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Byron Shire
October 25, 2021

Paul Spooner to chair Arts Northern Rivers

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Arts Northern Rivers has announced the election of Byron Shire councillor Paul Spooner as the new Chair of the Board. He replaces outgoing chair, Ballina Shire councillor Susan Meehan.

The Board unanimously elected Cr Spooner, saying he ‘brings a wealth of expertise from his role in local government and as general manager of the highly successful Byron Community Centre that houses the dynamic Byron Theatre’.

Cr Spooner said, ‘It is an honour to take up the role of chair for such an important cultural organisation for the Northern Rivers.

‘I am looking forward to working with the Arts Northern Rivers team to continue to deliver projects that support the organisation’s key priority areas of arts and creative industry support, indigenous arts development and community arts and cultural development’.

Former chair Sue Meehan asked to stand down after six years as chair in order to focus on her  commitments as deputy mayor of Ballina Shire Council, and to dedicate more time to her role as a special needs teacher at Ballina Public School.

During Cr Meehan’s tenure she ensured Arts Northern Rivers continued its role as the peak arts body for the region, and successfully steered it though challenging political and financial changes at both state and federal government level.

Cr Meehan, who has had a life-long passion for Australian art, said, ‘I am fortunate to have been part of an organisation that delivers significant cultural resources for our arts and cultural community.

‘Four generations of my family are living in the Northern Rivers so I am especially mindful of the importance of the arts, and arts practitioners, to our region’.

Arts Northern Rivers CEO Peter Wood said, ‘I would like to express my sincere thanks to Cr Meehan for the contribution she has made and will continue to make to the Board.

‘We are delighted that we can continue to access her considerable knowledge of the region as well as her expertise and talents for the organisation’.


The Full Board for 2014 comprises:

Paul Spooner (Chair), Byron Shire Council

Ruth Tsitimbinis (Deputy Chair), Kyogle Council

Wayne HalCrow, (Treasurer, co-opted member)

Barry Longland, Tweed Shire Council

Jude McBean, Clarence Valley Council

Jenny Dowell, Lismore City Council

Sue Meehan, Ballina Shire Council

Derek Swanborough, Richmond Valley Council

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