Natalie Jenkins Named New General Manager of Black Swan

BLACK SWAN State Theatre Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Natalie Jenkins as the Company's new General Manager and of Nicola Forrest to the Company's Board of Directors.

Natalie Jenkins has over 20 years' experience in the arts and community sectors both in Western Australia and other Australian states. She was the General Manager of ThinIce Productions, General Manager/CEO of Perth Theatre Company, and General Manager of Theatre North in Launceston (Tasmania), which included managing the city's two performing arts venues.

As the director of NJ Management, she provided project management, strategic advice and consulting services to the arts, cultural and community sectors. In this role, she worked with a range of major corporations and community organisations, as well as with the national Performing Arts Touring Alliance, Country Arts WA, Stages WA and a number of independent theatre producers.

Amongst numerous governance roles, Natalie has been the Chairperson of the Blue Room Theatre, Stages WA and the Gynecological Awareness Information Network, president and secretary of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA), a member of the Healthway WA Board and a member of the WA Department of Culture and the Arts' State Theatre Centre advisory panel.

Natalie Jenkins said, "BLACK SWAN State Theatre Company is one of the iconic arts organisations in Western Australia, and it is a great honour to take on the role of General Manager. The Company has gone from strength to strength in the last five years under the leadership of Kate Cherry and Shane Colquhoun, and now occupies an envious position in the performing arts sector. Together with Kate and the Board, I look forward to building on this success and leading the company into the next phase of its growth."

Nicola Forrest is the CEO of the Minderoo Foundation, one of Australia's largest philanthropic organisations. In 2013, all of the philanthropic and private business entities of the Forrests, including The Australian Children's Trust, were grouped under Minderoo. The Minderoo Foundation is focused on ending Indigenous disparity in Australia through employment, ending modern slavery through the Walk Free Foundation and on development projects in Ethiopia.

In May 2013, Nicola and her husband became the first Australian signatories to the Bill and MeLinda Gates Giving Pledge, a commitment by some of the world's most influential individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Nicola is also a Patron of Sculpture by the Sea and the Kimberley Rock Art Foundation.

Nicola Forrest commented, "I believe a collaborative approach encompassing the arts, education and health is essential to building sustainable empowerment in individuals and communities. I very much look forward to contributing to the future of BLACK SWAN as a Board member, as BLACK SWAN's goals are aligned with the Minderoo Foundation's broad and holistic approach to community development and enhancement through the Arts."

Mark Barnaba, BLACK SWAN's Chairman, stated, "Natalie is highly respected and brings a wealth of experience to the role of General Manager. Nicola is a trailblazer for philanthropy in Australia and will greatly add to the Board's fundraising knowledge and capability. I look forward to working with Natalie in her role as General Manager and with Nicola on our Board to continue to nurture and grow Western Australia's state theatre company."

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