About Us

ANVAM’s role is to support the wellbeing of current and former service members and families as an essential element of the service community. ANVAM was established in 2013 (incorporating in April 2015) in response to the need for innovation and change in veterans wellbeing through community-based arts programs. This need was identified by our arts facilitators, while working with veterans in the clinical hospital environment.

Veterans have used the arts as a means of improving or maintaining their health and wellbeing since the creation of Australia’s military services. The Australian Defence Force has a rich history in the arts through times of war and peace.

ANVAM’s arts programs are open to all ages and skill levels and do not require any prior knowledge or skills. Programs focus on the creative process and journey to help develop a sense of hope, purpose and pride. Part of this journey is the mastery of arts-based skills.

Currently ANVAM works exclusively and collaboratively with other organisations and charities delivering arts workshops and art therapy.

ANVAM is working to secure from the Federal Government the unused Defence property and former Repatriation Commission Outpatient Clinic at 310 St Kilda Rd, Southbank. This property is in the heart of the Melbourne arts precinct and opposite the Shrine of Remembrance. When operational again ANVAM intends the building will be a self-contained cultural institution including exhibition, studio and other relevant spaces. Here veterans will be supported by the ANVAM in their arts engagement while the rich history of veterans arts is showcased and collaborative partnerships maintained.

LTGEN Ash Power AO CSC (Retd) (Patron)

Ash Power graduated from RMC Duntroon into the Royal Australian Artillery and retired after a 40-year career as Lieutenant General in the role of Commander Joint Force Operations. He has held a number of command and operational appointments including Chief of Staff in Bougainville on Operation BELISI, Colonel Operations for INTERFET in East Timor. Director, Combined Planning Group, US Central Command, Tampa, Fla. (awarded the United States Legion of Merit), Commander of the 1st Division and Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Commander Training Command – Army, Head Military Strategic Commitments, Deputy Chief of Staff Strategic Partnering, International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ash was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for service as the Commanding Officer of the 4th Field Regiment and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

Image: Gordon Traill

LTCOL Barham Ferguson (Retd) (Ambassador)

Commissioned at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Barham has served on a range of operations including in Bougainville, Southern Thailand, Iraq and Afghanistan. Barham is an author and artists. He has published a number of times including A Feeling of Belonging, 1999, and Love, Life and Anzac Biscuits, 2014. Barham regularly posts about his photography. Barham retired from the Australian Army in 2018 and resides in Canberra with his daughter.

Follow Barham on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Barham Ferguson

Board of Directors

Mark Johnston (Chairman & Director)

Mark graduated from RMC Duntroon into the Australian Intelligence Corps. He served in Bougainville before moving to Melbourne on discharge. Mark is a management consultant working in Defence and utilities. Mark has had a longstanding and personal interest in the Arts and military history. Mark has been Chairman and Director since 2015.

Craig Ball (Treasurer)

Craig is a veteran now working as an accountant and business advisor within his own accounting firm. He is passionate about supporting veterans and has experience at Board level as Treasurer, including for Arts based organisations. Craig has been Treasurer since 2017.

Tanja Johnston (Head of Arts Programs)

Tanja is a multidisciplinary artist, arts educator, art therapist and ANVAM’s Founder. She specialises in supporting current and former members of the ADF, veterans, emergency service personnel and families, facilitating Arts based engagement and recovery programs. Tanja has been an Executive Director since 2015.

Dominik Kul (Head of Operations)

Dominik graduated from RMC Duntroon into the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps. He completed his army career in 2015 in Melbourne, establishing a management consultancy delivering services to Defence, logistic and ICT industries. Dominik is interested in digital imagery and creative writing, in particular poetry. He has been an Executive Director since 2015.

Jon Cattapan

Jon is a highly regarded contemporary artist, academic and Bulgari Art Award recipient. Jon was commissioned as an AWM official war artist and deployed to Timor Leste, an experience that continues to inform his research. Jon is the Director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), University of Melbourne, and a non-executive board member since 2015.

Rowan Story AM RFD

Rowan is a current serving senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He is a surgeon and currently reports to the Commander Joint Health Command. Rowan is a surgeon in private practice, has legal training and is a practicing artist. Rowan is a non-executive board member since 2018.

Greg Yorke CSC

Greg is a current serving senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). He has served on a number of warships and currently reports to the Deputy Chief of Navy (DCN) on matters related to naval personnel. Greg has previously worked as a management consultant. Greg is a non-executive board member since 2017.

Mike Godfrey (Secretary)

Mike is a digital artist, experienced in graphic design, television production, mobile media and web design around community engagement. Mike is also an IT project management consultant.