Agitators for change
Through their mutual connections to a number of small organisations and initiatives, Tracey and Tom seek ways for people to work together on transdisciplinary projects in the Pacific region.
Tracey M Benson
Tracey Benson is an artist and researcher based in Canberra, Australia. Her work focuses on notions of place and identity, experimenting with a range of screen based media. She often collaborates with cultural owners and guides: working with Indigenous communities, historians, artists, technologists and thinkers. Community and audience engagement are key areas of relevance and this is echoed in her work with government on sustainability behaviour change programs plus in the university sector. Tracey has had leadership roles in a number of community-based organisations: a founder of Women and Arts (WandA), a moderator on the online community -empyre-, co-founder of Dorkbot CBR, a Board Director of Ethos Global Foundation and a Trustee of the Intercreate Trust based in New Zealand. She is focused on building networks between core organisations to develop programs focused on environment, cultural identity, art, technology and place. Tracey has a MA from QUT, Creative Industries and a PhD from ANU, which explores online communities and social impacts in the geo-physical world. Tracey is also a Professional Associate at the Institute of Applied Ecology at University of Canberra. She is currently working with Yorta Yorta researcher, Lee Joachim on an intergenerational knowledge sharing project, Way of the Turtle.
Tom is the producer of two award winning documentary films: Lon Marum and Vanuatu Water Women’s Music. He spent a decade living and working in Vanuatu where he nurtured the legendary Fest’Napuan music festival from a two-day event to the five-day odyssey it is today – the biggest free music festival in the Pacific! He is also associate producer on the Yamani: Voices from an Ancient Land film, produced with the Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee which is currently screening on the Qantas in-flight entertainment system. Tom is also an experienced international researcher, project manager and development professional, specialising in partnership development, program design, and project management. He has a nuanced appreciation of work that deepens the practice of democracy in majority world countries. Tom has been involved in large-scale grant-based programs throughout the Asia Pacific working on “demand-side governance” and the interface of media, arts and bio-cultural diversity. Tom is currently completing his PhD on the intersection of traditional wisdom, art, and commerce in Vanuatu.