About Us

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale was founded in 2005 and attracts significant International and Australian photographers as one of Australia’s pre-eminent photographic festivals.

It is a not-for-profit event that immerses the historic town of Ballarat in photographic art.

For over 13 years, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale has enriched the cultural landscape of regional Victoria and become the most significant, prestigious photographic arts festival in Australia. Held every two years, Ballarat International Foto Biennale is a month-long festival event comprising two major photographic programs: a curated Core Program showcasing work from domestic and international artists that is new, previously unseen in Australia or contextualised afresh; and, an open-entry Fringe Program that fosters the development of new artists. Alongside, public projects and education programs comprising talks, workshops, symposia and prizes round out a rich and diverse cultural event that attracts more than 26,000 people, delivering significant economic and cultural impact.

Held every two years the CORE PROGRAM exhibits at the beautiful Art Gallery of Ballarat, The Mining Exchange, the Minerva Room, The Observatory, Post Office Gallery and the Town Hall. The FRINGE PROGRAM is staged at more than 80 cafes, galleries and wine bars across Ballarat, providing the launch pad for hundreds of new and emerging artists.

The Biennale is guided by the principle that it not only serves the community but also plays a vital role in cultivating it. It strives to engage the local community with creative and courageous programming.

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale has attracted more than 180,000 visitors to Ballarat and was honored at the Ballarat 2016 Australia Day Awards as the Community Activity of the Year.

Our friends and supporters have a collective enthusiasm and vision regarding the future direction of Australian photography and photographers, and the place they take on the world stage. We aim to have a positive social and economic impact on the Ballarat region, serving and unifying the community, accessible to all with most events free.

We aim to be Australia’s leading photographic festival. We’ve done this by consistently finding new ways to engage audiences with photography, responding to our audience’s needs, their changing vision of art and culture, and the role it plays in shaping Ballarat. We are a responsive organisation that leads by example. We recognise and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people as the First Australians. Through photography, we see our world reflected back in unexpected ways through the eyes of others: artists, community and new perspectives.

The 8th Ballarat International Foto Biennale is on from 23 August to 20 October 2019.

Associate Curator: Aaron Bradbrook

Education Officer: Amelia James

Marketing, Philanthropy and Sponsorship: Madelyn Pickersgill

Marketing and Social Media: Madelyn Pickersgill,  Brigid Moloney

Design Intern: Lara Russell

Design and Brand Partner: Sweet Creative

Web Developer: Hody Hong

IT Support: Jason Maher

Fringe Producers: Madelyn Pickersgill

Legals: Lloyd Dewar, Dewar Law

Accountants: Mulcahy & Co

Festival and Creative Director: Fiona Sweet

A prominent and highly experienced director, art director and creative, Sweet is renowned for inspiring and intelligent delivery of uniquely crafted festivals and arts events. She is an influential and highly sought after speaker, industry judge, photographic portfolio reviewer and assessor in Australia and internationally. She is the recipient of many prestigious design awards and was the director of Sweet Creative and a former Board Director of the Australian Graphic Design Association and Melbourne Fringe. She co-founded Melbourne’s Acland Street Projection Festival, launched August 2015. She currently sits on the Ballarat Public Arts Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee for the Discipline of Photography at RMIT.



Stephen Jurica (Chair)

As a local, and professionally as a barrister, Stephen brings his love of Ballarat and his legal and business skills to the role of Chair.  Stephen works in Melbourne in the areas of personal injury, commercial, property, planning and sports law. Before that, he was a solicitor in banking and property law in London and Melbourne. Stephen is a nationally accredited mediator and is a member of the AFL Tribunal Appeal Board. Stephen lives right in the heart of Ballarat with his young family and thoroughly enjoys his part in bringing cultural events to the community.

Jamie Mulcahy (Treasurer)

Jamie was born and bred in the Ballarat region, and established a financial services business in 1998 after completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Ballarat University. The business has since grown to provide a suite of business services, and employs over 70 staff. Whilst being an average photographer himself, Jamie is excited to be supporting the Biennale as it cements its place in Ballarat’s growing cultural calendar. With 5 children, Jamie’s family is activity involved in a variety of artistic activities including musical theatre, dance and performing arts! Jamie also holds a Diploma of Financial Planning and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Morgan McLay (Secretary)

Morgan is a barrister at the Victorian Bar. In his legal practice, Morgan regularly represents high profile clients including artists. His primary practice is in public and medical law.  Morgan also practices in common law, rights protection and financial crime (including directors’ and officers’ liability). He has a passion for the arts, especially film and photography. Having previously lived in the Daylesford area, Morgan is pleased to be part of the team bringing a world class arts festival to Ballarat. Morgan is committed to making the Arts more accessible to Regional Victoria whilst at the same time showcasing what Regional Victoria has to offer.

Zoé Croggon (Board Member)

Zoë Croggon is a Melbourne-based photographic artist holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from the Victorian College of the Arts. She has recently held solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Perth Centre for Photography and Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and was the recipient of the Art Gallery of New South Wales Studio Scholarship at the Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, 2018). Zoë brings her versatile and expansive knowledge of contemporary art and specifically expanded photography to the Ballarat International Foto Biennale board. Zoë is represented by Daine Singer, Melbourne.

Alane Fineman (Board Member)

Alane is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in the finance sector including senior positions with major ASX listed corporations and Big 4 accounting firms.  She is an avid supporter of the arts, having worked actively in philanthropy with The Australian Ballet over many years.  Alane brings an enthusiasm and unique skillset that will contribute greatly to not only the governance of the Board’s operations but also the financial integrity and broader ambitions of the organisation.

Samantha Hunter (Board Member)

Samantha is an experience CEO and Director with over 20 years’ experience in leading collaborative projects across corporate, community and professional services sectors. These roles and projects have covered a diverse range of disciplines including leading strategy and business development, government and/stakeholder relations and community engagement and safety projects.

Samantha is committed to building strong, cohesive communities through providing engaging access to the arts, education and sport.

Brigid Moloney (Board Member)

Brigid has experience at executive and board level in government and not-for-profit agencies with expertise in marketing, stakeholder management and program development. She has a special interest in corporate governance and is passionate about proactively creating stronger communities through her involvement with events such as the Biennale. Brigid lives in Ballarat where she is a business owner and manager, and is also a Board Governor of McCallum Disability Services.

Special thank yous to: Rohan Anderson, Juliette Armstrong, Amelia Bartak, Kate Berry, Fiona Brook, Sally Brownbill, Naomi Cass, Paul Charlier, Isobel Crombie, Jennifer Dean, Max Delaney, Noel Dempsey, Michelle Dunn, Gerard Domingo, Fiona Drury, Tony Ellwood, Christine Ford, Linda Franklin, Alexie Glass- Kantor, Tony Hargreaves, Lisa Hayden, Sam Henson, Fluer Hook, Clare Huntington, Tony Irish, Neil Jones, Anna Jurkiewicz, Sarah Kittelty, Deborah Klein Nicky Klempfner, Aldona Kmiec, Kylee Laird-Church, Louise Lang, Gina Lee, Jayne Lovelock, Mary Macrae, Murray McKeich, Pat Moloney, Dana Moran, Tom Mosby, Isaak Newcombe, Nina Newcombe, Stella Newcombe, Giselle Nguyen, Paula Nicholson, Caroline O’Keefe, Lara Paterson, Margo Petit, Alex Prior, Anna Reid, Hayley Remington, Georgina Russell, Missy Saleeba, Jo Sehee, David Simmonds, Patrice Sharkey, Jim Thorpe, Susan Van Wyk, Leonard Vary, Bec Walton, Sharon Watson, Sally Wellard, Nicholas Willowhite, Greg Wood.