Robyn Ayres retires from CLC sector after over 20 years leading Arts Law Centre


Robyn Ayres leaves the community legal sector at the end of this year after 21 impactful years leading the Arts Law Centre. 

Since stepping into the role of Executive Director at Arts Law Centre in 2002, Robyn has helped grow the organisation from a small team of seven, to 17 staff working across four states. She was heavily involved in advocacy work that lead to the implementation of resale royalties in Australia, and was part of the steering committee that launched the Fake Art Harms Culture campaign in 2016. 

Robyn's work was also instrumental in establishing Artists in the Black, Arts Law’s dedicated legal service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and arts organisations. To date, Artists in the Black has visited roughly 100 remote, regional and urban communities and delivered over 11,600 advices to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Approximately 50% of Arts Law’s education delivery and 35% of legal advice and services now falls under Artists in the Black. 

Before leading Arts Law, Robyn worked as a lawyer with the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, a public interest lawyer at the Aboriginal Legal Service WA, and Executive Director of the Mental Health Law Centre WA. Her love for art and experience with leading organisations led her to the Arts Law Centre. 

In an interview with Katherine Giles for the Communications Law Bulletin, Robyn said of what comes next, “I’m going to breathe, and walk, and travel. I want to find ways to be useful with everything I have learned over the last little while by making myself available to assist other organisations and arts organisations.” 

“I have loved [this work],” Robyn said. “That is why I have stayed. It is hard to step down because I have loved the work and loved the people I have worked with, but I’m also leaving the organisation in great shape, and with a great team. It’s an exciting time.”