About Us

ANVAM’s role is to support the wellbeing of current and former service members through the arts. ANVAM’s support includes 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.

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.

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. This property is in the heart of the Melbourne arts precinct and opposite the Shrine of Remembrance. When operational again the building will include exhibition and studio spaces where veterans will be supported by the ANVAM 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.

Image: Gordon Traill

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.

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.

Tanja Johnston (Head of Arts Programs)

Tanja 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.

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.

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.

Sharyn Meade (Head of Fundraising)

Sharyn is an educator, academic and photographic artist. Sharyn is the Director of fundraising consultancy and is currently undertaking a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and a Masters of Strategic Foresight (MSF).

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.

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.