We are saddened to hear of the passing of Janie Raffin.
Janie was a formative director of the Regional Galleries Association of NSW, the precursor organisation to Museums & Galleries of NSW.
We asked a few colleagues to reflect on her role in the sector.
‘I remember Janie Raffin as a fiercely passionate advocate for regional galleries. She certainly lived and trumpeted the community cultural value their programs provided, acknowledged and allowed. I joined the Regional Galleries Association of NSW (RGA NSW) Board in 1990, not that long after being appointed as director of Tamworth City Gallery. Janie’s term as General Manager of RGA NSW had also only recently commenced. It was an exciting time for the sector, with her unbridled leadership best described by the community led vision she had earlier crafted, supporting the development of Orange Regional Gallery. Her leadership was easily and widely acknowledged. In recalling the challenges and politics of that time, the clarity of Janie’s voice was always a display of persuasiveness and support (for family, friends and associates), one that she maintained throughout her life.’— Michael Rolfe, CEO, Museums & Galleries of NSW (2010-2020)
‘Orange Regional Gallery’s beginnings go back to the establishment of the Orange Festival of Arts in the late 1960’s which brought bi-annual visual arts events to the Central West. This evolved into a community feeling that a permanent venue for these programs was needed. The construction of the Orange Civic Theatre in 1976 provided space in the foyer for small exhibitions. The Orange Civic Theatre Gallery was directed by Janie Raffin, so she was in a sense our first public gallery director in Orange. Janie was hugely passionate about the arts and was a driving force behind the development of the current Gallery which opened in 1987. Even though she had moved away from Orange in recent years, she kept in touch all through the Gallery’s recent extension project, offering valuable support and advice throughout. Her fiery enthusiasm and belief in the social value of art will be deeply missed.’— Bradley Hammond, Director, Orange Regional Gallery