Abbotsford Convent announce Collette Brennan as new CEO

Abbotsford Convent Collette Brennan photo by Mick RichardsAbbotsford Convent has announced Collette Brennan as the new CEO, succeeding the Convent’s founding CEO Maggie Maguire, who is leaving next month after almost 11 years.

Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) Chair, Victoria Marles, said Collette was the unanimous choice of the Board after an international search. “Collette’s experience in the international arts market provides a sound platform to launch the ACF’s bold strategy to make the Convent a world-class institution recognised nationally and internationally,” said Ms Marles.

“Maggie Maguire did an extraordinary job putting the Convent on the map, building it into Australia’s biggest multi-arts precinct with more than a million visitors a year, 1000 events onsite and 120 tenancies. Maggie created a launching pad for greatness.”

“The next few years will see us finish the restoration task with significant capital works, and further develop the Convent’s footprint on the national and international scene with exemplary arts and cultural activity. Collette Brennan has the experience and capabilities to achieve this.”

Collette is a former senior executive of the Australia Council for the Arts and Executive Director of Circa, with leadership experience in performing arts, youth arts, festivals, arts education and public programming. Collette has worked on numerous national and international boards and committees, and is currently on two International Society of Performing Arts committees.

“The Abbotsford Convent is a stunning Melbourne success story, beginning with a remarkable partnership between local residents, three levels of government, philanthropists and businesses,” said Ms Brennan. “Maggie Maguire and the Board brought the Convent precinct to life, and the tenants have produced the creative capital essential to its success.

“The Convent’s location, public programs, heritage and architecture make it unique in the world. I am honoured yet undaunted to be given the task of further developing this treasure and bringing greater national and international renown to the Convent.”

Ms Brennan will commence at the Abbotsford Convent in late September 2016. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Collette Brennan – photo by Mick Richards