Welcome to Melba Support Services   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to Melba Support Services

The Arthur Team

Photo of April Welfare

April Welfare: Workshop Facilitator (Lead Arts Practitioner) and Studio Coordinator 

April Welfare is a Ballarat based artist professionally pursuing her practice since the completion of respective arts course at the Mount Helen Art School. Regular and on-going participation in a large number of exhibitions, art projects and arts organizations and community projects have resulted in the production of strong folios of work in a broad range of creative discipline’s: painting, drawing, printmaking, multimedia, textiles, film and photography.

April has worked for independent arts businesses and also in occupational therapy departments as artist in residence in mental health.
April is passionate about giving artists the opportunity to realize their own creative ambitions and enjoys the relationships built by working together on projects.
April has been the studio coordinator for the Arthur Creative for the last 2 years and enjoys both creative development and project development and has been a lead artist with Melba Support Services for 4 years.


Darren Platt: Workshop Facilitator (Lead Arts Practitioner)
Darren Platt came to Arthur Creative for a short stint in 2011 and was came back in at the start of 2012 to lead the Paintbox and Progressive Studio Programs. Darren was formally trained as a sign craftsman and billboard artist before doing a degree with honours in visual arts and is currently completing his masters.

He is a practising artist confident with most facets of artmaking which has helped him assist artists with their work for the ten plus years he has been working in art studios for people with a disability or mental illness.

Photo of Tim Harris

Tim Harris: Workshop Facilitator Lead Arts Practitioner 

Match Box, Box head and Jack in the Box workshops

Natalie Robinson: Workshop Facilitator (Lead Arts Practitioner) 

Natalie was born in Ballarat and now resides out of town on a picturesque acre of land with sprawling gardens. Natalie has been a practicing visual artist since her early teens and continues to develop and challenge her skills in this arena.

Since joining the Arthur Team in 2014, Natalie has been working with the studio artists to develop their own individual styles. Natalie also assists the artists with the social enterprise model and product development.

Natalie loves working with acrylic on large canvases, highlighting bold colours in abstract seascapes & landscapes. Natalie also enjoys using watercolour, inks and completing intricate patterns while screen-printing.

Natalie has been involved with the disability sector for over 15 years, mostly through volunteering. Natalie loves helping to empower people both creatively and through a number of avenues, including assisting with the KDSF Social Club and providing support in the community.

Photo of Simon Kelly

Simon Kelly: Workshop Facilitator (Lead Arts Practitioner)

Simon is a trained sculptor and self taught practicing painter with a keen interest in photography and film making. His two dimensional works, executed in oils and acrylics, are primarily surrealistic, dreamlike in nature and explore realms of the unconscious mind.

Though relatively new to the disability sector, he remains focussed and passionate about creativity and its therapeutic benefit for the artist. This is the inspiration that has fuelled his move into this sector with the Arthur creative team, supporting artists in the further development of their creative vision.

He is enjoying the dynamics of leading creative group work, as well as the personal insight gained through working with individual artists in their creative development.


Donald Harvey: Volunteer / Inclusive Arts Network Website

Donald Harvey has worked and volunteered in the disability industry since 1997 at Pinarc Disability Support on the Otway St site working with adults with a disability. Donald ran the Natural Gum Program which involved working with a group to turn gum-leaves into different products.

Donald has learnt most of his skills and training on the job but has a qualification in Certificate IV in Disability

Donald came to Arthur Creative in July 2010 and while he had not worked in the arts area before quickly became involved in a number of art projects which Arthur was a part of.

Donald is highly skilled in I.T and is responsible for the the overhaul of a number of systems to improve the electronic functionality of Arthur. Donald is also responsible for the creation and ongoing expansion of the website Inclusive Arts Network www.ian.org.au that Arthur supports.

Donald also works at the Karden (KDSF) headquarters as an Administrative Assistant.

Photo of Emma Barrance

Emma Barrance: Founder of Arthur Creative Inc. 

Emma has been working within the community arts and cultural development sector since the late 90’s. Her past experience as an arts worker has been both practical and theoretical and has included management for large scale festivals and events, arts administration for small –medium professional arts based companies and development and implementation of Community Arts Projects both visual and performance based. She undertook 2 years travel abroad for professional development purposes working within Edinburgh Festival Fringe, held the position of Arts and Cultural Development Coordinator for The City of Ballarat and formed her own business, Arthur – working as an independent Arts Practitioner specialising in creative management, project development and arts administration.

Most recently Emma  held a role within the National Arts and Disability organisation, Arts Access Australia. She currently has her attentions focused locally, and has just undertaken a merge of her most significant arts project to date, Arthur, to sit within another local not for profit (Karden) to ensure its growth and sustainability. Emma has been working consistently in both voluntary and paid positions to increase the amount of arts activity within Ballarat, with a primary focus on engaging artists with a disability within the mainstream arts sector. Key areas of achievement: She has  opened a community Art gallery, with a peer started a theatre company for artists with a disability and work as a freelance multi-modal Arts practitioner with both established organisations and independent community groups.

Photo of Jess Schroeter

Jessica Schroeter: Workshop Facilitator (Lead Arts Practitioner)

Jessica is an emerging Visual Artist who works across two-dimensional mediums including painting, drawing and printmaking. She has completed a Masters by Research in Visual Arts and Diploma of Secondary Education. She has exhibited widely with Arthur Gallery and regional galleries across the state and has been a finalist in interstate art prizes in WA and NSW. She is an active member of the local arts community working at the University gallery and assisting with local art festivals.

She has enjoyed the transition from teaching secondary school arts to workshops at the Arthur Creative studio. Developing idea’s with artist’s and seeing them realised in finished art pieces and printed works is a rewarding process to share with others.

Jessica works in the Arthur studios within screen printing, the Arthur social enterprise, studio art, progressive studio and a 1:1 art program.

Photo of Penny Hetherington

Penny Hetherington: Workshop Facilitator (Lead Arts Practitioner)

I am a visual artist who works towards various art projects around Ballarat. These projects have involved painting artwork on four traffic signal boxes around the CBD and exhibiting in various community art projects. I have been employed by Arts Access Victoria and currently work in the Arthur Studio. I have great interest in characters from Australian history and like to paint their stories in bright vivid colours.

Vikki Nash: Arts Participation Support Practitioner

Creative Associates

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