Terms of Reference: City of Whitehorse Visual Arts Advisory Committee


The former City of Box Hill first formed an Art Advisory Committee in 1983, with one Councillor Representative, two Council staff members and ten community members. This Art Advisory Committee advised Council on the acquisition, display and development of the Art Collection. The Art Collection had been established in 1927, with the public subscription of a portrait by Ernest Buckmaster. The Committee disbanded for a short period in 1990 and recommended that funds be directed ‘to the care, maintenance and effective curatorial management’ of the collection. In early 1991 the first curatorial staff member was appointed and a new Visual Arts Committee was created.

The Collection was fully documented in the early 1990s, with active conservation and dynamic acquisition back on the agenda. By 1998,
however, membership of the Committee was dwindling. Those remaining had served on the Committee for several years, providing valuable advice and information on the history and development of the collection. 

The Visual Arts Advisory Committee has subsequently grown and now (in 2012) consists of six community members, three council staff members and two Councillors. The Committee has a major role in the acquisition process (the current budget is $25,000 per annum) and the consideration of tenders for Public Art projects. Council’s curatorial staff research and source relevant work to present to the Committee, for purchase or donation. The Committee, in turn, is active in suggesting artists to be considered for the Art Collection. Once the Committee recommends a work for purchase (if the work is worth over $7,500), a report is written and presented to Council for approval. The range of expertise of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee makes them very valuable in this process.


The Visual Arts Advisory Committee’s key role is to provide expert advice on access, conservation and maintenance, interpretation and development of the Whitehorse Art Collection.

Recommendations to Council are sought from this Committee on all matters relating to the administration of the Art Collection, donations and acquisitions as well as exhibition and education programs.

Terms of Reference

The key role of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee is to provide expert advice and make recommendations to council as required on, but not limited to the

  • Consideration of proposed acquisitions and de-accessions
  • Policy Development
    • Art Collection Policy
    • Exhibition Policy
  • Comment on other issues relating to collection management e.g. the Exhibition Program, Education Program and Conservation
  • Deliberation on public submissions for public art, memorials and monuments commissions
  • Council generated commissions


The membership structure of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee represents a range of local government, education, private and community interest in the development and custodianship of the City of Whitehorse Art Collection and the Art in Public Places program.

Membership will comprise of Council representatives and a minimum of six community representatives recruited with the areas of expertise below. Preferably one and no more than two representatives from each area of expertise are to be represented. There may be a maximum of ten community representatives.

Council representatives

  • One or up to two City of Whitehorse Councillors (Co-Chairs)
  • General Manager Human Services and/or
  • Manager Arts & Recreation Development
  • Team Leader Cultural Facilities and Arts Programs
  • Senior Arts Officer (Curator)

Community representatives

  • A practicing Artist
  • A practicing Curator
  • A representative from a tertiary institution – Arts
  • A representative from a tertiary institution – Museum Studies
  • A representative, from a school institution – Art Teacher
  • A business, marketing or legal person, resident in Whitehorse

Member Responsibilities

In order to fulfill the Committee’s objectives, members are expected to:

  1. Keep informed of current developments, issues and concerns in the Arts/Culture and Museum sectors
  2. Be familiar with the City of Whitehorse Art Collection and Exhibition policies
  3. Prepare for and actively participate in meetings

Co-opted Members

Co-opted members may be brought on to the committee as required. Coopted members form an integral part of the committee structure as they provide expert opinion and advice on specific issues 

Review Process

The role, functions and membership of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee will be reviewed every three years.

Term of Appointment 

  • Appointments will be for a three year term
  • Membership of the Arts Advisory Committee will be honorary
  • When vacancies arise new members will be invited to apply
  • Council representative/s are to be appointed by Council following elections, then annually
  • Committee members will have the opportunity to reapply when their term expires
  • In the event of a member resigning the Arts and Recreation Development unit will appoint a replacement
  • Generally members will serve for a period of six years or longer under exceptional circumstances


The Visual Arts Advisory Committee shall meet bimonthly at the Box Hill Town Hall, 1022 Whitehorse Rd Box Hill, Whitehorse Civic Centre, Whitehorse Road, Nunawading, or other Council venue as negotiated with members. Meetings will take place at least four times each year (no meetings will be held in January or December).

A Councillor will Chair the meetings, and a meeting must have a quorum to proceed. A quorum consists of a majority of community representatives (for instance 4 of 6 at a minimum) one Councillor, and one Council Officer. If there is not a quorum for a meeting then the meeting will be cancelled and rescheduled.

Formal Voting

Only Councillors and community representatives are eligible for voting rights. There must be a quorum to make a formal vote a decision to vote will be made by the Chair. Voting may be by a show of hands and where a ‘tie breaker’ is required; the Councillor chairing the meeting will make the final decision. The course of actions taken in voting and the outcome of voting
must be minuted.


The Visual Arts Advisory Committee provides advice to the City of Whitehorse through the Chair/s.

Facilitation and Communication

The City of Whitehorse Arts & Recreation Development department is responsible for the planning and administration of the group. Contact Person: Jacquie Nichols–Reeves, Senior Arts Officer (Curator), 9262 6250 

All meetings of the Arts Advisory Committee will be formally minuted. Copies of the draft minutes will be circulated to all members for review, no less than one month before the following meeting. Circulation of the minutes will be by e-mail unless otherwise arranged. Meeting Agendas will be circulated no less than two days before a meeting. In between meetings, information about potential acquisitions may be forwarded to the Curator. This information will be either circulated by e-mail to all members or tabled at the next meeting.


Council’s budget provides a nominal amount for the operation of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee from the Art Collection and Programs Budget.