New Australia Council Board Appointed

Rupert Myer AMThe Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for the Arts has announced the inaugural members of the new Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

The appointments were made pursuant to the Council’s new legislation – the Australia Council Act 2013 – which received assent today from the Governor General. The appointments are effective from Monday 1 July 2013.

Chair of the Australia Council, Mr Rupert Myer AM welcomed the appointment of the new Board members and expressed his gratitude to the members of the former Governing Council.

“I thank all of the Governing Council members for their significant contribution to the development of the Australia Council and in particular for their advice and input towards the shaping of the Creative Australia policy and the Review of the Australia Council.

“They each provided a cogent example to others of the power of the individual to make a real difference for arts in this country through advocacy, enthusiasm and wisdom.”

In welcoming the members of the new Board, Mr Myer thanked Minister Burke for announcing the appointments. He said he was delighted with the accumulated breadth and depth of experience the organisation was gaining, particularly across a broad range of art-form areas.

“We are very fortunate to have a new Board comprised of talented, accomplished and energetic people, characterised by diverse backgrounds and representative of the wide ranging arts and corporate skills envisaged in our new legislation.”

“The membership is united by a common knowledge and passion for the arts, and strengthened by deep individual experience in areas such as artistic practice, arts management, business and finance, philanthropy, legal affairs, corporate strategy and research.

“I know the new Board is eager to start working in support of Australia’s artists and arts organisations. I look forward to its initial meeting which will be instrumental in the Australia Council’s ongoing efforts to become more flexible and responsive to the needs of artists now and into the future,” Mr Myer said.

From 1 July to 31 December 2013, current Boards and Committees will progressively be replaced by interim Peer Assessment Panels and Sector Strategy Panels to assess grant applications, and strategic advice to the new Board.

In the interests of continuity for artists and organisations applying for support, current Board and Committee members will be invited by the new Board to sit on the Peer Assessment Panels, whilst all current Board Chairs will be invited to be the inaugural Chairs of the relevant Sector Strategy Panels.

Mr Myer said that by November 2013, the new Board would aim to have its permanent processes in place for 2014 and beyond.

“I also acknowledge and thank the employees and management of the Australia Council at this particularly busy and significant time,” said Mr Myer.

“They are integral to the ongoing work of Strategic Plan development and to ensuring the Australia Council’s main stakeholders – Australia’s artists and arts organisations – experience a seamless transition to the new structures and processes being introduced.”

The 12 members of the inaugural Board under the new Act are:

Mr Rupert Myer AM – Chair, Australia Council for the Arts; previously Chair, National Gallery of Australia, the Opera Australia Capital Fund, Commonwealth Inquiry into the Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Sector and Kaldor Public Arts Projects; previously Trustee, National Gallery of Victoria; previously Board Member, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Currently Deputy Chair, Myer Holdings Ltd.

Ms Robyn Archer AO – Deputy Chair, Australia Council for the Arts; Creative Director, Centenary of Canberra; celebrated singer, writer, director, artistic director.

Mr Tony Grybowski – CEO, Australia Council for the Arts; previously General Manager, Australian Youth Orchestra; previously Executive, Musica Viva; Sydney Symphony Orchestra; teacher and musician.

Mr Waleed Aly – Award-winning author; Broadcaster, currently host of Big Ideas on ABC TV; Academic and lecturer in politics at Monash University; Rock musician in the band Robot Child.

Ms Lee-Ann Buckskin – Chair, ATSIA Board, Australia Council of the Arts; Manager, Indigenous Arts and Culture program, Carclew Youth Arts Adelaide; Member, SA Museums Aboriginal Advisory Committee; previously Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Program, Adelaide and Brisbane Festivals of Art.

Mr Adrian Collette AM – Former CEO, Opera Australia for 16 years; currently Executive Director, Engagement and Partnerships, University of Melbourne; former Member, Victorian Council for the Arts; Life Member, Australian Entertainment Industry Association’s Executive Council; previously MD, Reed Books.

Mr Khoa Do – Film director, producer and screenwriter – nominated for AFI Awards and shortlisted for an Academy Award; International keynote speaker; Community and youth worker and leader; Young Australian of the Year 2005.

Professor Matthew Hindson AM – Chair, Music Board of the Australia Council for the Arts; Senior lecturer in & Media Technology and Arts Music, Sydney Conservatorium of Music; celebrated composer, author, artistic director and academic.

Ms Mary-Ellen King – Board member, Perth International Arts Festival; previously General Manager, Melbourne International Arts Festival; Executive, Victorian Arts Centre; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Melbourne manager, Opera Australia; Perth Concert Hall. Currently COO Community, Bethanie Group.

Ms Sophie Mitchell – Director, Expressions Dance Company (formerly Chairman); Trustee, Queensland Performing Arts Trust; Director, Corporate & Special Projects, RBS Morgans; Director, Silver Chef Limited; Member, Australian Government Takeovers Panel.

Ms Samantha Mostyn – Chair, Community Partnerships Committee, Australia Council for the Arts; President, Australian Museum Trust; Board member, Sydney Theatre Company; Non-executive director Virgin Blue, Transurban and Citibank Australia; AFL Commissioner; Member, NSW Climate Change Council.

Mr Tim Orton – Chair, Geelong Performing Arts Centre; Chair, Rhodes Trust Australia; Executive board member, Committee for Melbourne; Managing Director, Nous Group; previously Managing Director of Deakin Australia; Consultant, McKinsey and Company – London and New York.

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Image: Rupert Myer AM (photo courtesy of the Australia Council)