Change is afoot

a woman and a man standing outside the national gallery in canberra

There are changes afoot at Craft ACT

This year's DESIGN Canberra theme is Transformation, and our current fundraising campaign is MAKE:OVER, so it's perhaps not surprising that there are changes afoot at Craft ACT in 2021. I will be leaving my cherished role as CEO + Artistic Director of Craft ACT: I have accepted a position which builds on the work I love in my current role over the past five years:

  • celebrating architecture, art, craft and design
  • developing contemporary and engaging experiences
  • showcasing local makers, designers and craftspeople
  • nurturing cultural collaborations.

The new role will lead Cultural Strategy and Experience at Parliament House. I’m super excited about working within – and supporting - that building's ambitious, nation-building architecture. As many of you would know, award-winning architect Aldo Giurgula (1920–2016) communicated meaning on multiple levels - not only through architecture, but also the craftsmanship, material selection and a program of commissioned works of art and craft within the building. The position builds upon my role at Craft ACT – I will continue to be an advocate for and collaborator with contemporary craft practitioners and designers. Like all of you, I will remain part of the incredible Craft ACT story.
It’s a good time to leave: Craft ACT today enjoys a high performing and growing team, a supportive board, an engaged membership, financial security (through Australia Council four-year funding, artsACT/ACT Government support, and amazing network of sponsors) and a beautiful and respected artistic program reaching record audiences.
The Craft ACT board chair Rebecca Coronel will advertise the CEO + Artistic Director position immediately. You can view the Position Description here. Please share this opportunity with your networks. I am confident that Craft ACT will attract an outstanding new CEO to take it to the next stage of growth, support and visibility. I will remain at Craft ACT until mid-July to ensure our beautiful team is well supported and Craft ACT continues to be one of the most relevant, respected and dynamic organisations in the craft and design sector.
Thank you supporting me in this meaningful, creative and rewarding role since April 2016. I absolutely love being part of your community, working with this beautiful team and membership, and helping more people value contemporary craft and design. For now though, there's work to be done! Please support our fundraising campaign today - to support a digital transformation professional development program for craft artists (donate here). And be sure to come and visit our FOUR new contemporary jewellery and metalsmithing exhibitions.
Warmest regards

Rachael Coghlan
CEO + Artistic Director


Image: Rachael Coghlan and Enrico Taglietti (1926-2019), DESIGN Canberra 2018. Photo: 5 Foot Photography