The Australia Council for the Arts has announced the appointment of Adrian Collette as its incoming CEO. Collette, an experienced arts leader, will take the reins in January 2019. He was appointed by a selection panel, following a recruitment process involving an external executive recruitment agency.

Adrian Collette, Australia Council for the Arts, CEOIncoming CEO for the Australia Council for the Arts, Adrian Collette. Photo: supplied

“On behalf of both the Australia Council Board and its staff, I congratulate Adrian and welcome him to our Executive team,” said Australia Council Chair Sam Walsh. “Adrian is an outstanding leader who brings a wealth of experience and unwavering passion for the arts to this role. He also brings deep knowledge of the Council through his valuable contribution as a Council Board member. We are very confident that Adrian will deftly steer the Australia Council through its next exciting chapter, ensuring the Council’s ongoing commitment to the arts enriching the lives of all Australians.”

Following a career in book publishing, Collette was Chief Executive at Opera Australia for 16 years, and is currently Vice-Principal (Engagement) at the University of Melbourne. Collette, who was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2008, has also served as a member of the Australia Council Board and Chair of the Major Performing Arts Panel.

“I am honoured to take the reins of this exceptional organisation with which I have had a close connection for decades. I acknowledge the great achievements of those in whose footsteps I follow, not least Tony Grybowski who has taken the Council through its most significant transformation in its 50 year history,” Collette said. “I am looking forward to working with the Council Executive and staff to continue our important work of championing and investing in the arts so that the great benefits of the arts may be experienced by all Australians. Creative endeavour is increasingly being recognised as essential to more vibrant, prosperous and inclusive societies. I believe we need to listen to all our communities and respond with fresh approaches to supporting Australian arts and culture. This means opening doors to support for new forms, diverse practice and celebrating our extraordinary First Nations arts.”