Welcome new AMPAG Chair and Deputy

We are delighted to welcome Mary Jo Capps AM as the incoming Chair of AMPAG and Elizabeth Jameson as Deputy Chair.

Welcome new AMPAG Chair and Deputy

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We are delighted to welcome Mary Jo Capps AM as the incoming Chair of AMPAG and Elizabeth Jameson as Deputy Chair.

Speaking after her appointment, Mary Jo said,

I am deeply honoured to take on this interim role, following John Irving’s many years of selfless service as Chair through the particularly torrid times of the MPA Review.

There is no doubt the landscape for the arts has changed enormously in the 20 years since the Nugent Review and the establishment of AMPAG. The months ahead are critical for every company within the MPA Framework, while we undertake some intensive analysis of how the future advocacy needs of the sector might best be met.

I look forward to working with my fellow directors, the Executive Director and all of the member companies towards a newly defined position and purpose for AMPAG in this rapidly changing landscape.

Mary Jo joined the AMPAG Board in May 2018 and she has long-standing connections with AMPAG members. Over her 40-year career, she has focused on revenue diversification, strategic planning, board development, operations/touring and on public advocacy, as both an executive and consultant to arts organisations including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Company B Belvoir Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre, the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art. She became Deputy Managing Director and Director of Development for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1995. From 1999 – 2018 she was CEO of Musica Viva, where she has been particularly concerned with arts education and providing professional development for emerging musicians, composers, classroom music teachers and arts administrators.

Mary Jo was the first female President of the Sydney Business Chamber since it was founded in 1825. She is currently Chair of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, Chair of the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers House, a Board Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and a Council member of the Centre for Social Impact. She manages a dynamic portfolio embracing professional mentoring in leadership, project management and non-executive directorships.

She was awarded the inaugural Arts Leadership Award by Creative Partnerships Australia in 2016, an honorary doctorate from the University of Melbourne in 2017 and a Member in the Order of Australia in 2019 in recognition of her contribution to the arts and business.

Mary Jo brings a wealth of experience and deep insights. We are excited to welcome her as our new Chair.

Elizabeth Jameson chairs the Board of Queensland Theatre, and she founded and is Executive Chair of Board Matters and its associated governance legal practice, Board Matters Legal. Heading a team of seven specialist governance, legal and strategy consultants, Elizabeth has provided corporate legal and governance assistance and advice, with a real-life ‘practising director’ perspective, to a large range of companies, organisations, and industries for well over 20 years. This has included listed, private, public sector and not-for-profit boards. She also maintains an active portfolio of directorships, presently with RACQ and Queensland Police Service, as well as her role with Queensland Theatre. Her past directorships have also included the boards of over 20 organisations, for-profit and not-for-profit, including experience on a private company board in the UK and chair of a leading Australian professional services firm

We also extend our  heart-felt thank you to our outgoing Chair, John Irving, who has been a member of the AMPAG Board since 2010 and Chair since 2013. As he hands over the reins, John says,

‘It has been a privilege to Chair AMPAG during a period of great change for the organisation itself and for the funding of the performing arts in Australia. I am delighted that Mary Jo Capps is taking on the role of chair and wish her well. While we do not yet know what the review of the Major Performing Arts Framework will bring, there will be further change and AMPAG and its constituent company members will need to navigate the new structures in order to thrive.’

John has provided wise counsel and advice throughout his tenure and we warmly thank him for his tireless dedication and commitment to AMPAG and to serving the Arts.

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