New CEO announced for Bundanon

Rachel Kent. Photo by Anna Kucera
Rachel Kent. Photo by Anna Kucera

The Chairman of Bundanon Trust’s Board of Directors, Jennifer Bott AO, announced today the appointment of Rachel Kent as the new CEO of Bundanon Trust after a six-month international search and recruitment process. Rachel will commence on 6 September 2021. She will work with current CEO, Deborah Ely AM, on a full handover in the period leading up to this date. Deborah Ely announced her decision to step down from the role in December 2020.

Rachel Kent is an experienced arts leader, art historian and head curator with extensive experience working with international museums and cultural institutions as well as extended family connections in the Shoalhaven region. She is currently Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia where she leads the curatorial team, delivering its artistic vision and programs. Rachel is an outstanding advocate for contemporary and First Nations art and for the MCA, nationally and internationally, as well as being highly effective at building philanthropic and government support for the arts.

Jennifer Bott AO, Chairman of Bundanon Trust’s Board of Directors, said of the appointment: “On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bundanon, I am thrilled to congratulate and welcome Rachel Kent as the new Chief Executive Officer of Bundanon. Rachel was appointed from an extraordinarily competitive field of men and women of outstanding ability and achievements. Rachel is extremely well placed to take Bundanon on this huge next step in our development. This will not only be reflected in the stunning new Art Museum, the Bridge for creative learning, accommodation and visitor facilities, and the associated programs and activities which will be on offer, but also on the impact which the new Bundanon will have on cultural tourism, jobs, educational activities, and creative opportunities for local, national and international markets. Rachel has an amazing range of skills and experiences which will enable her to be an inspiring and effective leader in all these diverse areas.”

Rachel Kent said of the appointment; “I’m enormously pleased and honoured to take up the role of CEO at Bundanon Trust. A unique cultural and environmental asset, Bundanon holds a treasured place in the hearts of Australians, including myself. Gifted to the nation in 1993 by the artist Arthur Boyd, it offers the largest creative residency program in the country alongside educational and conservation programs, situated within the extraordinary natural landscape of the Shoalhaven, on Wodi Wodi and Yuin country. With the imminent completion of its new facilities, Bundanon is at an exciting crossroads. This expansion will change the face of the organisation dramatically, widening public access, deepening engagement in creativity and the landscape, and positioning it nationally and internationally. I look forward to inaugurating this new chapter in Bundanon’s history – building on its past achievements and opening its doors wide to new audiences and generations, going forwards.”

Outgoing Bundanon CEO Deborah Ely stated, “It has been a privilege to steward Bundanon during a period of substantial growth and to have contributed to the shaping of a new way of understanding the role cultural institutions can play within the context of local dialogue, First Nations custodianship, climate change and unwavering support for artistic endeavour during precarious times. Throughout this important period in the company’s history, I have worked with so many talented artists, and alongside passionate staff and Board members. I am grateful for the incredible support I have received from them, from across the Australian arts community and from the Shoalhaven region, who have whole-heartedly shared the vision for Bundanon. Within the next few months, Bundanon will see the full maturation of Arthur and Yvonne Boyd’s gift. It is time for new leadership to further expand on their vision.”

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