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About The MAC

The MAC offers the opportunity for local and touring artists (including visual and performing artists) to develop, teach and present their work to audiences.

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The MAC is a not-for-profit community-led arts centre which opened in 2021. It is a place for local multi-disciplinary performing and visual artists to develop and present their work to audiences.

The centre includes a performance space, a gallery, and gallery shop, and a programming space.

In 2020 The MAC received Regional Development Victoria funding, seeded by the Surf Coast Shire, to repurpose the old Sports and Rec Centre at 77 Beach Road, Torquay, into an arts centre, a facility desperately needed by our highly creative community.

At The MAC, Performing Arts Management is provided by Torquay Theatre Troupe Inc. and Visual Arts Management is provided by Surf Coast Art Space Inc.’

Meet Our Team

The Committee

George Carman


George has had an interesting and varied career as a geologist, in management, consulting and lecturing roles. His work has taken him to many different parts of the globe working across a variety of cultures.

Now semi-retired and residing on the Surf Coast, George has used his business acumen towards art space projects since 2014.

George has also worked behind the scenes in theatres locally and overseas, restoring community theatres and broad-brush set painting.

An artist himself, George is interested in landscapes from many aspects including environmental, artistically, and geologically, and looks forward to spending more time in his home studio working with smaller brushes.

Ray Ingwersen


Ray serves as Treasurer and is dedicated and passionate about community engagement.

Backed by qualifications in Mechanical Engineering (associate degree) and Accounting (Degree), Ray brings a unique blend of technical and financial expertise to his roles.

Currently holding the position of Treasurer at Anglesea Art House as well as the MAC Committee, Ray is committed to making a positive impact by championing the arts on the Surf Coast.

Meryl Whiteside


Meryl has had an impressive career in theatre, performing arts, media, and community engagement.

Meryl has a comprehensive knowledge of the media, having worked as a Producer at ABC TV and the Herald Sun, and hosted her own guest spot on local radio.

Additionally, she brings a wealth of theatrical expertise, having participated in both professional acting and amateur performances, and worked behind the scenes at several prominent theatres in Melbourne.

A current Justice of the Peace, Meryl has also served on various committees across the Surf Coast and Geelong and owned an events company.

Meryl’s technical expertise and operational understanding of the arts make her a valuable asset to the Committee, and she pledges to use her experience to champion regional arts development that benefits the wider community.

Meryl is currently in the research phase of writing a book.

Jock Jeffries

Vice President

Jock is a professional accountant and has worked extensively in senior management roles, including CEO and CFO, for a variety of small to medium sized enterprises.

Jock has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and most recently held the position of Chair at Western Edge Youth Arts Inc. His passion lies in text-based theatre, and he consistently goes the extra mile to explore new galleries.

Barbara Paolini

Committee member

Governance Officer providing governance and secretariat support to boards, sub committees and executives, Barbara holds a Diploma in Business Administration and brings her strong administrative skills to the Committee.

Barbara’s own journey with creativity has been diverse, having dappled in acting and dance in her early years, moving to several photography and oil painting classes, and more recently delving into pottery. Barbara finds joy in the creative process and values the importance of artistic expression.

Barbara is passionate about social justice, our environment and equality, and since moving to the Surf Coast in 2017, hopes to get behind more community projects.

Dr Kelly Windle

Committee member

Kelly is a psychologist, author, and professional speaker. She has worked internationally with some of the world’s leading organisations to improve organisational capability and elevate workplace cultures, helping them to  become ready for extraordinary futures.

With a life-long passion for the arts, including professional training in  music, theatre, and film, Kelly has consistently volunteered as both an artist  and a management consultant to the creation and promotion of theatre and art across local communities.

She brings to the Committee a diverse range of executive management and consulting experience, alongside five tertiary qualifications in psychology  and arts management.

Nicol Heard

Committee member

Nicol is thrilled to bring her dedication to community involvement and passion for the arts to The MAC Inc. Over the years,  she has served on various committees, always aiming to give back to the Surf Coast community.

Nicol’s journey has been shaped by life’s challenges, fostering deep empathy and a commitment to holistic empowerment. Nicol is passionate about supporting those who value family and community, seek to avoid overwhelm, and may struggle with self-doubt.

Having moved to the Surf Coast, Nicol is eager to support local projects, particularly those that uplift the arts and empower youth. Her previous committee experiences have equipped her with the skills and insights necessary to contribute effectively to The MAC Inc., and she looks forward to working with fellow members to foster a vibrant and empowered community.

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