Bangarra Announces Appointment of New Executive Director

Ken Markwell

Ken Markwell

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Bangarra Dance Theatre is pleased to announce the appointment of Mununjhali man, Ken Markwell, to the position of Executive Director of Australia’s premier Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company. Markwell will join Artistic Director, Frances Rings in her first year leading the company into its next phase.

Ken Markwell is a proud Mununjhali man from the Yugambeh Language Group. His people are from the Beaudesert area in South East Queensland. He also has cultural responsibilities for neighbouring Wangerriburra country and connections to the Gold Coast and Tweed. Markwell is a respected Indigenous leader with a wealth of experience.

Markwell brings a broad range of skills developed across corporate, public sector and community, and at all levels of government. He was Executive General Manager of Australian Unity’s Indigenous Services business, director and lead of Ernst and Young’s Indigenous Sector Practice, led Indigenous Business Australia’s Traditional Owner and Sustainability Unit and guided multi-disciplinary teams at Commonwealth and State Government levels. Most recently, he is the owner and operator of Markwell and Associates where he focused on delivering outcomes in Indigenous heritage, tourism, economic, environmental and business sectors.

Bangarra Chair, Phillipa McDermott said “It is an immense privilege to welcome our new Executive Director, Ken Markwell, to the Bangarra family. As the first Indigenous Executive Director in many years, Ken brings a wealth of leadership experience and a deep connection to culture and heritage. Myself and the Bangarra board know that he is the right leader to work alongside Frances Rings to lead the company towards a bright new chapter as we continue to honour and celebrate the stories and culture of Indigenous Australia.

“I’d also like to thank Louise Ingram for working so hard over the last several months as our Interim Executive Director. Louise is a considerate and insightful leader, and she remains an integral part of our company as Chief Financial Officer”.

Bangarra Artistic Director Frances Rings said of the appointment, “Bangarra’s work is centred on culture and community, and draws on more than 65,000 years of stories. Ken shares this deep responsibility, making him the perfect selection to help guide this special company. I am thrilled to welcome Ken to the Bangarra Clan, and look forward to working alongside him to help guide this next phase of Bangarra’s Songline”.

Ken Markwell said “I’m delighted with the opportunity to work with Frances and the Board to shape the next chapter in Bangarra’s rich, diverse and enduring story. It is an absolute honour to be part of such an iconic organisation where our culture and mob are at the heart of everything they do”.

Markwell will commence the role at Bangarra in April, 2023.

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