The Lock-Up Staff

The Lock-Up engages, stimulates and challenges audiences.

THE LOCK-UP STAFF

Jessi England - Director

Jessi England - Director

The Director’s role is to guide the cultural vision of The Lock-Up in line with Newcastle Historic Reserve’s (NHRT) strategic objectives, develop the program of activities, business and income generation, partnerships and programming opportunities and to manage and administer The Lock-Up and its team of volunteers, install and support staff. 

Jessi England has worked at The Lock-Up since October 2012 when she was appointed Acting Director of The Lock-Up Cultural Centre by its board of management Newcastle Historic Reserve Trust. In August 2013 she was appointed on a permanent basis, working with the Trust on its new Strategic Plan and Cultural Strategy. She subsequently managed and drove the relaunching of The Lock-Up while working with NHRT to implement its new financial and operations management systems across Trust operations. 

As Director of The Lock-Up, Jessi brings to this role 17 years experience in arts administration, creative industries production, project and business management, marketing and philanthropic development. Since 2013 Jessi has brought over $550,000 in grant funding and cash sponsorship to TLU and NHRT. 

Jessi has worked for a variety of public, artist-run and commercial galleries notably the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Lake Macquarie Art Gallery and the Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Art Space, and has provided consultancy and project coordination services to Hunter Development Corporation, Marquee Business Solution, Red Lantern Night Markets, Back to The City and The Lock-Up Cultural Centre. She has also worked in commercial production for the advertising and photographic industries and in small business management.

Courtney Novak - Program Producer & Curator

Courtney Novak - Program Producer & Curator

Courtney Novak is responsible for coordinating The Lock-Up’s artistic and cultural program and all of the marketing and communications for the organisation. She is the key point of communication for artists, curators and installation staff and works closely with the Director to coordinate delivery of The Lock-Up’s artistic program.  

Courtney joined The Lock-Up team in July 2014 and has worked closely with Director Jessi England and NHRT, to implement the artistic vision and marketing strategy of the re-launched organisation. Courtney has extensive experience in marketing and publicity, curating, and event production. She has had over 16 years’ experience working with various arts organisations in Australia including Assistant Curator at Artbank, Marketing and Communications Officer at the Australia Council for the Arts and Front of House Officer at Newcastle Art Gallery.  

Courtney has also worked extensively in the Middle East where she was employed as Head of Publicity for commercial contemporary art gallery The Third Line and as Publicity Manager for the international auction house Christie’s, Middle East and for Art Dubai, the largest art fair in the Middle East and North Africa region. She holds a Master in Curating and Cultural Leadership, School of Art and Design, University of New South Wales. 

Nikolas Orr - Front of House and Venue Hire Officer

Nikolas Orr - Front of House and Venue Hire Officer

Nikolas Orr's role centres on visitor service, volunteer management and venue hire. In this capacity, he trains and coordinates front-of-house volunteers, manages venue hire relationships with clients and providers and oversees weekend gallery operations. 

Nikolas joined The Lock-Up as a volunteer in May 2017 before taking on the newly created role of Front-of-House and Venue Hire Officer in August of the same year. He has since implemented a visitor survey for the collection of key data, and provided editorial expertise on catalogues and the Strategic Plan. Through his coordination of volunteer engagement and venue hire, The Lock-Up has received significant additional in-kind funding and cash revenue, contributing directly towards the quality and depth of its artistic program. 

On completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) at Sydney College of the Arts, Nikolas moved to Madrid, where after teaching English he worked as Editor (2007­–2013) and Editorial Project Manager (2013­–2017) at leading Spanish publisher Edelvives. While there he completed a Masters of Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture and a Masters of Exhibition Design and Management, before returning to Australia. He now applies his experience in visual arts, publishing, education and project management to diverse roles in curation, teaching, arts administration, copywriting, editing and exhibition installation. He has held positions as Tutor (School of Creative Industries) and Gallery Assistant (University Gallery) at University of Newcastle, and Exhibition Support Officer at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. He has also provided freelance editorial, research and administrative services for Newcastle Historic Reserve Trust and Maitland City Council.