MARRUGEKU WELCOMES NEW PRODUCER & OPERATIONS MANAGER
Intercultural dance theatre company Marrugeku has appointed Natalie Smith to the role of Producer and Operations Manager.
A dedicated creative producer and programmer with over nine years’ experience in the arts industry, Smith was previously Producer at Abbotsford Convent, programming Convent Kids and Convent Live and delivering large scale partnership programs with AsiaTOPA, Midsumma and Melbourne Fringe. In 2019 she delivered Dance Massive as Festival Coordinator, with Arts House, Dancehouse and Malthouse Theatre. She has also held producing roles in Australia and abroad with Dancehouse and the Keir Choreographic Awards, University of Melbourne in partnership with National Gallery Victoria and Victorian College for the Arts; and Hillscenelive festival in the Yarra Ranges.
In the UK, Smith worked in the producing teams for the International Dance Festival Birmingham, the Breakdance World Championships and the DanceXchange project as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
In a statement, Smith said she was thrilled to join the Marrugeku family in the new role of Producer and Operations Manager, and feels the utmost privilege to be living, working and dancing on Yawuru Country, Broome.
TEN DAYS ON THE ISLAND WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Biennial Tasmanian festival Ten Days on the Island has appointed two new members to its Board: Vanessa Pigrum and Maria Lurighi.
Pigrum has worked with a range of organisations that strive to implement bold ideas and create positive impacts for society throughout her career. She is currently the CEO of Cranlala Centre for Ethical Leadership and has over 25 years’ experience in the arts and culture sector, and in leadership development, where her focus and passion has long been in driving strategic transformation within organisations and teams.
Pigrum’s leadership roles with organisations such as the Arts Centre Melbourne , the City of Darebin Creative Culture, the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and CHUNKY MOVE have seen her develop innovative programs and drive international commercial activity. Prior to her transition into organisational management roles, she studied (and dropped out of) Law and then trained as a performer and theatre-maker at the Victorian College of the Arts before forging a successful career as a freelance creative producer in the festivals sector. In 2018 Pigrum gained credentials as a mediator and executive coach.
Lurighi’s passion for the arts was ignited when she worked as Business Development Manager for Ten Days on the Island from 2004 to 2008. Her international arts festival experience was developed further when she oversaw hospitality operations for MOFO from 2012-2018 and Dark Mofo from 2014-2016.
Lurighi’s significant career in the arts and business includes roles as Director of Luxury Events and Partnerships and VIP experiences and Director of Hospitality Operations for Mona, as Manager of Domaine A/Stoney Vineyard, and General Manager of Hill Street Grocer West Hobart, where she returned in 2020.
Lurighi has a career spanning more than 40 years as a singer, choir leader, conductor and teacher of Contemporary Voice at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music since 1999. She was Chair of the Individual Artists Grants Panel for Arts Tasmania and sits on the Arts Advisory Board for the Tasmanian Government. She is a member of the Boards of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra and Festival of Voices and has served as a Director for Business Events Tasmania.
ARTBACK NT APPOINTS FIRST NATIONS CEO
Shay Vigona-Goudge has been appointed as the new CEO of Artback NT, the Territory’s visual and performing arts development and touring agency. It is the first time the role has been held by an Indigenous Australian in the organisation’s 27-year history.
Born and bred in the Northern Territory, Vigona-Goudge comes from a multicultural background with family in the Tiwi Islands. She has worked for many years in the Territory’s arts and cultural sector and has an extensive understanding of the diversities, challenges and opportunities that make up the Territory’s cultural ecology.
Vigona-Goudge also brings a network of national and local connections to Artback NT, one of eight organisations to recently join the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework.
Read more in our recent interview with Vigona-Goudge, published last Friday.
NEW CEO FOR MELBOURNE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF), Australia’s largest film festival celebrating the stories of LGBTQI+ communities, has announced David Martin Harris as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Harris brings a depth of understanding of LGBTQI+ communities to the role as well as experience with organisations including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Carriageworks, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and West Australian Ballet.
Co-President Molly Whelan says the board of MQFF were impressed by Harris’s background and experience in cultural institutions and their passion for the communities that the festival services.
‘When you’re looking for a CEO the dream is finding someone with the drive, excitement and skills to do the role – in David we think we’ve found the triple threat,’ Whelan said.
Co-President David Micallef noted that Harris joins MQFF at an important time for the festival and for the arts sector. ‘Our festival has adapted quickly to moving online and in response to lockdowns and capacity restrictions but there is no doubt that after two years of dealing with COVID-19 we are going to need to be innovative in how we engage our communities, arts audiences and our partners,’ Micallef noted.
‘David’s mix of skills in partnerships, knowledge of the arts sector and connection with our communities are the perfect mix to lead us into the next stage and we are excited to be working with them.’
Incoming CEO David Harris says they are, ‘deeply humbled by the Board’s decision to appoint me as CEO. I’ve long loved MQFF – the Festival’s role in bringing queer stories to Victorian audiences has a life-affirming impacts for our communities. I’m thrilled to be working with such a dedicated Board, staff and all the wonderful volunteers that make MQFF happen.’
David Harris will officially join MQFF in mid-November as MQFF heads into its 31st festival between 18-29 November – making it one of the first festivals coming out of Melbourne’s lockdown. Tickets for the 31st Melbourne Queer Film Festival will go on sale on 28 October 2021.
ADELAIDE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA APPOINTS NEW CHAIR
The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has announced the appointment of Andrew Daniels as its new Chair.
Daniels is the CEO of the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority and has been acting as Interim Chair for the past three months following the decision by Kate Gould to step down.
ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello said the organisation looked forward to Daniels’ continuing contribution to the strategic direction and governance of the ASO.
‘Andrew has been an invaluable resource as a director since joining the Board three years ago and has been an important influence over the past three months as Interim Chair,’ Ciccarello said.
‘He brings substantial business acumen and outstanding professional and community credentials to the ASO and we are delighted that he has now formally taken up the role of ASO Chair.’
Daniels has more than 30 years of experience in major projects and event management in Australia, including roles as the Chief Executive of the Motor Accident Board, Chief Executive of the South Australian Motor Sports Board, General Manager of Australian Major Events, Commercial Manager of the South Australian Tourism Commission and Deputy Chief Executive of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix Board.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the board of Novita Services.
Daniels said of his appointment: ‘The ASO is a much-loved institution that makes a very significant contribution to South Australia’s economic and cultural vibrancy.
‘It is a privilege to have been a member of the Board for the past three years and I am honoured to have now been appointed as Chair.
‘I look forward to continuing to work to grow the reach and influence of what is the State’s largest performing arts organisation,’ he concluded.
The ASO Board comprises Chair Andrew Daniels, Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello, Freddy Bartlett, Anton Andreacchio, Elizabeth Davis, and Karen Limb. Director Sherrilyn Handley (ASO Tutti Cellist) is new to the board, having replaced Geoffrey Collins.
VAPAC ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres (VAPAC) has announced the appointment of new Executive Director, Patrick McCarthy.
McCarthy steps into the role following the 15-year tenure of Jenny Ryssenbeek, who commenced as Executive Director in 2006. Rather than leave the organisation altogether, Ryssenbeek is stepping back into a new role focused on Membership Services and Events support.
Tammy Ryan, Executive Committee Chair, said, ‘VAPAC has performed a key leadership role in supporting and assisting its members and the sector in navigating the new landscape. As we emerge and re-open, we are extremely excited that Patrick is on board to lead VAPAC as it enters its next chapter.
‘I am confident that Patrick will build upon VAPAC’s profile as a key industry stakeholder, passionately advocate for its members and inject new ideas to strengthen VAPAC’s vision and value as integral to the performing arts ecosystem.
‘We are also very fortuitous to be retaining Jenny Ryssenbeek’s knowledge, expertise and passion within the organisation, so we are in a truly great position,’ Ryan said.
McCarthy joins VAPAC following several years in leadership roles with industry peak bodies across the education, civil construction, and manufacturing sectors. He has worked extensively with members, stakeholders, and government at all levels to navigate industry challenges and deliver positive outcomes.
Additionally, McCarthy has worked for over a decade in the performing arts as a playwright and director, leading the acclaimed independent companies Mutation Theatre and Fabricated Rooms. He was Writer in Residence at Chamber Made Opera and has created work with organisations such as Theatre Works, Darebin Arts, Next Wave, and Playwriting Australia. McCarthy has undertaken professional development and research in the US and Europe and holds post-graduate qualifications in theatre and policy development.
McCarthy said, ‘I am both honoured and incredibly excited to be joining VAPAC in the role of Executive Director. The performing arts play such an important role in the life of our communities, and I look forward to collaborating with our members and stakeholders on building a stronger future for the sector. It has been heartbreaking to see Victoria’s beautiful theatres dark for much of the last two years, and we’ll be doing everything we can to see these vital cultural spaces reawaken and thrive.’
McCarthy will commence with VAPAC on Monday 8 November 2021.
MUSIC IN THE REGIONS APPOINTS INAUGURAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Janine Collins has been appointed to the role of inaugural Executive Director of Music in the Regions, a newly formed independent touring organisation that will connect classical musicians with regional audiences across NSW.
One of Australia’s leading cultural strategists, Collins will steer the organisation from its formation while overseeing the first program of performances to be launched in early 2022. Together with a series of board appointments, comprising some of the nation’s most respected cultural figures, Music in the Regions is now set to deliver transformative cultural experiences for musicians and audiences across the state.
Music in the Regions has been designed to support emerging and established musicians and small-to-medium music companies with greater performance opportunities around NSW. As they tour the state, the companies will work with regional conservatoriums, performing arts centres and local councils to integrate with communities and energise local musical life.
Professional and emerging musicians will perform in regions not traditionally visited by classical musicians and chamber orchestras, reinvigorating regional venues into concert venues and fostering a vibrant, world-class NSW classical music industry.
Naseema Sparks AM, Chair of Music in the Regions, also announced the appointment of the organisation’s inaugural Non-Executive Directors. They are:
- Dr Erin Helyard, the renowned conductor, scholar and co-founder of Pinchgut Opera;
- Karen Moses, Deputy Chair of Sydney Symphony Orchestra;
- David Francis, Chief Executive of Wollongong Conservatorium and previously Executive Director of Four Winds Festival;
- Jan Bowen AM; and,
- Sue Procter, Director of Business Operations, Investment and Governance, at Create NSW.
NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said: ‘Music in the Regions was a recommendation from the Create NSW Classical Music Artform Advisory Board to bring more classical musicians into our regional communities. The NSW government provided significant seed funding to get the project up and running. With these appointments, the stage is now set for the touring to begin!’
Sparks said: ‘The Board was extremely pleased with the calibre of applicants and we are delighted to welcome Janine Collins to Music in the Regions as inaugural Executive Director. Music in the Regions has a purpose to deliver classical music to communities not currently served by regular touring organisations and in doing so increasing opportunities for musicians and audiences alike. Janine has broad-based experience, and she is an innovative, strategic thinker who will bring a “can do” attitude to our organisation. We look forward to working with regional organisations and artists on this exciting new initiative.’
Collins said of her appointment: ‘I can’t wait to create new opportunities for both musicians and audiences to connect all over NSW. We’ll help shine a light on our regional gems in terms of both talent and locations while contributing to greater love for the arts in Australia.’
CREATIVE LEADER AND THEATRE DIRECTOR JOINS CREATIVE VICTORIA
One of Australia’s most successful creative leaders, Sam Strong, will be joining the Creative Victoria team as Executive Director – Creative Industries.
Strong has been the CEO, co-CEO and Chair of leading arts organisations across the country. His previous positions include Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre and Griffin Theatre Company; Chair of Melbourne Fringe and Circa; and Associate Artistic Director of the Melbourne Theatre Company.
An award-winning theatre director, Strong has directed productions for all Australian state theatre companies, Belvoir, Griffin and the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Festivals. He has also long championed new Australian works.
As Executive Director – Creative Industries, Strong will lead the branch responsible for Creative Victoria’s investment in the non-government arts and cultural sector, First Peoples arts and creative practice, and the screen, contemporary music and design industries. He will also be responsible for strategy development, research and international engagement.
This includes oversight of Creative Victoria’s suite of funding programs and initiatives and the delivery of the Creative State 2025 strategy.
‘There couldn’t be a more crucial time as we chart a course through and beyond COVID-19. I’ve seen first-hand how the sector that contributes so much to the cultural, social and economic life of the state has been the hardest hit,’ Strong said.
‘Yet Victoria remains the preeminent creative state, from its independent artists through to its major organisations and agencies.
‘I’m looking forward to bringing my industry and creative experience to bear on reopening, recovery and ultimately realising the vision of Creative State 2025. I can’t wait to get started,’ he concluded.
Strong commences in the role on 8 November 2021.
ADELAIDE FRINGE ANNOUNCES DIRECTOR’S CONTRACT EXTENSION AND NEW APPOINTMENTS
As plans for the 2022 Adelaide Fringe continue apace, the Adelaide Fringe Board has announced that Director and CEO Heather Croall’s contract has been extended by two years to 2024.
The Board has also announced the appointment of two new executives to the team.
Accomplished singer-songwriter and Adelaide Fringe artist Nancy Bates, with many years of experience providing a greater understanding of engaging First Nations people within health, education and arts sectors, joins the team as Reconciliation and Diversity Manager.
Bates has played a key role in implementing Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) across various organisations and will work with Adelaide Fringe on implementing its RAP.
‘I’m excited about working with the entire Fringe team and putting into practice my past experience of shifting people’s hearts and minds. It is validating to me that this work is important,’ she said.
‘My hope is for every individual across the organisation to continue to see reconciliation as their role, and I will work towards further embedding reconciliation across every part of the Fringe.’
Adelaide Fringe also announced the appointment of Tara MacLeod as its new Head of Operations. MacLeod joins the team after spending the past year as Head of Development, Operations and Events at the Adelaide Film Festival. Prior to that, she was General Manager of game day events for 11 years and General Manager of Strategic Projects for two years at the Port Adelaide Football Club.
MacLeod will oversee the diversity and inclusion work at Adelaide Fringe, as well as rolling out plans across access and production, people and culture.
MacLeod said in a statement: ‘The culture at Fringe is very inclusive. We have a number of initiatives in place to remove barriers to participate in our festival; we aim to make everyone feel they belong at Fringe and we strive to get better at it all the time. I’m pleased to have settled into the role and I look forward to growing the work Fringe does across access, diversity and inclusion with a long-term view in this space.’
CEO and Director Heather Croall will continue to lead the Adelaide Fringe through to 2024. Croall said she was thrilled to be offered the two-year extension to her contract and is as dedicated as ever in delivering safe and successful editions of the festival in the coming years.
Croall delivered her first Adelaide Fringe in 2016 after returning home from the UK, where she had been CEO and Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest for a decade. At the Adelaide Fringe, Croall has led an ambitious organisational digital transformation. Adopting agile methodologies, Croall has ushered in a new digital platform and ticketing system resulting in exponential growth across audience numbers and ticket sales.
‘I am committed to continuously improving the Fringe experience for all stakeholders, especially artists, who are the backbone of the festival,’ she said.
Under Croall’s leadership, the Adelaide Fringe Box Office has doubled and in 2017, she launched the Donor Circle, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to assist artists at the Fringe.
Last year, Croall won the Leadership Award at the SA Woman Awards, and earlier this year she was nominated as Leader of the Year in the South Australian Woman of the Year Awards. Most recently under Croall’s directorship, the 2021 Adelaide Fringe was the largest festival presented anywhere in the world during a global pandemic.
‘It is both an honour and a privilege to once again be given this outstanding opportunity to deliver such a magical and iconic festival in South Australia. I remain dedicated to providing the best possible platform for artists and audiences to engage in and enjoy arts and culture,’ she said.
‘The Adelaide Fringe is an extraordinary collaboration between artists, venues, sponsors, donors, government, audiences and more. The Fringe has become part of the cultural and artistic fabric of this State; often cited as the best time of year to be in Adelaide. I am incredibly lucky to work with an amazing team and a huge number of brilliant participants in the delivery of this phenomenal festival that has a big place in all our hearts.’
Adelaide Fringe 2022 runs from 18 February – 20 March.
VERONICA PARDO TO STEP DOWN AS MAV CEO
Veronica Pardo has announced her decision to step down as CEO of Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) at the end of 2021.
In a statement, the MAV Board expressed its sincere thanks to Pardo for her vision and determination, which has opened new horizons for MAV over the past three years. As well as strengthening the development of diverse artists and enabling them to create compelling new work, Pardo has led a long-overdue transformation in the arts sector, encouraging diverse artistic practices and giving voice to those on the margins.
Drawing from her own lived experience as a leader of colour, Pardo has centred culturally diverse artists and communities as the key to MAV’s mission to promote equity and self-determination in the arts.
‘It takes great strength, energy and adaptability to be a leader in this highly fluid and contested space, especially in these times of COVID-19. Veronica has done so with aplomb. Her many achievements include implementing a new vision and strategy for MAV, securing an unprecedented level of funding to ensure our financial stability for years to come, creating new platforms for cultural practice with the capacity to transform and securing employment opportunities for creatives of colour within and outside of MAV,’ the Board said in a statement.
‘Veronica has been instrumental in the development of MAV’s role as a change agent in the sector, with the design of resources for cultural equity that have enabled radical new conversations across our sector.
‘Veronica has skilfully navigated challenging times, leaving MAV a stronger, well-respected organisation. The Board is saddened that Veronica has decided to step aside, but we share her passion for enabling opportunities for cultural leaders from our communities. This requires a commitment to change, and capacity for leaders to let go. We wish Veronica the very best for the future.’
Pardo said it had been a privilege to have been entrusted with the leadership of MAV, adding that she hoped she had done justice to the confidence placed in her by the community.
‘As you know, I have been a vocal advocate for creating space and opportunity for diverse leadership in organisations. MAV is a critical training ground for the next generation of change-makers in our sector, and I am excited to move aside in anticipation of new leadership to take MAV’s work to the next level. I am going to take the opportunity to work independently for the next little while, having led community organisations for the past 18 years,’ she said.
The MAV Board will commence a recruitment process over the coming weeks.
AWG ANNOUNCES CLAIRE PULLEN AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Australian Writers’ Guild has announced the appointment of Claire Pullen as Executive Director. Pullen will commence on Monday 25 October 2021 and take over from AWG Group CEO Jacqueline Elaine, who resigned in July due to a health condition.
AWG President Shane Brennan welcomed Pullen to her new role.
‘Claire brings high-level strategic experience from her previous roles at the Public Service Association, Family Planning NSW, the Community and Public Sector Union and the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union of NSW. Claire will be a strong advocate for writers at a time of pivotal change in the screen and arts sectors. The AWG National Executive Council celebrates the appointment and looks forward to working with Claire to continue raising the profile and recognition of Australian writers as we move into our 60th year,’ Brennan said.
As AWG’s Executive Director, Brennan will build on the Guild’s work championing Australian performance writing.
She said, ‘It is with great excitement that I accept this position at the Australian Writers’ Guild. I look forward to joining the fight for writers’ rights in the screen, stage and game development industries.’
Brennan has a master’s degree in Labour Law and Relations from the University of Sydney. She was most recently Director of Campaigns at the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, enabling month-long strike action, and Women’s Officer at the Public Service Association, where she implemented and launched the What Women Want report, the largest survey of working women in NSW.
She also delivered an environmental sustainability project, a model sexual harassment clause, a member domestic violence support package and contributed to multiple parliamentary inquiries. As Director of Communications and Campaigns at the Community and Public Sector Union, Brennan worked with a national executive to deliver campaign strategies and projects.
She was the winner of the 2019 EMILY Award, given to women who have shown exceptional courage, determination, innovation and commitment to issues, reforms and practices that promote the position of women in Australian society.
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