Creative Geelong, Jen

Jennifer Cromarty, President and Founder of local not-for-profit Creative Geelong is one of 16 inspirational speakers at the Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 8 Oct Deakin Waterfront, hear her at 12.15pm.

This dynamic woman also runs her own strategic communication company, tandemVox, and is heavily involved in the Geelong community at board level and within various local groups and clubs.

Creative Geelong Jennifer Cromarty (002)


Jen is the passionate force behind Creative Geelong Inc –formed two years ago – to understand and support the creative work of the future, and tell stories of Geelong’s creativity. Creative Geelong has recently taken over space in Centrepoint Arcade for its Makers Hub project.

We caught up with Jen after their official launch.

— Firstly, tell us a bit about you Jen (we hear you are quite the artist!) —

I grew up in Geelong and went to school here. We lived close to Kardinia Park and I have football and netball embedded in my being.

I’ve got two girls, one is a journalist based in Sydney and the youngest is finishing Year 12 here in Geelong. Next year is a whole new world with no more school runs.

I gave up my art when I was young and had a baby and turned my attention to a ‘real job’ in public relations. More than 20 years down the track and I’ve started taking art classes again with the incredibly talented Janne Kearney. (see our story about Janne)

— What do you love about Geelong? —

I’ve lived in capital cities and travelled the world but Geelong is in my heart. I made a promise to myself to start telling stories about things going on here which became the Creative Geelong Facebook page.

Geelong is resilient and innovative and has always been that way. People are starting to discover how great it is here. The more diversity and interest we get, the greater Geelong will be for it.

I live near Buckley Falls – it’s amazing how many locals still don’t know about this pocket of Geelong. We can be five minutes from the city but looking at a waterfall. The Old Paper Mills in Fyansford is a really cool space to hang out – coffee, wine, art and music. What more could you want?

— Creative Geelong just launched a Makers Hub in Little Malop Street, tell us more about it…—

It was a wonderful day under the atrium! We had Dr Kathy Alexander, Chair of the Panel of Administrators at the City of Greater Geelong to conduct the official launch.

The Makers Hub is a collection of spaces in Centrepoint Arcade and includes a MakerSpace, a CoWork Space, ArtSpace, WindowSpaces and a LearnSpace. It provides an inclusive and accessible place for Geelong’s creative industries community to collaborate, share and learn.

We have received two years of funding from the City of Greater Geelong to support this project, and we want to activate the space and get ‘feet on the street.’

Geelong’s creative industries include activities associated with software and interactive content, film, TV and radio, publishing, architecture, visual arts and design, advertising, public relations and marketing services, and music and the performing arts.

— Do you think the Makers Hub can help shift the perception of the Little Malop Street mall precinct? —

Absolutely. Creative Geelong was pleased to be a part of the Safe City Summit hosted by City of Greater Geelong and Union Quarter consultations.

The mall can provide a much needed focal point and enliven the traditional heart of the city. It’s vital that the community co-creates the future of this important public space. It needs a purpose that includes everyone. We are supporting @Revitalising Central Geelong

— What is next for Creative Geelong? —

Our first artist in residence Antonio, a bespoke moccasin maker @fairdinkummoccies, has just moved in. We will start a program of workshops and continue our window and laneway activation project.

Our documentary film project – from Hubcaps to Creative Hubs – will also be launched in November. The films were produced through funds raised via a crowdfunding campaign and are genuinely community owned

— Do you have a message for Geelong’s creative community? —

Creative Geelong is all about collaboration for social good. The creative industries has a tremendous opportunity to talk about the work of the future and how important it is to collaborate and learn and share across science, art, design and technology. This is our future. #clevercreative

Check us out on Twitter or Facebook @creativegeelong or at for Expo program

Interview: Rebecca Thompson Photo: Phil Hines Photography