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ARTIST OF THE YEAR SPONSORSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT


The VAS Artist of the Year Award will be sponsored by Eileen Mackley AM and Hylton Mackley AM.

Eileen and Hylton’s sponsorship for $250,000 will also include a $2,000 p.a. provision for promotion of the AOTY Award beyond social media.

Prize money for 2023 will be $10,000 with an increase in value to 2035 when the prize money is planned to reach circa $23,000.

In addition to the prize money the Artist of the Year will receive a trophy, a framed certificate, and an invitation to hold a solo exhibition in the Cato Gallery, with commission on sales.

The Award is be named the:

HYLTON MACKLEY AM VAS ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD

Sponsored by the Mackley Family



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Eileen Mackley AM VAS FVAS, Life Member, and Hylton Mackley AM on the historic staircase at the Victorian Artists Society

The announcement last night of the 'Hylton Mackley AM VAS Artist of the Year Award' Sponsored by the Mackley Family marked one of the most important evenings in the journey of the Victorian Artists Society and provided an opportunity to appreciate the outstanding contribution of Eileen Mackley AM and Hylton Mackley AM to the Victorian Artists Society. 

Eileen and Hylton have been a formidable team who have played a major role along with Victorian Artists Society Council Members, Artists, Staff, Volunteers and Sponsors to guide the Victorian Artists Society through some of its most difficult times, including closing during the pandemic, and the urgently needed restoration of the heritage listed building which now stands as a monument of success and opportunity for artists now and in the future.  

Eileen joined VAS in 1993 and in 2013 was elected as President of Victorian Artists Society becoming the fifth woman to hold the position since 1870. Eileen implemented many changes with the VAS Council including extra studio classes, new exhibitions, corporate sponsorship, and the commencement of the extensive renovation program. 

The announcement last night of the 'Hylton Mackley AM VAS Artist of the Year Award' Sponsored by the Mackley Family provided a perfect time to recognise the significant role Hylton has played for many years in guiding the Victorian Artists Society down a successful financial path to a sustainable future. 

His business life has been predominantly in the advertising industry, with the emphasis on management and directorship on many Company Boards.

Hylton has a strong supporting interest in the Victorian Artists Society and is delighted that this Award will carry his name.

Being nominated VAS Treasurer in 2016 he was instrumental in guiding VAS through the restoration programme of the building, ensuring finances were in a sound position to support the project.

At this point he also introduced a pro bono legal team to VAS for providing advice on legal matters. This position had lapsed over the years.

On becoming Chairman of Fundraising, he assisted in introducing Trusts, Foundations and Philanthropists together with loyal VAS Members to support the building restoration.

$2,500,000 was raised which included a $1,500,000 donation from Eileen and Hylton Mackley to assist with covering restoration costs.

As Chairman of the VAS Restoration Committee, he worked with the team from Heritage Victoria together with the architect and builder, ensuring costs and protocol were closely followed.

Under his guidance a special resolution was presented at the VAS AGM and passed by the membership, enabling donations for sponsorship to become tax-deductible.

He also ensured good governance continued during the COVID lockdowns in 2019–2022 and financial stability maintained despite there being nil income to the Society.

Other personal donations have been undertaken including providing initial finance for upgrading the VAS Permanent Collection and funding the 150th Anniversary Book.

Hylton has been noted for his fundraising and financial abilities, significant donations and support to the completion and restoration of the VAS Heritage Victoria building, together with the financial stability of the Victorian Artist Society.

Hylton received an Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to the Advertising Industry and the Arts.

Eileen and Hylton, you have left an outstanding heritage for current and future artists through your commitment and generosity to the Victorian Artists Society.

Ron Smith OAM, Councillor, Victorian Artists Society 

Top Image: Eileen Mackley AM VAS FVAS, Life Member, and Hylton Mackley AM with their son Justin at the Victorian Artists Society


The Victorian Artists Society - VAS GALLERY

430 Albert Street, East Melbourne
Tel: (03) 9662 1484

Gallery Viewing Hours

Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm
Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 4pm.

All Enquiries:

Victorian Artists Society Office - (03) 9662 1484

Media Enquiries:

Ron Smith OAM Hon FVAS, Victorian Artists Society - Mobile: 0417 329 201

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Acknowledgment of traditional owners.

We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.