Nationally respected strategy and governance expert John Barrington has been appointed Chair of the Perth International Arts Festival.
The announcement, by UWA Chancellor Dr Michael Chaney and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson, follows the retirement of Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares AO, who was appointed to the Perth Festival board in 2009 and was its Chair from April 2012. She was also a former UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
The University's governing body, Senate, acknowledged Mr Barrington's long commitment to the arts and community service.
With 13 years in the information technology industry and 20 years in strategic consulting, Mr Barrington brings different ways of thinking to the board.
He is no stranger to community boards, having served on a wide range over a period spanning more than 35 years. He is currently chairman of Anglicare WA, which employs 400 people to deliver services to 38,000 clients. Since joining the Anglicare board in 2009, Mr Barrington has overseen the development of a five-year strategy to refocus the organisation to better meet community needs and has initiated outcomes measurement to optimise the management of Anglicare's $35 million annual budget.
Organisations he has advised at board and executive level include Automotive Holdings Group, Base Resources, BHP Billiton, Chamber of Art and Culture WA, Department of Culture and the Arts, iinet, MDA National, Peet, Perilya, RAC Holdings and Rio Tinto. With interests in boating, cycling and the arts, he is a Life Member of Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club and enjoys spending time with his wife and two teenage sons.
Professor Johnson welcomed Mr Barrington as Perth Festival Chair and paid tribute to Professor Seares' life-time of work in the arts and valuable input into the phenomenal success of the Festival.
Professor Seares said it had been a privilege to serve as chair of one of the world's great festivals.
"Having been on the Festival board in one capacity or another for over a decade, I see it poised for a great future, and know that my successor, John Barrington, will ensure that happens," she said.
Mr Barrington thanked Professor Seares for her leadership and said he was delighted to be named Chair of the Board at such an exciting time in the Festival's history.
"Our focus will be to build on the Festival's incredible success in ways that will benefit the broader community by following our mission to bring international quality art to the people of Western Australia," Mr Barrington said. "I am proud to be part of the team delivering on that purpose."
The Perth International Arts Festival, established by UWA's Professor Fred Alexander as the "Festival of Perth" in 1953, is Australia's longest running international arts festival.
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716