2016 International Citation of Merit Recipient
Sue Nattrass AO
Sue Nattrass AO will receive the 2016 International Citation of Merit at the Melbourne 2016 ISPA Congress, Reimagaining. View other ISPA Award winners.
A lifetime in the performing arts, as a practitioner, in management and leading large performing arts centres, has afforded Sue Nattrass a unique position in the performing arts industry. She has inspired generations to learn, to collaborate and to build an appreciation of live theatre.
Sue Nattrass’ professional arts career began when she was asked to operate the lighting for Barry Humphries’ first one-man show, A Nice Night’s Entertainment in Melbourne in 1962. This was the start of her long, continuing contribution to the commercial and publicly-funded sectors of the Australian entertainment industry. The first twenty years were spent in the commercial sector in technical, artistic and administrative roles
In November 1983 Sue was recruited to become Operations Manager at the nearly-completed Victorian Arts Centre (now Arts Centre Melbourne). After five years in that role and a year as Deputy General Manager, in 1989 she became the organisation’s General Manager, a position she held until 1996. During this time she led the campaign to connect performing arts centres around the South East Asian region by establishing the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres. She later served as a Trust Member and acting CEO of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust and the Sydney Opera House Trust.
Sue was the Artistic Director of the 1998 and 1999 Melbourne Festivals. In 2002 she was called on to serve as Interim CEO and Artistic Director in a dramatic ‘rescue mission’ for the floundering 2002 Adelaide Festival of the Arts. She chaired the Cultural Working Group for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the cultural program of the 2007 World Swimming Championships and has been appointed to many boards in the Arts, Health, Tertiary Education and Sporting sectors.
Sue was President of the Australia Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA)/Live Performance Australia Executive Council from 1995 until 2003. She was awarded Life Membership in 2003.
Sue is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her service to the industry including being appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia, and receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards from LPA and the Green Room Awards. LPA also named one of its two Lifetime Achievement Awards in her honour. In 2015 Deakin University celebrated her work with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters and the creation of a scholarship fund in her name for training future arts managers.