Connection Arts Space


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Acknowledgement of Country

The Connection Arts Space Gallery is located at 1 Walker Street, Dandenong, on the unceded lands of the Woi-Wurrung and Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation.

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians and Elders – Past and present of the Kulin Nation on which we connect and create.

Connection Arts Space recognises Aboriginal connection to material and creative practice on these lands for more than 60,000 years and First Nation peoples’ enduring presence and knowledge that continues to nurture the Land, Water and Space we share.


Meet our Board.

Trevor Matthews


Trevor Matthews is the incoming Chairperson (President) and a longterm supporter of CAS. Trevor has worked in arts and cultural development roles for the past 15 years. He was the Team Leader of Arts and Cultural Development at the City of Greater Dandenong, where he worked closely with CAS' leadership team to develop an effective relationship with Council. Trevor has previously acted as Treasurer at Melbourne Workers Theatre and Rawcus Theatre and was Business and Development Manager for Outer Urban Projects. If Trevor could be an art material in a studio, he'd be clay and sculpture tools!

Alison Coker


A Chartered Accountant with more than 15 years experience, Alison Coker has worked across Big 4, small Chartered Accounting firms, law enforcement agencies and not-for-profit organisations.  During this time, she has worked in external audit, business advisory services, financial modelling, regulatory compliance and forensic accounting roles.  

Alison is currently working as a forensic accountant investigating financial crime in the legal sector.  When she is not following the money, you can find her on the top of a mountain somewhere, behind a camera.  A passionate adventurer and photographer, she first exhibited her work, “The Nature Principle” in 2014.  She believes that art is a vital pathway out of adversity towards healing, belonging and community. Being able to share one’s stories through art builds confidence and that confidence translates across all parts of people’s lives.

Click here to view her work.

Gemma Eades


Gemma Eades is the incoming Secretary for CAS who has been working across the industry in arts coordination, marketing and sales for over 8 years. Gemma is across the nation's art activities through her day job at Artshub. She brings to CAS many skills in marketing, web design, event and volunteer coordination. Further, she has previously worked for and alongside Boards such as Multicultural Arts Victoria. Having recently moved to Dandenong, Gemma has been making an effort to get to know the local arts organisations and community. In an art studio, Gemma would be paintbrushes and paints!

Larra Juab

General Member

I am queer Filipino immigrant, multidisciplinary artist who has been residing and creating work in the land of the Kulin Nation for 10 years now. As an immigrant, I have found solace and feeling of belonging here in the SE Suburbs of Melbourne and I am continually working hard to create, find ways and help people from under-represented communities such as; BIPOC, Immigrants, Refugees, Linguistically and Culturally diverse backgrounds, LGBTQIA+ and Disabled to have more space and opportunity in the arts and community.

At this present moment, I am also a Community Arts Worker, and the Business Development Manager and Representative for CAS. I am also still maneuvering my way through Art School at ACU (Australian Catholic University).

Ché McMahon

General Member

With a professional background in performing arts, creative production and arts programming, Ché can often be spotted spinning plates for local arts and cultural organisations. He is currently the Presenter Services Coordinator at Meat Market with the City of Melbourne. Meat Market is one of Melbourne’s most exciting multi genre arts venues catering for live performance, gallery exhibitions and festivals.

Ché holds a Masters in Arts and Cultural Management and would love to find the time one day to complete a doctorate.

Kelly Lai

General Member

A creative, yet strategic thinker, Kelly brings experience from the worlds of management consulting, branding, and start-ups. She has worked globally, from North America to the Asia-Pacific, providing advisory services to industry-leading organisations. Her expertise is in problem-solving, driving and co-creating innovative and impactful outcomes, and cultivating quality relationships with those around her.

Kelly is a strong believer that art plays an important role in our society - telling our stories, broadening our minds, and, ultimately, helping create new connections with one another and ourselves. She is excited to work with the CAS team and collaborate with the community to help make the arts more accessible, relevant, and sustainable.

Kelly holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Studies) and a Masters of Business Administration.

Mike Williamson

General Member

It has been 20 years since Mike moved permanently to Australia from London. He is a dedicated father, with two adult children who have navigated their way through to careers of their choosing. Mike’s partner is a high school teacher and a visual artist - she keeps pushing Mike to keep up his passion for life-drawing!

Mike has a background in management consultancy and education and is currently focused on helping disadvantaged students and families, through his leadership role at The Smith Family. In addition, Mike works as a leadership coach helping individuals and teams reach their full potential.

Mike’s interests include world cinema, bike riding (no lycra involved!), good coffee, pilates and the gym, cooking and wine and buying quality second-hand furniture. He also maintains his interest in sport and is an avid supporter of Arsenal FC in London.

Mike is incredibly excited about the prospect of being able to offer some ideas to help CAS move to the next phase in its journey.