful social enterprise during her time as their General Manager.

Her passion lies in arts management and leadership across a range of industries, including experience working with  Queensland Museum and Sciencentre (Australia), the BBC (UK), The Lowry (Salford, UK) and Urbis (Manchester, UK). Kirstin has an excellent track record as a grant writer and fundraiser and is a registered Grant Assessor with the Australian Federal Government Ministry for the Arts.


Jen Rae

Jen Rae


Dr Jen Rae is a Narrm (Melbourne) -based artist, researcher and food futurist of Canadian Métis descent. Her 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.

The outcomes of her creative practice are multiplatform, resulting in site and context-specific installation, performance, drawing and cookery. She is the Creative Lead of Fair Share Fare, a lead artist in Arts House’s REFUGE project, a board member of the Creative Recovery Network, and a Lecturer in Art and Performance at 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, and more recently, with Palladium, Papua New Guinea, 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.

Her current role as Director, Business Delivery Integration has a strong focus on innovative and people-centred approaches to program delivery and implementation for the generation of positive impact. Prior to embarking on the 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

Fiona Croft

Fiona Croft

Fiona Croft is a photographic artist and a communications and project management professional with over 20 years collective experience in the media industry, all tiers of governance, disaster management and community development. Her passions include advocacy for holistic community connectivity, indigenous cultural arts, health and the natural environment.
Fiona is currently working on project development with Indigenous groups and reconciliation, the Old Ambulance Station community arts and her own art practice on the Sunshine Coast. From Hobart, Fiona studied fine art and journalism and marketing at the University of Tasmania and Southern Cross University in NSW.
In 2011 the eye of Cyclone Yasi hit Cardwell in Queensland. Fiona was appointed to assist the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation with disaster management pre and post cyclone. During the recovery, Fiona assisted with the corporation’s Ranger and arts groups, with communications in disaster management for the national indigenous ranger policy and procedures and their arts program.
Fiona worked in partnership mentoring Rangers and artists, creating the Girringun Portraits, Resilience after Yasi documentary and the Girringun Portraits photographic exhibition with Girramay artist Debra Murray. National exposure of these exhibits gained reconciliation, pride and recovery within and with the wider community.

John Oster

John Oster

Regional Arts Australia (Alice Springs) (BA, Dip Ed, Grad Dip Man, Arts) was born in Pinnaroo, SA

John is the Executive Director of Regional Arts Australia, the peak body that champions of the issues, concerns, opportunities and common interests of all those engaged in the arts in regional, remote and very remote Australia. He has been involved in arts administration for more than 20 years with a strong focus in the Aboriginal arts sector. He has managed significant Aboriginal Art Centres at Balgo and Mowanjum. He was the Executive Officer of Desart, the Association of Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Centres, and the CEO for the Indigenous Art Code, the national regulatory body overseeing professional practice in the Indigenous art industry. He also served on the Art Market Professionals panel at Copyright Agency Ltd. which oversees the national Resale Royalty Scheme.
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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