Our Judges

Sandra Conte

Yanni Van Zijl

Steve Clarke

Sandra is a freelance writer, curator, artist, publicist and former corporate creative in the Galleries, Libraries & Museums sector. She undertook a fine arts degree and further studies at the University of Queensland. Postgraduate studies saw her mount the first academic dress historical exhibition in Queensland, at the University Art Museum, which was accorded the “critics’ choice” in The Weekend Australian.

She has held board directorships, leadership and curatorial roles at state and local government levels with peak industry and education bodies – as a public art contractor and peer assessor for Arts Qld., Board Director for Museum and Gallery Services Qld., Moreton Bay Montessori Assn., South Australian Living Artists Festival and currently for Cancer Australia’s Priority Driven Consumer Research Scheme.

She was the founding director and Curator of the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery, followed by Visual Arts Manager and Curator at Tandanya, National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide. She is also the founding producer of eARTh_emag, a goodwill initiative she now runs exclusively across Instagram. Sandra was Gallery Network Operations Leader of Moreton Bay Regional Council overseeing three distinct gallery venues before resigning and returning to freelance work and is a named Cultural Champion with Arts Queensland.

As an artist, she has undertaken several residencies, and has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at Tandanya, National Aboriginal Cultural Institute (SA); The Darwin Festival, The Gallery Eumundi (now The G Contemporary, Noosa) and Brisbane commercial galleries.

Yanni is synonymous with environmental activism. She aims to create work that provoke the audience into a renewed awareness to issues like climate change and deforestation.

She creates experiences about humankind, and explores environmental accountability through human actions and impacts. To achieve her aims, Yanni draws on a diverse range of media including video, photography, large scale installations, ceramics, sculpture and more recently performance. Recycled and repurposed, anything , even her own body becomes material for making art. Yanni aims to create works that are disruptive and questioning, generating awareness and conversation.

Yanni has collaborated with Pam Walpole under Art forARTsake to create large, site specific works and more recently worked on a performance with Helena Lloyd Jackson and Rosie Lloyd Giblett under the name Eco Trio.

“Sadly there is no shortage of material to make work regarding humans impact on the planet. Nature offers wonder, excitement, beauty and intellect. How can I not make work in defence of preserving what in essence preserves us?”

1992 Diploma of Photography, Nambour TAFE
2012 Diploma of Fine Arts, Tewantin TAFE.

Steve is Branch Manager at the Bendigo Bank Cooroy Branch – our Gold Event Partner.

This exhibition would not be possible without their financial support and Steve played an absolutely key role in bringing that sponsorship to life.

With a deep and personal understanding of major trauma and of the need for community-based trauma support programs, Steve is a strong supporter of the sanctuary and its work.

We were keen to have a judge from outside the art community on our judging panel and Steve is perfect for that role.

I have spent time with Barb Blashki and some of her incredible team and have been very impressed by their compassion and commitment to improving the lives of individuals who often lack the assistance and advocacy required to regain their self-confidence and reduce the debilitating impacts of PTSD and trauma.