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Australia Council Board Appointments

Australia Council Chair, Rupert Myer AO, today welcomed the announcement by the Minister for the Arts, Senator The Hon. Mitch Fifield, on the appointments of Sam Walsh AO, Kate Fielding, Zoe McKenzie and Leigh Carmichael to the Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.

Mr Myer also acknowledged the outstanding contributions of Deputy Chair Robyn Archer AO whose appointment concluded on the 18 August 2016, and Samantha Mostyn, Waleed Aly and Tim Orton whose Board terms concluded on 30 September 2016.

Mr Myer congratulated Sam Walsh, Kate Fielding, Zoe McKenzie and Leigh Carmichael on their appointments till 30 June 2019.

“Sam Walsh has a long standing commitment to the arts and extensive experience in leadership and business management. As the former CEO of London-based Rio Tinto Group, Mr Walsh previously served as the Chair of the Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia, Black Swan State Theatre Company and the Western Australian Chapter of the Australia Business Arts Foundation, and is currently a Trustee of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation in London” Mr Myer said.

“I also welcome Kate Fielding to the Australia Council Board, who is a cultural strategist with a commitment to intercultural conversations and is currently the Chair of Regional Arts Australia and Chair of the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission in West Australia.

“Zoe McKenzie is a Trade and Foreign Investment specialist with extensive experience in Federal and State governments and with a background in Law and education, is a welcome addition to the Council as we build on a history of successful international arts development.

“I am delighted to welcome Leigh Carmichael who is Creative Director and Brand and Marketing Director for the Museum of Old and New Art and the Dark Mofo festival in Tasmania, bringing extensive artistic experience to the Board,” Mr Myer said.

Mr Myer acknowledged out-going board members Deputy Chair Robyn Archer AO, Samantha Mostyn, Waleed Aly and Tim Orton for their significant contribution to the Australia Council during the organisation’s biggest transformation in its nearly 50 year history.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to Robyn, who has served as Deputy Chair to the Australia Council Board since 1 July 2012, for her extraordinary commitment to the Australia Council and the national arts sector through a significant period of change,” Mr Myer said.

“During this period, Robyn has played a critical leadership role through the development of the strategic plan and restructure of the organisation. She also chaired the Nominations and Appointments Committee which underpins the peer assessment process, and this was just one of the areas in which we greatly benefited from her deep arts expertise” Mr Myer said.

“Sam Mostyn showed tremendous leadership in the roles that she has undertaken during her tenure and greatly contributed to the strategic vision of a culturally ambitious nation. Sam was the Chair of the Community Arts and Cultural Development Board prior to being appointed to the Australia Council Board and her contribution and influence over many years have been deeply appreciated.

“I would like to convey my appreciation to Waleed Aly and recognise his important contributions to the Board and arts sector. His astute intellect has proven invaluable throughout this period of unprecedented change for the Council.

“Tim Orton chaired the Strategy Committee which oversaw the implementation of the Council’s five-year Strategic and Corporate Plan in 2015-16 and we are most appreciative of his dedication and commitment to the Board.

On behalf of the staff of the Australia Council I would like to thank and acknowledge the roles performed by the four retiring Board members.

“I am very pleased to be advised of the reappointment of Lee-Ann Buckskin as the new Deputy Chair until 30 June 2019. I am particularly delighted to note that Ms Buckskin is the first Indigenous Deputy Chair in the history of the Australia Council. She is currently a member of the Board’s Strategy Committee and was formerly the Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board.

I’m also pleased to advise that Adrian Collette AM, Sophie Mitchell, and Khoa Do have been reappointed until the 31 December 2018. Mr Walsh, Ms Fielding, Ms McKenzie and Mr Carmichael join these Board members along with Christine Simpson Stokes and Rebecca Weisser.

“With these appointments, the Board is well positioned to deliver on the Council’s strategic goals. Chief Executive Tony Grybowski and I, along with the Executive team and staff, look forward to working with the new and existing Board members to foster a culturally ambitious nation,” Mr Myer said.

The announcement by the Minister for the Arts, Senator The Hon. Mitch Fifield can be accessed here.



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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