New GPAC CEO appointed

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Arts and Culture Pillar

Experienced arts and culture administrator and festivals director Joel McGuinness is new Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) Chief Executive Officer.

GPAC Trust interim chair Professor Jane den Hollander announced the appointment today (February 13, 2018) following a national search.

Mr McGuinness replaces Jill Smith, who announced in September 2017 she was stepping down after 10 years in the role.

Ms Smith was widely lauded for her tireless and visonary work bringing national and world-class theatre to Geelong, supporting local cultural endeavours and fund-raising. 

Mr McGuinness, a City of Bunbury councillor in Western Australia, is former vice-chair of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association.

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduate has worked in metropolitan and regional centres across Australia.

As general manager of Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre he oversaw its successful $12.5 million redevelopment.

He also spent four years in Brisbane and worked for companies including Circa and Brisbane Festival before founding arts management consultancy JAM Creative, which has assisted many arts organisations and venues across Western Australia.

He is director of Bunbury Fringe Festival and the South West Multicultural Festival.

Mr McGuinness will start at GPAC on March 13.

Prof den Hollander said she was delighted to welcome him.

“Joel has worked extensively in Australia’s arts and cultural sector both in capital cities and in regional areas," Professor den Hollander said.

“He understands the important role the arts and creative industries can play in shaping and transforming communities and will bring a wealth of experience and ideas to GPAC and the region.”

Mr McGuinness will arrive with GPAC’s State Government-backed $38.5 million redevelopment well underway.

He said he was thrilled to moving to GPAC at such an exciting time and looking forward to becoming part of Geelong community.

“I am keen to start working with the Trust, staff and the whole community to deliver great outcomes for Geelong, the G21 region and the broader arts sector in Victoria and nationally,” he said.

GPAC is the premier performing arts centre in in the region and one of the leading regional arts venues in the country.

Source: A Geelong Performing Arts Centre media release.