Our role in NSW arts and culture
At Create NSW we work to grow, empower and strengthen the arts, screen, music and culture sector. We're part of Arts and Tourism Group within the NSW Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade (DEIT).
Our team collaborate with artists, government, business and the broader community.
Many of us have creative and professional experience in the arts, and we bring empathy, passion and expertise to our roles.
We believe creativity and culture shapes our identity, connects our community and strengthens our economy.
This helps us champion and support the sector for the benefit of everyone in NSW.
"Arts and Culture make an invaluable social contribution and sustain us in a deeply human way – through the telling of stories and creative expression, building communities and connecting us to each other."
- Annette Pitman Chief Executive, Create NSW
See Annette's and our other leaders' profiles below.
Our NSW Minister for the Arts
The Hon. John Graham, MLC is NSW Minister for the Arts, Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy, Minister for Jobs and Tourism.
Visit NSW Parliament House website The Hon. John Graham MLC
Our Executive team
Annette Pitman, Chief Executive, Create NSW
Annette has spent much of her career advising and supporting cultural organisations in developing and delivering their plans for the future.
Annette is committed to working in partnership with stakeholders to embed arts in the everyday, grow the sector and showcase NSW’s world-class, diverse and vibrant sector. In December 2022, Annette was appointed Chief Executive, Create NSW, after serving as Interim Chief Executive Create NSW for the preceding 10 months. Prior to that role, Annette led Create Infrastructure overseeing projects including the Powerhouse Museums, Sydney Modern, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, Regional Cultural Fund, Creative Capital and Theatre Royal.
Working for nearly 10 years with Arts Centre Melbourne, Annette led the transformational Hamer Hall Redevelopment and then the advisory team that developed a business case and masterplan for Arts Centre Melbourne’s further renewal.
Prior to returning to government, Annette led AECOM’s NSW & ACT Buildings & Places business, a team of 200+ consultants across three offices, and headed up AECOM’s Arts and Culture Sector for Australia & NZ. Annette is most proud of the program of cultural change that was implemented across the team under her leadership.
In 2006 Annette emigrated from the US to Melbourne. She worked for nearly 10 years at Major Projects Victoria leading a series of flagship Melbourne projects including the Melbourne Park Tennis Centre’s expansion. An advocate for design excellence, Annette managed the high-profile Flinders Street Station Design Competition, and in close partnership with the State Government Architect’s office devised mechanisms to ensure the quality of design during procurement and delivery of a suite of public projects.
Back in the US, Annette held a key role leading the planning for the Connecticut Science Center during the formation of this new cultural institution.
Kyas Hepworth, Head of Screen NSW
Kyas Hepworth is a media executive who has spent her career working in the screen and creative arts sector, championing and advocating for practitioners to elevate their voices. With a passion for bringing distinctive and genuine stories to the screen, Kyas has collaborated with and supported numerous high-profile screen creatives and productions.
As Head of Screen NSW, Kyas spearheads the state’s film and production strategy and advances NSW’s position both in digital games and as one of the leading national and international screen and post-production destinations. Prior to joining Screen NSW, Kyas served as the Head of Commissioning and Programming at NITV.
Her extensive creative expertise spans across feature films, documentaries, television series, and web series, having worked with esteemed organizations such as SBS, the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and Screen Australia. Kyas currently sits on the Board of AusFilm and has held positions as a board member for the Australian International Documentary Conference and as an ambassador for the Natalie Miller Fellowship.
In 2021 Kyas was honoured as an Official Competition Jury Member for the 68th Sydney Film Festival.
Karen Rodgers, Director of Arts
With over twenty-five years’ experience within the Australian arts environment, Karen is driven to develop and support the arts and cultural sector.
Providing direction to deliver on strategic outcomes and to shape policy agenda, as Manager Multiyear Investment with the Australia Council for the Arts, Karen successfully championed priorities for investment decisions that directly impacted industry engagement and outcomes.
Karen has a successful history developing, delivering and supporting Australian work with previous roles including, Executive Director at Griffin Theatre Company, Producer for the Seymour Centre at the University of Sydney, founding General Manager for the dance theatre company Force Majeure, Associate Producer for Performing Lines and Special Projects Manager for the Olympic Arts Festivals.
Mark Crees, Portfolio Director Create NSW
Mark is passionate about the public service, focused on contributing to the common good and influencing outcomes that build and drive exceptional outcomes for community. He has occupied executive leadership roles for government and cultural institutions across three states and territories, holds a PhD in Critical and Cultural Theory from Monash University and is an alumnus of the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Mark has worked across Australia in government (state and local), in creative industries business development, the performing and visual arts (as theatre producer & major regional arts centre director), major festivals, and cultural institutions and precincts (theatres, museums and galleries in particular), with a focus on multi-arts precincts, arts and cultural strategy and policy, First Nations engagement and agency, and major cultural infrastructure strategy and project delivery.
As Portfolio Director, Create NSW, Mark leads the whole-of-government policy development for the NSW Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Policy, oversees the NSW cultural infrastructure pipeline development, and project directs multiple teams.
Roslyn Mayled, Portfolio Director Create Infrastructure
Since joining Create infrastructure in 2018, Roslyn’s focus has been on the delivery of Sydney Modern and the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct Redevelopment. Her previous experience as a commercial and intellectual property lawyer at Holding Redlich and Banki Haddock Fiora provides solid grounding for major project delivery.
Before her legal career, Roslyn enjoyed over 10 years at the Australia Council for the Arts primarily in literature, visual arts and international market development delivering cultural projects such as the Australian participation at the Venice Biennale and Australian focus years in Madrid and New York.
Roslyn also wrote and delivered the Cultural Property, Law and Ethics course as part of the Masters of Art Administration at the University of NSW and those topics remain central to her interests and her work.
David Gordon, Director Creative Economy
Since joining the Arts and Justice Services Division as Executive Officer in 2016, David has held a number of roles across the arts, screen and culture portfolio.
During his time at Create NSW his work as Senior Manager, Research & Evaluation has been integral to the organisation's success.
David led an analysis of the cultural sector that is critical to shaping the development of programs, policies and initiatives to drive viability and vibrancy of the arts, screen and cultural sectors in NSW.
Before his time at Create NSW, David led policy and strategy teams within other NSW government agencies.
Emily Collins, Interim Head of Sound NSW
Emily Collins is a music industry specialist with extensive strategy, policy and program development expertise.
Before joining Sound NSW, Emily was Managing Director of MusicNSW for eight years and galvanized the NSW contemporary music industry through significant challenges. Emily has worked on game-changing projects for the music industry including I Lost My Gig and the Music Industry Review, which resulted in the publishing of the Raising Their Voices report in 2022.
Emily began her career working in music festivals Cockatoo Island Festival and Great Escape Festival, and then went on to work at Underbelly Arts Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival and Darwin Festival in marketing roles, before taking up the role of development manager at Sydney's premier youth station FBi Radio in 2013.
Emily has held positions on several boards including the Night Time Industries Association, Australian Music Industry Network, National Live Music Awards, and City of Sydney’s Creative and Cultural Panel, and was awarded the Sydney Music Arts and Culture Awards SMAC of the year in 2018.
Patrick Buckle, Director Create Infrastructure
Patrick joined Create Infrastructure in 2018 where he played an integral role in delivering the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct Redevelopment and managing the occupation of these new facilities with the resident arts organisations.
His extensive experience in delivering large-scale and complex events, ability to facilitate local and international performances in national arts and cultural venues, and his operational expertise have place him well to support the cultural infrastructure needs of NSW.
With a passion for regional centres, performance excellence and audience experience he is committed to supporting and representing the needs of the cultural sector across NSW and nationally.
Paul Collis, Director Create Infrastructure
Paul's experience over the previous 20 years has primarily focused on arts infrastructure and operations. Working within major art museums including the Art Gallery NSW and QAGOMA, Paul brings extensive experience in major capital projects, asset and property management, exhibition construction, sustainably and operations.
Simon Thomas, Director Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
Simon has a passion for supporting and promoting the work of the arts, screen and cultural talent across our state.
Joining Create NSW in 2021, Simon brings with him over 10 years’ experience managing high-performing communications, stakeholder relations and media teams across the public and private sectors.