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Family Walking On the Beach


Clr Penny Philpott

“My passion lies in the arts and my ambition is to establish the Northern Beaches as the cultural hub of Sydney.”   – Clr Penny Philpott


  • Establish the Northern Beaches as a arts hub of Sydney

  • Fair and transparent representation for the residents of Frenchs Forest

  • Promote art and creativity among youth

Penny spent many years in the publishing industry before studying Visual Arts. She’s lived in Frenchs Forest since 1978 where with her late husband Bob, established sporting and theatrical organisations, receiving a Centenary medal for Services to the Arts. She’s passionate about fair and transparent representation for the residents of Frenchs Forest and establishing the Northern Beaches as a cultural hub of Sydney.



It’s safe to say Penny Philpott captures the artistic essence of the Northern Beaches, seeing what many others don’t. Apart from being acutely aware of her local environment’s natural beauty, she envisions the beaches as becoming the cultural hub of Sydney, from performing arts, to exhibitions, to teaching art of all genres.


As a former Resident Artist with the Warringah Council, the co-founder of the Forest Youth Company and a passionate campaigner for arts to be taught, she wants to tap into the artistic potential of her community.


Penny studied Visual Arts at Sydney’s College of the Arts and has lived in Frenchs Forest since building her home there in 1978 with her late husband Bob.


The couple was passionate about community, contributing massively to the arts and sport, always with a focus on local youth. In 1981 when their two sons decided they wanted to play cricket, Penny and Bob told them to go find some friends and they’d start a team. The Redbacks Cricket Club was established and is still going strong today as the Wakehurst Redbacks.


Just four years later, after the launch of Glen Street Theatre, Penny and Bob recognised the need for a performance outlet catering to local youth. They created the Forest Youth Theatre Company, attracting 400 people to its launch at Glen Street.


With Penny as producer and Bob as director and sticking to musical theatre which required larger casts, the couple ran the company for 20 years, presenting more than 35 productions and involving more than 2,500 local young people. They were recognised for their services to the arts in 2003 when they both received Centenary of Federation medals.

Penny’s passion for community and art continued and after emerging from a long career in publishing she retired to study a a DipFA at Northern Beaches TAFE, before going on to gain a BVA (Hons) and MFA at Sydney University (SCA).

In 2015 she was appointed Warringah Council’s Artist in Residence spending six months in the outdoor studio of the Warringah Creative Space, working with materials from the Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre. One of her sculptures became a permanent display in the garden outside the Warringah Creative Space.

Today, she works as a sculptor, curator and teacher and has served on several advisory and representative boards within the Northern Beaches.

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