John Smithies, Executive Officer, (joined CDN December 2005)

John is an arts manager with a background of arts programming, research and policy development. He studied at the Tasmanian School of Art, the South Australian School of Art, Monash University and the Academy of Fine Art Karlsruhe, Germany. From 1992, John was Director of the State Film Centre of Victoria, leading it through its transformation to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square, Melbourne. Since joining CDN in 2005, he has worked with the Board and a highly skilled team to support stronger planning and evaluation of cultural development activities of local government and its integration with regional and national public cultural policy. CDN’s planning and evaluation frameworks are underpinned by five measurable cultural outcomes and John has presented these nationally and internationally through conferences and workshops since they were announced in 2016.
Contact John

Raji Uppal, Administration Officer (joined CDN February 2018)

Raji has recently completed a Master of Arts Management at RMIT University, where she specialised in cultural planning and evaluation. She is recently worked on a research project focusing on local government planning practices, the results of which were presented at this year’s ICCPR conference in Estonia. Recently she has been working on a book chapter exploring governance and the potential impacts of CDN’s outcomes schema on governance practices. She is also assisting local councils to develop their planning and evaluation procedures.


Contact Raji

CDN Contractors and Consultants

CDN’s work is supported by a team of specialist contractors:

Julie Marlow, Policy and Research Consultant (joined CDN in 2016)

Julie Marlow has spent her entire career in senior executive management in the creative industries. She currently offers an advisory, consultancy, writing and editing service for local governments developing and delivering cultural development plans. Working closely with the Cultural Development Network, using its planning framework and principles and a set of unique measurable outcomes for evaluation, Julie has worked with a growing number of councils, most recently the City of Casey, Golden Plains Shire and the City of Darebin, with more coming on-stream in this fast-developing area in local government planning. Julie’s work is intended to contribute to better practice in cultural development planning, and to assist council staff to achieve better outcomes for their community. Using the methodologies developed at CDN, Julie guides council staff through every step of the planning process, and also assists with subsequent evaluation of the plan and the application of the measurable outcomes.

Tammy Currie and Au Nguyen, FameGroup for accounting services
Kitka Hiltula, Kitka Web Design
Alan Reddick, Reddick Design
Janaka Ediriweera,, (for IT projects)

Vale Dr Kim Dunphy.

Our dear colleague and friend passed away on 14 October 2020 after too short a time living with cancer. Kim was a core member and an inspiration to the team at CDN since she joined in 2005, and maintained her role in research well beyond her formal time with the organisation. For those who have followed the development of CDN locally, nationally and internationally, they will recognise her work in our frameworks and in the many journal articles she wrote and contributed to over the years. Kim strove for a greater understanding of culture and the way it impacts our lives and carried that objective into her many other significant activities in dance therapy and her philanthropic work. The Board and staff of CDN celebrate Kim’s contribution and join many friends in sending condolences to her family at this time. Kim’s publications are available here.