Staff & Board
Staff include a Director, Business Manager, Special Events Coordinator and a Gallery & Media Coordinator. As well as contracting artists, writers and curators, Umbrella is also committed to engaging interested individuals in all facets of the organisation, through active participation in its thriving membership and volunteer program.
Dr. Jonathan McBurnieDirector
Growing up in Townsville in a family of artists and teachers, I found the long, humid days perfect for reading, writing and drawing comics, an obsession I have never quite managed to reconcile. I undertook a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours at Brisbane’s Queensland College of Art, where I also worked for several years. After a decade I relocated to Sydney for postgraduate study, completing a PhD at the University of Sydney, where I was supervised by the artist and rogue theorist Adam Geczy. My PhD thesis was entitled ‘Collisions: Drawing in the Digital Age’, and examined the continued vitality of traditional drawing technique and technologies in the face of rapid digital advancement.
Aside from exhibiting regularly, I have contributed to a range of publications including; Eyeline, Sneaky, Catalogue, the Journal of Asia-Pacific Pop Culture, and Penthouse Australia. At any given moment, you can count on me to be working on a number of art and comics projects.
All my life I have always maintained that Townsville is home to some of the most exciting artists in Australia. There is an energy that steams up from the bitumen, simmers and builds for weeks, and comes pouring down with torrential rains, that artists here understand, and somehow harness, in the studio. Umbrella is a huge part of that, and has been for three decades, and it is a privilege to now be a part of it. I hope to equip Umbrella members with the broad skill set necessary in the contemporary artist, spoil them with excellent exhibitions, and show the world just how great our artists are.
Alan MarloweBusiness Manager
I studied New Media Arts at James Cook University before I was offered the Business Administration traineeship position at Umbrella. The course has given me a great foundation of knowledge of the arts industry and history, and linked me to various contacts in Townsville including artists, media, etc. I’ve done a lot of Volunteer work for different events in the arts community, like the Strand Ephemera 2011 exhibition, and being a resident artist at Studio2 Gallery.
After I finished my traineeship with Umbrella, I was offered the permanent position of "Business Support Officer", then later when our Business Manager left, I was given the role of Business Administrator.
When I’m not at work, I like to teach body balance, draw, paint, reading, blog, taking photo and attending social events. I also like to keep fit and healthy so I try to get myself to gym or castle hill after work, and I do yoga most Sundays.
Angela LittleGallery & Media Coordinator
I came to Townsville at the start of 2011 looking to expand my art career in a regional centre. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education from Griffith University. I have been fortunate enough to try various roles in different arts organisations, including my current role as the Gallery & Media Coordinator at Umbrella. In my role, I coordinate the graphic design, web management, as well as installation of exhibitions, and coordinate our workshops, education program and projects.
Art and craft really is an all-consuming thing for me, so I have several creative outlets which include printmaking, sewing, drawing, paper-craft…the list goes on. Aside from art, you will find me renovating my house, dancing in a zumba class, watching murder mysteries or op-shopping for bargains.
Linda YeoSpecial Events Coordinator
I have recently moved to Townsville from Newcastle, NSW. I studied business at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga and most recently graphic design at Shillington, Sydney. I grew up in Mudgee NSW and have lived and worked in several places across NSW (mostly regional), Melbourne, VIC and now QLD.
I enjoy experiencing new environments and getting involved in new communities. I’m looking forward to escaping the winter months. My past work experience has been mostly with local government in the corporate planning field, so I am relatively new to the arts industry. I’m excited to be doing something different and work on projects and events that actually involve and benefit the community.
I enjoy being outdoors including, bush walking, running, beach and cycling. This year I intend to take up some new activities such as rowing and swimming so I can give the odd triathlon a go.
Board of Management
I have worked for News Corp for the past 19 years in a number of different roles at the Townsville Bulletin. As the Managing Editor, improving the coverage of the Arts within the pages of both daily mastheads is something I am keen to do, and I credit the relationships I have made with members of the Arts communities with making that part of the job so rewarding. I bring skills in PR, marketing, finance and organisation.
David WhiteVice President
Currently employed by Telstra, I have 40 years business experience including having managed my own business. I am past Chair of the NQ Small Business Development Centre and past Chair of the Townsville ICT Business Network.
Sectretary of the board since 2011. Secondary school visual art teacher for over 30 years. Interest in youth participation and education programs. Previously participated in subcommittees for youth engagement and exhibition selection.
Chris Mills OAM RFDTreasurer
Previously Treasurer of Umbrella Studio. Practicing Solicitor and qualified accountant. I have also worked in a variety of jobs over my lifetime including 35 years in the Navy. I have considerable experience in working within not for profit organisations in north Queensland, and I am currently the Convenor for the Townsville Men’s Shed.
Suzanne SchmidtBoard Member
I have media, PR and marketing skills honed after working in the industry for the past 17 years. I am passionate about the arts and promoting this to the community. This will be my third year on the board of management.
Laura CastellBoard Member
I am a practicing artist deeply involved in printmaking, drawing, and mixed media. I have continuously increasing awareness and knowledge of the needs of local artists. I am very interested in helping Umbrella reach a unique top position in the arts.
Eric NashBoard Member
I am passionate about the growth of Townsville’s Arts and Cultural scene, of which Umbrella Studio contemporary arts is a unique and vital component. I completed BVA through JCU in 2007, and from 2008 have worked for Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery in numerous roles; currently curator.
Velma GaraBoard Member
I work in the community with Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islanders. Currently employed by The Cathedral School and I also volunteer as a Broadcaster/Producer at 4K1G Radio. I have skills in communication, media, networking, and community engagement.
Role of the Management Committee
The Committee’s overall role is to govern the organisation rather than manage it. It is the purpose of the Director to manage the organisation in accordance with the direction of the Committee.
In general, the Committee is responsible for, and has the authority to determine, all matters relating to the policies, practices, management and operations of Umbrella Studio Association Inc. It is required to do all things that may be necessary to be done in order to carry out the objectives of the organisation. The Committee has the final responsibility for the successful operations of the organisation. Without intending to limit the general role of the Committee, there are two dual roles of the Management Committee.
- Ensure compliance – Umbrella Studio is accountable to its members, community and funding bodies and complies with legislation such as taxation, work cover, insurance and the meeting of contractual and service obligations.
- To improve the performance of the organisation, the Committee is charged with overseeing strategy formulation and policy making – and making sure that Umbrella Studio is meeting the purpose for which was formed.
- Ensuring the Mission Statement is fulfilled.
There are seven key tasks associated with these dual roles:
- Develop clear and appropriate goals and plans for the association
- Make sure that the service users needs are met in the best ways possible
- Make sure the association remains financial
- Meeting any legal obligations such as complying with the Associations Incorporations Act, the constitution and any funding agreements
- Make sure proper financial management procedures are in place and are followed
- Employing, supporting and supervising staff and ensuring all legal requirements associated with employing staff are met
- Be aware of the day-to-day operations of the association and be available when necessary
The minimum time requirement from Board is to: attend exhibition openings and special events as well as, attend monthly Management Committee Meetings 2 hours x 11, Attend AGM 2 hours in March, attend Strategic planning day scheduled for July lasting approximately 6 hours and attend two sub-committee meetings that last 2 hours.