It seems that the better your
corporate credentials, the better your chances of cracking a cultural gig in
Australia at the moment. According to The Australian, Kathy
Keele, the current CEO of the Australian Business Arts Foundation, is the hot
favourite to take over at the helm of the Australia Council.

The OzCo position is up for grabs following this week’s announcement that
CEO Jennifer Bott is leaving in September, six months before her contract
expires.

If, indeed, it’s true that Keele is destined for the OzCo post, there is a
neat symmetry between her relationship with new OzCo chairman James Strong and
Bott’s relationship with former chairman David Gonski.

Bott is heading to the fundraising arm of the University of New South Wales
where Gonski is Chancellor. Keele is coming from AbaF where Strong is still
chairman.

Keele is highly regarded in her role at AbaF, the organisation charged with
encouraging business to support the arts. But is she the right person to run an
arts funding body? Before joining AbaF, Keele’s career was not even remotely arts
related. Here is her CV as it appears on the Claxton Speakers Bureau website.

Kathy’s former positions include Executive General Manager Marketing,
Strategic Development & Communication, Siemens Limited Australia – New
Zealand; Managing Director – Telstra Mobile, Telstra Corporation; Director
Corporate Communications, BHP Ltd; and, Manager Strategic Marketing and Product
Development BHP Steel International.

While the AbaF gig is arts related, the job mainly involves talking to
business types and senior arts managers.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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