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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    New Chair for the Queensland Art Gallery Board

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    New Chair for the Queensland Art Gallery Board

    Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice Chancellor and President of Griffith University, as the new Chair of the Queensland Art Gallery Board of Trustees.

    Ms Palaszczuk said Professor O’Connor is renowned for his ability to build partnerships across industry, government and the community to deliver innovative, ambitious projects that are reaping significant rewards for Griffith University and the wider Queensland community.

    “I am delighted with Professor O’Connor’s appointment and the new chapter it represents for the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art as it works towards its vision of becoming the leading museum for the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific,” she said.

    “My thanks go to retiring Chair, Professor Sue Street, who has guided the gallery so successfully since 2012, including the delivery of the recent 10th anniversary celebrations at GOMA, which have attracted more than 420,000 people since early December.

    “I also would like to thank other retiring board members, Philip Bacon AM, Ross Patane and Avril Quaill, for their significant contributions to the incredible success of QAGOMA.

    “The Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art is one of the treasures of our state, providing rich cultural experiences for Queenslanders and drawing thousands of cultural tourists from interstate and overseas to see its ground-breaking exhibitions.

    “Professor O’Connor joins at an extremely busy time for the Gallery, with GOMA continuing its 10th anniversary celebrations, opening new exhibition O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism this week, and preparing for the blockbuster Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe which opens in May.”

    Ms Palaszczuk also announced former Minister Honourable John Mickel, fund manager and philanthropist Paul Taylor, and artist Fiona Foley as incoming members of the Board of Trustees.

    “As a former Minister and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, Mr Mickel brings a wealth of experience to the board particularly at a time when cultural tourism is a significant driver for Queensland’s economy.

    “Mr Taylor is a highly valued patron of QAGOMA, who most recently donated Arthur Boyd’s Sleeping bride to the State collection. I am excited by the extensive business and financial skills he brings to the board but also by his passion for visual art and for sharing this interest with all Queenslanders,” she said.

    “Ms Foley is one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists and is currently an Adjunct Professor at University of Queensland. Her work is held in the collections of most Australian state galleries and many regional galleries, with 28 works held in our own State collection, and I look forward to the fresh ideas she will bring to the board.”

    Current board members Richard (Rick) Wilkinson, Elizabeth (Liz) Pidgeon and Gina Fairfax are continuing, and Mr Bacon will continue his association and support of the Gallery as a member of its Foundation.


    Professor Ian O’Connor has been Vice Chancellor and President of Griffith University since January 2005. He has served as Chair of the Advancing Quality in Higher Education Reference Group and as Chair of the Queensland Minister for Education’s taskforce on bullying and violence in schools, the Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence. Professor O’Connor is a board member of Open Universities Australia, Trade and Investment Queensland, and the Foundation for Australian Studies in China. He is a member of the Embracing 2018 Advisory Committee (the Queensland Government's legacy committee for the 2018 Commonwealth Games). Professor O’Connor holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Doctor of Philosophy both from the University of Queensland.

    Ms Gina Fairfax was first appointed to the Board on 6 March 2014. She is a Trustee of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Director of the Rawbelle Management Pty Ltd, and is a member on Boards of the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Qld and La Boite Theatre Company. She is an advocate for rural, regional and remote families and communities, to receive the same opportunities in the arts and education, as their metropolitan counterparts.

    Ms Fiona Foley is an accomplished Queensland artist, who has worked in the arts nationally for thirty years. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Sydney College of the Arts and a Diploma of Education from the University of Sydney and was recipient of an Australia Council Visual Arts Award in 2014. In 1987 she co-founded the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Sydney with fellow artists Avril Quaill, Michael Riley, Tracey Moffatt, Fernanda Martins, Jeffery Samuels and Raymond Meeks. She is currently Adjunct Professor at University of Queensland. Her public art can be found in major cultural sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane and she is represented in public and private collections nationally and internationally.

    The Hon. John Mickel is an adjunct Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology, a Strategic Advisor for ACCESS Community Services and was the 36th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Queensland Parliament.

    Ms Elizabeth (Liz) Pidgeon is co-founder and Director of Cornerstone Properties. She has been involved in the property industry for 30 years. She is currently also a director of the Pidgeon Group of Companies and Future State Greats/Aspirations for Kids, and a former Board Member of the Property Industry Foundation. Liz is a former President of the Property Council of Australia (Qld) Division, and a former Chairman and Board Member of the Surf Lifesaving Foundation and former Board Member of the Wesley Research Institute.

    Mr Paul Taylor is the head of Australian equities and Portfolio Manager of the Fidelity Australian Equities Fund having joined Fidelity in London in 1997 as an Investment Analyst. He has managed the Fidelity Australian Equities Fund since inception. Mr Taylor was inducted into the Australian Fund Manager’s Hall of Fame in 2015. He holds a Master of Finance from the London Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce and Business from the University of Queensland.

    Mr Richard (Rick) Wilkinsonwas first appointed to the Board on 14 February 2011. Rick Wilkinson is a Senior Associate with EnergyQuest, and a Gas Fields Commissioner with the Queensland Gas Fields Commission. He has worked in operations, project management and commercial areas of the oil and gas industry for more than 25 years.

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson 0417 263 791