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The Australia Council for the Arts today announced the appointment of Jill Eddington as its new Director of Literature. Previously the Director and CEO of the Byron Bay Writers Festival and Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre, Jill will commence her new role in January 2013.

As Director of Literature, Jill will be responsible for providing leadership to the Australia Council’s Literature section and will be the senior advisor to its Literature Board, implementing its decisions and providing key links between the Australia Council, writers and the publishing sector.

I am looking forward to joining new colleagues at the Australia Council for the Arts. The writing and publishing industry is in a state of transformation at the moment. I hope to work with the board to assist the sector to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities for writers and the vibrant literature sector in Australia, said Jill.

Jill has worked extensively with the Literary Sector including, most recently, her role as curator of the Australian Society of Authors 50th Anniversary Program. She has also worked with the State Library of Queensland, Arts Northern Rivers and has consulted to the wider arts community.
As the Director of for the Byron Bay Writers Festival from 1999 to 2006, Jill established an extensive network of relationships with Australian and international writers and publishers and expanded audiences for the Festival and ongoing programs.

Jill takes over the position from Susan Hayes who has been in the Director of Literature role for four years. Susan’s dynamic leadership saw increased exposure for Australian writers through appearances at major writers’ festivals in Europe, Asia and North America. She also led important research into the publishing industry that ultimately led to major alterations in the way the Literature Board supports publishers. Her reforms were welcomed by Australian publishers.

Susan plans to retire following her career which has included positions at the Centre for Studies in Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia and on the literary journal Westerly. In 1996 she was appointed State Literature Officer for Western Australia. After moving to Sydney, Susan managed Australia’s National Playwrights’ Centre and served a term as Chair of the Australian Society of Authors. From 2005 to 2008 she managed the CAL Cultural Fund. Susan is a Churchill Fellow and has an MPhil. in Australian Studies.

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