Cultural Partnerships Australia

Catherine Croll is the Founding Director of Cultural Partnerships Australia

Autralia China Council Achievement Awards wide

Cultural Partnerships Australia has been recognised for their contribution to the Australia-China relationship in the field of “Arts” through selection as a finalist in the inaugural Australia-China Achievement Awards announced by the Australian Prime Minister during the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping in November 2014

Australian Art in Asia Awards Finalist across 3 catagories: Indigenous, Visual Arts and Individual

Cultural Partnerships Australia provides specialist services in cultural exchange, cultural brokering, cultural mapping and cultural planning to clients in both Australia and the Asia Pacific

Summary of Projects


An Australian Photographer in China

Changjiang Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing   Sept 12 – Oct 12
Dali Photography Museum    May 5 – Aug 10

‘An Australian Photographer in China’ brings together pioneering Australians; adventurers, explorers, inquisitive souls all drawn to the remote areas of South Western China far from the safety of the ‘Treaty Ports’ where foreign business was conducted on the Eastern seaboard.

This collection of photographs presents an important historical archive of images captured by generations of Australian photographers who visited South West China during the past 125 years.

The power and vitality of their photography transports the viewer through this record of 20th Century China; capturing a rapidly changing country by providing a view between past and future as a thin slice of place and time.


(Extra)Ordinary : Bohnchang Koo, William Yang & George Rose

The Korean Cultural Centre Australia presents photo exhibition, ‘(Extra)Ordinary: Bohnchang Koo, William Yang and George Rose’. This exhibition showcases the work of the renowned photographic Korean artist Bohnchang Koo and Australian artist William Yang. Inspired by George Rose*, two artists illustrate correlating moments in each country in their photographs through a cross-cultural gaze. The different perspectives on Australia from Koo and Korea from Yang are well expressed in their works reflecting the extraordinary moments in ordinary life.

Australian photographer George Rose had captured various scenes of Korea in 1904. His photos depicting glimpses of Korea, its ordinary life and society are highly appreciated reflections.

Bohnchang Koo represents the people, landscape and objects in Clunes which is George Rose’s home town and William Yang depicts several parts of Korea, especially Paju through the lens. Photographs by stereographic methods which were widely used by George Rose bring the visual delight and boost the curiosity on their own story in the works.

The selection of works provides an insight into the relationship between Korea and Australia. The exhibitions also features black and white images created by George Rose along with the story of ‘Three photographers’ on display at the Korean Cultural Centre.

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Chinese Curators Road Trip Across the Top End

In August we were delighted to bring a specially selected group of Chinese curators to Australia for a ‘slow’ tour of Aboriginal art centres hosted by local Indigenous artists and communities in the Top End and Kimberley.

A key feature was the road-trip across-country (from Darwin) bush camps and visits to sacred art and cultural sites hosted by local Indigenous elders in Oenpelli, Katherine, Keep River & Kununurra.

We assisted our visitors to build a genuine understanding and appreciation of the extraordinary breadth, depth and diversity of Australian Indigenous culture and reached a core group of Indigenous artists associated with each of the host Aboriginal Arts organisations and nurture the establishment of person-to-person relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

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In the Spirit of George Rose – Three Photographers

The Korea Australia Cultural Exchange Project : In the Spirit of George Rose videos ‘Three Photographers’ and ‘What a Foreigner Sees’ are now live on the Culture Victoria website along with images by George Rose, portraits by William Yang and streographs by Bohnchang Koo. Video’s by Catherine Gough-Brady. Special thanks to: Kyunghee AnYisan JeongYiwon Park and Soyoun Kim for your extraordinary commitment to this project.

In May 2015 we staged the George Rose exhibition as a major feature of the Clunes Booktown Festival. The exhibition was held in the beautiful old bluestone church located on the Wesley Campus. We attracted  enthusiastic audiences to view the photographs and listen to artists talks given by Bohnchang Koo and William Yang over the weekend. Many of the ‘subjects’ bought their whole families to view the results!

In October 2015 the George Rose exhibition toured to Korea where it was shown at the Korea Foundation Gallery in Seoul. This beautiful exhibition was enhanced by a series of photographs taken by George Rose in the early 1900’s and generously loaned by the Australian Embassy.

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Clunes Booktown – Australia Korea Cultural Exchange

In April 2014 Catherine was contracted to manage and curate the Clunes Booktown Cultural Exchange program with South Korea. The project called: ‘Capturing the Spirit of George Rose‘ was developed as a result of some extraordinary coincidences.

The people of Clunes (pop 1,600) came together in 2005 to explore and build their small community located 1 ½ hours west of Melbourne in rural Victoria.

The decided that ‘literature’ was their common interest and formed ‘Creative Clunes‘ to progress their community by declaring themselves Australia’s first ‘Booktoen’ and beginning what was to become an annual Booktown Festival in 2007.

In recent years they began to visit other ‘Booktowns & Cities’ including: Oslo, Norway in 2011 and Paju, South Korea in 2012. During this second visit to Paju they were presented with a book of photographs ‘Korea Through Australian Eyes‘ taken by Australian photographer George Rose in 1904.

They were astonished and delighted to learn that George Rose had been born in Clunes (!) and enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to build a closer relationship with South Korea through a photographic exchange program.

Bohnchang Koo & William Yang at the State Library of Victoria

Bohnchang Koo & William Yang at the State Library of Victoria

Yiban Yiban – Yellah Fellah 《一半,一半:黄色人种》

This exciting cultural exchange program included a series of workshops, seminars and exhibitions held at Redtory Art & Design Factory Guangzhou, TCG Nordica Kunming and Organhaus Chongqing, China

The tour group, comprising Australian contemporary artists who are exploring their mixed Indigenous and Chinese heritage, shared their unique stories with a diverse range of Chinese audiences including students, artists, government officials and party members

In Kunming the artists worked closely with local contemporary artists from the Miao, Bai, Naxi, Yi and Akha nationalities during two days of talks hosted by Luo Fei and his staff at TCG Nordica

Yiban Yiban Poster

This project is part of Cultural Partnerships Australia’s ongoing Australia China Curatorial Exchange Program which was established in 2011

Yiban Yiban – Yellah Fellah 《一半,一半:黄色人种》 was proudly hosted by: Redtory Art & Design Factory, TCG Nordica and Organhaus. The project was proudly supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, The Australia China Council and the Australian Consulate-General in Guangzhou

Special thanks to:

 Crossing Boundaries – A Celebration of Asian Australian Art

City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival at Sydney Town Hall

Lord Mayor Clover Moore and curator Catherine Croll with 30 of the artists who participated in Crossing Boundaries

Cultural Partnerships was delighted to announce the creative lineup for ‘Crossing Boundaries’ –  A Celebration of Asian Australian Art in the Year of the Horse, opening at Sydney Town Hall on January 22 as a feature of the City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival program

Participating Artists include:

Ahn Wells & Laura WilsonAkira KamadaChonggang DuDacchi DangDongwang FanErnest AaronGanbold LundaaGreg LeongGuan WeiHigh Tea with Mrs Woo , Hu MingHyun Hee LeeJayanto DamanikJoy HopwoodJuma AdiKarina WikamtoLindy Lee & Elizabeth ChangMai Nguyen-LongMayu KanamoriMichael K Chin, Min Wong, Min Woo BangMylyn NguyenNikki Lam, Pamela SeePei Pei HePhaptawan SuwannakudtRachel ParkSomchai CharoenSong LingSoyuon Kim, Tianli ZuToshiko OiyamaVienna Del Rosario ParrenoWilliam Yang and Yiwon Park


 “Our Living Land” – Leading East Kimberley Artists

Catherine Croll - Agnes Armstrong, Peggy Griffiths, Cathy Cummings and Dora Griffiths 'dancing' at their opening at OFOTO Gallery M50 Shanghai - April 2013 c

Agnes Armstrong, Peggy Griffiths, Cathy Cummings and Dora Griffiths ‘dancing’ at their opening at OFOTO Gallery

Our Living Land‘  – the first exhibition of artworks by 24 leading Indigenous artists from the East Kimberley region of Western Australia in China. The exhibition previewed at the SALVO Hotel (Shanghai) before opening at OFOTO Gallery in the M50 Moganshan Lu Art District Shanghai. The tour was co-ordinated by Cathy Cummings from Waringarri Arts, Kununurra and assisted by Catherine Croll from Cultural Partnerships Australia

Our Living Land Media Coverage:

Art Collector : Waringarri Arts has sell out exhibition in Shanghai

Western Australia:   Aboriginal art exhibition wows Shanghai society

Cultural Program Development Tour of China

Cultural Partnerships Australia is revisiting partner organisations and individuals in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Kunming during March and April 2013. During this tour Catherine Croll will be discussing ongoing reciprical cultural exchange programs with Fan Lin – Curator at Fei Gallery in Guangzhou, Liu Lifen – Director & Curator at Contemporary Yunnan in Kunming and Nikun – Curator at Organhaus in Chongqing

Federal Parlimentary Delegation in Shanghai

Cultural Partnerships Australia was contracted by Asialink to present a session on Cultural Exchange between Australia and China for a Federal Parlimentary Delegation visiting Shenzhen, Shanghai and Suzhou during March 2013

蛇 rắn 뱀 A Celebration of Asian Australian Art

Cultural Partnerships Australia was contracted by the City of Sydney to manage and curate an exhibition of artwork by Australian artists with Chinese, Korean and / or Vietnamese heritage

蛇 rắn 뱀 A Celebration of Asian Australian Art was held at Sydney Town Hall from 5th to the 23rd of February 2013 as part of the City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival

Catherine invited Fan Lin – Chinese curator and Professor of Western Art at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art to work along side her in curating this exhibition


 Australia China Youth Dialogue (China)

Cultural Partnerships Australia was invited to participate in a panel discussion regarding Cultural Industries in China held at the Red Gate Gallery, Beijing in November 2012

 Australia China Curatorial Exchange Program

Catherine is managing the Australia China Curatorial Exchange Program sponsored by the Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund

Ye Funa, Zhu Yu and Li Gang meet artists from Warringarri Arts (Kununurra) at Di Mossenson's Gallery in Perth

Ye Funa, Zhu Yu and Li Gang meet artists from Warringarri Arts (Kununurra) at Di Mossenson’s Gallery in Perth

This program has seen 12 Chinese artists and curators undertake extensive study tours of Australia (Sydney, Newcastle, Taree & District, Melbourne, Perth to Karratha) with the aim of providing them with the ‘contacts, context and content’ required to initiate Chinese Australian cultural exchange programs in China in the future

Participating artists & curators to date:

Liyu Yeo (Red Gate Gallery) , Li Shen (Curatorial Intern), Han Qing  (Artist/Curator Chengdu), Liu Lifen  (Artist/Curator Contemporary Yunnan, Kunming), Lv Peng (Artist/Professor Beijing) Hang Chunhui (Artist/Professor Anhui), Sei Siyu (Curator 943 Studio Collective, Kunming), Ni Kun (Curator Organhaus, Chongqing), Wang Lifeng (Artist Inner Mongolia), Ye Funa (Artist/Lecturer Sichuan Academy of Fine Art), Li Gang (Artist/Photographer Beijing), Zhu Qingyan (Photographer/Film Maker  Zhejiang)


In 2011 /12 Catherine managed and co-curated a series of exhibitions designed to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Red Gate Gallery

Red Gate Gallery was established in Beijing, China by Australian Brian Wallace in 1991 at a time when artists were showing on the street, from their studios or in ‘sofa shows’ in friend’s houses. Red Gate was unique, offering a venue operating on international commercial gallery standards, with a stable of artists and the gallery management working together in their mutual interests

20 years on Red Gate invited Catherine Croll to assist with the collation of historical material, preparation of anniversary catalogues and curation of two major exhibitions:

The first ‘Two Generations’ includes 11 of Red Gates senior artists (Tan Ping, Wang Lifeng, Su Xinping, Li Gang and Guan Wei) signature works hung alongside the work of 11 emerging Chinese artists each nominated for inclusion by one of the ‘senior’ artists. This exhibition was opened by Dr Geoff Raby on July 2nd 2011.

The second ‘Launch Pad’ comprised the work of Red Gate’s next generation of new young artists, includes several who participated in Red Gate’s ‘Chinese’ artists residency program and a number who continue to live and work in the 2nd tier provincial cities of Chengdu and Chongqing and in the Autonomous Regions of Tibet and Inner Mongolia

The exhibition then toured to Australia under the title:  Two Generations – 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art . The tour was undertaken as part of:

‘Experience China – The Year of Chinese Culture in Australia’


Coming Home

Coming Home

In 2010 Catherine coordinated two major cultural exchange projects which were held as a part of Imagine Australia – The Year of Australian Culture in China

The First Sept – Oct:

Hard Sleeper – Red Gate Gallery Cultural Exchange Project

The Second Nov – Dec:

On the Edge – New Media & Hybrid Arts from Australia

2009 – Summary

In Catherine took up the position of Director Special Projects – Red Gate Gallery, Beijing. This followed a 6 months stint as Director of the Red Gate Gallery International Artist Residency Program – Red Gate AIR

On October 20th 2009, the China Daily ran the following story about her work:
How Sweeping Strokes can Link Cultures


  1. Hey Kate,

    So glad to see your work. Will I see you sometime in Oct or Nov in Beijing?

    All the best and I still owe you a drink! Cheers, Nancy L.

  2. China a portrait is a splendid story of the largely untold story of the other China. As an urban planning advisor in China I enjoy visits to the rural and minority areas of China,an activity I have indulged over the last 15 years while advising in China—-JMC

  3. hello news from the coast. mr jack croll has cracked the dog door and has now declared himself an inside dog.hard to argue as i look across the floor now he is glued to heater. all is well he does spend days alone but happy to see us in the evening for a nice sit by the heater and a good sleep on the floor with the other old bloke. they have been declared bunk buddies as they both snore.

  4. Please keep my up to date going forward.

    • Hello Alison,

      I’ll forward you some documents which outline the project and provide some information about the artists involved

      Warm regards


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