The Desart team is a resource that collectively has extensive experience working with Aboriginal communities, primarily in the arts. We are all passionate about the arts and putting culture at the centre of what we do. We value learning and sharing knowledge, and we’re continuing to build our expertise and better help bring about positive changes.
Our accumulation of corporate knowledge working specifically with art centres in Central Australia is gleaned from over 25 years in operation. Desart staff are directed by an Aboriginal board of directors, who represent the membership.
Philip Watkins was born and raised in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and is part of large extended Arrernte and Larrakia families.
In August 2011, Philip was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Desart. Prior to his appointment at Desart, Philip was employed as the Artistic and Cultural Director of the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute – Tandanya (2006-2011). Philip is a Board Member of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and is a member of the Ministerial Creative Industries Advisory Council (NT)
Bronwyn Taylor has been the Desart SAM Platform Manager since 2013. She worked as the Desart Aboriginal Art Worker Program Manager between 2010 and 2011, and as a consultant for Desart between 2011 and 2013. Prior to this she was the Manager of Ninuku Arts Centre (2006-2009). Bronwyn has a BA Art History (Uni of Melbourne) and qualifications in training, project management and product management.
Tim Chatwin has worked in curatorial and exhibition design, installation, public programming, and events for more than a decade across arts and cultural organisations of Central Australia and Lutruwita/Tasmania. After studying contemporary arts at the University of Tasmania he moved to the Northern Territory and worked in a remote community art centre. In Mparntwe, he has developed and delivered arts programming and arts development with community arts organisations, and coordinated Araluen Arts Centre’s extensive visual arts program, where he worked on the Desert Mob exhibition across eight years. Tim is also the current chair of artist-run initiative Watch This Space.
Scott joined Desart in the SAM team in November 2022. He brings a wealth of digital media, marketing and arts management experience spanning over 20 years, including Studio Manager at Kaltjiti Arts in the APY Lands and Social Media Manager for Australia Zoo and the Irwin family. Scott also has a successful fine arts career of his own – having started painting in 1994 – he now instructs artists how to paint and run their own art business.
Scott is your main point of contact for all SAM training.
Jane started work with Desart as the Digital Labelling Project Coordinator in February 2023. Prior to this she was the Revealed Exhibition Coordinator at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Jane has extensive experience working for arts and cultural institutions. Her positions have included Curatorial Coordinator at Seva Frangos Art and Assistant Curator at Murdoch University Art Collection. With a background in design and a passion for art, she brings a wealth of knowledge in art, product design, marketing and project management to the role. Jane has a BA Communications Design (QUT) and Post Grad Cert in Arts & Cultural Management (Deakin University).
Aspen is a Luritja, Warumungu and Yawuru woman from Alice Springs and Broome. She joined the Desart team as the Administrative Officer in July 2021. With a passion for art and media, Aspen brings unique skills to the organisation and is currently undergoing video and photo software training relevant to the social media and marketing side of Desart. Additionally, Aspen had her curatorial debut for the 2022 10-year celebration exhibition of the Desart Photography Prize and will work on more projects going forward.
Savannah joined the Desart team in late February 2023. She is a Southern Arrernte, Kaytetye & Anmatyerre woman. She grew up in Sydney but has been back & forth from Mparntwe working & connecting with family & community throughout her time. A background in Business Administration & Community Services, previously the Coordinator for the First Nations Department at Screen Australia the Federal Funding Agency for Australian Screen Content. She is deeply committed to promoting First Nations representation and having our people be leaders of their stories, with the Arts Industry being a big key to that.