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Craig Perkins, Chair, has announced the appointment of Vernon Guest as the new CEO of Ten Days on the Island.
“Following an extensive international recruitment process, the Board of Ten Days on the Island is delighted that Vernon, who has acquitted himself so admirably over the past four years as Executive Producer, is ready to step into the role of CEO. His extensive experience with major Australian international arts festivals and his passion for and commitment to the arts in Tasmania are a fantastic asset for Ten Days.
The Board has an exciting and challenging vision for the growth of Ten Days to position our biennial festival as one of Australia’s premier international arts festivals, a vision we know we can realise with Vernon at the helm.
Vernon is highly regarded by his colleagues nationally and has built strong and positive relationships within the arts across Tasmania. He also brings a great knowledge of and network with contemporary international arts practice.”
As a senior producer, programmer and arts manager, Vernon has curated festivals, venues and events across Australia. After graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, his early career included stage managing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney Paralympics and production management for the Adelaide and Perth festivals.
Vernon later held the post of Program Manager for the Perth International Arts Festival, Star Shell Manager for the Darwin Festival, Special Project Manager at Sydney Festival, Program Manager at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and eight years as Producer of Major Outdoor Events for the Sydney Festival.
With more than 21 years’ experience in the arts, Vernon has implemented strategic change in complex not-for-profit structures and led many innovative cultural projects across Australia. He lectures and advises on international programming and artist management to a variety of organisations and is currently on the Board of Performing Lines.
Accepting the role Vernon said, “I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead Ten Days, a Festival that enjoys excellent support from partners, artistic collaborators, and audiences across lutruwita. I’m passionate about inclusive and inspiring festivals that invest in local artists and celebrate our sense of place. I’m thrilled to continue working with the amazing staff and dedicated volunteers that make this wonderful festival possible. Thanks to Jane Haley’s careful stewardship over the past six years, Ten Days has a bright and ambitious future, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Artistic Director Lindy Hume welcomed the announcement, “Having worked with Vernon over nearly 20 years at Perth Festival, Sydney Festival and now here in Tasmania, I know well that his leadership is informed by big ideas, vast experience of producing contemporary festivals around Australia, a passion for Tasmania’s landscapes and cultures, and a deep understanding of the power of the arts to transform and engage communities.
I am delighted to be working toward Ten Days on the Island 2023, my last as Artistic Director, alongside Vernon in his new role. So, sad as I am to farewell the wonderful Jane Haley, I congratulate Vernon on his appointment as CEO and wish him every success in this thrilling new adventure.”
Outgoing CEO Jane Haley said, “Having celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2021, Ten Days on the Island looks forward to its next 20 years as Tasmania’s flagship biennial international arts festival. In this ambitious new phase, Vern’s appointment to the top job ensures Ten Days on the Island retains, as its new leader, someone who really understands and deeply values this very special Festival’s role in Tasmanian cultural life and the national cultural landscape. I am thrilled by his appointment and wish him every success.”