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Fiona Cameron is the chair of Creative Coromandel. File photo: KELLEY TANTAU

‘Perfect’ new role for gallery owner

A familiar face in the local arts scene has become the new chair of Creative Coromandel.
Fiona Cameron, who has owned the giftware store and gallery Bounty on Thames’ main street for 14 years, is now the chair of the He Mana Toi Moehau Trust – also known as Creative Coromandel.
She was given a tap on the shoulder by the charitable trust’s outgoing chair Len Salt, who became Mayor of Thames-Coromandel following October’s local body elections.
During the same campaign, Fiona threw her hat into the ring for the Thames Community Board.
Missing out on a seat by just 33 votes, Fiona told The Profile the opportunity to be the trust’s new chair was a “silver lining”.
“I feel really honoured that Len put my name forward and saw this in me, that I could be that voice,” she said.
“This definitely has been a silver lining. Because I want to work in a governance role within the arts sector, being chair of Creative Coromandel is putting me in a position where I can advocate for the arts – an industry that I’m passionate about and have been involved with for more than 27 years.”
In 2015, driven by the Thames-Coromandel arts sector, a district-wide arts strategy was created through consultation with artists, art leaders, and arts groups to develop, promote, and sustain local artists and arts activities.
In 2016, an arts and creative industries strategy was adopted by the district council, and an advisory board – which became Creative Coromandel – was formed to implement it.
Fiona said the new voluntary role was “perfect” for her because it was “all about promoting the arts and valuing the creative industries in the Coromandel”.
“I have strong roots in this community, and being chair means I’ll be doing what I have been doing in my professional career in the arts, but doing it on a bigger scale for the wellbeing of more,” she said.
“There’s some really exciting collaborative funding opportunities that Creative Coromandel is looking at, and if we get that funding, it will enrich the lives of all in the Coromandel-Hauraki rohe.”
The trust’s district arts manager Jan Wright was chair of the founding board from 2016 to 2021.
She said was “deeply heartened” to see the governance of He Mana Toi Moehau Trust move into the capable hands of several new trustees, whilst retaining several of its founding trustees.
“Our team is now a perfect mix of experience and fresh energy, and I am very excited that Fiona has agreed to take on the chair role,” she told The Profile. “Working with Fiona in the last couple of weeks, I have seen the great knowledge and passion that she has for the arts, and I am loving her drive and enthusiasm; it augurs well for the arts on the Coromandel.”
Creative Coromandel has a Thames “mix and mingle” coming up on Tuesday, November 29, to be held at The GBD on Pollen St, from 5pm-7pm.
Fiona said it was an invitation for people to come along and meet her and other trustees, and learn about the trust.
DETAILS: RSVP to Fiona at