Meet Syrie, our new ACF Manager
Welcome our new Australian Cultural Fund Manager, Syrie Payne. Your contact for all your needs relating to the Australian Cultural Fund, Syrie manages our fundraising platform and is ready to discuss your fundraising strategy and help you achieve your campaign goals.
With a career spanning arts development, most recently as the Partnerships Manager at Melbourne Theatre Company, Syrie is also an actor and independent producer.
Welcome to the team! What are you most excited about in your new role as Australian Cultural Fund Manager?
Getting to know the incredible range of artists and projects underway through the Australian Cultural Fund, and looking at ways to continue to improve how the Fund works for artists and donors across the board. It’s only week one and I’m already so inspired by the variety and scope of the projects fundraising through the ACF – I’m very much looking forward to getting to know more about them in the weeks to come.
Tell us a bit of background on your pre-Creative Partnerships life and some career highlights.
Before joining the team at CPA, I was in the development team at Melbourne Theatre Company which was a fantastic experience and taught me a lot about private and corporate sector support for the arts. I also worked for a few years in music education, which really deepened my appreciation for classical music and encouraged me to start learning cello as an adult beginner – a definite highlight for me although not so much for my neighbours…
As well as arts development, my background is primarily in performance, film and theatre. One unforgettable highlight from that part of my life was a performance art project I worked on a few years ago, which travelled overland from Berlin to Istanbul. Along the way, we held workshops and performances with local community and cultural partners and had a taste of the day to day life in each city. It was a truly incredible project and an experience I’ll never forget.
What do you think are the most important focuses for artists and arts organisations seeking private sector support?
That’s a tricky question as every artist and arts organisation will have unique needs and be at a different point in their fundraising journey. Nonetheless, I’d say that having a clear, compelling case for support and investing time and energy in building strong relationships with your supporters should be two core focuses for artists and arts organisations across the board. Being able to articulate your case for support is essential, not only for seeking private sector support but also for your wider project marketing. Regarding relationships, your donors are some of your most engaged and passionate stakeholders, so it’s really important to celebrate their support and nurture those relationships so that they continue to be a part of your work for years to come.
Tell us about a really great piece of art you experienced recently.
I recently saw Parasite, a very black comedy from Korean director Bong Joon-ho. It is a shockingly funny exploration of class and power which pitches two families against each other in increasingly uncomfortable and unexpected ways. It is beautifully shot and the direction and editing work seamlessly together to notch up the tension throughout – I would highly recommend!
What’s your most loved Melbourne past time?
I am a massive festival fan, so I love Melbourne’s calendar of arts festivals across the year, and as a life-long movie nerd I have a special place in my heart for MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival). I generally try to fit in 3-4 films a day with a backpack full of snacks to get me through.
Summer is on its way – what’s your favourite drink or snack?
Such a difficult question! I’m a big dry sherry fan, which is particularly delicious on a hot summer’s day. In terms of food, I tend to go for salads when it’s hot; one of my gotos is watermelon, feta, mint leaves and pomegranate seeds. Super simple and delicious.
Feeling inspired to start fundraising? Check out some of the current campaigns happening at the ACF.