Our Candidates

Click on the links below to find out more about the party members who have stepped up to represent the cultural life of Australia. More candidates will be announced over the coming months.

Do you think you would make a great candidate for the Arts Party? Follow this link to register your own application and you too might be standing as a candidate for the Arts Party at the next Federal Election.

Fiona Hopkins

fiona.jpgThere’s no place like home doesn’t ring any truer than for local girl, Fiona Victoria Hopkins.  Launching her career as a young girl of 12 years, as Dorothy in Gosford Musical Societies’ presentation of the Wizard of Oz in the then new Laycock Street Theatre she has gone on to a successful career spanning more than two decades working both in front and behind the camera.  As a working artist, Fiona has travelled the world in pursuit of her craft. 

Now home, she is passionate about bringing her expertise, energy and experiences to create a more creative, cultural, educated and artistic life for the people of the Central Coast and in turn reinvigorate this community nestled on the edge of Sydney, making it a destination in its own right—and, in turn boosting our local economy. Fiona is an advocate, networker and creative force and has the skills to deliver; the experience to understand and vision to create a better future.   She believes there is much work to be done and sees amongst her first priorities to bring to fruition the long-promised Gosford Arts Precinct.

Already—demonstrating her skills and capacity, she has galvanised an action plan working in colloboration with key industry, community and government stakeholders on the central coast to make this campaign visible and achievable. Support Fiona on her journey to represent our central coast community and allow her to reprioritise the arts and our human creativity as central to our future prosperity.

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Jamie Henson


I started my career 41 years ago in the performing arts in Queensland. From child actor to stage manager, I now specialise in the technical side of performing arts, having been the operations manager of production at the Victorian Arts Centre. I've had great opportunity to see and understand many practitioners, having toured with productions all over Asia, New Zealand and European and Middle Eastern cities. This has given me a broad insight into what an audience wants. Australian people want more than entertainment. Our mixed culture, which comes from every migrant and our native inhabitants, can provide a broad social history and well being, as well as cultural understanding and appreciation to all Australians. 

My current occupation, lecturing in five courses of the performing arts industry at three different Melbourne universities, gives me a feeling of accomplishment; 'opening the doors’ of live entertainment and visual arts to people to enjoy and appreciate the creative passion of those presenting a performance or an exhibition. I deliver experience and knowledge, helping to develop skills that excite; build confidence and allowing my creative students to extend themselves to the highest level of professional standards and competence. 

I want people to seek beyond what they can do and to learn skills to create a better Australia. As a founding member of the Arts Party, I believe we offer people an alternative, decision altering, voice in the Federal and State government systems.

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Maureen Andrew

maureen.jpgAustralia as a nation has a formidable history in the arts but because we are few in numbers, especially in more unique fields of craft, it is imperative that we have representation.   How does the sole painter, the circus clown, the rigger, the writer, the cartoonist, have a strong representative voice?  One that encourages and allows the artist time to develop a skill without being pushed aside or pushed down.  The current progressing ideology encourages the idea that artists should and can work for free, because of the passion they have for their craft.  

The reality is that passion does not pay the bills, but our passion gives you, the audience, respite from the day to day daily grind.  We are necessary to society both in our historical capacity to present plays and music from a bygone era, our ability to write and comment on current political climates, or even for that moment when the music that inspires you gets you up on the floor and dancing the night away.

I am passionate about artists.  I have been and shall continue to be the voice that represents the artist.  I will strive to encourage society to support its local artists for they are the enduring voices of the nation, whether indigenous, native born, from varied ethnic and religious background, or in personal relationships still seeking respect, recognition and definition from our Government and its representatives.  A Government which strives to be representative of all its citizens, but sometimes leaves the minority groups behind.  As a representative of the collective arts, our numbers would become more viable, our voice to hear our collective needs would become louder.  I would seek to be the representative of that artist for the benefit of all Australians and our nation as an entity unique, individual, classic and ever evolving.  My name is Maureen Andrew.  I am an entertainer.

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Neil Fainges

neil.jpgArt is everywhere, within every culture. Every Australian embraces and appreciates some sort of artistic expression, from the delight of seeing your child’s school drawing to being enveloped in the sounds of the philharmonic orchestra, from a simple tattoo to performance of the ballet and from the multicultural to the indigenous, art touches us all. We may be part of the action, or just one observing or listening, we all still participate.

I have decided to step up and instead of talking about what we need to do, I have decided to make a stand to ensure we encourage creativity, invest in knowledge and build communities by advocating for the Arts.My story includes over 40 years experience right across the art sector, I have thrived as a creative artist, and developed a passion for accelerating technology and innovation in the performing arts, from onstage as a puppeteer and performer, to being able to the support those out front as a stage manager as well as sound and lighting technician. My current environment is video production and multimedia within the healthcare sector. I have volunteered my varied skills for many years within the community including Woodford Folk Festival.

Along with this extensive portfolio, I have also gained other life experiences as a police officer, operations management and business owner. The Arts do matter and need to be represented.

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Robert Taylor

robert.jpgI believe that the arts are basic to the way we function as a community and the way we communicate with each other within a community. Time after time I have seen arts workers transform abandoned public buildings into working economically successful centres for their communities, which then become focus points for the reinvigoration and revitalisation of whole suburbs. Nothing else can do this so well. Nothing else draws people together in such significant way. Why else does every level of Government encourage, fund and expand Festivals & local artists?

On a per capita basis the arts returns any expenditure made upon it tenfold, while encouraging social skills and interactions between people. At its heart the arts are a Life Skill which equip individuals with tools that can be used in every occupation every day. My entire working life has been in areas where I have seen the practical benefits of creativity - whether as a health tool, a way to reach disenfranchised and disengaged young people or simply as a form of entertainment which provides pleasure and support to millions.

I believe I would be a good Member of Parliament because my beliefs in the arts are easily transferable to all aspects of political life - it is almost impossible to name a part of government that does not already use the arts to further its aims whether it be foreign affairs or the domestic economy. And if working in the arts has taught me one thing - you don’t work 9 to 5 on matters of importance to you and your fellow Australians.

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Rose Godde

rose.jpgRose’s decision to throw her lot in with Australia’s Arts Party at this time is informed by her strong interest in policy and strategic planning as well as a firm belief in the potential of ‘the arts’ as a cultural and economic contributor; and the need for greater recognition of that potential within our political framework.Her ability to be a useful contributor is informed by a thirty plus years working life as an arts advocate, creator, manager, performer and producer.  She is firmly committed to the provision of arts in education; and the ability of Australia’s many communities to give voice to their identity through arts and cultural expression.

Her confidence in the power of arts and cultural expression to create shared understanding is also informed by a myriad of first hand experiences in arts, community, education and creative leadership roles since graduating in 1983 from the Victorian College of the Arts School of Drama as an Animateur,(creative facilitator).  In the past 30 years she has functioned variously as a small arts-business operator, writer, director, facilitator and manager; in community, education, local government, mainstream, festival, non-government organisation and peak arts body settings.

Her extensive knowledge about the workings of the Australian arts industry has been further  informed by workplace and leadership roles within dance, film, music, opera, theatre, public and community engaged arts, arts in education; and event development and delivery settings.  She is also a full-time parent of two teenagers. Today she is passionate about young people as change agents, youth arts and young emerging artists. She is also preoccupied with the role the arts can play in healing and providing solace; soothing and helping society at large as we collectively come to terms with, and address, the ‘wicked conundrums’ we face as humans, one species, among many on a shared planet.

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Scott O'Hara

scott.jpgMy name is Scott O’Hara and I have worked as a professional Arts Manager primarily in arts education, the government sector and community cultural development for the past twenty years.  I also have experience as an arts practitioner including as a writer, and as musician.  Most recently, I exhibited an augmented reality artwork at Sculpture by the Sea in 2012. I have served as a volunteer on many arts and Government organisations committees and boards, and I wrote an opinion column on Artshub for four years.  I live in Maroubra in the Eastern Beaches of Sydney with my wife and daughter, two cats and a dog.  My earliest years were spent in Armidale NSW, and I grew up in Tasmania, before training as an archaeologist when I first moved to Sydney in 1989.  My current role is managing a community performing arts facility in Sydney.

I believe I would make an effective representative of people interested supporting and advocating for the Arts because of my wide range of experience in different art forms and settings, passion for creativity and creative people, and my strong understanding of Government and its many processes. I have worked in all three levels of Government and have previously formed effective working relationships with politicians of many different persuasions.  I believe very strongly that Government investment in the Arts should be strategic, and in line with clear policies and plans intended to benefit Australian society as a whole.  I think Australia’s economy and outlook needs to shift towards a genuinely creative and knowledge based economy in order to thrive into the 21st Century, and that fostering a strong contribution to that from artists and the arts should be central to that.  I am an advocate of extending better access to the Arts and I believe Australians should have every opportunity to be active participants in, not just passive consumers of Arts and Cultural activity.  I would like to challenge every political party to enter every election with a stated policy for the Arts, rather than relegating this significant contributor to the Australian economy and national identity to a post-election afterthought, as so often appears to be the case.

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Terence Crawford

terence.jpgA little about me...I grew up in Newcastle, NSW, and have lived in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, southern France, Singapore and--for twelve years of my life, and currently--in Adelaide. I'm an actor (NIDA grad), acting teacher, director, playwright and academic (MCA on Chekhov; and PhD).

I want to be part of this great experiment to see whether we can shift the arts to a more central and respected place in the Australian cultural landscape. I've spent a lifetime dedicated to art. Art in fact saved my life, gave it direction and purpose. Although I've spent most of my career in the mainstream theatre, I want to advocate not only for the arts industry, but for art in education and for art in the community as a unifying, enlightening power.  

For me, this is not just about quantifiable achievements in the arts, it is also about bringing the intelligence, imagination and practicality of an artist to Australian political discourse. I want to make the simple argument that the people of South Australia would do well to send one artist to sit among the lawyers and unionists representing them in Canberra.

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Anthony Ackroyd

AnthonyAckroyd.jpgI am a passionate advocate of the arts. I believe the arts in all its myriad forms has tremendous importance both culturally and socially. This significance needs to be recognised more broadly and those who contribute to creating this significance, artists of all stripes, need a louder, more effective voice in mainstream society. I am hoping to contribute meaningful decibels to this voice by being a candidate for the Arts Party.



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Barry Keldoulis


Barry has had more than three decades experience in the world of contemporary art.  
In 2003, he opened his own gallery to fill a gap in opportunity for young artists to exhibit between artist-run spaces and the major commercial galleries. Artists from his stable are represented in all the state galleries and the National Gallery of Australia, and now exhibit in museums and private galleries around the world. In 2013 Barry was appointed the CEO and Director of Sydney Contemporary, Australasia’s international art fair. Barry is also the Chair of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

When asked why he’s standing, Barry had this to say: 

“For decades I have been passionate about expanding the audience for the contemporary arts and growing the engagement of Australians, contributing to our distinct culture for future generations to enjoy. This perfectly aligns with the purpose and principles of the Arts Party. It’s time for change!”

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    Meet Our Arts Party Candidates!

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