Red Hot Arts Central Australia is pleased to welcome three new faces to our current team here at Bath Street, Alice Springs/Mparntwe. New team members include Red Hot Arts General Manager Jeanette Shepherd, Red Hot Arts Media and Communications Officer Louise Horobin, and Desert Festival Creative Producer Mary Jane ‘MJ’ Warfield.

With the aim of developing the arts sector of Central Australia and fostering community art and cultural collaboration, Red Hot Arts welcomes the diverse perspectives that new members of the team will bring.

Jeanette Shepherd has been appointed as the General Manager, on a contract running until the end of January.

FRESHLY APPOINTED: General Manager Jeanette Shepherd.

Jeanette joins Red Hot Arts with a multitude of skills and experiences, including working internationally in Peru, Canada, China, and Ghana.

Having been employed in roles in arts, museums, community development, multicultural and international development and health, Jeanette brings a unique and eclectic perspective to Red Hot Arts.

“There is such a creative community here in Central Australia with so many stories to tell and share,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to being able to support local artists and creatives, and contribute to the continued development of our diverse arts sector.”

Her most recent role was Manager of Community and Cultural Development at Alice Springs Town Council.

Originally from Queensland, Jeanette has lived here, there, and everywhere, yet has called Alice Springs her home since 2016.

A fun fact about Jeanette is that in 2014 she completed the Mongol Rally across Europe.

“So, I’ve driven from London to Mongolia in a Nissan Micra through Europe, Turkey, Iran, the ‘Stans’, Russia and Mongolia,” she says.

Jeanette also plays the clarinet and piano, and is a keen hiker and player of squash and tennis.

Louise Horobin appointed as Red Hot Arts Media and Communications Officer

New to Alice Springs and Red Hot Arts, Louise Horobin joins the team as our newly appointed Media and Communications Officer.

NEW TO ALICE: Media and Communications Officer Louise Horobin.

Louise comes to Red Hot Arts with broad media industry experience paired with a passion for art, expression, and community collaboration. She has previously worked in festivals and events, print journalism, and community radio.

Before relocating to Alice Springs, Louise was up in Darwin, having travelled from her hometown Adelaide in her beloved Toyota Tarago, ‘Tara’. Before that, she was living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Louise is excited to discover and get to know the Alice Springs community. When she’s not working, Louise will most likely be playing the piano, hula-hooping or drawing.

Mary Jane “MJ” Warfield contracted as Creative Producer for Desert Festival 2021

Red Hot Arts is excited to announce Mary Jane “MJ” Warfield as this year’s Creative Producer for the annual Desert Festival.

BACK AGAIN: Desert Festival 2021 Creative Producer Mary Jane “MJ” Warfield.

With the help of a Board sub-committee, MJ will be putting together a program of local delights to suit this year’s theme Lovin’ Local.

Having previously been engaged in production and management roles for Desert Festival, MJ has learned the tricks of the trade, and is inspired to continue building the best Festival opportunities for local arts and culture to be showcased.

“For this year in particular, I want to bring a focus to unique and small-scale events that will be of interest to both locals and visitors,” she said.

MJ has worked in the arts since 2006, and specifically, has experience working in regional arts, community-driven festivals and projects. She currently works for Regional Arts Australia, managing the Regional Arts Fund on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

Originally from Melbourne, Victoria, MJ relocated to Alice Springs in 2013 and speaks highly of the local and welcoming arts community, “I felt instantly embraced, which has set the tone for how I treat other people who arrive and want to engage with the arts.”

Currently, MJ is collecting, cleaning, and sorting hundreds of plastic bottle caps to make murals on the walls of her house!

Quotes from Red Hot Arts Central Australia Chair Penelope McDonald:

“The Board is excited to welcome new staff to Red Hot Arts. Jeannette Shepherd brings a wealth of experience, including both local and international perspectives, to the role of General Manager. She has great skills to strengthen Red Hot Arts and both build on what it is, and take it in new direction.”

“It is terrific to have ‘MJ’ back working with Red Hot Arts in the role of Creative Producer for what promises to be an exciting 21st year of Desert Festival.”

“Louise Horobin will bring fresh perspectives to communications as she has recently arrived in Alice Springs to take on the role of Media and Communications Officer.”

“Red Hot Arts aims to make the arts part of our lives in Alice Springs and central Australia to help all of us to better appreciate and celebrate ourselves as a community and through that to enrich our lives.”

About Red Hot Arts

Red Hot Arts is a vibrant arts charity, fostering arts and cultural innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship to develop and profile the Central Australian arts sector and to contribute to the artistic, cultural, and economic development of the region.

Our artistic program includes creative industries and cross sector partnership development; advocacy, sector, and industry support; marketing and audience development.

As the unique regional arts body for Central Australia, we promote the region’s arts and cultural events across traditional, online, and digital poster platforms, activating community engagement and social well-being through the arts.

Media Contact: Louise Horobin | 08 8952 2392 |