On the Move: Latest sector appointments and departures

On the Move: Latest sector appointments and departures



Country Arts SA’s Chair, Mr Michael Luchich, has announced from Kaurna country that Mr Anthony Peluso has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Country Arts SA.

He replaces Mr Stephen Saffell who is retiring after nine years as Chief Executive Officer.

Peluso was appointed following a rigorous national selection process and is set to lead Country Arts SA into a new and exciting period for the organisation. He has worked in the arts industry for over 20 years having held artistic leadership positions with the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Adelaide Festival of Arts and MusicaViva Australia prior to his appointment to the position of Executive Producer at Country Arts SA in 2008.


‘Mr Peluso has worked effectively as the Arts Programs Director and Deputy Chief Executive Officer over the past eight years, overseeing some of the most ambitious arts program changes the organisation has ever undertaken. He is committed to working with our many arts and community partners, government funders, corporate supporters and individuals who invest time, energy and resources into the work we achieve together,’ Luchich said.

On accepting the position, Peluso said: ‘I am excited to work with a dedicated Board and a passionate team across the state, all of whom believe that art and culture are a vital part of a fulfilling life.’

After thanking Saffell for ‘his unwavering commitment,’ Peluso added: ‘I commit to ensuring we are an inclusive organisation that reflects the diversity of the communities we work with. We will continue to be driven by the stories of regional South Australia as told by its artists and champion experiences that can’t be made anywhere else in the world.’

Peluso will officially commence in the position on Monday 6 January 2020.


Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) has announced the appointment of six new non-executive directors.

Bringing key skills and important networks to Australia’s national youth theatre company, Nancia Guivarra, Gillian Larkins, Daniel Selikowitz, Nicole Webb and Donna Worthington were appointed on 14 October 2019, and Mark Morrissey was appointed on 25 November 2019.

Chris Puplick AM, Chair of the Board said: ‘I am so excited to welcome such a range of talented people to join our Board at this critical point in our history. The confirmation of plans for the redevelopment of our new home at Pier 2/3 poses great challenges and even greater opportunities for ATYP. It is just the right time to strengthen our team with new blood, fresh ideas and enormous vitality.

‘Some of our new Board members are well established leaders in the industry and others bring skills in vital areas of information technology, fundraising, legal expertise and liaison with Indigenous communities and artists. I am confident this team, supported by experienced Board members and with strong leadership from our Artistic Director and General Manager, will lead ATYP to a new era of growth and development cementing its place as Australia’s leading young people’s theatre company,’ he said.

Nancia Guivarra is the current Manager of Communications at NSW Aboriginal Affairs Agency. She is an experienced Miriam, Wuthathi and Bendall Juru journalist with more than 20 years reporting on the arts and working within the media sector. Guivarra is also a board member with Marrugeku Theatre Company.

Gillian Larkins is the Chief Financial Officer at the ASX and has previously held roles with Perpetual, Westpac, Citi Group and Woolworths. Larkins has held NON-Executive/Trustee Directorship positions with a range of companies including Sydney Airport Board Trust and Perpetual Investment Management Ltd.

Daniel Selikowitz holds an MBA (Harvard) and BA/Law (USyd) and is currently a Partner at Boston Consulting Group and a leader in the Public sector and Corporate Finance & Strategy practices in Asia Pacific. Selikowitz has previously held roles in the US with The Harbus News Corporation and L Catterton. He was a Board Observer at the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Nicole Webb is an award-winning PR specialist, founder and CEO of The Impact Agency, with previously held PR and marketing roles at Universal Press, Profile Communications and the NSW State Government. Webb is the current chair of the PRIA Registered Consultancy Group.

Donna Worthington is a Partner at MinterEllison Consulting. A leader of Risk & Regulation Transformation and Strategy with experience managing complex portfolios within large organisations, Worthington has a blended background of working in Financial Services and consulting, having worked in BIG 4 consulting and for large ASX50 Financial Services Institutions in executive management roles. She is a Board Advisor to PeopleStories Foundation.

Mark Morrissey is founder and Managing Director of Morrissey Management, one of Australia’s most successful and leading talent management companies. In his 35-year career Morrissey has nurtured some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Jai Courtney, Luke Bracey, Kate Ritchie, Georgie Parker and Yerin Ha.

These appointments to the ATYP board come as the company assembles its strongest team in preparation to make the transition to their new home on Pier 2/3 in the new Walsh Bay Arts Precinct. Positioned as the peak organisation for the sector, ATYP continues to deliver award-winning productions and increase its presence, support and reputation in the areas of playwriting, education and professional partnerships.


Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has announced the appointments of Dr Sophie Matthiesson as Senior Curator International Art, and Ane Tonga as the Gallery’s inaugural Curator Pacific Art.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Paisley said, ‘It’s an exciting time for Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki as we grow our institutional capacity with the expansion of our curatorial team.

‘Together with our talented existing curators, these new appointments will be instrumental in achieving Auckland Art Gallery’s ambition of being the leading art gallery not just in Aotearoa New Zealand, but across the Pacific region. We are excited to welcome Dr Sophie Matthiesson as our new Senior Curator International Art and Ane Tonga in the new position of Curator Pacific Art. I am confident that the expertise, ideas and energy provided by these appointments will contribute immeasurably to this Gallery and to the wider cultural life of Auckland,’ Paisley said.

Both positions will report to Auckland Art Gallery’s Head of Curatorial and Exhibitions, Dr Sarah Farrar.

As the Senior Curator International Art, Dr Sophie Matthiesson will develop and manage the Gallery’s historical and modern international art collection, including the Mackelvie collection.

Matthiesson has more than 20 years’ experience as a curator and educator in England and Australia, and previously worked as a lecturer at the University of Leeds and the University of Manchester. Since 2007 Sophie has been Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Matthiesson’s past curatorial projects include Modern Britain (2007), Salvador Dalí (2009), Monet’s Garden (2013), Degas: A New Vision (2016) and Van Gogh: The Seasons (2017).

Auckland Art Gallery is expanding its curatorial team with the appointment of Ane Tonga as the inaugural Curator Pacific Art. The role, supported by the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation, will enable collection and exhibition development, as well as targeted research, that will increase access and engagement with Pacific art and artists. It will also give greater visibility to Pacific narratives in the Gallery’s collection.

Tonga has ten years of curatorial experience across museums and galleries in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has previously held the position of Lead Exhibitions Curator at Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa and prior to that was Assistant Curator at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Tonga has recently been a guest curator at Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, at City Gallery Wellington and at Objectspace, as well as Professional Teaching Fellow at Elam School of Fine Arts.


Craig Dunn, Chair of The Australian Ballet’s board, has announced the appointment of Natasha Stott Despoja AO to the company’s board of directors, replacing long-serving South Australian Director John Ellice-Flint, who retires from the board in February 2020.

After thanking Ellice-Flint’s passionate ten years of service as a director, Dunn said: ‘We are delighted that Natasha is bringing her remarkable leadership skills and love of ballet to our board. As we head into an exciting new era for the company and announce a new artistic director in 2020, Natasha’s contribution to the transformation process will be valuable.’

A long-time supporter of both the company and the artform, Stott Despoja described ballet as her ‘true love’, adding: ‘From dancing as a young girl and attending The Australian Ballet’s performances from a young age, I have always found beauty, inspiration and escape in ballet. It is an honour to join this board and be part of such an esteemed arts organisation that I admire so much.’

Stott Despoja is the founding chair of Our Watch (the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children) and was Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013 – 2016). She is a former Senator for South Australia (1995 – 2008) and a former leader of the Australian Democrats. She joins the current directors of the board of The Australian Ballet: Craig Dunn (Chair), Olivia Bell, Annabelle Chaplain, Penny Fowler, Catherine Harris AO, Catherine Livingstone AO, Edwina McCann, Tony Osmond, Bruce Parncutt AO and Susan Street AO.

Further adding to The Australian Ballet’s outstanding cohort of South Australian support, Dunn also announced the appointment of Jane McLachlan to the company’s Foundation Board to represent South Australia.

A former dancer with a lifelong love of dance and a commitment to bringing the joy of ballet to South Australians, McLachlan commented: ‘I am thrilled to be joining The Australian Ballet Foundation Board. It has been my dream to be part of Australia’s premiere dance company since I was a young dancer. I am so excited to have the opportunity to be involved in supporting such a fabulous, progressive dance company. I feel so fortunate to be able to play a role in the close-knit family of inspiring, talented artists who make up The Australian Ballet.’


Pacific Opera’s Artistic Director Simon Kenway will complete his current contract with the company and from 2020 will concentrate on his conducting, performing and educational career.

Kenway, who has been associated with the company for many years and served as Artistic Director since 2015, significantly raised the profile of Pacific Opera within the community. He developed the current educational and mentoring program in conjunction with the company and contributed to the artistic development of many young singers, directors and repetiteurs.

In a statement, the company said it was grateful to Kenway for his depth of knowledge, experience, commitment and enthusiasm and that his generosity of spirit would be missed.


Respected arts leader Elaine Chia, who has held the role of Chief Executive Officer of the City Recital Hall in Sydney since 2016, will join the senior leadership team of Adelaide Festival as Executive Director in April 2020.

She will work alongside Joint Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy once Rob Brookman AM steps down as Executive Director, following delivery of the 2020 Adelaide Festival and a subsequent hand-over period.

Chia has over 20 years in senior positions in arts management encompassing music, theatre and visual arts. Prior to her current role as CEO of City Recital Hall, she held the position of Director, International Signature Projects at the Australia Council for the Arts, delivering – as public-private partnership projects – the Australian representation at three Venice Art Biennales and the redevelopment of the Australian Pavilion in Venice, Italy. She has also held management positions in organisations including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (The University of Sydney), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Belvoir Street Theatre and the Australian Youth Orchestra; developed and led numerous orchestral and chamber music ensemble tours nationally and internationally; and produced performances and recordings for commercial and non-commercial groups.

Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter described the new appointment as ‘a coup’ for the Festival. ‘The Adelaide Festival Board is absolutely delighted to have secured the unique talents of Elaine Chia to work alongside our Adelaide Festival team to build upon the outstanding success of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 festivals. As a passionate advocate for the arts, her whole-of-business approach brings sensitivity to business and arts practices across diverse cultures and scenarios,’ Potter said.

Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy said they were delighted with Chia’s appointment. ‘We both worked with Elaine 20 years ago when she was employed as Business Manager at Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney. Even at that early stage in her career she impressed us with her intellect, warmth, tenacity and instinct for building relationships between artists and audiences. Since that time her professional achievements and industry reputation have soared and we are very much looking forward to welcoming her to Adelaide and into the heart of the Festival.’

Chia said she relishes the prospect of heading up a festival she has long admired. ‘The Adelaide Festival is known the world over as one of the best, and has defined Adelaide as a city of artistic pilgrimage. I vividly recall my first Adelaide Festival experience in 1996. I’m thrilled to join such an eminent team in leading it into its next exciting phase, and also looking forward to making Adelaide my new home.’

Mrs Renata Kaldor AO, Chair, City Recital Hall, said, ‘We are thrilled for Elaine that she has been chosen for this exciting opportunity in Adelaide. Elaine has served with distinction as our inaugural CEO since January 2016. She has established and delivered superb artistic and organisational foundations. We wish her every success.’

Mr Justin Boschetti (Head of Operations) will be interim CEO at City Recital Hall from March until a permanent appointment is made.

Chia will commence in the role of Adelaide Festival’s Executive Director in mid-April 2020.


State Theatre Company South Australia Executive Director/Producer, Jodi Glass, has announced she is leaving the Company after a three year stint in the role.

Glass oversaw the 2017, 2018 and 2019 theatre seasons of the Company, highlights of which have included a successful season of the Windmill co-production Rumpelstiltskin at Southbank in London and world premieres of new South Australian plays, notably The Gods Of Strangers by Elena Carapetis, as well as national touring and co-productions with interstate and local theatre companies.

She also led the relocation of the Company’s production facilities from the Adelaide Festival Centre to Thebarton; established STCSA’s first ever apprenticeship program; increased investment in the Company’s regional touring, education and access programs; maintained STCSA’s long-held commitment to supporting local and First Nations artists, and directed a program of innovation through digital transformation.

‘I’m grateful to the team at State Theatre Company for their dedication and hard work and to the board, donors, sponsors and foundation members for their support. I especially thank the artists and audiences who make the magic of theatre happen, performance after performance,’ Glass said in a statement.

STCSA Chairman, Mr Joe Thorp, said, ‘We are thankful to Jodi for her tireless work as CEO over the last three years. Her impact has gone well beyond her day-to-day work – she has also been a generous donor throughout her time with the Company. She leaves with the Company’s gratitude and best wishes.’

State Theatre Company will now recruit a new executive director to partner with the Company’s recently appointed Artistic Director, Mitchell Butel, as it presents Butel’s first program of shows for the Company in 2020.


Bridget Balodis has been announced as the Malthouse Theatre’s new Director in Residence.

Balodis will join the Malthouse Theatre artistic team for the next three years, actively contributing to the company’s on-going conversations about programming, development and artistic consultation. She will also direct the Australian Premiere of K–BOX by fellow Artist in Residence Ra Chapman.

‘There are few opportunities like this in Australia and it’s an incredible privilege to have been invited to be a part of the Malthouse team. As a director that works with new writing, I’m excited to gain an insight into the artistic processes for the development of new work and into new strategies for engaging with playwrights – particularly in Australia’s changing artistic landscape,’ Balodis  said in a statement.

‘I can’t wait to learn more about how programming decisions are made and how relationships with other arts organisations are built and maintained. This opportunity allows me to contribute a new voice at one of Australia’s leading arts institutions while also providing me with an unparalleled training ground that will help me become a more experienced and innovative arts leader.’

Malthouse Theatre’s Director in Residence program is supported by Craig Reeves.


Violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto will perform her final concert as Concertmaster of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) on 31 October 2020.

She is moving on after more than a decade in the role, and is looking forward to other musical pursuits; being able to freelance as an orchestral, chamber and solo performer, as well as teaching and being able to spend time with her family.

ASO’s Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello said, ‘Over the past 10 years, the ASO has demonstrated great artistic vitality and quality – and Natsuko Yoshimoto has played a significant role in our success.

‘Natsuko is a consummate professional and brings the highest standards of playing, dedication and integrity to the ASO. She not only enjoys the admiration and respect of her colleagues, but her great charm and charisma make her much-loved by our audiences.

‘We wish her every success and happiness as she goes on to this next phase of her stellar career. She’ll be sorely missed but we look forward to welcoming her back in the future as a guest performer with the orchestra,’ Ciccarello said.

The orchestra will begin the process of recruiting a new Concertmaster for 2021.


City Recital Hall Limited has announced the appointment of Rachel Launders and Paul Mason to the Board of Directors.

Rachel Launders is a lawyer with over 25 years’ experience working across private practice, businesses and government. She is currently General Counsel and Company Secretary at Nine Entertainment Co, an ASX-listed media company.

Paul Mason is an experienced and respected music professional, who has worked in broadcasting, live music and government. From 2009 to 2019 he was the Director of Music at the Australia Council for the Arts overseeing federal funding for music.

‘The Board is delighted to welcome Rachel and Paul to our ranks, bringing with them essential governance, legal and artistic skills, necessary to our growth as a sustainable, innovative and vibrant artistic venue. Their involvement will further strengthen our position as an influential creative hub in the heart of the city, increasing our profile and contribution to Sydney’s cultural life,’ said Renata Kaldor AO, Chair. 

City Recital Hall in Sydney’s Angel Place produces, presents and hosts a diverse program of concerts and events, embracing all genres and art forms from chamber orchestras to opera, contemporary ensembles to bands, talks and debates, to festival events. A purpose-built performance space, the venue is loved by audiences and performers alike for its superb acoustics.


The Australasian Music Publishers’ Association Limited (AMPAL) recently held its Annual General Meeting in Sydney.  The results of the election of Directors were declared at the AGM, with Marianna Annas (ABC Music Publishing), Philip Burn (Hal Leonard Australia), Peter Hebbes AM (Hebbes Music Group), Heath Johns (BMG Australia), and Steve McPherson (Hillsong Music Publishing) re-elected to the AMPAL Board. 

AMPAL also welcomed Andrew Jenkins (Universal Music Publishing Group) as a newly elected Director to the Board. Nominations had also been received from Bernard Depasquale (Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), Rachel Kelly (Downtown Music Publishing) and Jess Ossington (Audio Network).

Matthew Capper (Warner Chappell Music Australia) was returned as Chair of the AMPAL Board, and Clive Hodson (Perfect Pitch Publishing) as Deputy Chair.

Andrew Jenkins is President, Australia and Asia Pacific Region, for Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG). He is responsible for UMPG’s activities in Australasia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as for global society and industry matters. He has been responsible for the Australian offices of both BMG Music Publishing and subsequently Universal Music Publishing since 1993.

At the AGM, Mr Capper congratulated the re-elected directors and Mr Jenkins, and thanked all of the nominees for standing for election, noting the strong interest in the operations of the association. 

AMPAL is the industry association for Australian and New Zealand music publishers with over 55 members, and is governed by a Board of 15 elected member representatives.  The AMPAL Board is elected by the AMPAL membership, and the current Board is shown at: www.ampal.com.au/ampal-board/.


Temperance Hall, the South Melbourne headquarters of Phillip Adams BalletLab, has announced the appointment of Luke George as its inaugural Artistic Associate.

The role represents a new addition to Temperance Hall’s artistic team; an established independent artist to become engaged on a deep level with the organisation. The position supports the independent artist as a cultural agent, and is intended to create new pathways for artistic production. Aimed at achieving a deeper and more enriched artist engagement beyond the offer of venue space, the Artistic Associate role is an invitation to create and curate workshops and talks in line with the needs of the dance community, as well as provide artistic development, artistic challenge and exchange.

As Temperance Hall’s inaugural Artistic Associate, choreographer and performer Luke George will be provided with a flexible space to expand on the context of his innovative methods of connecting the artist and the public. The associateship will allow both George and the organisation opportunities to share resources, build relationships with artists, curate initiatives and grow communities and audiences.

‘Through my role as Artistic Associate at Temperance Hall, I will be prioritising art practice that is intersectional, intercultural and interdisciplinary. I will be working with queer artists and artists from the Asia-Pacific region and focusing on artistic research and creation, encounters and intersections between artists and the public through talks (recorded and published), workshops and performance events with a focus on the act of gathering and social connectivity,’ George said in a statement. 

‘This activity will be in concert with the development of my artistic practice. As an independent artist, it is essential that I work in cooperation and collaboration with many dimensions of the sector.

‘Developing my artistic association with Temperance Hall is a key step to a sustaining arts practice for myself and for independent artists in Melbourne and beyond.  Diverse in their backgrounds and lived experiences, artists often sit outside the main frameworks of companies, theatres and major performing arts organisations.  I am thrilled to be collaborating with the amazing team of Phillip, Veronica and Kristina, in pursuing the possibilities for experimental art-making, prioritising voices and artists who need to be heard and seen, advancing new ideas in contemporary culture and growing social capital,’ he concluded.

More recent appointments.


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