Claire Summers was born in Melbourne, Victoria and has a keen interest in social enterprises and economic development strategies for unprivileged communities in the third world. After completing her Arts (Sociology/Behavioural Studies)/Business (Management/Marketing) degrees at Monash University, she traveled to Maningrida, Arnhem Land, to gain experience working in an Aboriginal community. Quickly recognising the third-world living conditions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, combined with their rich art and culture, she committed her career to the development and sustainability of the Art Centre model.
From 2005-2010 Claire worked various roles at Maningrida Arts & Culture (Arts Administrator, Assistant Director and Acting Director) and also was the business developer for the Northern Territory and National award winning “Arnhem Land Eco Cultural Tours”. In 2007, Claire managed the delivery of the 1st Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair in addition to her role at the Art Centre. From 2010-2012 Claire managed the Bábbarra Women’s Centre which involved the development of seven micro businesses that supported the employment of Indigenous women. One of these businesses was the flourishing textile design workshop, Bábbarra Designs.
From 2013-2016 Claire worked closely with a number of Art Centres across Australia providing business consultation, strategy development support and relief management.
Claire managed the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair event in 2007 and 2008, and then sat on the “DAAF Steering Committee” from 2009-2011. She was actively involved in establishing the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF), and was elected as one of its first board members in 2012. In April 2013, Claire contracted to DAAFF as the event manager and worked as the sole part-time employee. In March 2016, Claire was appointed as DAAFF’s first Executive Director.
Claire has been responsible for the growth and development of the Foundation and its activities including the art fair, two fashion shows and an Indigenous curators program. She has also increased the DAAFF membership to include 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres and peak bodies from across Australia.
Mandy is DAAFF’s General Manager and works from the Darwin office. Initially contracted as Event Manager in 2016, she quickly filled the position of the part time Arts Administer role. Mandy accepted the position of the Foundations’ first General Manager in July 2019. Prior to DAAFF, Mandy lived in the Daly River region, south of Darwin, for four years and over this time worked within her family business and managed Merrepen Arts Centre in the Nauiyu Nambiyu community. She has a Diploma in Leadership and Management and is also a Registered Nurse.
Tammy has worked in fundraising within the not-for-profit sector in Australia for 18 years. Having held senior management roles across all areas of fundraising, marketing and communications working with large organisations such as Red Cross and working with smaller organisations to build fundraising programs from scratch.
Tammy first started working with DAAFF in 2015 and continues to work to support DAAFF Partner Relations.
Research and Development Officer
Nina is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who was born and raised in Darwin. On her mother’s side she traces her lineage to Arnhem Land, Cape York, and the Torres Strait Islands. For the last seven years she has mainly lived in Melbourne, where she completed a Science Degree at the University of Melbourne, and is currently studying a Masters of Environments. Nina has worked in research roles pertaining to Indigenous advancement in health and tertiary education, and also worked as a research assistant and content curator on Marcia Langton’s Guide to Indigenous Australia.
Digital Communications Manager
Dylan has over 20 years of experience in visual communications, and a background in teaching and environmental campaigning. Dylan is the founder and owner of Moksha Design & Communications and supports a client base of not-for-profits and ethical businesses, providing stunning digital and print services, graphic design, web design, and photography. He has been working with DAAFF since 2016, and is deeply committed to addressing social justice, environmental issues, and the role DAAFF plays in these areas. He is particularly passionate about treaty and constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples.
Fashion Projects Consultant
Dave is an experienced senior executive from the textile and fashion industry. For the last four years as CEO of the Australian Fashion Council he has worked with companies and individuals across all sectors of the industry for the purpose of their personal and organisational growth. Earlier in his 25 year career in the industry Dave worked with global outdoor apparel leader WL Gore (Gore-Tex) in new ventures and R&D. He also co-founded London based fashion brand Frankly, led business development for smart materials technology company Imagine Intelligent Materials, and was CEO of Australian Defence Apparel.
Digital Communications (Social Media)
Mel has been working in the social media space for the past decade. Often travelling interstate and overseas to continue her training in the consistent change of social media platforms. Born and raised in Darwin as well as spending 10 years in Alice Springs, Mel is a passionate ambassador for Northern Territory Tourism and Major Events. Under her business Savvy Social she travels around the Territory each year to attend and promote Territory Indigenous Arts and Events to her online audience of 20,000 followers as well as across the digital platforms owned by the NT Government and other major businesses.