Footscray Community Arts Centre announces new Director and CEO

FCAC Martin PatenFootscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) has announced the appointment of Martin Paten to the role of Director and CEO. Widely respected across the arts and culture sector, Martin comes to FCAC following ten years with Castlemaine State Festival where, under his directorship, the Festival has enjoyed a national and international reputation as Australia’s premier regional arts festival.

During Martin’s time in Castlemaine, the Festival has achieved unprecedented levels of artistic, critical and business excellence, attracting record attendance and securing significant investment through public, philanthropic and corporate partnerships.

A creative practice firmly situated in community, Martin’s career began with the City of Essendon (later Moonee Valley’s) inaugural Community Arts Officer position. During this time he was instrumental in having the historic Walter Burley Griffin Incinerator recognised as a nationally significant building, and secured funding to see it developed into a major arts facility – now the Incinerator Gallery.

Martin has also worked in arts and culture management roles with the City of Melbourne, highlights of which include managing Melbourne’s City Culture Program and representing Australian Government through Asialink to develop visual art exchanges between Australia and Japan. Martin has been a Board member of Regional Arts Victoria since 2009 and the Board of Regional Arts Australia since 2014 – of which he is currently Deputy Chair.

Chair of the Footscray Community Arts Centre, Jason Rostant said the organisation is delighted with the appointment, following a rigorous national and international search. “Martin’s extensive experience with precinct activation and his strong focus on programming, community engaged practice, growth, sustainability and innovation, will enable FCAC to build on its well-earned reputation as Australia’s leading community engaged contemporary arts organisation,” said Mr Rostant.

“Through the implementation of our strategic vision we will continue to forge energetic and collaborative relationships with our communities and artists, while leveraging our position in one of Australia’s fastest growing regions. Martin’s proven capacity to work in a locally grounded context, collaborate with artists and communities, and draw on national and international networks, will see this vision flourish.”

A Maltese / Australian, born and raised in the western suburbs, Martin looks forward to contributing to the 40 plus year legacy of Footscray Community Arts Centre. “It is a privilege and an honour to be awarded this role, and to continue the outstanding work of Footscray Community Arts Centre’s past directors, its dedicated staff and supportive community,” said Mr Paten.

“I love Melbourne’s west and spent much of my childhood growing up here. Footscray Community Arts Centre continues to play an essential role in the creative cultural life of the west and I am thrilled to be part of its future.”

Martin succeeds FCAC’s current Director and CEO, Jade Lillie, whose tenure saw the Centre secure four year operational funding with the Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria, forge new and strategic partnerships with artists and communities throughout the Asia Pacific region, and implement a change to the organisation’s constitution to ensure the Indigenous Cultural Program remains core to the FCAC’s programming. Recently awarded a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, Jade will finish in November.

“Jade has been an exceptional Director and CEO,” said Mr Rostant. “She has led the organisation through significant changes to the arts sector while maintaining a steady hand throughout. Her passion and commitment to community-engaged contemporary arts practice will have an impact on our staff, artists and communities for some time to come.”

Martin will commence at Footscray Community Arts Centre in late October 2017. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Martin Paten