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Kultour is a national organisation committed to advancing cultural diversity in the arts in Australia.

Kultour is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its art funding and advisory body.





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Making art on equal terms

Congratulations to Carolina Triana​ and Settlement Services International​ on the inaugural Arts and Refugees Forum​ last week.

Kultour's Lena Nahlous​ facilitated Saturday's session with Eiman AlUbudy​ (Lebanese Muslim Association​), Guido Gonzalez​ (CuriousWorks​), Herlina Massing (Fairfield IEC), Andy Miller​ (Multicultural Arts Victoria Inc.​) and Jeremy Smith​ (Australia Council for the Arts​).

The panel grappled with what it would take to level the playing field for artists from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. Panellists discussed strategies and programs that could create employment, education and training opportunities for these artists in Australia’s cultural landscape.



Photo: Lina Kastoumis

Refugee and asylum seekers have often not only endured physical displacement but as artists in Australia they can experience a cultural displacement as a result of different artistic practices, cultural nuances and aesthetic regimes that require a different kind of translation – a translation that will allow them to transition their artistic practice to another context.

Eiman Al Ubudy is a Sydney-based visual artist, audio artist and spoken word artist and is from an Iraqi background. She was born in a refugee camp and left as a child to migrate to Australia. She says her experience has left scars. Eiman has a Bachelor of Creative Arts, Majoring in Visual Arts from the University of Wollongong. Eiman also works as a project support office for the Lebanese Muslim Association on a program called 'Thrive' which supports arts pathways for newly arrived refugees, amongst other things.

Guido Gonzalez is a CuriousWorks filmmaker and cultural leader. He has made several CuriousWorks films since joining the company in 2010, including co-writing and co-directing their first feature Riz which premiered at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival. He is also integral to their grassroots program — he is a cultural leader and mentor to their collective of developing artists called the Curious Creators. Geedo is also passionate about the importance of working with these artists and communities over a long and sustainable period of time. Geedo was born in Chile and moved to Australia as a child refugee, where he lived with his family in Cabramatta.

Herlina Massing is an educator at Fairfield Intensive English Centre, where she has been using drama as a method of teaching students English for the past seven years. Most of her students are from refugee and migrant backgrounds, from Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq and Syria. Herlina coordinates the Arts Partnership in Education Program, organising workshops and brings in professional artists to work with students on drama, movie-making and performing arts projects.Herlina came to Australia from Indonesia in 1978 when she was 18 years old. Although she was not classified as a refugee, what brought her and her family to Australia was the persecution that they had faced in Indonesia for being ethnically Chinese. Their family house was burned and ransacked and she couldn’t go to school or get a job.She studied teaching at the University of Sydney.

Andy Miller is General Manager at Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV). He has worked in senior roles at Creative Victoria, Arts Victoria, Creative Partnerships Australia and as an Arts and Cultural Officer in two local governments (Yarra and Wyndham). Andy initially trained as a painter at the Canberra School of Art, has worked in theatre and has established a range of arts and cultural programs in the community sector. He holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts, a Masters in Public Policy and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Melbourne.

Jeremy Smith is currently the Arts Practice Director of Community, Emerging & Experimental Arts at the Australia Council for the Arts. Jeremy studied Lighting Design at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. After initially starting in the technical production field, he transitioned to programme management of community-based arts and cultural programs, following a stint at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival in Canada. His experience includes: Programme Manager of the Creative Challenge, AWESOME Arts Australia: several management and project positions at WA Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA); Management roles at DADAA; and, senior management and advisory roles at Rio Tinto in Perth.





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