Frank Howarth is passionate about the natural world, and about Sydney and its cultural institutions. He trained as a geologist, completing a Geology Degree at Macquarie University, and followed that with a Master of Science and Society from the University of NSW.
In 1996 he became Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. In February 2004 he took up his current role as Director of the Australian Museum. The use of natural science and cultural collections to inspire people about the natural world and its conservation attracted Frank to working with botanic gardens and museums.
Frank is a keen bushwalker, cyclist and collector of contemporary Australian and New Zealand glass art.
Ivana Jirasek is Co-ordinator at Artsuppport Australia, an initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts to increase cultural philanthropy. She had previously worked on Craft Policy for the Australia Council after a long involvement with the contemporary craft community as curator and writer. She has worked for Craft Queensland, and was Contemporary Craft Curator for a partnership of the Centre for Contemporary Craft (now known as Object), Wollongong City Gallery, University of Wollongong and the NSW Regional Galleries Association. She catalogued the National Art Glass Collection at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, and worked on glass projects for a partnership involving the National Gallery of Australia, Curator Geoffrey Edwards and The Thomas Foundation.
Ivana was a Judge of the RFC Glass Prize (now Ranamok) eleven years ago and has been actively involved in Ausglass conferences as co-ordinator of exhibitions and workshops. She has presented at international glass events including the ICOM Glass Committee Conference and continues to write reviews on glass.
Gillian McCracken is a freelance curator and writer. She has been a participant in contemporary craft practice for over 30 years, initially as a ceramic artist, and through active leadership in major craft organizations in NSW and nationally. She joined the Australia Council in 1986 and worked for nine years in a senior policy position with special reference to arts marketing, and support for contemporary craft practice and practitioners through a targeted range of programs.
Her curation has covered many aspects of Australian craft practice, including glass and textiles, and Australian social history. She curated Material Instincts for Ausglass at the Manly Regional Art Gallery and Museum in 2005 and wrote the catalogue essay for the 2005 Ranamok Glass Prize. Gillian and her husband have a large collection of contemporary Australian ceramics and Aboriginal art.
Andy Plummer is an Executive Director of Excel Coal Ltd. He and his wife, Deirdre, collect contemporary glass from Australia and New Zealand.