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Queensland Theatre Company announces new Executive Director

Queensland Theatre Company announces new Executive Director
November 29, 2011

One of Australia's most prominent and experienced arts administrators is set to lead the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) from early 2012.

QTC Chair Professor Richard Fotheringham today announced that Sue Donnelly, Executive Director of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), would relocate from Sydney to take the reins as Executive Director from 20th February next year.

Announcing the appointment Professor Fotheringham stated "Ms Donnelly brings to QTC strength in strategic planning and policy, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, hands-on management expertise, an exemplary track record in advocacy, high level producing experience, and a widespread arts network, nationally and internationally.

"Her appointment to QTC consolidates the company's position at the forefront of Australia's performing arts – after the appointment of Wesley Enoch as Artistic Director in June last year and the unveiling of Season 2012 to much acclaim."

For the past three years Donnelly has led AMPAG, the industry group for Australia's 28 major performing arts companies, a position which calls for vision, understanding and inspired leadership.

During this time Donnelly has been a prominent advocate of reform of the sector in taxation, convergence, touring and the national cultural policy. She has also initiated leading research on the impact of digital technology on performing arts companies, and industry benchmarking in sponsorship and philanthropy.

Sue Donnelly stated "this is both a stimulating and challenging time for the arts and I am delighted to join QTC and work in such a dynamic and progressive company."

The international search for the position was prompted earlier this year when the much-loved current Executive Director Libby Anstis announced her resignation after eight years at the helm.

Professor Fotheringham added "under Libby's stewardship, QTC's national touring reputation was assured. We now have purpose-built new workshop facilities, and have significantly increased the number of young people and students attending.

"This year following the January floods, the support we received demonstrated just how passionate Queenslanders are about this company. Importantly, Libby's leadership has greatly bolstered our financial position as well as our standing in the corporate community."

Donnelly originally trained as a social worker but moved into arts administration 19 years ago, initially with the NSW Ministry for the Arts and subsequently in senior management at Company B (now Belvoir) and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She was then appointed director of the UNSW Foundation and, after two years, moved to AMPAG.

At the UNSW Foundation, Donnelly was recognised for the major impact she had on donations raised, and at Company B she oversaw a period of extensive growth, managing the major capital redevelopment of Belvoir St theatre, working on significant productions including 'The Sapphires' and 'Stuff Happens' and developing the national and international tours for 'Page 8'.

She is an experienced Board and Community Committee Member and regularly speaks on vital issues in the arts industry.

Professor Fotheringham added "with a full and energetic program planned in 2012, including Romeo and Juliet directed by Jennifer Flowers, Elizabeth directed by QTC Artistic Director Wesley Enoch and Belvoir's production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll directed by Neil Armfield, Ms Donnelly joins us at a particularly exciting time.

"It builds on our 2011 Season with the smash hit Pygmalion under Michael Gow's directorship, closing yesterday, and the world premiere season of Fractions, written by local playwright Marcel Dorney closing on 10th December."

Donnelly agreed "Queensland holds a covetable position on the Australian arts landscape. There is an amazing amount of creativity, energy and talent.

"I am delighted to be part of the highly regarded Queensland Theatre Company and look forward to creating extraordinary and stimulating theatre with the team at QTC and Artistic Director Wesley Enoch." 


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