About Ann Tonks

CV April 2020 Ann Tonks

I’m an experienced cultural manager and teacher who has worked in the creative industries for over 30 years. I started my working life as an economist and statistician in the Australian Bureau of Statistics before becoming a University lecturer specialising in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. In parallel with that work, I developed an interest in radio presentation and arts journalism before finding a way to combine all these interests in arts management. After working in Canberra, Sydney and Perth, I moved to Adelaide in 2004 to study an MBA at the (then) South Australian Institute of Technology with a major in arts administration. At the same time, I was a researcher in the Elton Mayo School of Management specialising in cultural economics. By 1996, I had completed my MBA and was running the Graduate Arts Management program.

In 1987, I returned to Perth to manage community radio station 6UVS-FM (now 6RTR-FM) and in 1989, joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as Station Manager of Radio National. During my time with the ABC I played a number of management roles including Federal Editor of Radio National. In addition, I provided management training for ABC staff, developed a specialist training program for women radio managers in the Asia-Pacific region and advised the South African Broadcasting Corporation on the restructuring of Radio South Africa (now SA-FM) after the 1994 elections.

MTC theatreHaving loved theatre all my life, I couldn’t resist the challenge of Melbourne Theatre Company and  became General Manager in 1994. It turned out to be a rather long love affair and I have only just left the Company after a final year in 2012 as CEO/Executive Director. The contributions to MTC of which I’m most proud are the creation of the Southbank Theatre, developing new headquarters for the Company in Southbank and creating a stable financial environment for the Company.

Over these years, I’ve been on the Board of many organisations including dance and theatre companies, employer and lobbying organisations, advisory and support committees. I was made a Life Member of Live Performance Australia in 2011 and received an Order of Australia award in 2017 for my contribution to the arts industry. I teach Advanced Arts Management and Philanthropy in the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communications as well other management courses at Central Queensland University. I’ve researched arts leadership with Dr Kate MacNeill and Sarah Reynolds and have presented work at a number of international conferences as well as having published papers on the subject.

Organisations for whom I’ve done consultancy work include Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Recital Centre, Philip Adams Ballet Lab, Polyglot Theatre, City of Port Phillip and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. In 2018/19 I was locum CEO first for Chunky Move in Melbourne and then for Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide.

For more detail please see my curriculum vitae: CV April 2020 Ann Tonks

Arts Management Publications

The A to Z of Arts Management, 2020  (2nd Edition), London: Routledge

Co-authored with Tracy Margieson, Don’t put your daughter on the stage’: Mental health and wellbeing in the performing arts, 15th AIMAC International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management, Venice, June 2019

Co-authored with Sarah Reynolds & Kate McNeill, “Collaborative Leadership in the Arts as a Unique Form of Dual Leadership”, Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, March 2017

The A to Z of Arts Management: Reflections on Theory and Reality, Melbourne, Tilde Publications, 2016

Co-author with Kate Macneill and Sarah Reynolds, “Authenticity and the Other”, Journal of Leadership Studies, Vol.6, No. 3, 2013

Co-author with Kate MacNeill, “Leadership in Australian Arts Companies: One Size Does Not Fit All” in Arts Leadership: International Case Studies edited by Jo Caust, Melbourne: Tilde University Press, 2012