Lisa Havilah

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Lisa Havilah is the Director of Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia. She was Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre from 2005 to 2010, and was previously Assistant Director of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre from 1998 to 2004. Havilah was inaugural Co-Director of Project Contemporary Artspace, Wollongong, New South Wales.

Havilah grew up in Berry, NSW and now spends every second weekend there.[1] She has said that her passion for art was influenced by her ceramicist mother. Havilah studied painting and creative writing at art school.[2] Due to her father's influence she also studied law which she has said gave her "a different level of discipline."[3]

Arts leadership[edit]


In 2011, Havilah was announced as the new CEO of Carriageworks.[4]

Visitor numbers have doubled ever year at Carriageworks since Havilah commenced her role as Director in 2011[3]. During this time Havilah has evolved Carriageworks into a multi-arts venue which plays host to 80-100 projects a year including contemporary theatre, dance, visual arts, music, film and fashion, as well as hosting corporate events and a farmers' market.[3] Havilah has stated her belief that "Contemporary art is no longer defined as distinctly visual arts, performance or music – that is why it is important for us to present works across many disciplines, which supports the scale of the artists’ ambitions."[5]

Havilah has said a typical day at work might involve "overseeing installations and navigating our backstage areas and industrial equipment; attending an artist lunch or funding meeting, or presenting awards or attending opening events."[6]

Campbelltown Arts Centre[edit]

Havilah was Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre from 2005 to 2010, during which time visitor numbers to the centre increased from 30,000 to 190,000 per year - the highest attendance figures for a New South Wales cultural centre outside of metropolitan Sydney.[7]

Other roles[edit]

In 2016 she participated in the selection of Australia’s representation at the 2017 Venice Biennale and with the Commissioner led a delegation of Australian arts patrons to engage with the exhibition and Biennale programs. In 2013 Havilah was appointed to the ministerial reference group for the State Government's NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework.[8] In 2017 Havilah was part of an Australian Financial Review Magazine panel who selected "the top 10 people who wield the most cultural power in Australia."[9] Havilah is also a member of the City of Sydney's Public Art Advisory Panel.[10] Havilah is a member of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority's Arts and Public Program Panel, which oversees the Barangaroo Public Art and Cultural Plan.[11]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2016 while under Havilah's Direction, Carriageworks was awarded the New South Wales Government's NSW Creative Laureate award, with NSW Industry, Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts saying that under Havilah's leadership Carriageworks had “skilfully balanced commercial, entrepreneurial and artistic imperatives”.[12] In 2013, FBi Radio awarded Havilah "SMAC [Sydney Music, Arts & Culture] of the Year," stating that she was "one of our city's most dynamic and hard-working cultural figures."[13]

Publications and other work[edit]

In May 2016 Havilah addressed the Currency House Creativity and Business Breakfast Series with a lecture titled "The Next Generation of Cultural Institution."[14]


  1. ^ "Other passions: Lisa Havilah, director Carriageworks, Sydney". 21 February 2016.
  2. ^ Tedmanson, Sophie (30 March 2017). "In the frame: Liz Ann Macgregor and Lisa Havilah on the state of the arts".
  3. ^ a b c Christopher, Lissa (16 April 2016). "How Lisa Havilah turned Carriageworks into an artistic epicentre" – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Snapshot with Lisa Havilah".
  6. ^ "In my wardrobe: Lisa Havilah". 20 April 2014 – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ "Lisa Havilah jumps ship to Carriageworks - Art Collector".
  8. ^ "The development of the NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework - Create NSW". 18 April 2013.
  9. ^ "From Waleed Aly to Nicole Kidman: Australia's most culturally powerful named".
  10. ^ "Public Art Advisory Panel - City Art Sydney".
  11. ^ "Arts and Public Program Panel". Barangaroo.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Currency House (1 June 2016). "Lisa Havilah - the success of Carriageworks" – via YouTube.