Also written by Julia Barnes
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Expressions of interest are sought for an Executive Officer to lead a dynamic multi arts organisation located in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory. Barkly Regional Arts (BRA) is a renowned leader in Australian community arts. It energizes arts from 16 Indigenous language groups and provides an impressive range of quality arts projects through its Visual Arts Outreach Program, the Winanjjikari Music Centre, Desert Harmony Festival, Youth Projects, Touring and Events and Radio. Its committed team of fourteen skilled arts coordinators and practitioners operate in an extremely challenging environment to consistently deliver arts initiatives of excellence, many on the cutting edge of artistic endeavour. BRA is an award-winning organisation poised to move fully onto the global stage. It is seeking a visionary leader with a diverse management skills set including in business development, marketing, strategic planning, strong relationship building and effective partnering in a complex and diverse cultural environment, communicating with influence, major grant acquisition and exemplary financial management.
BRA works across the Barkly region covering 320,000 square kilometres. The organisation’s headquarters are in Tennant Creek, 500 kilometres north of Alice Springs. While directly operating in a further 5 remote communities (Owairtilla, Epenarra, Ali-Curung, Mungkarta and Elliot) it impacts the entire region and beyond. The Barkly has approximately 70% Indigenous population. Its health status and social dysfunction have been well publicized.
The extreme working environment does not hinder BRA from providing a remarkable array of arts services and products. The Winanjjikarri Music and Media Centre maintains highly professional standards in sound production, music recording, performance, event production, video production, online media and ongoing documentation of the Barkly’s living cultures and offers training in all of these areas. Its Indigenous sound production crew is sought nationally for events like the WOMADelaide Festival. The centre continues to win awards, for instance, the 2019 First Nations Media Awards for Best Music Video and the 2019 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards for excellence in a regional area. Media Mob, comprising talented employees from the Centre, also promote broadcasts on, for example, Imparja, NITV and ABC radio as well as regular broadcasts on 8CCC.
The Visual Arts department has prolific outputs including the Visual Arts Outreach Program providing employment and training for First Nations artists in very remote communities, promoting and marketing ‘Artists of the Barkly’, and holding exhibitions at galleries, conferences and art markets in the NT and beyond.
Youth Projects engages artists in diverse areas including music, dance, ballet, comedy and youth-oriented projects and has developed partnerships with renowned arts companies, for example, Opera Australia.
The annual Desert Harmony Festival, BRA’s premier event, is an explosion of creative activity spanning music, dance, art, film, circus, exhibitions, food, theatre and workshops bringing together Barkly’s culturally diverse community to experience professional, locally produced work showcasing regional talent, community performances and Australian productions collaborating with local artists to present shows that are truly awe-inspiring.
BRA is significant not only in its artistic and creative impacts but it also “..plays a vital role in strengthening community connectedness, social inclusion, and community and regional identity, as well as providing opportunities for economic development’ (Creative Barkly: Sustaining the Arts and Creative Sector in Remote Australia; Bartleet, Sunderland, O’Sullivan, Woodland, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, 2019). Barkly Regional Arts is a unique organisation consistently achieving life sustaining and life changing arts outcomes, located in one of the most remote and challenging places on earth.
1. Engaging, motivated and visionary leader with a track record of inspiring individuals and teams to yield exceptional outcomes.
2. Experience and understanding of remote First Nations’ communities and the serious challenges working and delivering services in extremely remote areas.
3. At least 5 years’ experience in a management role, in the arts industry as a preference.
4. A high level of business and marketing acumen including in a broad range of growth strategies and marketing techniques including in online marketing.
5. Demonstrated executive level ability to lead the implementation of complex and wide-ranging programs, while inspiring new heights of artistic excellence.
6. Executive level experience in the development and management of strategic business plans and budgets, including successful large-scale funding applications.
7. Demonstrated capacity to develop and maintain effective working relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders and partners, often with conflicting priorities, in a complex and changing environment.
Strategic relationship development
Deliver high level advocacy and representation to the organisation’s current and potential partners and stakeholders
Identify partners in achieving the organisation’s objectives and develop a planned, strategic approach to partnership building
Set a climate for strong, positive internal relationships so that the organisation’s vision is realised and its values embraced
Represent the Barkly region at territory, national and international meetings and events as required
Strategic, business and organisational leadership
Lead business planning
Design and manage the implementation of new and existing programs and initiatives
Develop a range of effective business growth strategies including in online marketing
Diversify and enhance income streams
Identify and pursue growth opportunities, strategic partnerships and resources that support the organisation’s operations and objectives
Responsible for the planning, allocation and achievement of annual budgets
Responsible for performance against the business plan objectives
Supervise the effective performance of staff
Responsible for all contractual conditions and reporting requirements pertaining to major funding stakeholders and all other funding contracts from government agencies and sponsors
Facilitate the effective functioning of the Board through the provision of appropriate, accurate, timely and strategic information and advice
Participate in and inform Board discussions and decision making where appropriate
Communicate Board decisions and their intent to staff and key stakeholders
Promotion of the organisation and sector
Promote the organisation and its products regionally, nationally and internationally to achieve wider acclaim, income, and increased opportunities to showcase the Barkly’s arts and culture
Promote the community and personal benefits of engagement with culture and the arts at every contact opportunity with all stakeholders
Responsible for overall marketing, communications and publications to ensure the maintenance and building of the organisation’s branding