Sherry Duhe appointed as Chair of West Australian Ballet

West Australian Ballet has had a strong history of female leaders including Founder and first Artistic Director Kira Bousloff who established the Company in 1952 (and led the Company until 1969). Now in 2019, the Company is proud to have appointed its first female Chair.

Sherry Duhe appointed as Chair of West Australian Ballet

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Sherry Duhe, current Woodside Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, commences as the State Ballet Company’s Chair on 26 August 2019 after the retirement of Dr Robert Edwardes.

Edwardes, who has served on the board for seven years and has been Chair since mid-2015, led West Australian Ballet with distinction in a time that has seen the Company grow significantly while cementing its position as a world-class producer of dance.

Duhe paid tribute to Edwardes in a speech at West Australian Ballet’s August Board meeting.

“Robert’s leadership has been exemplary during this period, including strengthening our governance practices and establishing gender equity on the Board, and also in his work with the Executive Leadership team of West Australian Ballet,” said Duhe.

“Robert has spent the last few months inducting me into the role, and whilst he is retiring, he will remain a mentor as I take on what I consider to be an honour, the Chair of West Australian Ballet. I, like Robert, am deeply committed to enriching the lives of all Western Australians through dance and have a personal passion for demonstrating the value of the arts in building a vibrant society.”

Duhe, who grew up in Louisiana in the United States, was first introduced to dance as a teenager, igniting the passion which she brings to West Australian Ballet’s Board. She moved to Perth in 2017 to join Woodside after undertaking a range of roles with ExxonMobil, Duke Energy, JM Huber and Royal Dutch Shell.

West Australian Ballet’s Board has also extended Executive Director Jessica Machin’s contract for a further three years, reflecting her successful execution of Touring Strategies, an increased regional and community access program, and implementation of important human resource initiatives for dancers and staff, including a sector-leading Mental Health Policy.

Artistic Director Aurelien Scannella, who continues to amaze audiences with innovative, world-class productions, declared: “I would like to express my thanks to Robert Edwardes for his great leadership and passionate mentoring, his vision will be missed,” says Scannella. “We’re looking forward to creating the next chapter of our story with Sherry Duhe, whose energy will help us move the Company forward with a fresh perspective, love and passion for our beautiful art form”.

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