Catherine is the founding Director of Cultural Partnerships Australia established in 2010 and has held the position of Director Special Projects at Red Gate Gallery since 2009. She is a member of the prestigious International Association of Art Critics (AICA)
She has 25 years experience in the initiation, facilitation and management of multi faceted events and complex community cultural development projects which under her leadership promote cross cultural awareness and bilateral cultural exchange
From ‘Working with Indigenous Communities’ in the Top End of Australia to ‘Ribbons of Steel’ at BHP Newcastle, Catherine has been instrumental in the establishment of theatre companies, national festivals, galleries, art prizes and cross cultural exchange programs
Her work has gained widespread recognition both in Australia and China and Catherine is highly respected by her peers for her leadership, courage and enthusiasum
Since 2006 she has focused her skills upon developing bilateral relations between Australia and China through long term cultural exchange projects including:
‘From Mao to Now’ Sydney Olympic Park, ‘Coming Home’ Linda Gallery Beijing, ‘Hard Sleeper’ Chinese Provincial Tour (Pinyao, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Shanghai) and Exhibition, Beijing and ‘On the Edge’ New Media & Hybrid Arts from Australia (Beijing, Chengdu and Chongqing), ‘Two Generations – 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art’ (Australian Tour and Cultural Exchange Program) and ‘Yiban Yiban Yellah Fellah’ (Guangzhou, Kunming and Chongqing)
Catherine continues to work closely with government agencies, cultural organisations and educational institutions in Australia and China to initiate strategic partnerships, establish new markets and audiences and build cultural exchange and touring networks between Australian and Chinese artists and arts managers
She has had an extensive career in the areas of community capacity building, brokering partnerships between local government, arts workers, volunteers, non profit organisations and business sponsors both in Australia and China:
Catherine was recognised for her contribution to the Australia-China relationship in the field of “Arts” through her selection as one of four finalists in the inaugural Australia-China Achievement Awards announced by the Australian Prime Minister during the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Catherine was the facilitator and manager of Yiban Yiban Yellah Fellah《一半，一半：黄色人种 》This cultural exchange program bought a group of Australian contemporary artists who were exploring their mixed Indigenous and Chinese heritage to Guangzhou, Kunming and Chongqing in June / July.
Catherine was the manager & curator of ‘Crossing Boundaries – A Celebration of Asian Australian Art’ held as a key feature of the City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival celebrations at Sydney Town Hall. The exhibition featured work by 37 Asian Australia artists including those with Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Malay and mixed Chinese Indigenous Australian heritage.
Catherine was a finalist across three categories in the inaugural ‘Australian Arts in Asia Awards’ (Individual, Visual Arts & Indigenous) in recognition of her innovative work in establishing and managing the “Australia China Curatorial Exchange Program”.
Catherine was the manager and curator of ‘蛇 rắn 뱀 A Celebration of Asian Australian Art’ held as a key feature of the City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival celebrations at Sydney Town Hall 2013. The exhibition featured work by 45 Asian Australia artists including those with Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Indonesian, Malay and mixed Chinese Indigenous Australian heritage.
Also in 2013 Catherine assisted Waringarri Arts with ‘Our Living Land – Leading artists of the East Kimberley’ (我们生生不息的土地 澳大利亚金巴里东部顶尖艺术家联展). This exhibition of work by 24 Indigenous artists was held at the Salvo Hotel and OFOTO Gallery M5o, Shanghai during April 2013.
See Cultural Partnerships Australia for more details
Catherine was the manager and curator of the ‘Two Generations – 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art’ Australian National Tour and Cultural Exchange Program which opened at Sydney Town Hall on January 16th as part of their Chinese New Year Festival and continued to Taree, Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth.
As part of this tour Catherine initiated a cultural exchange program which has bought 14 Chinese artists and curators to Australia to work alongside her and meet with Australian artists, gallerists and representatives of cultural organisations and educational institutions
Catherine was employed by Asialink to coordinate an exhibition of Australian fashion and Design work at the Opposite House in Beijing ,‘Abandoned Boudoir’ . This involved the refurbishment of an entire penthouse suite with Australian fabric’s, table settings and furniture including samples of jewelery and wardrobes hung with unique Australian fashion items
Catherine was also the only Australian (and only woman) photographer invited to participate in the documentation of ‘China – The New Long March’. This project, funded by the Ministry of Press and Publications saw 8 Chinese and 4 International photographers retrace the route of the ‘Long March’ documenting the change and development that has occurred since 1935/6. The resulting large format book was launched at the London Book Fair in April 2012 and will be published in Australia by Harper Collins in September 2012
Catherine independently initiated, researched, marketed and managed two ambitious Australian Chinese cultural exchange projects as a part of ‘Imagine Australia’ – The Year of Australian Culture in China:
The first: ‘Hard Sleeper’ saw a group of 8 Indigenous and emerging Australian artists under take a month long tour of provincial China which included studio visits and artists forums in Xian, Chengdu and Chongqing prior to taking up an arts residency at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing. Catherine then managed and curated the resulting exhibition ‘Hard Sleeper’ which was opened by the Honourable Kevin Rudd (then Foreign Minister) in November 2010
The second: ‘On the Edge – New Media & Hybrid Arts from Australia’ a tour by 10 of Australia’s best young New Media artists, musicians, web designers, filmakers and engineers to Beijing, Chongqing and Chengdu where they undertook a series of skills exchange workshops with local designers, artists and film makers and presented large interactive public performances to enthusiastic audiences
Catherine was employed as the Manager/Curator of the Sydney Olympic Park Traveling Exhibition – Coming Home – Featuring the work of 37 Chinese Australian Artists, this exhibition was held at the Linda Gallery – 798 Art District Beijing during May 2009.
On October 20th 2009, the China Daily ran the following story about her work:
How Sweeping Strokes can Link Cultures
Catherine was also the Manager of the Randwick City Council – Mayors Public Art Project, designed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Randwick being declared a city in 1859. A panel comprising; Tony Bond (AGNSW), Scott O’Hara (Resident Representative) and the Mayor of Randwick, Bruce Notley Smith assessed applications from a short list of 5 artists with Ruark Lewis being awarded the contract.
Catherine was employed as Manager/Curator of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority From Mao to Now exhibition which featured the work of 80 Chinese Australian artists and other contemporary Australian artists who had studied or worked in the People’s Republic of China.
Catherine spent 3 months traveling ‘solo’ through remote areas of China’s Yun’nan, Sichuan and Fujian provinces, prior to taking up a 6 week residency at the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing.
Catherine received a professional development grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to: Research and document traditional Chinese cultural practices and the ways in which those practices are being interpreted in contemporary arts. She traveled ‘solo’ overland through China for 3 months, culminating in an exhibition of her work titled Catherines Great Adventure, at John Paynter Gallery – Newcastle.
Previous Professional Experience
In 2004/5 Kate traveled to the Northern Territory to interview representatives from the key arts organisations and indigenous arts cooperatives from Katherine to the Tiwi Islands. Using the data gathered she developed and delivered an intensive training course for Top End artists called ‘Working with Communities’.
In 2001, Kate was responsible for the artistic design and construction of the Hunter Region Float for Centenary of Federation Parade. She was then seconded as Parade Coordinator for Zone 1 (Botanical Gardens to Oxford Street) which involved the recruitment and training of hundreds of volunteer marshals to assist in the coordination of thousands of performers and oversee the event which saw 500,000 people line the streets of Sydney.
In 2000, she was seconded from Arts Hunter by SOCOG (Sydney Olympic Games Organising Committee) to assist with the management of volunteers at the Sydney Olympic Games 2000. In this capacity she was responsible for over 2,000 volunteer performers in the Awakenings and Fire Sections of the Opening Ceremony and 8,000 performers in the Closing Ceremony.
As Principle Trainer for CCD NSW (Community Cultural Development NSW) from 2000 until 2008, she conducted ‘Assessment and Workplace Training’ Certificate IV for facilitators from across NSW, Tasmania and the NT and facilitated the ‘Creative Volunteering – No Limits’ training course offered by Regional Arts Australia to community organisations, volunteers and local government staff.
She is also the author of Australia’s first online Diploma in Community Cultural Development offered annually through CCDNSW from 2003 to 2008
Catherine Croll can be contacted via China mobile +86 151 0157 5037 or email or
her Australian mobile +61 (0) 419 427 002