The Australia Council for the Arts has appointed arts leader Adrian Collette AM as its new CEO, effective January 2019. He held the position of Chief Executive of Opera Australia, Australia’s largest performing arts company for 16 years and has also worked in book publishing for a decade, including as Managing Director, Reed Books, a Division of Reed Elsevier. His current role of Vice-Principal (Engagement) at the University of Melbourne includes the oversight of the University’s museums and galleries and its many arts sector partnerships. The Council noted his close collaboration with the university’s indigenous leaders and scholars, and that his achievements in the university’s civil engagement would further the Council’s ongoing advocacy for the public value of the arts and their place in the lives of all Australians.
Australia Council chair Sam Walsh AO said:
Adrian is an outstanding leader who brings a wealth of experience and unwavering passion for the arts to this role. He also brings deep knowledge of the Council through his valuable contribution as a Council Board member. We are very confident that Adrian will deftly steer the Australia Council through its next exciting chapter, ensuring the Council’s ongoing commitment to the arts enriching the lives of all Australians.
Collette acknowledged the contribution of outgoing CEO Tony Grybowski “who has taken the Council through its most significant transformation in its 50-year history.” He also added:
I am looking forward to working with the Council Executive and staff to continue our important work of championing and investing in the arts so that the great benefits of the arts may be experienced by all Australians. Creative endeavour is increasingly being recognised as essential to more vibrant, prosperous and inclusive societies. I believe we need to listen to all our communities and respond with fresh approaches to supporting Australian arts and culture. This means opening doors to support for new forms, diverse practice and celebrating our extraordinary First Nations arts.”