The Turnbull Government has appointed Mr Sam Walsh AO as Chair of the Australia Council Board for a three year term, commencing 1 July 2018.
Mr Walsh is a passionate supporter of the arts, having served in a range of capacities in Australia and the UK over several decades. He has been a member of the Australia Council Board since October 2016.
Mr Walsh has extensive business and governance experience across the mining, automotive and community sectors, including as Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto between 2013 and 2016. He was awarded a Gold Medal by the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2012.
Mr Walsh has been widely recognised for his significant engagement with and philanthropic support to arts organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom. He was awarded honorary life membership of the Western Australian Chamber of Arts and Culture and is a former Chair of the Western Australian Black Swan State Theatre, and Western Australian Business Arts Foundation (Creative Partnerships Australia).
Currently the Chair of the Art Gallery of Western Australia Board, Mr Walsh has also been a Trustee of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation and a recipient of the Richard Pratt Australia Business Arts Foundation Arts Leadership Award.
Mr Walsh will succeed Mr Rupert Myer AO, whose term as Chair of the Australia Council Board concludes on 30 June 2018. Since being appointed Chair in July 2012, Mr Myer has been an excellent leader and provided wise counsel to the Government and to the arts sector during his tenure. The Government thanks Mr Myer for his significant contribution as Chair and champion of the arts in Australia during this period. Most notably, his contributions include the development and implementation of the new governance structure and strategic plan and increasing engagement for the whole organisation with key stakeholders and the sector.
More information about the Australia Council is available at www.australiacouncil.gov.au
Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au
Guy Creighton | 0438 815 302 | Guy.Creighton [at] communications.gov.au