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The new arts leader: the Australia Council and cultural policy change
journal contributionposted on 2002-01-01, 00:00 authored by Katya Johanson, Ruth Rentschler
One consequence of the development of cultural policy has been a demand for more creative leadership in arts organisations. This article provides a case study of how leadership of the Australia Council changed from the 1970s to the beginning of the 21st century. It argues that changes to the way in which Australia Council chairs approached their role was shaped by, and contributed to, the trend towards constructing the arts as an industry. Part of this change sees the Australia Council subjected to aspects of reform, which were widely endorsed by the Australian public sector. The article identifies three styles of leadership exhibited by the chairs over the period: visionary, statesman and reformer, in three phases of the Council's history. It examines the political and social imperatives shaping these leadership styles.