NIDA Announces Catherine West as New Chair

The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) today announced the appointment of Catherine West as Chair.

Catherine has been a NIDA board member since April 2021 and a member of the NIDA Foundation Board since May 2019. Catherine has a deep love of the creative sector and has worked in the media, entertainment and tele-communications industries in Australia, the UK and Europe for over 30 years.

Catherine is currently Deputy Chair of Nine Entertainment (ASX: NEC) and a non-executive director of two other ASX listed entities, Peter Warren Automotive Group and Monash IVF. She is also Chair of the Board of Governors of Wenona School and a director of the Sydney Breast Cancer Foundation. Catherine was previously on the Commercial Committee of BAFTA in the UK and a member of the Women’s Leadership Group of the Princes Trust in the UK. Catherine has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney.

Catherine West :

NIDA’s training, reputation and industry connection is world renowned and I am honoured to be appointed Chair of this iconic Australian organisation. NIDA is the engine room for the creative industries, with its higher education and vocational education courses providing the pivotal creative workforce for the 17-billion-dollar economy. NIDA trains the most talented, future focussed tradespeople of the arts, the creative leaders and IP generators that bring our Australian stories to life on theatre stages, on streaming services and television networks, at live events and on new platforms all around the world.

With around 80,000 audience members coming to NIDA each year and more than 20,000 participants in open training and corporate programs NIDA is a vital community hub for everyone and an integral part of the arts and culture sector.

On behalf of the NIDA Board I would like to acknowledge the incredible contribution Noel Staunton has made during his tenure both as Chair and board member who has been a lynchpin in taking NIDA forward over the last nine years.

His leadership has enabled positive cultural evolution and change, as well as extending NIDA’s intrinsic and deep industry engagement to the great benefit of the entire arts and entertainment world. We are truly grateful and thank him for his dedication to NIDA.

Outgoing NIDA Chair Noel Staunton:

The last nine years as a NIDA Board member and Chair have been wonderful. As a director I have witnessed the commencement of Vocational Studies Courses at NIDA, the opening of the Graduate School and the commencement of a Master of Fine Arts courses as well as appointed CEO Liz Hughes.

I have been privileged to serve with a committed and passionate volunteer group of artistic and professional directors who give generously of their time, wisdom, experience and networks. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of my fellow board members and staff, students and supporters. I wish NIDA and its talented staff and students much success in the coming years.

NIDA CEO Liz Hughes :

Everybody in the NIDA community has benefitted from Noel’s immeasurable industry knowledge and guidance during his time as both Chair and board member. Personally, I feel very privileged to have worked alongside such a visionary of the creative world.

Catherine has played a substantial leadership role on the NIDA Board and Foundation Board over the last 5 years. Her broad understanding and experience across a range of industries and not-for-profits coupled with her love and passion for the creative industries and NIDA will set the organisation up for great future success. Alongside the team at NIDA I am excited to start working with Catherine as our new Chair.

NIDA’S Board of Directors are: Catherine West (Chair), The Hon Richard Refshauge SC (Deputy Chair), Professor Claire Annesley, Darren Dale, Peter Ivany AO, Anthony Kerwick, John Robinson, Sigrid Thornton AO, Anna Tregloan, Sophia Zachariou.

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