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Both positions are for a term of three years.

‘In these challenging times, we are delighted with Mr Strong’s reappointment as Chair,’ said Kathy Keele, Chief Executive of the Australia Council.  ‘We look forward to continuing with his special focus on artists, and achieving for them a better income and a better appreciation of the work they do. Mr Strong’s reappointment as Chair is good news for the Council: he is playing a vital role in steering the Council’s strategic priorities, supporting the arts across Australia.’

‘We also welcome the appointment of John Denton as Deputy Chair,’ said Ms Keele.  ‘Mr Denton’s business, legal and arts sector expertise is a great asset to the Council.  Together with James Strong, their combined wealth of experience offers substantial leadership for the Australia Council and the broader arts sector.’

James Strong has a wealth of expertise through his experience on the boards of major Australian companies such as Woolworths and Qantas, and with arts organisations such as the Sydney Theatre Company and Opera Australia.

As Chair for the last three years, Mr Strong has lead the Australia Council’s six successful strategic priorities, including developing art in the digital era, a knowledge centre on the arts and the further growth of Artsupport Australia, the Council’s dynamic philanthropic development project.

As a Partner and CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, John Denton holds a number of leadership roles including: one of Australia’s three representatives on the APEC Business Advisory Council, board member of the Business Council of Australia, Deputy Chair of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and a Councillor for the Victorian chapter of the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF).

The Australia Council would also like to thank Mr Joe Gersh AM for his valuable contribution as Deputy Chair for the last three years. The Council has benefited considerably from his experience and practical knowledge of the Australian arts and business sectors.

Media contact:

Martin Portus, Director of Marketing and Communication

Tel: 0403 090 022



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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