Blue Mountains, Australia
Your organisation/community Museums and Galleries Foundation of NSW
I am a 2nd generation Australian born Chinese. After leaving high school I graduated from Sydney College of the Arts with my B.A in Visual Arts in photography and printmaking.
After trying to work out how to make a living as an artist I decided to train as an art teacher. After waiting for many years to get a permanent teaching position I decided that I needed to diversify my skills and then did training to become an English as a Second Language Teacher (ESL) to teach in state high schools.
In 1986 it was an important time for me to follow my 'cultural roots to the motherland' so I desperately tried hard to find ways to get the opportunity to study and work in China. I went to China to study Chinese language and teach English in Nanjing, on a cultural exchange program. It was in 1987 when I met my husband teaching at Fairfield High School that I decided to go to work in Peru on a street children project and teach English language.
From 1989-1992 I had the opportunity to live in Bangladesh. It was there that I co-founded Drik Picture Library for Third World Photographers in Dhaka and studied my Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies through external studies in Australia.
In 1993 being a volunteer I had the opportunity to work at Belvoir Street Theatre as venue manager, Education Manager, and Artistic Director of the Sydney Asian Theatre Festival. Through this work I became involved with work as an adviser in culturally diverse audience development with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Another interesting project I was involved in was as community liaison officer for the Australian Museum's Body Art Exhibition.
Being involved in grants assessment and arts policy when I was Deputy Chair of the Community Cultural Development Fund of the Australia Council and a member of the Theatre Committee and NSW Arts Advisory Council for the NSW Ministry for the Arts for two years taught me a lot about the political process and the need to put policy into practice.
Other professional development opportunities have been my Asialink Arts Managers Residency with Theatreworks in Singapore and the completion of my Graduate Diploma in Arts Management. To keep my interest in the arts I also like to do volunteer work on as committee member on arts organizations such as Carnivale and previously with the Multicultural Arts Alliance, Playworks, Urban Theatre Projects and the Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group.