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 we showcase work from domestic and international artists that is new, previously unseen in Australia or contextualised afresh; and in our Open Program we foster the development of new artists. Alongside there are public programs and education programs comprising talks, workshops and prizes which round out a rich and diverse cultural event that attracts more than 26,000 people, delivering significant economic and cultural impact.

The Foto Biennale is guided by the principle that it not only serves the community but also plays a vital role in cultivating it.

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale has attracted more than 180,000 visitors to Ballarat and was honored this year at the Federation Business School and Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards as the winner of the Visit Ballarat Events and Attractions Business Award.

We are 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 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.


How We Support Artists

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale prides itself on being a sustainable and flexible organisation, registered as a not-for-profit and reporting to ACNC quarterly with audited financials every year. With the full support of our board and carefully documented audited accounts, we ensure that all our artists are supported throughout the Foto Biennale. As registered members of NAVA (National Association for Visual Artists) and IBA (the International Association for Biennales) we ensure all core contracted artists are paid. Contracted artists are paid in full prior to or in the opening week of the festival. Any touring of artists works are re-contracted and paid additional touring fees. Artist fees are exclusive of their printing and material costs.

Our exhibition spaces and audience engagement ensure that artists are exposed to large audiences within the beautiful heritage buildings of Ballarat, and in 2017 we were thrilled that 3 artists gained gallery representation as a direct result of exhibiting with us. Another artist had his complete exhibition purchased by the NGV.

Our Supporters

All our supporters receive tax deductible receipts for their donations. Government organisations (local, state and federal) and Trusts and Foundations receive acquittals outlining where their money was spent. All corporate sponsors are contracted and receive a report on the marketing outcomes of the festival.

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 and Brand Partner: Sweet Creative

Web Developer: Hody Hong

IT Support: Jason Maher

Open Program Producer: Madelyn Pickersgill

Legals: Lloyd Dewar, Dewar Law, Forty Four Degrees Lawyers and Consultants

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.

Brigid Moloney (Deputy Chair)

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 Foto Biennale. Brigid lives in Ballarat where she is a business owner and manager, and is also a Board Governor of McCallum Disability Services.

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.

Alicia Linley (Board Member)

Alicia Linley is a Managing Director at Mitchell Harris Wines and overseen the business excel from the startup phase to now. Through sound financial management and business development she has been able to elevate Mitchell Harris from more than just a winemaker and hospitality venue, into a genuine tourism destination for Ballarat. Alicia has been named as a Victorian finalist for the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.