Arts Administrator - Elizabeth Butcher
Summary: Elizabeth Butcher is a humble hero of the Performing Arts in Australia. An administrator of considerable brilliance, she has steered many of our Arts organisations to prominence, accolade, survival and celebration; nationally and on the world stage. She was the dynamic General Manager of the National Institute of Dramatic Art for nearly 40 years, and together with its Director, John Clarke, steered the school to become the flagship training ground for Arts practitioners. It was Elizabeth who found the site of the Sydney Theatre Company - an abandoned wharf in Walsh Bay - who upon discovery, knew it would be the perfect home for a theatre company. She was present at the beginnings of the Sydney Theatre Company and managed the move of the Old Tote Theatre Company to the newly built Sydney Opera House, for its finale season of plays. Elizabeth Butcher has served on countless boards including The Australia Council, The Seymour Centre, Playing Australia, and the University of Technology Arts Management Course Advisory Committee. She was Chairman of the Sydney Opera House Trust from 1989 -1995, a role that fills her with great pride. Essential contributions have also been made in positions on the NSW Government Cultural Grants Advisory Council and the Council of the University of New South Wales. It is a most remarkable resume and her achievements in Arts Management are extensive. It is her role at NIDA as nurturer, manager and business executive that has endeared her to many, and ensured that young artists received the best training and launch-pad possible. In 1984 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Performing Arts. It was my great privilege to celebrate Elizabeth Butcher and her immense contribution to the cultural life of Australia in this episode of STAGES.