Goyder to take up the WASO baton

​One of Australia’s leading business figures, Richard Goyder AO, is to become Chairman of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, succeeding Janet Holmes à Court AC who has held the position for 20 years.


Goyder to take up the WASO baton

Mr Goyder is chairman-elect of Woodside Petroleum, a Director of Qantas and Chairman of the AFL Commission. He was Managing Director and CEO of Wesfarmers Limited from 2005-2017 and chairman of the Australian B20 in 2013.

Mr Goyder has had a long association with WASO. He was a board member from 2003-2007 and oversaw significant corporate support for the orchestra’s endeavors through Wesfarmers Arts.

“I want to pay tribute to the immense contribution Janet Holmes à Court has made to the arts over a very long period,” he said.

“Her legacy is one of extraordinary leadership and personal generosity that have helped develop WASO into becoming one of the state’s cultural gems. We have a world-class orchestra under one of the best chief conductors on the planet in Asher Fisch.

“WASO also has the broadest and deepest community engagement program of any arts company in the nation.”

Mrs Holmes à Court who has been Chairman of WASO since 1998, and will remain on the Board at the new chairman’s request, said she was absolutely delighted that Richard Goyder had agreed to take on the role.

“A vibrant arts scene is critical for a thriving community, and I’m thrilled Richard has decided to assume the leadership of the state’s premier performing arts company. I am excited to hand the baton to Richard, and at leaving WASO in what I regard as the most capable hands of any person in Australia.”

Asher Fisch, WASO’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser, has been supported by Wesfarmers Arts throughout his tenure with the orchestra and is contracted until 2023.

“I have been fortunate to get to know Richard personally during my time at WASO and I am confident that we have found the only person who can replace the irreplaceable”, he said. “In his former role as Managing Director of Wesfarmers, WASO’s Principal Partner, Richard was a great supporter of our orchestra, our artistic vision and our deep engagement with the community.”

“I would like to offer my sincerest thanks and deepest gratitude to Janet Holmes à Court, who has been Chairman of this wonderful orchestra since before I arrived for my debut concerts in 1999. Her commitment to WASO, the magnificent music we perform and to the community we serve and support has been truly remarkable and we are all forever indebted to her.”