We couldn't be more excited to have Kirsty Ritchie as The Australian Ballet School's new Executive Director. In a world of unprecedented change, Kirsty is bringing her passion for dance – ballet in particular, and her strategic leadership experience to create a bright future for the School.
Kirsty initially trained at The Australian Ballet School and became a professional dancer, performing with The Australian Ballet, The Dancers Company and other companies for several years. Then, Kirsty retrained in organisational development and change management, holding senior roles nationally and internationally with Myer, Telstra and Bupa. Most recently she was the Associate Director of Organisational Development and the Arts Wellbeing Collective at Arts Centre Melbourne. Kirsty commenced in this leadership role in August 2021, following the departure of General Manager of 24 years, Sandra Ball.
"I am a proud member of The Australian Ballet School alumni and have truly fond memories of my days as a student under the Direction of Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE, an experience that really set me up for life, including making life-long friends. So, it's easy to understand why the School has been successful over such a long period of time – everyone in the organisation has and does dedicate themselves to ensuring the experience for our students is positive, that they are able to achieve their goals and that they are nurtured and guided to be the best they can be as dancers and as individuals", expressed Kirsty.
Lisa Pavane, Director of The Australian Ballet School, added, "As a graduate of The Australian Ballet School and former dancer, Kirsty brings to the role an invaluable understanding of the needs of our students".
Over the last two months, Kirsty has brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the organisation and is strategically leading the School in the next phase of growth with the support of a talented team and committed Board of Directors.
"The recovery will not be without its challenges as we, and the whole performing arts industry, have been so deeply impacted. However, the creativity and connection we showed in navigating the bumps of both 2020 and 2021, and the belief in the future of dance in Australia, have shown that our students, our organisation and our community have the skills and drive to take on whatever the future brings, and shape and mould that future as we go. I am excited by the changes and transformation that we can drive as we plot a path out of the pandemic and towards our 60th anniversary and beyond".
As we emerge from the fog of the pandemic, Kirsty is looking towards the future inspired by an organisation filled with learning and growth, with young minds and youthful energy. "We are so lucky to be working with the shapers of tomorrow, and despite everything they have experienced, their passion, enthusiasm, dedication and hopes for the future are a joy to be around. The privilege of working with students is the freshness and learning that permeates our whole organisation, and I love that".