Joanna Gair

UTAS Home Ms Joanna Gair

Joanna Gair

Coordinator, Arts and Public Programs for Community Learning

Room 237 , Makers’ Workshop, West Park Precinct, Burnie

0419715573 (phone)

Joanna Gair is a senior arts administrator, gallerist and visual artist living in North West Tasmania. Since 2012 Gair has managed the University of Tasmania’s arts and public programs at the West Park Precinct, (Makers’ Workshop) in Burnie. This position coordinates the University’s annual international arts residency, the campus' public exhibitions program and the Makers’ Program which supports Tasmanian artists and craftspeople to develop creative and entrepreneurial skills.

In 2016 Gair founded the University’s Papermakers Garden and Makers’ Space Gallery in Burnie.


Before joining UTAS in 2012, Joanna worked for Arts Tasmania as part of the Tasmanian Government’s arts business unit.

Prior to this Joanna was the Business Manager and Creative Director at Creative Paper Tasmania, Australia’s largest handmade paper mill. Whilst in this role Gair was awarded the Tasmanian Premier’s Award for services to the Tasmanian Tourism industry in 2006 and was instrumental in the development of the new $8m Makers’ Workshop enterprise at the Burnie Waterfront which opened in 2009.

Gair has worked as a professional artist and papermaker since 1999, she is best known for inventing environmentally and commercially-sound paper ranges, the best-known being Roo Poo Paper. In 2010 Gair was awarded the Craft Arts International Award for Artistic Excellence.

Gair’s artwork is featured in several Tasmanian Regional Collections. In 2020, Gair was invited to exhibit a twenty-year retrospective, The Space Between, at the Burnie Regional Art Gallery.

Career summary


  • ELT501 - Tertiary Course Design, University of Tasmania, 2018
  • Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Hons), University of South Australia, 1993
  • Diploma - Visual and Commercial Arts, TAFE - Noarlunga, South Australia, 1988


Professional practice

Member of IAPMA, the International Association of Paper Makers and Artists.

Administrative expertise

  • Project management, including large-scale community engagement events and art exhibitions.
  • Exhibition curation, catalogue essays, public speaking.
  • Program management, including policy development.
  • Writing promotional copy, editorial content, advertising and desk top publishing.


Visual art, Tasmanian craft, entrepreneurship and the arts, community engagement, STEAM subjects.

Teaching expertise

Visual art, papermaking, Tasmanian craft, entrepreneurship and the arts, community engagement, STEAM.

View more on Mrs Joanna Gair in WARP


Hand-made paper, papermaking, art and entrepreneurship. Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklaces.


Working with renowned Tasmanian Aboriginal artist Lola Greeno, to develop handmade papers made from plants important within traditional indigenous culture.

Fields of Research

  • Fine arts (360602)
  • Performance art (360603)
  • Crafts (360601)

Research Objectives

  • The creative arts (130103)
  • Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) (200404)
  • Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies (280122)
  • Ten Days on the Island 2019 – Lola Greeno – Tasmanian Aboriginal Shell Necklace (Exhibition and catalogue Essay) – in production.
  • Ten Days on the Island 2017 –Backscatter, in conjunction IMAS - Exhibition and catalogue – Curatorial Notes, ISBN: 978-1-86295-892-0
  • MADE – 34 Profiles of NW Tasmanian Makers, for University of Tasmania, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-86295-841-8 (pbk)
  • Ten Days on the Island 2015 – David Edgar – Drawing Atmospheres of a Salient Landscape - Exhibition
  • Ten Days on the Island 2013 – Katherine Cooper – The Hemisphere Travellers - Exhibition

Grants & Funding

2018, Gair’s Science Week event “Pop-up Kids Dig” received seed funding from Science Week Australia and a UTAS Schools Engagement award for “best event” (Partnering with Dr. Louise Zarmatti)

2018, Gair received a $5,500 Arts Tasmania funding towards new studio equipment

2017, Gair was awarded a $4,500k grant from Tas Regional Arts, towards an exhibition of new work.

2007, Gair successfully bid to secure the 2009 IAPMA International Congress for Burnie, after receiving an Arts Tasmania grant to cover travelling costs to Austria.

2006, Gair was awarded the Tasmanian Premier’s “Young Achiever” Award for services to the Tasmanian Tourism industry.

2005, Gair was an integral part of the team to secure over $5million in funding for the development of the Maker’s Workshop.

2005, Gair was awarded Volunteering Tasmania’s grant ($5k) for services to Tasmania’s art and culture, for her work managing a team of volunteers at Creative Paper.

2004, Gair was awarded “Best New Product” for Roo Poo Paper at the Australian Memento Awards in Queensland. Roo Poo paper went on to attract significant international media coverage, including BBC World Service, South China Morning Post, Graeme Norton and Jay Leno TV Shows etc. It is still studied in schools as an example of best-practice, environmental manufacture.

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Ten Days 2019 (2019)$7,590
A tripartite exhibition and public program schedule to support and engage with the biennial Ten Days on the Island festival of culture. Hosted by Makers Workshop (Burnie), the Academy Gallery (Inveresk), and the Plimsoll Gallery (Hobart), three exhibitions explore contemporary place-based making strategies incorporating the very best local Aboriginal Tasmanian artists (Burnie), nationally touring cultures of ritual (Inveresk), and the art-science collision (Plimsoll). These three are programmed in conjunction with Ten Days and have benefited from partnerships with Contemporary Art Tasmania, University of Southern Queensland, and Australia Council.
Gordon Darling Foundation ($7,590)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Juliff TD; Bywaters MC; Gair J; Barlow JD