The People

Derek Motion, Regional Arts Development Officer

“The Western Riverina has a rich, vibrant and diverse cultural life and is full of potential. We are here to give artists and our creative communities a helping hand and let them explore the many possibilities our region has to offer”.

Derek Motion joined Western Riverina Arts in March 2013 as the Regional Arts and Development Officer and is in charge of all operations of the organisation. He obtained a creative writing PhD at Charles Sturt University in Wagga and previously worked as Director of the Booranga Writers’ Centre. Raised in the Riverina, Derek not only appreciates regional NSW but also understands and relates to the local issues. 


Miriam Rystedt, Projects & Communications Officer

“Words are incredibly powerful. They can create and inspire and if handled skilfully they can become a form of art itself. And to use them to communicate, promote and bring art and people together here in our region is fantastic”.

Miriam Rystedt joined Western Riverina Arts in May 2016. In her role as Projects and Communications Officer she handles the organisations communication for a wide variety of outlets and helps to "spread the word". Miriam is a professionally trained Journalist and has a university degree in media, politics and sociology. Originally from Germany Miriam and her family now call Griffith their home and appreciate the rich and diverse culture of the Riverina.


                                   the board

Susan Carey Killham, Chair & Narrandera Council Representative 

“ Art is about stories, for the artist and for the audience. Western Riverina Arts helps to give those stories a voice, a face and a platform where they can shine.”

Susan Carey Killham served on the board for five years before becomingChair in 2017. Originally a city girl before moving to the Riverina she firmly believes that the arts should be accessible to everyone and that people living in regional areas should not be disadvantaged by distance or lack of opportunity. Sue is passionate about the positive difference that the arts can make in communities and proud of the role that Western Riverina Arts is playing in growing opportunities for our member Shires. 


Julie Briggs, Vice Chair & Narrandera Community Representative 

“Creativity is at the core of all communities whether we recognise it or not, and in adults and children alike it is a wonderful form of play, the results of which enrich us all. Let’s remember to be playful!”

Julie Briggs served on the WRA Steering Committee and as Chair in its formative years. Julie believes that art is for everyone, and that people living in regional communities must have the opportunity to participate. She has witnessed the positive role WRA has played in connecting artists with audiences and opportunities as well as career development activities across the four member Shires. Julie is keen to spread the word that the availability of arts across the region contributes to the livability of its towns and enhances the personal wellbeing of both participants and audiences.   


The Western Riverina Arts board is represented by Community and Council members:

  • Chair Susan Carey Killham - Narrandera Shire Council Representative

  • Vice Chair Julie Briggs - Narrandera Community Representative

  • Faith Bryce - Murrumbidgee Shire Council Representative

  • Caroline Upston - Murrumbidgee Community Representative

  • Anne Napoli - Griffith City Council Representative

  • Melanie Toscan - Griffith Community Representative

  • Suesann Vos - Leeton Shire Council Representative

  • Jason Richardson - Leeton Community Representative

  • Anthony Morton - Co-opted Member, Treasurer, Griffith