Australia Council’s musical chairs

Simon Crean, the Minister for the Arts announced Australia Council For The Arts’ incoming Chair and Deputy Chair.

Cate Blanchett, Peter Garrett, James Strong, Jeanne-Claude Strong and Andrew Upton. Image by Jaime Williams
Cate Blanchett, Peter Garrett, outgoing chair of the Australia Council James Strong, Jeanne-Claude Strong and Andrew Upton. Image by Jaime Williams

Rupert Myer AM will replace James Strong as Chair and Robyn Archer AO will succeed John Denton in the role of Deputy Chair in the Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

As a singer, writer, director, artistic director and public advocate of the arts, Robyn Archer brings her knowledge of contemporary arts practice to the Council while Rupert Myer’s background in philanthropy, leadership and business skills will complement Archer’s experience within the industry.

“Rupert is an excellent choice to lead the Australia Council,” says outgoing Chair, James Strong, whose term as chair of the Australia Council comes to an end on 30 June.

“He understands the arts and, perhaps most importantly, believes in the centrality of the artist in the ecology of creative organisations, agencies and cultural institutions – a belief which is at the core of all the Australia Council does.”

“Robyn’s vision for the arts is inspiring,” says James. “And it’s her ability to turn that vision into something tangible that makes her one of the country’s truly great artistic leaders. Whether she’s singing, writing, directing a play or directing a festival, she consistently delivers excellence in art.”

Members of the Australian arts community attended a special event at the Australia Council last night to honour James Strong’s time at the helm. Sydney Theatre Company’s Co-Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, former arts Ministers Helen Coonan and Peter Garrett were in attendance to celebrate James’ term as Chairman.

These two new appointments come as the Australia Council approaches the outcomes of the Australia Council review, led by Gabrielle Trainor and Angus Jam and the unveiling of the National Cultural Policy. This is a critical time for the Council and James Strong along with the Council members have given Archer and Myer heartfelt recommendation.

“It’s been a rewarding time serving as Chair of the Australia Council,” says James. “The board is a diverse and talented one and I would like to thank the members for their support during my terms.”

“I leave knowing the organisation is in good hands, these are wonderful appointments.”

AussieTheatre’s Sonny Clarke wrote a piece on the findings of the Australia Council Review 

Simon Crean’s Excellent Adventure — The Australia Council Review

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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