meet the committee
Each year at the August AGM, members are elected to fill nine positions on the 'Steering Committee'. Others who are interested are welcome to attend monthly meetings, but do not have voting rights.
2021-22 Steering Committee members*
CHRIS BILKEY* :
Chris Bilkey spent the majority of his professional life working in the pharmaceutical industry. From 1979 until 2003, he worked for Pharmacia and its heritage companies in marketing roles and subsequently as Managing Director and President for Australasia. He has extensive experience in the healthcare sector including roles advising Health and Industry ministers. He has undertaken projects as diverse as planning evolutionary change for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to programs directed at building the literacy of indigenous children. Subsequent to his time with Pharmacia, Chris was instrumental in establishing and running a start-up generic pharmaceutical company in Sydney. As Managing Director, he saw it through from idea to reality, and oversaw its growth into a significant player in the Australian marketplace. Chris then created a new business in Sydney comprising bookshop and cafe, and gained exposure to the demands of small business, building a reputation as an innovative and successful retail outlet in a time of contraction for the industry.
Since returning to his home town, Chris has become extensively involved in community roles, including Board membership of Echuca Regional Health, Secretary and Project Manager for the local Landcare branch and Board membership of the Committee for Echuca-Moama, among others. He served on Murray River Council for a period of 5 years, 4 as Mayor.
BARRY DONCHI* :
Barry Donchi devised the concept of the Bridge Art Project whilst reading "The Wailing: A national black oral history" by Stuart Rintoul around the time public discussion of a new bridge across the Murray River in Echuca Moama was gaining momentum.
Based in Echuca/Moama, Barry is widely considered to be a pioneering founder of Australia’s thriving reclaimed timber industry. He has contributed to the nation’s growing identity as the land of the sustainable with his expertise in conservation and eco-friendly solutions in commercial enterprise.
On a local scale, Barry has contributed to the economic and cultural growth of Echuca/Moama’s local business and tourism sector as an active member and sponsor of Echuca Moama Tourism and the Committee for Echuca Moama, of which he was a founding member. His reputation as a visionary in private enterprise whose business acumen and determination to succeed is unmatched in his chosen fields is demonstrated in the success of his company Nullarbor Forest Timber.
JOHN KENLEY* :
John has lived in Moama with his family since 1982, after leaving the corporate world in Melbourne to run a family business. One of the best decisions he ever made, he said.
John has an Economics Degree from Monash University and a Post Graduate Diploma from Portsmouth School of Management in the UK.
After running the Shell Fuel distributorship in Echuca for 12 years, he became involved in Freestone Engineering, which evolved into Benny Transfer Technology a world class precision instrument engineering Business. After selling this business to a German competitor, his family invested in Cadell Food Service some 15 years ago. Cadell Food Service is now a major supplier for the region.
He spent some years on the Port of Echuca Authority when it operated successfully. He was later appointed to the Board of Echuca Regional Health.
He has been involved in the Bridge Art Project since its inception in 2012.
NANNETTE TEHAN* :
Nannette Tehan was a Social Worker in both the private and public health system with a strong focus on social justice and advocacy. With a farming background of 35 years in Central Victoria and the Riverina, she was part of a dry land and irrigation enterprise, learning the importance of innovation and change and the protection of the environment. She is a keen gardener and has a strong interest in politics. She has been part of the Bridge Art Project since 2018 and is currently Treasurer.
LYNNE GILLARD* :
Lynne Gillard qualified as a Speech Pathologist and holds a Diploma of Education and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. She worked in the NSW and Victorian health system for more than 40 years in a variety of clinical management roles. She is an active member of local community organisations - the Echuca Moama Arts Initiative as a practicing artist, as Secretary of the Winter Blues Festival, Bella A’Cappella choir, and Landcare. Since 2014 she has acted as the Secretary and or Treasurer of the Bridge Art Project.
DAMIAN MORGAN-BULLED :
yorta yorta nation representative
As a proud Yorta Yorta man and nominated representative and spokesperson for Yorta Yorta Nation, Damian brings valuable wisdom to the Bridge Art Project planning table. His ability to communicate from both an historical and present perspective offers the project a level grounding with focus on ethical considerations. His involvement on a range of local committees on behalf of Yorta Yorta means Damianʼs understanding of local issues is wide-ranging. He brings knowledge that reflects his leadership roles in the First Nations community.
JACQUELINE DONCHI BERTHAUME :
media liaison /communications
As an award winning photographer and journalist, Jacqueline’s work is exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne and New York. She has worked as a copywriter in television (Nine) and as a web designer. She was a script assessor at Palace Films and wrote and directed plays about Echuca/Moama’s colonial history, commissioned by the Campaspe Shire alongside legendary actor, Bud Tingwell and local Yorta Yorta performance artists.
Jacqueline was Electorate Officer and Media Liaison for Paul Weller MP (2008) and was Editor of three magazine titles at McPherson Publishing.
Her vast knowledge of postmodern art movements here and abroad informs her role on the committee.
STEWART GOUGH* :
Stewart Gough has lived and worked in the Echuca Moama district for the last twenty-five years as a GP Obstetrician/Surgeon. He and his wife Sally have been married for 29 years and have four children. Stewart has been interested in art for much of that time. His father was the Chairman of the National Gallery of Victoria and in the 1990s oversaw its transition into what it is today. Stewart is enthusiastic about contributing to public art and this interest has found a home in the Bridge Art Project. As a side interest, he has long collected old bottles and, as a consequence, has become deeply interested in local history. He relishes the prospect of combining his interest in art, culture and history through the Bridge Art Project.
HAYLEY LAWTON* :
After successfully completing a Diploma in Graphic Design in 1984, Hayley worked as a designer and junior art director in various advertising agencies and print production houses in Melbourne. An opportunity came up to develop the art department within the McPherson Newspaper Group which saw Hayley return to country life in the Goulburn Valley in the late 80's. During this period many national and international press award successes were achieved. Establishing a Freelance Studio in Echuca in 1995, Hayley has worked on many indigenous projects with local indigenous artist Clive Atkinson. These include projects for Australian Aboriginal Tourism Council, Melbourne Museum and many more. Today Hayley's core business focuses on total brand management for clients covering all forms of graphic communication and design.
Hayley has been part of the BAP steering committee since foundation and currently has his studio on Walithiga Clan country close to the junction of the Murray and Campaspe Rivers.
VICKI WALKER :
Vicki Walker is a proud Yorta Yorta woman hailing from Moama on the Victorian NSW border.
Vicki has lived and worked in Yorta Yorta country all her life and has been a big part of her local Aboriginal community since birth.
Over the past ten years, Vicki has worked towards achieving mutually beneficial and positive outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Echuca Moama. Volunteering in local community events and spending valuable time with family, elders, friends, community and extended family is a huge part of Vicki’s love and life.
Vicki has always had a love of art and was fortunate enough to work with extremely talented Aboriginal artists at the Echuca Campus of TAFE for more than 20 years. The innate talent of so many Yorta Yorta artists and their passion to tell their stories of life and culture through their art continues to assist Vicki to push their work forward for the world to see the beauty within.
DON MCKENZIE* :
Originally from the United States, Donald McKenzie developed a life long interest in the visual arts which began as a student at the University of Michigan.
Upon moving to Australia, Mr. McKenzie began to participate in the local arts community as both a volunteer and as a painting student at the Foundry Arts Space in Echuca. “Living in the Echuca- Moama community has introduced me to the extremely rich artistic heritage that is Australian art which I never knew existed until I arrived in Victoria”, he said.
Friendships made within the local community also provided the opportunity to participate in the Bridge Art Project.
Don said, “Volunteering at the local art gallery and participating in the Bridge Art Project has enabled me to contribute to the local community and help to satisfy my interest in visual arts. I look forward to participating in this really exciting project, which I hope will add to the artistic heritage of the region as well as creating a significant new venue for the visual arts. I believe it will also encourage visitors to come to the area.”
As the CEO for Committee for Echuca Moama, Deanne brings a depth of skills and knowledge across a range of industry sectors. Deanne grew up on dairy, cropping and beef farms. Through some amazing career opportunities, she now has a breadth of backgrounds in hospitality, education and training, Victoria Police, Goulburn Murray Water and the Committee for Greater Shepparton. She has developed networks and relationships with government, businesses, industries and community stakeholders to understand the needs and importance of our regional communities.
She completed the Fairley Leadership Program, AICD course, which has helped lead her into a range of board and committee positions with Kyabram District Health Service, Echuca Moama & District Tourism Development Association Inc, Bridge Art Project, Echuca Moama Manufacturing Group, Shepparton Careers Day Out and Shepparton Youth Foyer (Advisory Committee).
Deanne has a passion for regional communities and wants to see them thrive by advocating and supporting businesses to develop a sustainable future workforce, provide opportunities to incorporate innovation and technology into businesses, providing opportunities for economic development and business attraction and drive the future of our region through mentoring and supporting our future leaders.
DEANNE ARMSTRONG :
TIM SMALLWOOD :
Born in England and arriving in Australia in 1960, after training at RMIT as an Industrial Designer, Tim has spent over 50 years designing facilities, equipment and systems for the Foodservice Industry in Australia, Asia, and the Middle East - as well as providing consulting advisory services to government and industry.
Tim is the founding Chair and Fellow of the Hong Kong based Asia Pacific Division of the global Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI). He has lectured and given workshops and masterclasses in foodservice systems and design at seminars in Asia and Australia and continues to write articles for professional and trade magazines.
Tim arrived in Echuca to retire in 2018 and has been involved in EMAI and The Foundry Arts Space since arriving. He is the current President.
BRYAN ANDY* :
Bryan Andy is a Yorta Yorta man from Cummeragunja, NSW. Bryan is a freelance writer, radio broadcaster, dramaturg and Aboriginal cultural consultant. He has been published by Lonely Planet, NITV, ABC Online, IndigenousX, the Guardian, Witness Performance and Meanjin. Bryan is the host of ACMI’s First Nations Film Club. He identifies as gay.
OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS :