The new members were appointed after a unanimous agreement by the board to make changes to AMPAG’s constitution, enabling it to draw directors from a larger pool.
‘The restructuring of the board has allowed us to significantly strengthen the company. The board has a great balance of art form representation and geographical spread,’ Mr Irving said.
All member company board directors, CEOs/MDs and ADs are now eligible to stand. There is the also capacity to appoint an independent director to the AMPAG board.
The changes safeguard a minimum 50 per cent representation on the AMPAG board from the boards of member companies.
David Rich, chair of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, has joined AMPAG’s board. His performing arts credentials are extensive—he has not only been on the TSO board since 2008 and chair since 2015, he is also president of Theatre North that operates the Princess Theatre in Launceston.
Bell Shakespeare board director, Philip Crutchfield, has also come into the fold. He is a QC and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and President of the Commercial Bar Association of Victoria.
They join several heads of AMPAG’s member companies.
Libby Christie, CEO of The Australian Ballet, has had a deep and distinguished career in the arts, with four years at the Australia Council before joining The Australian Ballet in 2013. She was previously managing director of the Sydney Symphony for six years until 2009.
Anne Dunn, executive director of Sydney Dance Company since 2010, will bring a broad understanding of the performing arts ecology to the board. She had three years as general manager of the Darwin Festival and previously worked for many years for the Perth International Arts Festival and at the Sydney Opera House.
In the world of music, Mary-Jo Capps, CEO of Musica Viva, needs no introduction. She has held this position for 18 years, revolutionising music education and professional development for emerging musicians and composers. She previously operated her own consultancy practice, working with many of the major performing arts institutions, including Sydney Symphony, Company B Belvoir, Bangarra Dance Theatre and NIDA.
Craig Whitehead, CEO of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, not only has extensive experience with two major performing arts companies (WASO and as chief executive of WA Opera) but also a long engagement with the small to medium sector. His broad sweep of experience takes in La Boite Theatre Company, the Roundhouse Theatre and various arts bodies both in WA and Queensland.
Mr Irving commended two board members who stepped down from their positions on AMPAG’s board—Janet Holmes à Court and Greg Wanchap.
‘Both Janet and Greg have made incredibly valuable contributions to the running and governance of AMPAG during their tenures.
‘It’s been a great privilege to serve with two such dedicated and knowledgeable performing arts aficionados,’ he said.
He also acknowledged the contribution made by Rory Jeffes (CEO, Opera Australia), Sue Donnelly (executive director, Belvoir) and Nicholas Heyward (managing director, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) who joined the board for the last 12 months as art form representatives, and who have now stepped down.
The new board members will be joining Terry Moran AC (chair of Melbourne Theatre Company and his nominated alternative, Virginia Lovett), David Mortimer AO (chair of Opera Australia) on its board and AMPAG’s own executive director, Bethwyn Serow.
‘We will be seeking three further members to address the lack of a representative from Queensland and to bring the gender balance closer to 50/50’, Mr Irving said.