Congratulations to DDCA President Su Baker whose contribution to tertiary arts was recognised with the award of an AM (Member In The General Division) in the Australian Honours announced on 11 June 2018.
As those who know her are aware, Su’s seemingly indefatigable support for tertiary creative arts has been in evidence throughout her career from her early days as an award-winning artist in WA, through the ups and downs of Sydney College of the Arts post-amalgamation, and from 2000 as a key arts leader at the Victorian College of the Arts. Along the way she has squeezed in executive roles, including as President of ACUADS, and more recently as instigator and President of the Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts.
Longstanding colleague Professor Brad Buckley who worked with Su at Sydney College of the Arts and is now Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, said: “The awarding of the Order of Australia is timely recognition of Professor Su Baker’s thirty-year career as an artist, educator and advocate for the visual and creative arts. She has been at the forefront of the evolving pedagogy and research culture of the visual and creative arts, and the role of the visual arts in building Australian culture and our own voice.”
Su’s fellow DDCA Board members were quick to acknowledge this recognition.
“Su’s tireless commitment and advocacy on behalf of tertiary arts education has been exemplary, as evidenced not only by her role at VCA, but her service on behalf of tertiary creative arts nationally.” – Sarah Miller, University of Wollongong.
“Su’s consistent work over a long period of time has helped to steadily raise the visibility of the arts, and therefore its viability nationally.” – Marie Sierra, UNSW Art & Design.
“Professor Baker has been instrumental in leading the sector, as a sector for the first time. Her standing as an advocate for the tertiary creative arts has been second to none. The extraordinary esteem in which she is held nationally has enabled her to draw together multiple and diverse perspectives to achieve new synergies.” – Kit Wise, University of Tasmania/ RMIT.
“Su has always been a generous and committed leader and has inspired so many artists and academics. Her continued advocacy and leadership has meant that the arts continue to make a major contribution to our developing national identity in Australia.” – Clive Barstow, Edith Cowan University
“Su has been a major force in leading the creative and visual arts fields in tertiary education, reflecting her outstanding commitment, dedication and vision for the arts.” – Kim VIncs, Swinburne University of Technology.
Su’s award was given for “significant service to tertiary education in the visual and creative arts, particularly through advancing scholarship and research opportunities”.
Thank you for your long standing service to creative arts Su and we look forward to many more years of collaboration!
Our congratulations also go to other tertiary arts recipients, including: Virginia Spate AC, art history, University of Sydney; Michael Atherton AM, music education, Western Sydney University; John Hibberd AM, playwright, University of Melbourne; Michael Barkl OAM, digital media and music education, Illawarra TAFE; Dianne Eden OAM, arts education, QUT; Rita Seethaler OAM, steel band music, Monash University.