Room to create panel

The Room To Create Panel is a sub-committee of YAARTS which provides specialist advice as required on matters related to creative infrastructure in the City of Yarra.

Yarra City Council is concerned about infrastructure related issues facing the creative sector; those relate to affordability, security of tenure, fit for purpose and capacity to operate effectively in a city area of increasing density and accompanying challenges of amenity.

Council has established a perpetual fund to support creative infrastructure in the City of Yarra. The Room to Create Fund (‘the Fund’) was established with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation in 2014.

The Fund is one way for Council to support a valued sector by specifically assisting to create more affordable spaces. It is hoped this will enable arts and cultural organisations to be more economically viable and give incentives for them to be able to stay within Yarra. It will also strengthen artistic practice in the municipality, assisting in retaining an economic driver within Yarra.

To find out more about the panel view the Terms of Reference.

Room to Create Panel Membership

Yarra Councillors Danae Bosler and Mike McEvoy are members of the committee.

Sophie Dyring

Sophie Dyring is Director of Schored Projects, an accomplished architecture and landscape architecture design studio. Her recent Awards include an Australia Award for Urban Design. Her work has been published by Thames & Hudson, in Australian House and Garden, Architecture Review, The Age and the ABC. Her social commitment drives her work in the social housing sector with clients including Women’s Property Initiatives, Aboriginal Housing Victoria and Launch Housing.

Outside of practice Sophie is an active member of the professions and works for the S.A. Office for Design and Architecture as a landscape and housing design review panel member and is a member of Moreland City Council’s housing advisory committee.

Andre Bonnice

Andre Bonnice is a registered architect in the state of Victoria, who completed his Master of Architecture at RMIT University, Melbourne. Andre is a Director of WOWOWA Architecture, a Melbourne based practice engaging in culturally significant, community-orientated public and residential projects.

Andre is also director of Monash Art Projects (MAP) a multidisciplinary design practice that works with artists, designers and theoreticians seeking to transform how we think of art in the public sphere. In these roles, Andre has realised and implemented several complex public art and architecture projects. Andre also maintains strong links to academia teaching in both the art and architecture departments at RMIT University and Monash University, Melbourne.

Naomi Velaphi

Naomi is an independent producer with a background in arts management based in Naarm (Melbourne). With a diverse portfolio of projects including large scale public art projects, participatory performance works, music and festivals Naomi has close to 10 years of experience in the industry and has worked across all facets of arts production including, curation, funding and budget management and audience development. Most recently she has been a Creative Producer at Arts House a contemporary performance space producing a diverse range of performance works including spoken worked dance, new media, exhibitions and podcasts.

Naomi has had varied roles across arts organisations including Arts House, FederationSquare, The Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Fremantle Arts Centre and the Koorie Heritage Trust. She is inspired by cultivating unique artistic relationships across a range of disciplines with a particular interest in site- specific projects and socially engaged practices. She holds a Masters of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from Curtin University.

Ed Service

Ed is an event organiser, urbanist, artist and art lover who has devoted his career to marrying these passions. He has over a decade of experience in events and arts, recently branching into community coordination, activations and urban planning - due to complete his masters of Urban Planning mid 2018. He has been involved running events with City of Yarra, the City of Melbourne and is the event director of Collingwood's Peel St Festival. Ed works as the Events and Community Coordinator at Yarra's newest emerging arts hub, the Collingwood Art Precinct.

Originally from Wellington, Ed has planted his roots deeply in Melbourne's music and contemporary arts scene since moving here in 2008, involving himself in a range of musical projects in the last nine years. Ed has a deep interest in participatory, democratic city making and a strong belief in the the community and place making power of music and the arts.

Michaela Coventry

Michaela Coventry has been working for the past 20 years in a variety of roles, which have seen her grow into a creative and dynamic figure in the arts community.

Michaela is currently the Director of Sage Arts. She was the Executive Producer of Speak Percussion from 2015 to 2018, prior to which she was the General Manager of Megafun. From 2006 to 2012 Michaela was the Executive Producer of the world renowned contemporary dance company Lucy Guerin Inc.

Other career highlights include being the Manager of Marrugeku and Stalker, the Project Coordinator of Performance Space in Sydney; as well as working with artists and companies including Genevieve Lacey, Stephanie Lake, MESS, Musica Viva, Lee Serle, Julie-Anne Long and Wendy Houston, Gail Priest, PACT Theatre, The Song Company, Zen Zen Zo, Urban Theatre Projects and Brink. She holds a BA Hons from Flinders University in South Australia.

Michaela currently sits on the Room to Create Advisory Panel for- City of Yarra; the M.E.S.S Advisory Panel and on the board of New Music Network. She is a regular panelist and peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria and City of Yarra.