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The Australia Council for the Arts today commends the achievements of three arts-workers for their contribution to social and community cohesion, with work demonstrating the power of art as a mechanism for social change.

The prestigious Ros Bower and Kirk Robson Awards celebrate Australians working in community arts and cultural development. The annual awards will be presented today at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne.

The lifetime achievement Ros Bower Award of $50,000 goes to Victorian Maria Filippow, an extraordinary visual artist and a pioneer in community arts.

Maria is the CEO of Visionary Images, an organisation connecting artists with young people who have experienced hardship, giving them opportunities to develop skills in art and new media. Mariaís projects change the social and cultural situations of the collaborators and the communities in which they live. Maria has a mission to create new opportunities through the arts for those that are forgotten or marginalised.

The Kirk Robson Awards of $10,000 for young leadership in the arts go to community artist Jade Lillie and filmmaker/director Bronwyn Purvis.

Jade Lillie is based in Queensland and her guiding philosophy is that arts and culture, underpinned by community engagement and social justice, are tools for social change. She has lived and worked in regional and remote Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities nationally and internationally.

Bronwyn Purvis is an award winning filmmaker and theatre director who partners with communities and participants experiencing social marginalisation. Her recent focus has been on the regional communities of NSW and Tasmania.  She directed Not At Home for BIG hART, and has worked as actor, director or producer on a number of their radio and sound art works.

The Australia Council CEO Kathy Keele says: “Arts are central to our everyday life and to building the well being of communities. The work of these outstanding people is a perfect example of how art can help build communities, bind people together and break down barriers.”

“The Australia Council honours these artists who express so well the aspirations of such diverse communities, and who have developed such unique and inclusive processes to produce such inspiring work.”

The awards presentation will take place at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne at 7pm on 11 February, 2010.  Media are welcome.
All winners are available for interview.

To arrange interviews and more information contact Fotis Kapetopoulos:
0413 445 287 – 03 9470 1099 –



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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