Western Sydney University appoints new Director, Western Sydney Creative

Western Sydney University announces the appointment of Dolla Merrillees as the new Director, Western Sydney Creative – a position that is set to make a key contribution to the arts and cultural sector of Western Sydney and beyond.

A highly experienced director, curator, cultural producer and consultant, Ms Merrillees will lead the implementation of the University’s Western Sydney Creative decadal strategy (opens in a new window).

She has held various senior roles including CEO and Director, Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences; Associate Director, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation; and Director, Visual Arts, Museums and Galleries NSW.

Ms Merrillees is currently the London Correspondent for the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas. She has also held appointments on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Culture and Society and on the Curatorial Advisory Committee of the City of Sydney.

Dr Andy Marks, the University’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Director of the Centre for Western Sydney, says Ms Merrillees brings extensive executive experience from across the arts and cultural sector.

“In 2019, Dolla led the development of the Western Sydney Creative decadal strategy – a plan to expand the University’s engagement and collaboration with the sector, with a focus on placemaking, education, research, creative entrepreneurship, creative leadership and creative programming,” said Dr Marks.

“Dolla’s experience and leadership will make a significant contribution to enlivening and supporting arts and culture across Greater Western Sydney. On behalf of the University community, I congratulate her on her appointment.”

Ms Merrillees said she is looking forward to taking on the role.

“A thriving, diverse and highly-creative independent arts and culture sector is vital to the economic development and cultural life of our cities – something we need now more than ever, as we emerge from the pandemic lockdowns and look to the arts to enrich our lives and sense of wellbeing,” said Ms Merrillees.

“I look forward to working with the staff and students of the University as well as Western Sydney’s dynamic arts and cultural sector to realise the bold vision for the Western Sydney Creative decadal strategy and fostering the rich, cultural vibrancy of our local communities – Western Sydney’s greatest asset.”


30 August 2021

Clare Patience, Acting Manager, Strategy and Delivery, 0408 846 224