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Dennis Stokes

Chief Executive Officer

ceo [at] ciaf.com.au

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CIAF 2024

Dennis joins CIAF as its inaugural Chief Executive Officer, bringing a wealth of more than 25 years experience in the arts and media sectors.

Born and raised in Darwin, Dennis is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descended from the Luritja and Warramunga people of Central Australia on his father's side and the Wardaman of the Katherine region, Ngarrindjeri people of South Australia and Wagadagam people of Mabiug/Badu Islands in the Torres Strait on his mother's side.

Dennis began his career as an Event Coordinator in 1998 and gradually became involved in Television as a Production Assistant at SBS in 2001 on the first season of the Indigenous current affairs program Living Black.

He eventually moved over to the Australia Council for the Arts (now Creative Australia) working as a Project Officer for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and he has also worked as Content Division Manager at National Indigenous Television (NITV).

Returning to the Northern Territory briefly to work with remote communities, Dennis was then appointed to the role of Indigenous Program Manager at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and during his time there he oversaw a large growth in Indigenous participation and workshops throughout Australia.

Subsequent roles included CEO of Mimi Ngurrdalingi Aboriginal Corporation, which includes Mimi Aboriginal Art & Craft in Katherine NT, CEO of Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide and CEO of First Nations Media Australia (FNMA) in Alice Springs. He was also chair of Regional Arts Australia's First Nations Knowledge Circle, advising on Policy for the Arts in regional and remote Australia.

Dennis is passionate about maintaining CIAF's position as an important national arts and culture event and utilising his experience to grow CIAF into the future.