Our Team

BOARD 2020

Our Current Board, is a mix of continuing, co-opted and elected members following our 2019 Annual General Meeting. Board meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month excluding January. The Annual General Meeting is held in late April.

Jonny Rowden (Chair)

Jonny is a British-born performing artist currently located in Alice Springs. He graduated from Plymouth University, UK in 2012 with an MA in Performance Practice, and has since worked with UK-based artists Kaleider, Blind Ditch, The Bike Shed Theatre, Bizarre Rituals,  Alice Tatton-Brown, Tom Pritchard and Steven Paige.

In Australia he has worked with 2NDTOE running their desert-based dance initiative Alice Can Dance, and collaborated with Alexandra Hullah in residence at Visual Bulk in Hobart, Tasmania. In 2014 he formed performance company AMINAL with collaborator Kelly Marie Miller. AMINAL specialise in interactive performance for a range of audiences, typically located in non-conventional performance spaces.

Additionally, he has worked as an associate lecturer at Plymouth University, leading workshops in contemporary performance making. His practice is typically located in participatory, food-based, and public performance.

Penelope McDonald (Deputy Chair) 

Penelope McDonald is a highly respected and seasoned filmmaker and executive whose roles have covered all aspects of writing, directing, financing, development, production and distribution.

She was the inaugural director of Screen Territory from 2004, the NT’s Government’s agency, and supported the development of a thriving screen industry across the Northern Territory.

Penelope now runs Chili Films and creates screen stories that entertain and inspire.

Barbara Clifford (Secretary) 

Barbara Clifford has her own business (The Time Tamer). She is a time management strategist and stress management practitioner. She has a career background in film, theatre, hospitality and marketing with addition experience in event/project management, sales and business administration. Barbara is known for her training, coaching, online programmes, webinars, MC’ing and guest speaking.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships.

Jeanette Elliot (Treasurer) 

Jeanette Elliot has spent over 10 years working in finance for the not-for-profit industry in Melbourne. Jeanette developed a passion working with at-risk disadvantaged young people to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect providing employment and training. It was during this time through work trips to Central Australia where Jeanette developed a love and fascination of the Northern Territory, causing her to make the move to Alice Springs.

She has also been a long-term business owner and has experience across finance to operations.

Damien Ryan

Damien Ryan was born in Alice Springs and completed his primary education at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Alice Springs, and his secondary education at Rostrevor College. His professional career began in 1972 working in the retail photographic industry in Alice Springs. He has also worked within tourism industry as licensee of the Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse, and operated Dunmarra Roadhouse.

Damien is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Justice of the Peace. He is President of the Local Government Association NT and Board Member of the Local Government Association of Australia, an NT Grants Commissioner; Co-Deputy Chair of the Outback Highway Development Council, and Board Member of the Finke Desert Race.

Damien in his role as Alice Springs Town Council Mayor, works tirelessly towards making Alice Springs the best possible place to live, work and visit. He is strongly committed to the sustainable development and advancement of Alice Springs.


Catherine Satour is a Pertame Southern Arrernte Singer Songwriter and as a current Alice Springs Town Councillor works towards ensuring the community is strong and vibrant, and believes the town’s spirit and pride can be enhanced through the arts.

Chips Mackinolty (General Member) 

Chips Mackinolty is a Northern Territory-based artist and writer, who has worked for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations over 40 years as an advocate, consultant, researcher, journalist, artist and graphic designer. He has been represented in 250 group and one person shows in Australia and overseas since 1977 where his primary work has been as a screenprinter until the mid-1990s on paper and fabric; and thence in digital print making on paper and fabric, including extensive banner work as multiples. His work has covered gallery and street art.

In the 2000’s Chips worked for the NT Government, including as the adviser to the Minister for the Arts, thence for the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT in policy and research as well as a graphic artist (2009-2013). From 2013-2018, Chips spent some time in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy producing gallery exhibitions and street art. He is currently based in Alice Springs heading up a health research partnership.

Leon Tripp (General Member) 

Leon Tripp has a long history of working in local government. As Manager of Community and Cultural Development for 7.5 years with the Alice Springs Town Council he had leadership over Council run community events and was responsible for the development of the Alice Springs Town Council’s Youth Action Group and Youth Services Officer position. He also chaired the Public Art Advisory Committee.

Currently as Regional Youth Programs Coordinator with the Department Chief Minister, he produces a school holiday program which includes the creative industries in activities within the program.

In his personal life, he has been a reasonably successful performance poet and comedian, winning Triple J’s Raw Comedy in Tasmania in 2000, being resident comic poet on a locally produced morning television program on the WIN network, appeared on ABC TV and radio and was MC for the Desert Festival Comedy Club in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He has an Associated Diploma of Fine Arts from the Tasmanian Centre for the Arts where he majored in furniture design. He enjoys performance, film, bush walking, travel and has a broad appreciation of music.

Rob Burdon (Public Officer)

Rob is the founder and creative force behind Burdon Torzillo, a community development and governance consulting firm.

Rob’s background in agriculture led him to community development projects in Somalia and Calcutta in the mid-1980s, then on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands in South Australia and then private practice in Alice Springs.

Rob has developed inter-cultural visual explanations, tools and software for strategic planning, graphical financial reporting, good governance training, facilitation, and community development. Rob’s life and work experience, together with his diplomacy skills, often see him achieving success in corporate reform for organisations.