Ross Farnell

Burrinja cultural centre, Executive Director VIC, Australia


Ross Farnell has been Executive Director, Burrinja (Dandenong Ranges Community Cultural Centre Inc) since 1999.
He has taught both Arts Management at Deakin and Cultural Studies at Monash Universities, and has being a board member of Yarra Ranges Enterprise Centres, Aboriginal Tourism Victoria and Dandenong Ranges Tourism. A professional musician prior to a career in arts management, Ross continues to play and compose music, along with writing articles related to comparative literature and cultural studies.
He is passionate about the creation of new, exciting works across art forms.


Burrinja programs, develops and supports the creation of a diverse range of performing arts from professional touring to community development across a wide-range of art-forms. Together with Yarra Ranges Council Burrinja developed the region-wide three year ‘Dance Tracks Strategy’ from 2014 onward to develop new audiences and participation in dance. This has seen an increase both in the creation of new works – eg. Dance Here and HillsceneLIVE – and the programming of existing works.
Burrinja is currently heading the commissioning of ‘Creating Tracks’ – a new contemporary dance work to be developed for performances at the end of the 2017 Season in 3 venues in the Yarra Ranges including Burrinja – it includes $12,000 cash and $10,000 in-kind support.
Burrinja is working to develop a broader, younger audience via programming and also actively supporting the development of dance, fringe, live art (Hillscene LIVE), cabaret and other types of performances from festivals, independent theatre and etc.
Our resident Studio artists network and ‘new creative development opportunities’ program, along with partnering the Small Gems ‘new works producing consortium’ supports these aims.
Burrinja is a vibrant community cultural centre in the Dandenong Ranges that encompasses visual and performing arts activities and events, 400 seat theatre, black box space, multiple gallery spaces, studios, new work development and CCD projects, rehearsal, making and meeting spaces, and Burrinja Cafe + Bar. 50mins travel time from Melbourne CBD.