15/01/2020 - 17:15

Black Swan appoints executive director

15/01/2020 - 17:15

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Rick Heath has been named executive director at Black Swan State Theatre Company, following controversy over sudden leadership changes at the organisation last year.

Black Swan appoints executive director
Rick Heath joins Black Swan after 12 years as executive director at Performing Arts Connections Australia.

Rick Heath has been named executive director at Black Swan State Theatre Company, following controversy over sudden leadership changes at the organisation last year.

Mr Heath joins Black Swan after 12 years as executive director at Perth-based Performing Arts Connections Australia, a body representing and supporting performing artists in Australia.

The announcement comes after Black Swan surprised the WA arts community by replacing executive director of five years Natalie Jenkins with recently-appointed board member Danielle Norrish in May last year.

Ms Jenkins was to stay on until the end of 2019 to assist in the handover but two weeks after the leadership change, Black Swan announced Ms Jenkins had departed the company and Ms Norrish was made the interim executive director.

Ms Norrish will stay on at Black Swan as part of the handover process and will return to the board.

Mr Heath, who starts his new role on February 20, said he was proud and humbled to be selected to lead Black Swan and build on its extraordinary legacy.

“I look forward to working in partnership with artistic director Clare Watson and having a front-line role in shaping the cultural development of the State,” Mr Heath said.

“As a Western Australian, my personal investment and commitment to developing and celebrating our unique cultural identity in meaningful ways, for audiences, artists and the broader community, is relentless.”

Black Swan chair Nicola Forrest said Mr Heath was highly respected in the industry and would bring a new look and fire power to Black Swan.

“This decade promises to be our most exciting yet and the board looks forward to working with Rick as we continue to nurture and grow Western Australia’s state theatre company,” Ms Forrest said.

Black Swan had revenue of $6.2 million last year, making it the 11th largest arts and cultural organisation in WA on the BNiQ database.  

Former executive director Natalie Jenkins was recently appointed chief executive of Perth brand agency Block, commencing this week. 

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