Who We Are

photoaccess is the ACT and region’s centre for contemporary photography, film, video and media arts. An established non-profit incorporated association based at the Manuka Arts Centre in Canberra, we’re a friendly creative community making, sharing and investigating photographic culture in the interests of artistic expression, cultural participation and positive social change.

At the forefront of contemporary photography, film, video, and media arts, photo access stands as the region’s photographic hub. We champion photographic experimentation and discovery through a variety of channels, including diverse exhibitions, workshops, community events, and engaging discursive and artistic projects.

Established in 1984 as an artist-run initiative, photo access has deep roots in grassroots arts activism, and flourishes as an integral part of our local community. The founding artists envisioned photo access as a space for fostering creativity and learning within an inclusive community setting. Situated on the sacred lands of Ngunnawal people, on Kamberri/Canberra soil, we proudly manage the Manuka Arts Centre.

 

 

Click Here to Download our Strategic Plan

In the midst of a transformative era in image culture, photo access aims to preserve analogue skills whilst cultivating an understanding of the omnipresent photographic image in the digital age. Through our public programs, we facilitate national and international discussions on visual literacy and contemporary practices.

The Future: photo access is delighted to be one of six pioneering organisations transitioning to a new world-class arts precinct in Kingston, Canberra in 2026-27. Our new purpose-built home will quadruple our current space, featuring darkrooms, studios, a larger gallery, and providing access to artists’ accommodation. Please join us as we continue to evolve and expand our commitment to the art of photography and its dynamic role in our ever-changing world.

Team

At photo access, our team is the heartbeat of our organisation. With a shared passion for fostering creativity and supporting artistic endeavours, we come together to create a vibrant community where artists of all backgrounds feel welcome and inspired. Each member brings a unique perspective and skill set, united by a commitment to collaboration and inclusivity.

A black and white photograph of a man looking directly at the camera in front of a white background, with messy hair

Alex Robinson ,
Director

Alex Robinson is an emerging arts leader and a well-connected arts practitioner with extensive knowledge of the sector. With over a decade of professional experience in the visual arts he was previously the Registration Manager of the Biennale of Sydney and has held other roles at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Create NSW and the National Museum of Australia. He is a current PhD Candidate at the ANU where his research is focused on the importance of materiality for audiovisual archives.

A black and white photograph of a man looking directly at the camera in front of a black background

Wouter Van de Voorde ,
General Manager

Wouter Van de Voorde grew up in Belgium and has a double master’s degrees in painting and printmaking from the Ghent Fine Arts Academy. In 2008 Wouter moved to Australia, where he now lives in Canberra with his family. Wouter documents his personal life through a variety of film formats and stained silver prints. In the past two years he has published two well-received books with international publishers.

A black and white photograph of a woman looking directly at the camera in front of a black background

Gabrielle Hall-Lomax ,
Program Officer

Gabrielle Hall-Lomax is a visual artist living and working in Canberra. She has a keen focus on alternative photographic processes, specifically combining digital photography and painting techniques. Gabrielle is a graduate from RMIT University where she completed an Honours Degree in Fine Art. In 2020 she completed her Masters in Arts and Cultural Management at The University of Melbourne.

A black and white photograph of a woman looking directly at the camera in front of a black background

Maddie Hepner ,
Engagement Officer

Maddie Hepner is an American-Australian artist working in photography and media arts, based in Canberra, Australia. Her artistic practice covers topics of personal identity, political discourse, and the utilisation of the found image within a digital context. She is a graduate of the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours First Class) in Photomedia.

A black and white photograph of a man looking directly at the camera in front of a white background

Greg Stoodley ,
Technical Officer

Greg Stoodley is a photographer and artist who enjoys playing with aesthetics and materials from photography’s past and integrating them with digital media. He has a distinct love for black-and-white photography and analogue processes. The overriding theme of his work explores the relationship of the photographic image to time, especially as that relates to culture and its relationship to photography.

Governance

photo access is a non-profit organisation registered under the Incorporated Associations Act (1991) ACT. Our volunteer board brings strong professional expertise and experience in board governance, financial management, artistic practice, and exceptional cross-sector networks. PhotoAccess is proud to receive ACT Government Arts Centre Investment funding. The Board convenes committees for Finance, Strategic Planning, Governance and Risk, Membership and Development.

2024 photo access Board recruitment form 2024 Treasurer EOI

Penelope Grist ,
Chair

Penelope holds a Master of Liberal Arts (Museums and Collections) from the Australian National University and First Class Honours degrees in Law and Art History (University of Sydney). She has worked at the National Library of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery and currently is Assistant Director, Programs and Engagement, Art Collections, Australian Parliament House. She has previously served on the Board of Megalo Print Studio and Gallery and the Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Council in 2019. Penny joined the photo access Board in July 2019 and became Chair in 2020.

Nat Williams ,
Program Committee (Co-Chair)

Nat is a freelance curator, researcher and writer and is currently researching and writing a biography of the remarkable collector and art dealer Sir Rex Nan Kivell. Nat worked for many years at the National Library of Australia, including, until mid-2020, as its Treasures Curator. He has produced photography projects featuring Jon Rhodes, Stephen Dupont and Richard Green and has published widely on Australian visual culture. Nat is an experienced arts board member, having contributed to the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Art for Public Spaces, Adelaide and VIVID-National Photography Festival. He joined the Board in 2018.

Sally Vardy ,
Treasurer

Sally is an experienced board and committee member and company secretary, with extensive finance and governance experience across a range of private sector, research and NFP organisations. Sally is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. After an initial career in accounting public practice firms Sally has operated her financial and governance consulting business for over 20 years. Sally is a keen photographer, and joined the Board in 2022.

Anne O'Hehir ,
Program Committee (Co-Chair)

Anne is Curator, Photography, at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). She has produced a large number of exhibitions for the NGA, including Light moves: contemporary Australian video art (curator, 2016), Diane Arbus: American Portraits (curator, 2016), Carol Jerrems: photographic artist (co-curator, 2012) and Colour my world: hand-coloured Australian photography (co-curator, 2015). Anne has also exhibited her own photographs and has a long association with photo access. Anne joined the Board in 2016.

Virginia Rigney ,
Program Committee

Virginia is Senior Curator, Visual Arts, at Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG). Born and educated in Canberra, she has worked in curatorial roles at the Powerhouse Museum, Art Gallery of NSW, Victoria & Albert Museum, London and in Scottish Museums. Before joining CMAG, she was Senior Curator at the Gold Coast City Gallery, where she produced and curated a number of photography exhibitions including the nationally recognised Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award. With previous governance experience on the Regional Art Development Fund Panel (Queensland) and art+place (Arts Queensland fund for public art), she joined the Board in 2018.

Katrina Sluis ,
Kingston Arts Precinct Committee

Katrina is a curator, writer and educator and is Associate Professor and Head of Photography and Media Arts at Australian National University’s School of Art and Design, where she also convenes the Computational Culture Lab. Prior to this Katrina was Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image, London South Bank University, and Senior Curator (Digital Programs) at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Her research and curatorial practices are broadly engaged with the photographic image in computational culture, its cultural value and circulation. Katrina joined the Board in 2019.

Meredith Dellar ,
Membership, Development and Governance

Meredith has built a strong career supporting non-profits and the creative industries by connecting philanthropic, corporate and government partners with arts and culture. Meredith brings her expertise in fundraising, marketing and communications to photo access from her experience at organisations including the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, state and federal government, Victorian Opera, and Regional Arts Victoria. She holds a Master of Arts Management and Diploma of Governance, is a current member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia, and an alumni of the Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders Program. Meredith joined the Board in 2022

Adam Samuelson ,
Board Member

Adam is Risk and Security Manager at the National Museum of Australia and was previously the Compliance and Risk Manager at the National Portrait Gallery. He holds degrees in security, philosophy and human resources. He recently received the National Emergency Medal for service to others during the 2019-20 bushfires and brings skills in work health and safety and risk management to the Board. Adam is an amateur photographer interested in documenting adventures in wild places. Adam joined the Board in 2021.

Shona Coyne ,
Board Member

Shona Coyne is an Indigenous cultural practitioner currently based at the National Museum of Australia as a Senior Curator and Manager of Repatriation and Community Engagement. Shona’s research focuses on the intersections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous colonial histories and is anchored by her heritage as a Menang/Nyungar woman, whose cultural connections also extend to Yamatji Country in Western Australia and the Scottish Highlands. Her recent museum projects include the award-winning exhibitions Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians at the National Museum of Australia and Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja at the West Australian Museum. Shona joined the Board in 2021.