The idea for Art from the Margins was born in a Brisbane park beside a coffee van when a member of the Albert Street Uniting Church’s Servant Network was talking with Austin Hellier, an artist living in isolation. Austin spoke about the challenges confronting homeless artists who wanted to display their work to the public. He asked questions like: how could he participate in the wider arts community?
Through the support of Wesley Mission Queensland, Austin's dream was realised when he exhibited in the first AFTM art awards in the Albert Street Uniting Church, as part of the 2008 Brisbane Festival.
Since that time AFTM has continued to grow and flourish through the guidance and support of the AFTM Board and Patron.
Chairperson – Anne Copeland
Anne joined the Board for Art from the Margins in 2017. She recently retired from her career, in which she held a number of roles as a Registered Nurse with membership of several professional boards. She is also a member of the Centre for Practical Spirituality of the Merthyr Road Uniting Church Board where she attends, as well as the Burnie Brae Community Centre at Chermside Board. Anne also visits hospitals as a pastoral carer and frequently spends her free time as an artist, a reader and a motorbike pillion passenger.
Dr Donna McDonald BA BSW MA PhD
Donna is a disability studies/creative arts researcher, arts psychotherapist and artist, with strong connections with the arts, disability, community, and university sectors. She is also a qualified social worker and has worked for over thirty years as a government senior policy advisor and executive manager in health, disability, housing and arts and culture. Her PhD in Creative Writing was published as The Art of Being Deaf: a memoir.
Donna has an interest in the NDIS, having researched the intersections between the NDIS and the arts/cultural sector towards the development of an ARC grant application and is co-editing (with A/Prof Bree Hadley) a seminal interdisciplinary text, The Routledge Handbook of Disability Arts, Culture and Media Studies (in press, December 2018).
Jan Manton is the Director of Jan Manton Art, based in Spring Hill. She is a long-time supporter of the visual arts in Queensland. Jan currently sits on the AFTM Board and The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital Arts Program Committee. Jan Manton’s past roles include Chair QUT Art Museum Fund Raising Campaign, Chair Churchie Emerging Art Prize, Chair Flying Arts Alliance, Member QUT Art Collection, Member Steering Committee Harries Digital Art Award, and Member Caboolture Shire Council Art Collection Supported Byran-Manton Art Prize for QUT Visual Art Graduates.
Jennifer is a consulting professional with a background in project management, change management and business analysis. She has over 15 years of demonstrated experience across the Private and Public Sector, spanning multiple industries. Jennifer’s passion for the community is centred on enabling individuals and businesses to be the best possible versions of themselves. Jen has been an active AFTM Board member and fundraiser for over five years, engaging the community through grass roots fundraising initiatives and developing strategic direction for the program, Board and fundraising.
Reverend Peter Hobson
Peter developed a passion for theology by reading The Coast of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in which he learned about the costly grace that God offers to each and every person. In fact, Peter found the story of God's love for the world so compelling that it changed his life. Over the years, Peter has worked as a full-time musician and an audio technician; a youth worker and a congregational minister; he has served as a chaplain at high school, at university, and through community care; and he has taught theology, ethics, biblical studies, pastoral care and the practice of ministry in churches, schools and universities. In 2014, Peter completed a PhD on hermeneutics, discipleship and narrative theology. Together with his wife Janet, Peter has a blended family with six adult children, and together they love listening to music, going to the movies, bush walking and enjoying the company of family and friends.
Gary Lynch B.Bus (Public Administration), GAICD
Gary Lynch joined the AFTM Board in 2019 and brings a wealth of experience from the not for profit sector. Gary holds a Bachelor of Business in Public Administration and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Gary has worked in public administration for many years and is currently Vice President of Kings College within the University of Queensland. Gary has also served as Chairman of a leading Brisbane private school and on a national apprenticeship training organisation. Gary and his family attend Bulimba Uniting Church where he is a Church Councillor and Elder.
Justine Ebzery is a Director of Fulton Trotter Architects and has worked as an Architect for over 25 years in both the public and private sector. Justine has led and contributed to numerous significant community, healthcare, education and aged care projects for private, institutional and government clients. Justine has been active in community and industry organisations including the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum for the Association of Consulting Architects, and the Capital Sub-committee of the Qld Catholic Education Commission. Justine enjoys supporting arts events in the company of her husband and three children, as well as singing in a community choir and bushwalking with friends.
Varun has been on the Board at Art from the Margins since July 2020. He currently works in the financial services sector with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. He balances his full-time job with his passion for art and involvement in the local Brisbane arts scene as an emerging artist. Varun has organised group art exhibitions locally and had solo exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne. He is active in various local artist collectives and attends art exhibitions and events on a weekly basis. Varun has a passion for raw and emerging art and is especially interested in the artist and their backgrounds.
PATRON - Founding Chairperson - Dr Ian Airey
Ian Airey is the former Chair of the AFTM Board and has held a leadership role with AFTM since its inception. He is a member of the Albert Street Uniting Church, Chair of the Wesley Mission Queensland Council and member of the WMQ Board. Ian has been active in community services through not for profit organisations for over thirty years and has contributed to the oversight of these services through Board membership. He has a long-held interest in the visual arts and has contributed to the arts as a chorister. Professionally, Ian is an anaesthetist, currently employed by Mater Health Services.