Board Members

Click on each photo to find out more about Board members.

Merry Roberston


Merry is a Marketing Consultant and Professional Speaker, and has extensive experience in Events Management. She contributed to the development of the new ASWA branding and website, and leant her expertise to sponsorship relationships, strategic planning, and the development of the Albany Open Studios.

Merry is an artist and past guide for the Art Gallery of WA, and is continuing to work on other initiatives to raise the Arts profile within the City of Albany.

Merry originally trained as a graphic designer and illustrator. She works in Printmaking, Drawing, Mixed Media and Illustration, Her work is detailed and decorative, exploring flora, fauna and landscapes. Merry’s work often has layers of meaning, with inspiration sourced from family and travel. She opens her Merry Press Studio during the Southern Art and Craft Trail.

Bev Doig

Vice Chairperson

Bev has an extensive background in education, vocational training, community organisations, local government; and also the hospitality and tourism sector.

She is a keen advocate of fostering creativity in all ages and the important role that art practice and appreciation plays in our communities- local and global.

A busy artist in her Kalgan home studio, Bev’s focus is printmaking (paper and textiles) and illustration. Her work is often imaginatively open ended- fostering imagination in all ages. She also delivers printmaking workshops and will be opening her studio for the 2021 Southern Art and Craft Trail.


Abbie Pederson


Abbie Pedersen has recently settled with her family in Denmark WA. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Masters of Applied Art and Design and has spent the better part of 14 years in the creative sector, increasing awareness of art and design through public engagement, professional development and educational programs. Abbie specialises in working with local communities providing engaging content and experiences, designing and delivering capacity building programs and events. Abbie is also a wedding celebrant, has opened a venue for nuptials in Fremantle and continues to marry people on the weekends in the Great Southern. Work History; Annette Carmichael Projects, Denmark Chamber of Commerce, Dark Mofo, Design Tasmania, Mona, FORM, and Saatchi Gallery. Abbie will be assisting ASWA with her social media skills and her broad range of experiences.

Mellida Frost


“Mellida has been running Business Genie, a boutique Bookkeeping firm in Perth, for over 20 years.  She has a Masters of Professional Accounting, teaches at Curtin University and has written five text books.

Mellida is passionate about simplifying and systemising procedures.  She loves to give back to the community and is also the Treasurer of Rostrum Clubs of WA Inc and the Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farmers Alliance.  She continues to hone her skills in public speaking through Rostrum and The Speakers Institute.

Mellida is currently helping Prepare Produce Provide (Live to Tell Your Story) organise their Djinda Ngardak culinary camp for Indigenous students in Albany in November 2021.

She enjoys swing dancing, carnivorous plants and is currently trying to convince her peppermint bristlenose catfish to breed.”

Karlee Bertola

Community Projects

Karlee is an artist and horticulturalist with a science background. She graduated at UWA in 2009 in restoration ecology and worked for a number of years supporting Noongar landholders in sustainable agriculture. She now works at South Regional TAFE teaching organic production horticulture. Karlee likes to combine her love of growing food and plants with her artistic practice by making inks and paints from plant materials. She has implemented many community arts projects and murals including Water Corporation’s ‘Splash of Colour’ project and Albany Primary Schools ‘School Toilet Project’.

Jill O’Meehan

Community Projects

Jill is a welcome addition to the 2021 ArtSouthWA committee, bring a wide range of arts experience. She is a previous participant in the Art and Craft Trail, has presented group and solo exhibitions, and been involved in multiple collaborative events with Great Southern and Perth artists.

Jill has helped build a thriving family farm in Borden and has two children who are now both involved in the arts. Through these lived experiences Jill thrives as an eager participant in all areas of the community, gaining extensive experience and connections within small communities within rural areas.

This included hosting two travelling Oz Opera performances in the “Hay Shed” at Daniel’s Well and other PIAF events in Borden.

Jill obtained her BA degree in Fine Arts from Curtin University in 2015 and since then she has steadily developed her art practise into a full time career across many genres.

As an avid art workshop participant, her art practise and engagement with the art sector is inconstant development, while her current practise is focuses on large Installation art works and projects and working with community groups.

Courtney Walsh


Courtney Walsh is an arts-lover with a heart from the bush. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from UWA and is passionate about all things art, especially when it reaches into rural and regional communities. That passion has led her to work in both these areas with ArtSouthWA, the Annette Carmichael Projects, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Farm Weekly. As a journalist she travels the State reaching out with words to a wide audience. She joins the ASWA Board to volunteer her journalism skills to the progress of the Visual Arts.

Helen Heerey

Committee Member

Helen was a Manager of Human Resources with Local Government before retiring and specialised in People and Processes and HR Strategic Planning.  Helen continues to be interested in working with teams of people and contributing to Community Arts, and has taken on the role of Secretary for ArtSouthWA in 2020.

Helen is a watercolour artist having learned from leading artists in the Watercolour Society of WA.Her passion is for loose and atmospheric works based largely on nature and the environment.

Helen moved to Albany in 2014 and immediately became involved in the community arts scene.  She is a member of the Albany Art Group and Little Grove Art Group and exhibits with them regularly.

Steve Cowley


Steve worked in the UK in the public (both central and local government) and private sectors. He has 35 years of experience of selecting and implementing management information systems and has a strong background in IT systems development and business analysis. He has been a project manager of IT related change projects and has worked on major national projects and programmes.

In 2018, he took early retirement and emigrated to Australia to live with his partner, Anne Sparrow, in beautiful Albany. In 2018 he jointly started Eclipse Consultancy with Anne, allowing him to provide Excel and Word consulting. In 2019, he joined the Albany Chamber of Commerce & Industry, responsible for producing the annual business and community directory.

Steve is a professional, self-motivated individual with excellent people skills and an eye for detail. He has excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as excellent interpersonal and team working skills. He is passionate about good planning as the basis for great projects.

Anne Sparrow


Anne has had a career spanning hospitality, agriculture and farming before jumping into project development for natural resource management including conservation and agricultural research, walk and drive trails and erosion mitigation projects. She was the CEO for the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group for nine years where she pursued her passion and creativity for seeking funding and delivering projects that benefit community.

During this time Anne developed a love of events starting with farmer field days and the inaugural Art in the Biosphere at Bremer Bay. In recent years that creativity has expanded into festivals and markets that provide opportunity for small businesses of our region, including arts and craft people to trade.

Anne has lived in the Great Southern for 35 years and moved to Albany in 2015 working in the conservation sector until 2020 when she became the developer and manager of the Albany Innovation Hub. In 2019, Anne jointly started business Eclipse Consultancy, allowing her to specialise in event management and grant/tender writing.