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The Board maintains strategic oversight of the operations of the Canberra Potters’ Society/Watson Arts Centre and the finances, strategic risks and programs of CPS are standing items of discussion at each Board meeting. The Board supports the management and staff in its purpose to:

Maintain Canberra Potters and Watson Arts Centre as a dynamic, innovative and inspiring arts hub of excellence, supporting personal and professional development across all levels of ceramic arts practice while providing exciting community engagement through artist, exhibition and visitor experiences.

The board was appointed at the AGM in June 2020 and serves until the AGM in 2021. Collectively it encompasses a range of management, financial, governance, legal, education and artistic expertise:

Jill Farrelly

President & Chair

Jill has been a member of Canberra Potters for five years. She understands the benefits a thriving and sustainable organisation can provide to its members and will work to ensure CPS continues to contribute to the Canberra arts community. She aims to achieve a balance between strategic leadership, governance and meeting the needs of members.

Jill’s career has spanned more than 30 years in Federal and State Government agencies. She has worked in policy and program roles in areas such as children, women, disability and mental health. Jill has had extensive experience working with community groups, other government agencies and Ministers.

Joanne Searle

Deputy Chair

Joanne Searle is a current lecturer in ceramics at the Ceramic Arts Workshop, Australian National University. She is a Canberra based ceramicist who completed a First Class Honours degree at the School of Art in 1999. She has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally including the 53rd & 56th International Ceramics Competition in Faenza, Italy in 2003 and the First Taiwan Ceramics Biennale in 2004. In 2003 Joanne was awarded the major prize at the Canberra Potters Society and Port Hacking Potters Award.

In 2004 Joanne was the invited artist at the Asia Pacific Students Workshop ‘ Ceramics for Use, a New Perspective’ at the University of Hawaii.
Joanne joins the Board as a non-CPS Member. Her expertise in current ceramic arts practice and role as lecturer with Canberra’s highly regarded ANU School of Art underlines our objective to strive for the professional delivery of our own education services.

Wil Trewartha (CA)


Wil is a Chartered Accountant and brings to the Canberra Potters a combination of financial accounting expertise, interpersonal skills and a commitment to diversity. The arts are an important part of all communities and Wil believes that finance professionals like him can make a real contribution to their sustainability.

Besides a busy professional life at Bentleys Accounting, he plays as many sports as his time permits such as rugby, Oz Tag, skiing, and golf. He just enjoys being outdoors.

Wil’s qualifications include: Chartered Accountant (full member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand); Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), University of Newcastle; Master of Applied Finance, Macquarie University (currently studying)

Kerry Byers


Kerry has been involved with CPS for the past four years since her retirement from her role as a workplace rehabilitation provider. In her work Kerry managed allied health professionals and managed client contracts. Kerry is experienced in preparing tender documents for work with local and federal government agencies. Kerry has a Certificate IV in Adult Training and was an accredited Mental Health First Aid trainer. Kerry has a Graduate Diploma in Community Counselling and has been an active volunteer over the years, mostly recently coordinating volunteers for Delta Therapy Dogs in the ACT and, in the 1990s with Lifeline ACT as a counsellor, trainer and Board member.

Kerry’s interest in pottery continues to develop and she is a regular participant in classes and activities at Canberra Potters. As her formal work commitments have eased, she is ready to devote her energies to the Canberra Potters community through board involvement. Kerry joined the Board in July 2020 and, at the September Board meeting was approved by the Board to take on the role of Secretary.

James Collier

Board Member

James has been a member since 2003 and first joined the executive of the CPS in 2007.  James has served various terms as President and Vice President both before and after the change from a member-run society to becoming one of Canberra’s Key Arts Organisations with a full time CEO and a Board.
James has more than 30 years experience in governance, performance auditing and program management with the Commonwealth Government and used these skills when a Board member in 2016-18 to revise and update our Constitution.
James balances his pursuit of a well-thrown teapot with volunteering for a variety of other community organisations.

Christine Pearson

Board Member

Christine was an early member of CPS, as teacher, Administrator, Vice President, and President over a period of 20 years. A major achievement with CPS was negotiating with government the transition of the lease of the premises to what is now known as the Watson Arts Centre.

Christine served several terms on the CAPO Board and is a Director of her business designing and implementing craft related tour programs. Leading many of these tours, required the ability to maintain excellent rapport with guests, local guides and management.

In the 1970’s she established her studio producing a variety of ceramic styles, participating in numerous exhibitions, and producing restaurant tableware. As well, Christine was the first Artist in Residency at Dong Nai College of Decorative Arts, in Vietnam; a Visiting Craftsperson at Goroka Teacher’s College in PNG; conducted workshops in Fiji, and designed a residential in Cuba.

Her qualifications include a Certificate in Ceramics from Canberra School of Art and a Bachelor of Visual Arts from ANU Canberra School of Art and Design with a major in Ceramics and Art History.

With her many years of working in ceramics and her business experience and extensive network of relevant contacts, she seeks to provide a positive input to the Board.

Tessa Hoser

Board Member

Tessa is a retired lawyer, working potter and life long pottery collector. She has past board experience including the Chair of the Gowrie Organisation NSW, Member of Audit & Performance Committees, Chair (past) Norton Rose Fullbright, Sydney Charity & Mental Health Committees. Special skills include legal, compliance, regulatory and risk management. Tessa has an empathetic and collaborative personal style and a commitment to integrity, tolerance and community.