28/05/2019 - 16:05

Black Swan revises leadership plan

28/05/2019 - 16:05

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Black Swan State Theatre Company announced today its outgoing executive director Natalie Jenkins has already left the organisation while also disclosing her replacement, Danielle Norrish, may not hold the role permanently.

Black Swan revises leadership plan
Nicola Forrest became chair of Black Swan in April last year. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Black Swan State Theatre Company announced today its outgoing executive director Natalie Jenkins has already left the organisation while also disclosing her replacement, Danielle Norrish, may not hold the role permanently.

A statement released by Black Swan said Ms Jenkins, who had served as executive director since 2014, departed the company on May 23 by ‘mutual consent’.

It said later this year the board would make further appointments to key leadership roles within the company, including a permanent executive director.

Today’s statement is a marked shift from what Black Swan announced earlier this month.

In a statement that surprised the arts community, it disclosed that recently appointed board member Ms Norrish would become executive director, with Ms Jenkins to stay until the end of the year.

Several people in the arts sector told Business News they had no idea Ms Jenkins was looking to leave or due to be replaced.  

The role was not advertised and no formal search was conducted for the high-profile position.

Ms Norrish is a former creative industry executive who doesn’t have a background in the arts and joined the Black Swan board three months ago.

In the statement released in May, Black Swan chair Nicola Forrest said the board thanked Ms Jenkins for her commitment to Black Swan over the past five years.

“Now is a good time for Black Swan to start the transition to new leadership as the company embarks on the next phase of its journey,” Ms Forrest stated.

“Danielle is ideally positioned to lead Black Swan going forward and the board is delighted to announce this new appointment.” 

At Black Swan’s annual general meeting today, Ms Norrish stepped down as board member to assume the role of interim executive director, instead of executive director-elect as the statement released in May said.

Ms Forrest became chair of Black Swan in April last year and has seen several board changes over the past year - including the appointment of Ms Norrish in February.

Ms Forrest and her husband, Andrew, are founders of the Minderoo Foundation, which has made significant donations to Black Swan.

Minderoo chief financial officer Felicity Gooding is also on the board of Black Swan.

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