Current board

The Board 2019 – 2020

(as at the Annual General Meeting held on the 19 June 2019)

Jenuarrie – President

2015 – current

My mother’s father’s traditional country is Koinjmal – (Eastern coastal plains of Central Queensland) and I currently reside in Cairns. I was born and educated in Rockhampton and began my career in the ARTS in 1984. I graduated from the Cairns TAFE College where I obtained an Associate Diploma in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts and completed numerous certificate courses for Adult learners to assist me to achieve higher levels of qualifications relevant to my visual arts practice as an artist and an industry arts worker. Early in my professional arts career, (1990) I chaired the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Board Visual Arts Panel and was a Committee member on their National Committee before I undertook to commit to a term on the Visual Arts, Craft and Design of the Australia Council in peer assessment and policy development. I was later nominated as a Panel Member on the Arts Advisory Committee to the Minister for the Arts in the Arts Office, Brisbane (name later changed to Arts Queensland). I managed my own arts training business enterprise as a self employed, self sufficient practicing artist with my own private workshop /studio facilities for 12 years (no grant) before commencing work as the Arts Queensland, FNQ Industry Development Consultant for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art. I held this position for 14 years until recently retiring.

Jenny Brown – Vice President

June 2019 – current, coopted October 2018

Jenny’s career in education involving school teaching, adult education, vocational training, and community education and the various principal structures within the employing organisations, has given her multi-layered experience in governance and strategic planning.

As an avid lover of tropical living, Jenny has worked in local schools, businesses and organisations such as The Learning Workshop, Lifeline, Gill Corporation, Frog-friendly Gardening and more recently, Tenants Queensland.

Jenny is passionate in presenting informative, interactive workshops that help people redesign their lives to be more productive according to their purpose. Jenny has developed her own set of design skills through the application of her qualifications in Education, Sustainability and Permaculture.

Jenny knows a diverse range of local artists and relishes the creative talent in FNQ. She was there to support arts workers in the early days of FNCIA and looks to continue strengthening her network connections for the progress of Arts Nexus.

On any given day you may find her tucked away in her shed, the creative epicentre of her recycled timber projects, coffee in hand, enjoying the moment.

Diane Forsyth – Secretariat, acting Treasurer

2012 – current

Diane Forsyth has a background in the Community Sector as a Psychotherapist. Diane has vast experiences working with at risk and disadvantaged people, owned and managed her own business and recently as an elected representative in Local Government Cairns Regional Council (2008-12) where she was able to influence and support new and innovative creative projects representing $150 million cultural entertainment precinct. Diane is active on many Boards and Councils of non-Government organisations and a board member on the Cairns Regional Art Gallery for many years. Diane remains committed to the principles of the organisation and supporting sustainable environments and appropriate tropical development with a vibrant and creative arts cultural heart in Cairns.

Suzanne (Sue) Shannon

June 2019 – current, coopted February 2018

Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney University, N.S.W ; a Bachelor of Social Administration (Social Work) from Flinders University, S.A and a Diploma of Fine Art from the North Adelaide School of Art, S.A. Before retiring as a social worker she worked in mental health in S.A, N.S.W and Qld. – most recently for the Innisfail Community Mental Health Service.

She has lived in FNQ since 1995, first in Cairns and then in the Cassowary Coast Region, living in Mission Beach and farming at Bilyana since 1998. Suzanne is a practicing visual artist in the mediums of acrylic painting and textiles. She was a founding member of the Mission Beach Artists and Craftworkers Association Inc. (MBACA) in 1998.

The MBACA was formed to link and support local artists in Mission Beach and surrounding areas and to provide a sales outlet for their work.  The Mission Beach Community Arts Centre Inc. (Mission Arts) succeeded MBACA opening in 2011. Suzanne was successful with two others in applying to the Gillard Government, under their Stimulus Package, for funding to design and build Mission Arts at MARCS Park, Mission Beach, and to Blueprint for the Bush for funding to equip the new not for profit community arts centre. She was on the executives of MBCAC and Mission Arts from 1999 to 2018, acting as Secretary for most of these terms, also on exhibition committees, planning the annual calendar of exhibitions, as a curator of several exhibitions and writing funding applications.  Sue continues to be passionate about the role of the arts in regional communities

Cindy Hudson

June 2019 – current

Co-founder of Tjapukai Cultural Park in Kuranda – development of an iconic local tourism attraction that placed our First Nations people at the commencement of Cultural Tourism. This continue today, some 32 years later. Positions included Marketing Manager, Front of House Manager, Tour and Rental Manager. Starting at grass roots level and partnering with her husband David Hudson over a long and diverse career in entertainment, art, music, facilitation, mentoring and cultural capability, working with varied groups of people from government, local government to private organisations and negotiating international tours.

Tour management for Qld Arts Council “True Blue Didgeridoo” (1985-87), Retail business owner at Jabiru, Pier Cairns (1998-2002), managing David Hudson and Didgeralia (since 1998 – continues), including delivering Cultural Consultancy and was creative co-director for 28 music cds and two video production. Over the last 6 years, has also been instrumental in the development and direction of Jedess Hudson (daughter) emerging career as a creative artist, establishing artistic prominence as an exhibiting Artist at the Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair and various others. A Registered Nurse working in the Cairns area for many years, Cindy has an understanding of the health system and the complexities faced in health with Indigenous and non-indigenous patients. Part of the team that provides complex discharge planning and am required to have extensive knowledge of NGO and partnering organisation to enable us to assist in a positive and safe discharge plan, provided with ethical judgment in many cases, to achieve this. Believing in the ideals of inclusiveness, mentoring and artistic knowledge support, Cindy supports the ideas of Arts Nexus.

Gaye Scott

June 2019 – current

Having been based in the region for over 30 years, after moving from Melbourne in the late 1980’s. Gaye has a background in marketing, specialising in market research and community engagement. Gaining a unique insight into the aviation and shipping industries working at the Cairns Port Authority for 10 years. The following decade has been working with business consultancy, The 20/20 Group. Moving to the Daintree Village in 2014 with her husband, they managed a working cattle property and two accomodation properties while working with various clients around the Douglas Shire. Now the Community Engagement Officer at the Douglas Shire Council and working with Jabalbina in developing Indigenous tourism experiences and with GHD engineers assisting with community engagement. An active member and former Chair of the Daintree Marketing Cooperative and member of Cairns SKAL International. A recent board member of KickArts and former board member of Arts Nexus.

Sandra Cruz

June 2019 – current

After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas Tech University a lifetime ago, having a wonderful career in the business and training side of IT, travelling a bit and returning to her love of music and performing through the vibrant performing arts opportunities in Port Douglas, Sandra is interested in applying my skills and experience to the wonderful world of the arts.

Keen to share her business acumen, experience in facilitation, training delivery and face-to-face/virtual instructor led and self-paced training program management with the arts community in Far North Queensland. Experienced in program management, training program design and delivery, communications, facilitation, networking, collaboration and mentoring. A percussionist and pianist, singer and musical stage performer as well as costume mistress, props coordinator and all-round glue that brings productions together. Sandra’s love for working with creative souls and could think of nothing better than to enable them to succeed in the world of business.

Dylan Carey

July 2019 (coopted) – current

Dylan holds a Bachelor of Laws from James Cook University and is a partner at local law firm O’Connor Law.  A Cairns local having lived in Cairns since 1995, completing both his schooling and university in Cairns. Dylan is an active member of a number of community based organisations and boards including:

  • President of the Far North Queensland law Association;
  • Committee member of the North Queensland law Association;
  • Committee member of the Queensland Law Society Early Career Lawyers;
  • Honorary solicitor of the University of the Third Age; and
  • Member of the Far North Queensland Youth Assistance Fund.

Dylan enjoys live music and considers watching touring artists at the Tanks is always a terrific experience.  A regular goer to movie events that groups like End Credits Film Club host and visiting the various exhibitions at the Tanks and the Cairns Gallery.

“I buy a lot of art and read a lot of books so I guess you could say I am a consumer as well. My most recent purchase was a set by Mark Daniel which I want to hang in our new office when we get over there!”

Dylan is passionate about the development of the arts in FNQ and believes that the local economy can be enhanced by a sustainable, productive, and focused arts industry.

Jerry Tucker

July 2019 (coopted) – current

Jerry is an Associate at Bottoms English Lawyers, with a strong interest and engagement in the local music and art scene.  In her work as a lawyer, she is predominantly involved in public interest class action litigation.  She recently ran a successful representative complaint for racial discrimination, and the well known Stolen Wages class action in Queensland.  Jerry studied at JCU Cairns and completed part of her law degree at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

Jerry has a keen interest in the arts, with a small visual art collection herself (though nothing on her uncle Brian Tucker’s, boasting Queensland’s largest private collection). She enjoys creating jewellery through silversmithing and supporting local makers. In her role on the board of Arts Nexus, Jerry is looking forward to finding ways to support the development of the sector and emerging artists in the region.