Leadership Team

MARTIN BARDEN
Director, Development & Enterprises

Martin first arrived in Sydney as a backpacker in November 1990. In July 2013 he began work at the MCA, where he leads the Philanthropy, Retail, Sponsorship and Venues departments.

In between times, Martin worked for several of London’s leading arts organisations: Tate, the Royal Albert Hall, and Sadler’s Wells.

He has developed a career in customer service, advocacy and fundraising, revenue generation, marketing and communications, systems development, and change management. He has deep experience of leading complex operations, large-scale multi-site team management and development, working across businesses to increase engagement.

Most recently Martin headed up Culture Consultants in London, an independent consultancy whose UK clients include the National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Design Museum, and Frieze Art Fair. During the previous decade at Tate, he worked across the four galleries to drive revenues and loyalty.

Martin Barden

Martin Barden, Photograph: Melanie Russell

RICHARD DRYSDALE
Director, Finance & Corporate Services

Bringing extensive experience as a Senior Management Executive in the visual and performing arts sectors, Richard joined the MCA team in December 2013. He has a proven track record in applying key strategic and financial management practices, budget discipline and processes, operational and strategic planning, IT management, human resources skills and building management expertise to the strategic objectives of organisations with which he works. These skills are complimented by a strong belief that excellence in organisations requires an equal excellence in the executive support processes.

Most recently, Richard was Head of Finance & Operations for Belvoir and Belvoir St Theatre, overseeing a period of intense growth and change for those companies since 2007. Prior to that, he was the Head of Finance & Administration for the Biennale of Sydney and has held executive positions with the Australian National Playwrights’ Centre and the Newtown & Edge Theatres. In addition, he has run his own consultancy practice specialising in financial management of arts organisations. Richard is currently President of version 1.0 and has served on the Boards of the Newtown Entertainment Precinct Association, Lucent Theatre and Phoenix Theatre Company. Richard holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Arts Management from the University of Technology Sydney and has directed the major theatre productions for SCEGGS Darlinghurst for the last decade.

Richard Drysdale

Richard Drysdale, Photograph: Melanie Russell

BLAIR FRENCH
Director, Curatorial & Digital

Bringing experience in artistic leadership, curatorial practice and as a widely published art writer, Blair French joined the MCA in 2013. Originally from New Zealand, and with a professional background also in the UK, Blair first arrived in Sydney in 1995 and has worked at the Australian Centre for Photography, as Associate Director of Performance Space and was Executive Director of Artspace Visual Arts Centre from 2006 until 2013.

Blair’s curatorial and writing practice has ranged over the development of art practices from the 1960s through to the present day in Australia, New Zealand and the surrounding region, the intersections of photography and contemporary art, performance and moving image practices. As a curator he has worked with a wide and diverse range of artists including Bruce Barber, Chicks on Speed, Simon Denny, Marco Fusinato, Shaun Gladwell, Ho Tzu Nyen, Rose Nolan, Peter Robinson and Francis Upritchard amongst many others. He was curatorial convenor of the 6th (2010 – 2011) and curator of the 7th (2013) iterations of SCAPE Public Art: Christchurch Biennial. His publications include many edited artist monographs and catalogues; the books Out of Time: Essays Between Photography and Art (2006), and the co-authored Twelve Australian Photo Artists (2009); the major text for the Shaun Gladwell book published in association with the 2009 Venice Biennale; and as editor, Photo Files: An Australian Photography Reader (1999).

Blair holds a PhD in Art History and Theory from the University of Sydney and has lectured at the University of Waikato; the University of New South Wales; and at the University of Western Sydney. He was President of Contemporary Arts Organisations Australia (CAOs), a formal nationwide network of contemporary art spaces, from 2006 until 2009.

Blair French

Blair French, Photograph: Melanie Russell

ANH THI DO
Chief Financial Officer

Currently Chief Financial Officer, Anh Thi Do came to the Museum of Contemporary Art in March 2000. Prior to this, Anh worked for The University Coop Bookshop, which has nearly thirty retail outlets on and off campus around Australia. Whilst at Coop, she was responsible for all financial areas from banking, cash flow to budget. She joined Gallery 4A as a director in 2008-2009.

Anh holds an Economics and Accounting degree from the University of New South Wales and is currently a member of the Certified Practising Accountant.

Anh Thi Do

Anh Thi Do, Photograph: MCA