Perth International Arts Festival would like to express thanks and pay tribute to General Manager Julian Donaldson who steps down to take up a new position as CEO of the National Trust of Australia (WA).
Among his many achievements in 10 years of leadership at PIAF Julian has overseen growth in corporate and government support, which has led to bold artistic endeavours and exponential audience growth, with the presentation of new works and the highest quality artistic experiences.
PIAF Board Chairman John Barrington recognised Julian’s significant contribution over the past decade.
“The PIAF Board wishes to thank Julian for his professionalism, passion for the arts and dedication to the Festival over many years,” John said.
“He can be proud of his many achievements which included delivering The Giants to Perth in 2015 – a triumph for the Festival and for WA, with attendances of 1.4 million.
“We wish him the very best in his new position at the National Trust of Australia (WA).”
In his time at the helm of PIAF Julian has successfully led the highly professional Festival team to deliver the vision of four Artistic Directors: Lindy Hume, Shelagh Magadza, Jonathan Holloway and Wendy Martin, enabling them to realise bold and ambitious programs which have contributed to the Festival’s reputation for international excellence and community engagement as Western Australia’s premier cultural event.
Julian was the inaugural recipient of the Cultural Achievement Award for Excellence in Arts Management at the WA Cultural Achievement Awards at the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) Awards in 2009.
Combined with significant corporate and Government partnerships to realise key programs across the period, this increased support has resulted in incredible audience growth; from 300,000 attendances in 2006 to 1.8 million (2015). Huge increases in attendances from interstate and international visitors over this time have also demonstrated a strengthening of Perth International Arts Festival’s brand and international reputation as one of the great festivals of the world.
Julian also led the PIAF team that delivered the Commonwealth Festival, an 8-day cultural and family friendly festival during CHOGM 2011 in Perth.
Under his leadership PIAF initiated the Festival Circle and Southern Lights programs, conceived in 2012 as new private giving initiatives with visionary aims. Donor support is directed towards the development, commissioning and production of local works, and to increasing the scope of the Festival’s International Program, with events to engage and inspire audiences in Perth and the Great Southern.
Other innovations he oversaw include the introduction of what has become an extraordinary education program, engaging school children from across the State, and the introduction of the Customer Information Centre and the Tessitura ticketing system, which have helped the Festival to build more intimate patron relationships.
Wendy Wise has been named as Acting General Manager while the recruitment process for a new Executive Director is completed. Wendy has many years experience in large-scale event management including five years as General Manager of the Perth International Arts Festival.
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