Exciting new leadership at Country Arts WA
Country Arts WA have today appointed General Manager Paul Mac Phail to the role of interim Chief Executive Officer. Paul replaces current Chief Executive Officer, Jessica Machin, who is leaving to take on the role of Executive Director with the West Australian Ballet as of the 1 August 2016.
Paul brings a strength and depth to his new role having worked in the arts in Western Australia for nearly 30 years. Paul began his career as an actor, then a writer and director of theatre for young people. He has more recently been managing projects and companies big and small in regional and metropolitan centres, including the Regional Arts Australia Summit: Arts & Edges, Southern Edge Arts and Yirra Yaakin. He was on the Board of Country Arts WA for six years before joining as General Manager in 2009.
Ross Beckett Chair of Country Arts WA said, “The board would like to thank and acknowledge Jessica Machin for her fantastic contribution, success and growth she has delivered for this organisation during her tenure. Jessica leaves the organisation in good hands with Paul who has worked closely with her over the last eight years.”
Jessica Machin said “After eight years at Country Arts WA, I leave with a mixture of emotions, pride, sadness and excitement for what the future holds. I am very proud of what we have all achieved together and know I leave an organisation that is stable, focused, with a clear vision for the future. A committed board underpins this vision, joined by the incredible staff of Country Arts WA and a well-resourced regional arts sector in WA that is a leading the rest of the country.
Sad, as I have grown very close to everyone at Country Arts WA and the amazing people and communities in the regions. I am of course very excited by this new opportunity, which will enable me to engage with Country Arts WA and regional communities in a different capacity.”
Country Arts WA is focussed on building connection, creativity and capacity to enable and empower regional people to develop and enrich their communities through engagement and culture and the art. A prime example of this in action is the Aboriginal Art Centre Hub WA (ACCHWA), now fully independently operating with a majority Aboriginal board; an incubated project born from Country Arts WA, along with the Gascoyne in May festivals initiative.
Image: Paul Mac Phail. Photo by Dan Paris.