Our Board

Our Board

Cr Elly Bird | Chair

Lismore City Councillor

Elly is a Councillor on Lismore City Council, and has a strong arts and cultural development background. Elly has been involved with LightnUp and the Lismore Lantern Parade since 2003, directing the fiery finale for most of that time, and currently directs the opening ceremony at Woodford Folk Festival. Elly is also an experienced events manager, working on numerous arts, music and community events and more recently in her work with Lock the Gate and Gasfield Free Northern Rivers.

Ruth Tsitimbinis | Deputy Chair

Director Kyogle Council’s Roxy Gallery


Ruth is Director of the Kyogle Council’s Roxy Gallery. She has a long history in arts and cultural development in the Northern Rivers region, including extensive involvement in developing the Kyogle Council Cultural Strategy and the future development of Kyogle’s Cultural Precinct.  As an active member of the Arts, Ruth has an ongoing commitment to Kyogle and District Arts Council, was co-founder of RealArtWorks and has had a career spanning exhibition development, performance & live production management and cultural development. Ruth stands as an advocate for the inclusion of creative culture in everyday life.

Wayne Halcrow | Co-opted Treasurer


Wayne has over 45 years experience in State and Local Government, 35 years at a senior executive level. He was formerly the Director of Corporate Services with Richmond Valley Council. As such he was responsible for administration, finance, human resources, aged care, libraries, tourism and economic development, information services  and art and cultural development.

Wayne retired in 2012 and was then appointed as a co-opted community representative to the board. Wayne has a strong interest in the arts, particularly the performing and visual arts and is a founding member of the board.

Jude McBean 

Director Grafton Regional Gallery


Jude McBean is the Director of the Grafton Regional Gallery and is recognised for her commitment to the visual arts. Jude has a love for the regions as she grew up in Inverell, three hours west of Grafton. After training at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Sydney, Jude moved to the Clarence Valley to work as an artist and art educator. After working as the education and public programs officer at the gallery she took up the directorship in 2003.

As the Director of the major cultural service of the Clarence Valley Council Jude works to develop the potential of the regional gallery and advocate for the recognition of the actual and intrinsic value of the arts and creative industries. Outside of the gallery she is the Treasurer of the Regional and Public Galleries Association of NSW and is Chair of Arts Northern Rivers.

Debrah Novak 

Clarence Valley Councillor


Debrah has worked in the media industry for 25 years and is an award winning regional press photographer. For the past five years she has been cultivating her skills as a short filmmaker and last year was selected for Screenworks Creatability Project.

In 2016 Debrah was elected to Clarence Valley Council and is a strong advocate for the arts sector and the many benefits it brings to the Clarence Valley. She has been the chair of the Lower Clarence Youth Performing Arts Committee (10 years) and chair of the Clarence Valley Cultural Committee (3 years).

Debrah has a strong interest in young people, First Nation culture, visual story telling, performance art, history and world cultures.

Jan Hackett

Byron Shire Councillor


My great great grandfather arrived from Germany for work at the ‘Lismore’ cattle station in the mid 1800s. My great grandfather was one of the first settlers of Ewingsdale and my grandparents, one of whom was a painter, settled in Byron Bay. I was born in Lismore and after a career in art education and the visual arts, I have finally returned ‘home’ permanently.

During my career, I worked as an Art teacher, Head Teacher, Visual Arts Consultant, Senior Education Officer and Exhibitions Officer (Artexpress). I have travelled student exhibitions to Japan and the USA, sat on the Board of Chroma Acrylics and have had my own work hung in the Tweed River Regional Gallery and Lismore Regional Gallery, as well as self publishing a book.

Now on Byron Shire Council, I am, as always, strongly committed to the cultural development and wellbeing of the area.