12/11/2020 - 14:00

Machin bows out of WA Ballet

12/11/2020 - 14:00

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Jessica Machin has resigned as West Australian Ballet’s executive director to pursue a new, as-yet-unannounced leadership role.

Jessica Machin spent four years with West Australian Ballet. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Jessica Machin has resigned as West Australian Ballet’s executive director to pursue a new, as-yet-unannounced leadership role.

Ms Machin spent four years with the company, and led initiatives to expand the ballet’s performances into regional Western Australia and some international locations.

Some of those plans were iced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent months, Ms Machin has become a vocal advocate for the sector’s viability amid ongoing restrictions, speaking with Business News several times throughout this year about ways in which the sector could restart performances while observing social distancing and other hygienic practices.

The company has since returned to relative stability, performing Dracula in September.

West Australian Ballet chair Sherry Duhe called Ms Machin’s leadership transformational and offered her substantial outreach and access to Indigenous communities with her touring strategy.

“Against the backdrop of the challenges posed by COVID-19, West Australian Ballet has delivered an incredibly successful year, not only in terms of artistic productions, but notably we have successfully launched and established an endowment fund,” she said.

“We wish her well in her future leadership endeavours.”

Ms Machin had previously spent eight years as chief executive of Regional Arts WA and has experience serving in executive and board capacities with arts companies throughout South Australia and New South Wales.

Hiring advisory firm Lester Blades will advise on Ms Machin’s replacement, while former West Australian Ballet chair Robert Edwardes will assist the leadership team during the transition.

Artistic director Aurelien Scannella meanwhile will remain in his role until 2023.

According to Data & Insights, the ballet is the ninth largest arts and cultural organisation in WA as ranked by revenue, having received $13 million in 2019.

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