About Us

ANVAM’s role is to support current and former service members through arts programs. ANVAM’s programs also extend to families as an essential element of the service community. ANVAM was established in 2013 (incorporating in April 2015) in response to a perceived need for 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 right through times of war and peace.

Our 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.

Our facilitators have been involved in the recent immersive ADF Arts for Recovery, Resilience and Teamwork (ARRTS) programs. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive.

ANVAM works collaboratively with veterans organisations and charities delivering Arts engagement and art therapy.

We are currently working to secure from the Federal Government the unused Defence property and former Repatriation Commission Outpatient Clinic at 310 St Kilda Rd, in the heart of the Melbourne arts precinct and opposite the Shrine of Remembrance. This building, once operational, will provide an exhibition space for veterans artworks as well as studio spaces where veterans will be facilitated by our team as they explore their lived experiences of service and beyond.

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.

Board of Directors

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston graduated from RMC Duntroon into the Australian Regular Army Australian Intelligence Corps. He served in Toowoomba, Darwin, Sydney and Bougainville on Operation BELISI before moving to Melbourne on discharge. His career moved into utilities where he held a number of senior roles in the national electricity market. Mark is a senior management consultant working in Defence and utilities practices. Mark’s interest in the arts and military history drew him to the significance of the unused Defence property on St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, and an ideal home for veterans arts. Mark is the Chairman and Director of the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum.

Su Baker

Su Baker is a leading arts academic and celebrated artist. Su is the daughter of two veterans, her father, the well-known artist Allan Baker. She has served as Chair of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (2004-2008) and Director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Through this role she played an active role in the recognition of the research in the Creative Arts advising the ARC in the development of the RQF and the recent ERA process. Her work in these roles has led to the establishment of the new Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts, to which she was elected President in February 2013. Su is the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Engagement and Professor of Art at the VCA, University of Melbourne.

Tanja Johnston

Tanja Johnston is a multidisciplinary artist, arts educator and art therapist specialising in supporting current and former members of the ADF, veterans, emergency service personnel and families, facilitating Arts based engagement and recovery programs. Tanja is the partner of a veteran, daughter and granddaughter of veterans. She works across educational, clinical, defence and veteran community (ESO & VSO) settings. Tanja is the foundation Visual Arts Lead of the recently developed ADF Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) Program, delivering arts workshops as a rehabilitative tool for wounded, injured and ill veterans. Tanja is the Head of Arts Programs at the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum.

Dominik Kul

Dominik Kul graduated from the Royal Military College into the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps. He completed his career in 2015 in Melbourne, establishing a management consultancy company delivering services to Defence, logistic and ICT industries. Through Dominik’s passion for creative writing, in particular poetry and digital imagery, seeing the value of arts engagement on his own health and wellbeing. Dominik’s first-hand account of experiences drives his passion to de-stigmatise mental health. Dominik is the Head of Operations at the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum.

Sharyn Meade

Sharyn Meade is an educator, academic and photographic artist. The daughter of a veteran, Sharyn has worked with veterans from Australian wars and conflicts to produce two bodies of photographic works: The Rising Spirit of ANZAC and Peacekeepers – Australia’s Other Heroes. Sharyn is the Director of a Fundraising Consultancy and is currently undertaking a Masters Business Administration (MBA) and a Masters of Strategic Foresight (MSF). Sharyn is the Head of Fundraising at the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum.

Jon Cattapan

Jon is a highly regarded contemporary artist, academic and Bulgari Art Award recipient. Jon has long been involved in collaborative artwork experiences focussing on the theme of conflict and its aftermath. John was commissioned as an AWM official war artist and deployed to Timor Leste, an experience that continues to inform his research. He was the Lead Investigator in an ARC Discovery project, memorialising conflict through contemporary artwork. Jon is the Director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), University of Melbourne.

Mike Godfrey – Secretary

Mike Godfrey is a digital artist, experienced in graphic design, television production, mobile media and web design around community engagement. He is an IT project management consultant with excellent organisational skills and capability to drive outcomes. Mike is the Company Secretary at the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum.