Regional Arts NSW appoints Dr Tracey Callinan as new CEO

RANSW-Dr-Tracey-Callinan-photo-by-Georgi-RedfernRegional Arts NSW has announced the appointment of Dr Tracey Callinan as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Dr Callinan has held the role of Executive Director for Arts OutWest, the Regional Arts Development Organisation (RADO) based in Bathurst since 2009 and brings with her an extensive history working in the arts.

Having previously worked at the University of Sydney at the Conservatorium of Music and the Arts Council England with the national Creative Partnerships program, Tracey is keen to utilise her skills and expertise in the future growth and development of RANSW.

“I look forward to leading an organisation with a 75-year history and developing new ways of engaging and supporting regional arts practice in NSW,” she said.

“The role of the arts in our regional communities and within the broader cultural and creative sector is vital and one that I am very committed to,” said Dr Callinan.

Regional Arts NSW Chair Julie Briggs is confident Dr Callinan’s experience, passion and commitment will help drive RANSW toward even greater achievements. “The Board is thrilled that Tracey Callinan has decided to join our great team at RANSW,” she siad.

“Tracey’s passion and enthusiasm for arts in the regions together with her extensive experience both as a practitioner and administrator will inject additional momentum to the organisation as we re-position our services and support to the sector,” said MsBriggs.

Although Tracey grew up in regional NSW she has travelled extensively in her pursuit of artistic learnings and throughout her career including working for a silversmith in Jerusalem, programming for Wirksworth Festival in rural Derbyshire in the UK and working as a musician in Europe.

This experience and understanding of the arts in various localities and practices will be a boon for RANSW as it develops the next phase of the Organisation.

“We are excited to start working with Tracey on the finalisation and implementation of our new strategic direction. We believe, as does the NSW Government, that the arts are integral in driving the visitor economy which will support the COVID recovery in the regions,” said Ms Briggs.

“RANSW will be looking to leverage and promote the funding opportunities recently announced by the State to collaborate with the 14 RADOs, artists and arts organisations to support the growth of the regional NSW economy.”

Tracey possesses a clear vision for the future of RANSW which includes building on existing work while developing a collaborative organisation with greater visibility, advocacy reach and evidence base. Her ultimate goal is to ensure that the regional arts sector in NSW not only survives but connects, innovates and continues to grow.

After growing up in regional NSW, Tracey trained in music and worked in music education including teaching, developing music technology education approaches for the Roland Corporation in Sydney and Future Music in Adelaide, and writing teaching kits and running professional development for Music Viva in Schools in South Australia.

Her recently completed PhD research explored place-based policy development in regional cultural and creative industries while her Masters research thesis provided an understanding of the pedagogy of teaching music using video conferencing.

She joined the Regional Arts Development organisation (RADO) Arts OutWest as the Executive Director in 2009 after returning from working in the UK as Creative Director of Creative Partnerships Derby, a national program managed by Arts Council England.

She continues to work as a harpsichordist and as a choral conductor. She is on the board of Lifeline Central West and sits on various steering committees such as Travelling Film Festival (Sydney Film Festival), Western NSW Health’s project committee for developing arts participation in aged care settings and Bathurst Regional Council’s public art committee and was a member of the NSW Government Taskforce that developed NSW’s first framework for Health and the Arts.

Dr Callinan will take over the role as CEO for Regional Arts NSW on 17 January 2022. For more information about Regional Arts NSW, visit for details.

Image: Dr Tracey Callinan – photo by Georgi Redfern