Arts Centre Melbourne announces new CEO

Clair SpencerFollowing an extensive national and international search, Claire Spencer has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Arts Centre Melbourne. Claire joins Arts Centre Melbourne from Sydney Opera House, where she has been Chief Operating Officer, and prior to that, Chief Financial Officer.

Tom Harley, President of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust said Claire brings substantial experience of managing complex organisations and projects, combined with a passion for the performing arts. She has held a number of senior positions at the Sydney Opera House over the past 11 years in addition to an extensive period in the private sector communications and professional services industries.

“With her experience across the arts and venue management, as well as her track record in business transformation, strategic planning, financial and stakeholder management, people and culture, and corporate governance, Claire is the best candidate to lead our organisation into the future. Her appointment will continue the momentum of change at Arts Centre Melbourne.”

A Chartered Accountant, Claire has led major projects across finance, information systems, human resource management, commercial businesses and the arts, and said she is thrilled to be joining the Arts Centre Melbourne Team.

“I am excited by the opportunities ahead and look forward to contributing to the ongoing success of the organisation. I have been working in the arts for over a decade and am passionate about creating an environment where the arts can flourish. I hope to bring experience, enthusiasm and a keen eye for all the aspects of Arts Centre Melbourne that need to work together in harmony for success.”

Victorian Minister for the Arts, Heidi Victoria, welcomed the appointment: “This is an exciting time for Arts Centre Melbourne. Claire will bring valuable skills and experience, a strategic eye and a fresh energy to Arts Centre Melbourne, and will build on the important work that has been achieved to date. I look forward to welcoming her to Victoria and to the helm of our iconic performing arts venue.”

Mr Harley thanked Arts Centre Melbourne’s Executive Group and interim CEOs Ian Roberts, Geoff Street and COO Jodie Bennett for their contribution to the organisation.

“Their leadership, experience and unwavering support of Arts Centre Melbourne has been instrumental to our recent achievements and we are all very thankful,” said Mr Harley. “The recent Victorian Government budget announcement combined with our refreshed business model and reinvigorated relationships with our resident companies, positions us well for the future.”

“With Claire at the helm we will continue to build on this foundation and deliver to the people of Victoria the best possible arts experiences.”

Claire commences at Arts Centre Melbourne on 10 November 2014. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Claire Spencer