Rauny has been working with the Tuggeranong Arts for over 7 years. A Tuggeranong resident herself for 20 years, she is passionate not only when it comes to the arts, but also about the development of community and the status of young people within community. She spent many years working in the community sector, coordinating youth services for a local council and as director arts & culture for Belconnen Community Services. Her early years working in Australia provided her with a deep appreciation of Australia’s First Nations Peoples . She had the privilege of 4 years of remote work in the Pilbara and the Western Desert of WA. For Rauny the arts are one of the most important vehicles for creating awareness and challenging perceptions in a world where information can rarely be trusted and education systems struggle to keep up with a fast-paced world.
Caroline Wall, better known as Leena, is the Artistic Director of Fresh Funk. Caroline “Leena” Wall initiated the Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s “Fresh Funk” program in the year 2000, introducing hip-hop style classes to the ACT for the first time. Leena has a long history of dance training in various styles for (over 25years), as well as an Honours degree in English and Drama and her dance teaching qualifications from QUT. As the Fresh Funk program grew, Leena was nominated as Young Australian of the Year for her ground-breaking work in the dance community. Leena is known across the ACT and beyond as a pioneer of Canberra’s dance scene, working consistently with schools and other organisations to consult and teach. Leena travels annually overseas to train in LA, New York and/or Japan, and has performed in pieces by Tricia Miranda, Tony Tzar, Andre Fuentes, Matt Steffanina and many others.
Penny has many years of experience in the government and non-government arts and community sectors and has worked at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre for over 5 years as the Messengers Manager. She studied at the ANU School of Art in painting, printmaking, glass and book making and brings these skills when tutoring in the classes. She now combines both her passions for the arts and the community sector in the Messengers Program. Penny values the capacity for art making to heal and encourage social interactions and community building and brings this philosophy to the Messengers Program. She enjoys the energy and creativity of today’s teenagers and young people and looks forward to the world they will create in the future.
Kelsey has been with the Tuggeranong Arts Centre for five years and as youth support worker for the Messengers Program she is responsible for engaging and supporting young people through the program. Kelsey holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a major in Counselling from the University of Canberra. Recently she completed her fourth-year psychology thesis at the University of New England in which she investigated emotional intelligence and formal help-seeking for anxiety disorders. In Messengers, Kelsey works creatively to engage young people back into their communities, build support networks, address challenges, and encourage young people to reach their goals. Kelsey is passionate about working with and empowering young people who experience mental health issues to reach their goals and she appreciates the powerful positive impacts that the arts have on personal wellbeing and mental health recovery.
Cassidy is responsible for promoting TAC’s creative program of events, exhibitions and classes and workshops. She is your point of call for anything relating to media and marketing, including the website, e-news, social media, advertising and graphic design.
Karena Keys graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Painting workshop at ANU School of Art (Honours) and from Sydney College of the Arts with a Masters of Fine Art. Karena has maintained her arts practice while working in a variety of roles within the arts sector including, Visual Arts Educator and Public Programs Officer at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Gallery Manager at A.N.C.A Inc. At TAC Karena is looking forward to building upon the centre’s connections with Contemporary Arts and the Tuggeranong Community.
With many years’ experience working in the arts and finance Peter’s analytical skills and easygoing approach are an asset to the Tuggeranong Arts Centre.
Tom Buckland is a practicing artist that has worked at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre in several roles over the last few years. Bringing his creativity and practical knowledge to the team, Tom has been involved in many projects including decorating spaces, installing exhibitions and also exhibiting his own work at TAC. Alongside this, Tom works at our front of house on weekends and assists TAC with events.
Lily first joined the TAC team in 2018 after graduating from the ANU painting workshop. In 2019 Lily moved to Melbourne to complete an Honours year at RMIT. Lily returned to the Arts Centre in the middle of 2020 and recommenced her role as Front of House and Events Manager. Lily enjoys the range of tasks and the opportunities for creativity that have presented themselves within the role. Alongside front of house and event tasks, Lily works closely with the media and marketing side of the organisation as well as assisting with aspects of the gallery such as installing exhibitions. Lily also works as a teaching Artist for the Messengers program and loves the passion and enthusiasm that young people bring when being creative! Lily’s creative practice focuses on the world around her as the inspiration for the work and then allows the automatic process of painting to take over. Lily experiments…
Blaide is excited to be the Woden arts Officer and is committed to creating community led accessible arts experience to enrich audiences in the Woden district. This will be achieved through community workshops, exhibitions, performances and pop up events with local artists to create a vibrant and dynamic exchange with residents and businesses. Blaide is looking forward to hearing the voices of the Woden community where they can share their stories and create positive experiences. Blaide is an artist who works across a range of mediums. She is interested in creating an accessible multifaceted arts experience where audiences are often invited to participate and generate the evolution of the work. Since finishing a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Australian National University in 2003, Blaide has worked at the National Gallery of Australia.
Introducing our newest staff member, Kristy Griffin! A week into her new role as TAC’s Community & Cultural Development Program Coordinator, Kristy says “The wonderful thing about my new job is discovering so many wonderful artists in the ACT and Tuggeranong and being blown away by their work!” Kristy is an artist, educator, and arts manager, having worked in many of Australia’s peak arts venues. She has trained at Brent Street Studios, LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and Deakin University. She holds a BA(Hons) in Musical Theatre, a Graduate Diploma of Education and a Masters of Arts and Cultural Management. Kristy is an award-winning musical theatre performer and choreographer, having worked for companies such as Disney, Universal Studios and many television networks and professional theatre companies.
Leah Blankendaal joined the TAC team in the role of Manager, Business, Events and Program Support. Leah is an experienced project manager and facilitator with extensive practical knowledge of grant writing, branding, cultural tourism development, venue management, community engagement, regional development and communication design. Leah has previously worked for Regional Development Australia and Country Arts SA as an Arts and Cultural Facilitator, and the Barossa Council as their Regional Live Music Coordinator (in partnership with the Music Development Office SA). As a multi-award winning musician and producer, Leah is the recipient of the 2020 APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund, the 2020 Australian Music Centre Peggy Glanville Hicks Commissions and the 2017 Classical: Next Fellowship, as well as grant funding from Arts SA and the Music Development Office SA. .