Design Tasmania proudly celebrates the history and heritage of Tasmanian designers and looks to the future optimistically. We pay homage to Gary Cleveland who founded Design Tasmania, formerly known as The Design Centre, and aspire to his vision and understanding of the unique context for design in Tasmania. Ten years ago he wrote:
The Design Centre is now recognised as one of the country’s most respected outlets for products from designer makers…. A spirit peculiar to Tasmania—I believe it is fostered by our environment—took form and has proven itself capable of continuing innovation at a level that permits a viable living for many.
We are charged with ensuring that we build on, enhance and expand what has been achieved. We are mandated to ensuring that Design Tasmania and Tasmanian design will increase in esteem in Tasmania, Australia and internationally. With the belief and support of our community of designers and supporters the next 40 years is bright.
Melanie Kerrison, Chair Design Tasmania
See our 2018 ANNUAL REPORT
See our 2017 Annual Report
See our 2016 Annual Report
See our 2015 Annual Report
Board of Directors
Melanie Kerrison – Chair, Public Officer, Director since 2014
Mel Kerrison is the Managing Partner of Launceston based law firm Rae & Partners. She is well known in Tasmania for her experience in Commercial and Property law. Mel heads Rae & Partners Property Division. Mel is the former Chair of a State- wide childcare provider, has previously served on the Board of Tasdance and is a passionate supporter of the arts in all its forms!
Naomi Walsh – Treasurer, Director since 2014
Naomi Walsh has over 25 years’ experience in business advisory and commercial roles including senior management. She brings to the Board expertise in finance, risk management, corporate governance and strategy. Her qualifications include Chartered Accountant, Master of Business, graduate of Australian Institute Company Directors and graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program. In addition to her Corporate Management role, Naomi currently acts as director and adviser to industry bodies, sporting and art sector organisations and is a commissioner for Legal Aid Tasmania. Pursuing her interest in art and design, she completed design qualifications whilst living in the UK. She is an active participant in community and cultural activities throughout Tasmania.
Bianca Welsh – Director since 2017
Bianca Welsh is a co-owner of three Launceston award-winning businesses; Stillwater Restaurant and Seven Rooms, Black Cow Bistro and is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness in the workplace among many things and graduated with a Bachelor of Behavioural Science in 2018. In 2015, she jointly won the title Electrolux Appetite for Excellence’s Young Restaurateur of the Year, and was a state finalist in the Young Australian of the Year category having been recognised for her contribution to youth issues that year also. Bianca was the winner of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce Professional of the Year in 2017 and awarded the Tourism Minister’s Young Achiever Award for the state in 2019.
Geoffrey Cameron-Marshall – Director since 2018
Geoffrey Cameron Marshall is a furniture and lighting designer based in Launceston. Geoffrey has been recognised nationally and internationally for his work, including the 2017 Dangerous Design Award and the 2017 Australian Timber Design Award. Geoffrey’s current practice focuses on combining new technologies with traditional techniques. The resulting products are hand finished and assembled, ensuring quality and artistic integrity.
Andrea Dawkins - Director since 2018
Andrea has a business background, with over 20 years in the hospitality industry. Her last (and best) business was the social enterprise, Fresh on Charles (1999-2013). There she honed her skills in grassroots advocacy for social justice, environmentalism, the arts and animal welfare. After a stint as the manager of Harvest Community Farmers’ Market, Andrea was elected to City of Launceston Council, followed by three years in state parliament. She returns to council, an experienced elected representative to tackle issues of waste management and food security. Andrea is the Chair of the newly formed RANT Arts organisation's advisory board.
Claire Beale - Executive Director
Claire is the Executive Director at Design Tasmania, where ‘design makes the difference’, she is also the immediate past National President and Chair of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA). Formerly, Claire was Programs Manager of the Textile Design degree at RMIT University. Her research explores creative relationships enabled through design projects, with a view to changing the way we think about design leadership, practice, and advocacy. Her aim is to change the conversation around design in the wider community, and create opportunities to showcase the value that design brings to our economic and cultural capital.
Clementine Blackman - Communications Manager
Miwa Worrall - Events and Development Coordinator
Fiona Lehman - Operations Manager
Sarah Blacklock - Projects Officer