Paula Schiller Gowans,
Greens Candidate for Kiama Council

Bio and career highlights

I have lived in the Municipality since 2009, first in Beachside Kiama, then Jamberoo, and now in central Kiama. I am a practising artist and art teacher with lots of prizes and awards to my credit. My husband is Brigadier P T F Gowans (R'td), OAM. I also have a gong. In 2001 was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the North Sydney community.

I admit that I'm over-educated having earned a BFA in film-making from New York University, and MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago, and BFA (Hons) from the National Art School. I also have a National Practitioner's Certificate in Mediation and Conciliation.

My CV is long: I've been a photographer, film editor, journalist, publisher, and university lecturer. I have owned my own small business in the US and represented small business on a state board. As executive chair and treasurer of a large body corporate, I put the strata on sound financial footing and managed over $300,000 in major works contracts.

I am a dual US/Australian citizen and have lived in Australia since 1994 and became involved in local government almost instantly as the chair of North Sydney's Hayes Precinct. In that position, I made changes enabling more working people, renters, and parents to attend meetings. I later co-founded the powerful Combined Precincts Committee consisting of representative of all 20 or so precincts to make sure Council responds to community consensus.

As a member of North Sydney’s Urban Design Panel, I learned how important aesthetics and amenity (exterior and interior) are in creating healthy, liveable, sustainable, housing.

In Kiama, as a member of the Cultural Board, I am already involved in integrating creative arts into the fabric of community life. We are pursuing an exciting strategy by which arts, history, new media, and other cultural elements can be incorporated into the full range of community events, including sports and business. I would argue that a vibrant cultural life is part and parcel of a vibrant and sustainable economic life.

Community Service Highlights

  • Member Kiama Cultural Board and Art Gallery sub-committee.
  • Member Transition Towns Kiama
  • Future Fest volunteer and Recycled Art Prize coordinator.
  • Kiama Art Society Committee member
  • Founding director Community Cultural Development, NSW
  • Chair, North Sydney Safety Committee, Council appointed representative on Hourbourside Command Police Accountability Community Team, Liquor Accord, and Urban Design Panel
  • Co-convenor of North Sydney Combined Precincts Council
  • Secretary/Chair, Hayes Precinct
  • North Sydney Centennial of Federation committee member.
  • Co-researcher Hayes Precinct Heritage Study
  • Co-founded Language and Thought Workshop, University of Chicago.
  • Alaska Association for the Arts executive committee member
  • Founding and executive committee member of the Chicago Near Northwest Arts Council
  • Founding and executive committee member of the Wisconsin Private Industry Council