Amanda Vanstone to head Samstag Museum of Art Board

The Honourable Amanda Vanstone. Photo credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. The Honourable Amanda Vanstone has been appointed Chair of the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art Board at the University of South Australia.

Ms Vanstone will join the UniSA community at an exciting time for the Samstag Museum of Art, as it continues to build its reputation as one of Australia’s leading contemporary art museums.

Currently a director on the Port Adelaide Football Club Board and a public broadcaster with ABC Radio National’s ‘Counterpoint’ program, Ms Vanstone was a long-serving Liberal Senator for South Australia from 1984, and held senior ministerial portfolios in the Howard Government. She retired from the Senate in 2007.

Ms Vanstone brings considerable experience to her new role, following her 23-year career in politics and her subsequent three-year posting to Rome as Australian Ambassador to Italy. She says she is delighted to be associated with UniSA in such an interesting way.

“The Samstag Museum is clearly one of Australia's leading university art museums and is South Australia’s second largest public gallery devoted to the visual arts,” she says.

“During my time in Rome as the Australian Ambassador to Italy, it was impossible to escape the powerful presence and influence of culture and the visual arts in the life of the city.

“It's a wonderful thing, and I'm really looking forward to playing a role in the culture and art of a city closer to home."

The Hawke Building at UniSA's City West campus. UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd says that the Samstag Museum of Art is entering a new phase of its life, and the appointment of a largely new Samstag Board with a distinguished external Chair reflects that.

"Having consolidated its cultural position so effectively on a national scale in recent years, the Samstag Museum now has different needs, such as enhancing our community engagement program and exploring new fundraising opportunities", he says.

“We are very pleased to welcome someone of Amanda’s community standing and extensive experience to this important role at the University.”

Prof Lloyd says the Samstag Museum of Art’s professional capabilities have been on display for some time, with major initiatives such as the celebrated Jeffrey Smart ‘Master of Stillness’ exhibition in 2012 attracting widespread respect. The University recently named its student learning centre – the Jeffrey Smart Building – after the great Australian artist.

The Samstag Museum of Art, located at UniSA’s City West campus, is also playing a lead role in the ART AFTER DARK initiative, which is establishing Adelaide’s West End precinct as a cultural destination.

Ms Vanstone, who is an alumna of UniSA’s antecedent institution – the South Australian Institute of Technology, will commence her position on the Samstag Board in January 2015.

Other new external appointments to the Samstag Board include writer and visual arts curator, Julie Ewington; artist and designer, Khai Liew; and philanthropists and art collectors Stephanie Grose and David McKee.   

The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art

Established in 2007, the Samstag Museum of Art makes a significant contribution to the intellectual and cultural life of South Australia and to the Australian tertiary education sector. The Samstag Museum of Art presents a changing exhibitions program of contemporary visual art, and art of the past that has relevance today. It is named in honour of two distinguished American benefactors to Australian culture, whose bequest provides opportunities for Australian artists to study overseas, through UniSA.

For more information, go to the Samstag Museum website.  

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Rosanna Galvin office (08) 8302 0578 mobile 0434 603 457 email rosanna.galvin@unisa.edu.au

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