Our People

SAM Board

Shepparton Art Museum Limited is the entity responsible for the Shepparton Art Museum since it transitioned from being owned and operated by Greater Shepparton City Council.

Shepparton Art Museum Limited entered into lease, funding and custodian agreements with Council for the operations of SAM, and is responsible for managing the building and key stakeholder relationships with Kaiela Arts, the Visitor Centre, and commercial operations.

Shepparton Art Museum Limited is a registered company limited by guarantee (a company structure used for not-for-profit and charitable organisations that reinvest any profits towards the organisation’s purposes).

The skills based board comprises nine Company Directors with a range of backgrounds, expertise and experience.

The Company Directors are:

  • Stephen Merrylees (Chair)
  • Kimberley Moulton (Deputy Chair)
  • Jeannie Furphy
  • Jo Gartner
  • Peter Harriott (GSCC CEO)
  • John Head (SAM Foundation)
  • Drew Pettifer
  • Naomi Ryan
  • Chris Teitzel (GSCC Director Corporate Services)

Board members will serve for a minimum of two to three years, to a maximum term of nine years. The new SAM will operate as a not-for-profit, charitable organisation and the Board positions are voluntary.


SAM Staff

Dr Rebecca Coates

Artistic Director and CEO

Dr Rebecca Coates is an established curator, writer and lecturer. She has been the Director of Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) since 2015. Under her leadership, SAM has become recognised for a program of exhibitions that are locally relevant and engage with global contemporary ideas; for its collection strengths in ceramics and Indigenous art; and for programming designed to engage, inspire and inform its audiences.

Rebecca has worked extensively as a curator in Australia and overseas, at institutions including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne International Arts Festival (MIAF), and Museum of Modern Art Oxford (MOMA Oxford).  She was awarded a PhD in Art History by the University of Melbourne in 2013, is regularly invited to speak and write on contemporary art and theory, curatorial practice, and art in the public realm and has contributed to a number of art magazines and journals including Art & Australia, Eyeline, Art World, Art Monthly Australia, un magazine, Broadsheet and refereed academic journals.

Rebecca is a Board member of the Public Galleries Association Victoria (PGAV); and has previously been a board member of the Australian Tapestry Workshop; Chair, City of Melbourne Public Art Advisory Panel; and a member of the Stonnington Arts Advisory Panel.

  • Shelley McSpedden. Senior Curator
  • Lara Merrington. Curator
  • Belinda Briggs. Community Engagement – Indigenous
  • Katie Zeller. Business Manager
  • Claire Liersch. Collection Manager
  • Stephanie Bradford. Digitisation Photographer
  • Lynne Parker. Front of House
  • Alisha Ryan. Front of House
  • Linda Bryan. Education Officer
  • Lisa Linton. Public Programs Officer
  • Amina Barolli. Marketing Officer
  • Nicole Schneider, Administration Officer
  • Neil Pinnick, Museum Technician

SAM Artistic & Acquisitions Committee

The board of the Shepparton Art Museum is supported by an Artistic & Acquisitions Committee that provides recommendations to the SAM Board on artwork acquisitions in line with SAM’s Collection Policy.

  • Dr Drew Pettifer (Chair)
  • Kimberley Moulton
  • Ann Fagan
  • John McMaster
  • Fran Smullen
  • Serana Hunt-Hughes
  • Tina Douglas
  • Chris Hazleman

SAM Foundation

The SAM Foundation was established in 2013 as a company limited by guarantee (a company structure used for not-for-profit and charitable organisations), with the purpose of undertaking a significant capital drive for a new expanded art museum and to grow funds to benefit the SAM collection and program.


SAM Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

  • Naomi Ryan – Chair
  • Chris Teitzel
  • Emma King
  • Geoff Cobbledick