Welcome back to Western Edge in 2024

Welcome back to Western Edge in 2024

From L-R: Georgina Naidu, Chanella Macri and John Marc Desengano make up the new co-CEO leadership team. Photo by Mandy Wu.

Happy 2024, happy year of healing, courage and community.
A 2024 welcome message from co-Artistic Director and co-CEO Chanella Macri

We hope you had a restful break and are moving gently and boldly through the challenges and gifts you’re holding. We’re stoked to be back at it and gearing up to bring you another year of art, opportunities and safe(r) spaces.

2023 saw a lot of change for us at Western Edge – but that’s the way of it, isn’t it? Life is seasonal, so too in community, so too in our organisation. We like to practise deep listening, humility and gratitude when we get re-directed or challenged and thankfully, we’ve had plenty of practise these past few years.

No bigger change last year than farewelling our beloved heart, Penny Harpham. If you know Western Edge, you know Penny and you know how immense her impact has been on the young people and communities of the West. Speaking as one such young’un whose life has forever been changed by Penn, we’re missing her terribly but strong as ever thanks to her leadership and unfailing hard work.

We’ve got the best of the best supporting this transition into our next chapter and from the bottom of our very full hearts, John Marc and I would like to thank you for your continued support and walking with us on this journey. And so, I’m deeply honoured to share two announcements with you, heralding in this new era of Western Edge.


It’s with great excitement and confidence that we introduce Georgina Naidu as the new Executive Director of Western Edge. We can think of none more fitting to be taking up the mantle, Georgina leads and works always with a strong ethos of care, social justice and collaboration and is a renowned multidisciplinary artist. We can’t wait for you to meet her in person and to see her impact on our organisation.

As well as John Marc and I remaining co-ADs, we’re honoured this year to join Georgina as the new co-CEOs of Western Edge. This shared leadership model continues the organisations work to practise de-colonial modes of governance and operation. We could not be more privileged to step into these roles and commit ourselves to the responsibility they entail – thank you for having us. Read the full announcement here. 


We are humbled and grateful to be receiving four-year funding once again from Creative Australia, taking effect in 2025. It was this funding we first received in 2020 (thanks to the vision and hard work of Penny and Tariro Mavondo) that has ensured the growth, opportunities and art you’ve seen coming out of Western Edge these past years. John Marc and I are honoured to receive this legacy and continue the organisations work serving young people’s creativity, agency and growth in Naarm’s West.

Thank you to Western Edge artists and participants, past and present, Core Staff, Board and YOU, our community of supporters and champions. Our extreme gratitude to Creative Australia for investing in us and the young people and communities in the West.

Paying respect with strength and support to the organisations that did not receive this funding who are doing vital work across the sector.


With that, it’s my pleasure to announce our 2024 programming. We hope you’re as excited about it as we are and willing to step through a pared back version of our usual schedule. We’re determined to continue finding safe(r), more sustainable ways of working and serving/existing within the communities of the West and look forward to going on that journey together.

Looking forward to seeing you in one of our rooms/foyers/out and about in the West soon!

Until then, be well and from all of us at Western Edge – wishing health, love and safety on you and yours in 2024.

Manuia Lava,

Chanella Macri 
Co-Artistic Director & Co-CEO