By Professor Clive Barstow
As incoming president of the DDCA, I would like to pay my utmost respects to Professor Su Baker AM for her outstanding leadership and advocacy for the arts over many years in her capacity as president of the DDCA. Su has gained tremendous respect across so many arts and higher education communities both in Australia and overseas and has been a major influence on national arts policy here in Australia through her ongoing professional relationships with government and private sector organisations.
I think I speak on behalf of all academics, students and arts graduates across Australia in acknowledging Su’s tireless contribution to make life richer for all of us, and in influencing our policy makers about the important role the arts play in the forming of our cultural and national identity.
Su established the DDCA in 2013 with the vision of bringing together our various peak bodies so that the arts can speak as one voice, and a voice with unity and authority. Under Su’s direction the DDCA has achieved so much in its brief history, and it has achieved this with strong moral and ethical principles that are key to our understanding of humanity, a core value as a result of Su’s leadership that is often taken for granted.
During Su’s Presidency, the DDCA has represented the views of the tertiary creative arts sector in a range of fora, including submissions to federal government consultations on research policy, funding, training and the engagement and impact agenda and established NiTRO as a vehicle to support discussion and debate within the sector.
Following Su is like accepting a role after Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Ghandi have stepped down once they have realised there is more to life than running a committee! While I could never emulate Su’s achievements, I rest easy in the knowledge that the DDCA has a wonderful committee of movers and shakers, which will include Su as a contributing member for a few more years to come. The collective insight and leadership of the DDCA will continue its mission to work closely with our colleagues in all the arts disciplines and to advocate for a strong and robust cultural policy that will benefit the nation into the future.
I am very proud to be given the opportunity to take on the presidency of the DDCA and very thankful to Su for her strong leadership and guidance over many years.
Professor Clive Barstow
President The Australian Council of Deans & Directors of Creative Arts
Executive Dean Arts & Humanities Edith Cowan University