Bangarra’s executive director to depart

Bangarra Dance Theatre Executive Director Catherine BaldwinChair of Bangarra Dance Theatre, Professor Larissa Behrendt, announced last week that after four years at the helm of Bangarra Dance Theatre, the company’s Executive Director Catherine Baldwin has decided to take up a new career opportunity overseas.


“Catherine has been a part of Bangarra for almost two decades,” Behrendt said. “She was part of our early seeding when she had responsibility for dance programs at the Australia Council. She then followed and supported Bangarra’s progress until taking on the role of executive director in March 2010.”


Baldwin will depart Bangarra on March 6, 2014. In recognition of her remarkable contribution to Bangarra, Behrendt said, “Catherine has been a remarkable CEO for the company and under her leadership we have significantly improved the financial position of the company with a 30 percent increase in core funding and increased support from corporate and private donors. This has meant a significant increase in dancers’ salaries, the development of a skilled and effective administration team, and the funding and development of the Rekindling Youth Program.”


Behrendt continued, “Together we set many ambitious goals for Bangarra. Under Catherine’s stewardship, the company has increased its level of Indigenous employment and traineeships, increased the amount of time the artists spend ‘on country’ and developed our Artists-in-Residence program. We have also successfully implemented the Safe Dance program which has improved the health and fitness of our dancers.”


During Baldwin’s time as executive director, Bangarra created numerous community partnerships, such as the successful Birrang sector development program and the landmark festival, Corroboree. Behrendt reflected, “And, of course, Catherine assisted in the identification and recruitment of an exceptional board. She has done all of this in a remarkable four years.”


Artistic Director Stephen Page said, “Catherine’s leadership has taken the company from strength to strength and her valuable contribution has been central to securing the foundations for our future.”


On her departure, Baldwin said, “I leave Bangarra as it enters its 25th year, with the personal satisfaction of knowing that I do so with it possessing a strong infrastructure, a skilled and effective administrative team and an outstanding board. I would especially like to acknowledge the support the company has received for these developments from the Bangarra board under the exceptional leadership of its Chair Larissa Behrendt.”


She continued, “It has been a very special and rewarding experience to work closely with Bangarra’s wonderful artists since March 2010, and to have been be able to contribute to building a strong back office to support the company’s extraordinary artistic and cultural excellence.”


Bangarra Dance Theatre is currently preparing to perform at the 2014 Holland Dance Festival in February. For more information, click here.


Photo: Bangarra Dance Theatre’s previous executive director, Catherine Baldwin. Photo courtesy of Bangarra Dance Theatre.