Tough job to follow Flanagan

A PASSION for the arts but a tough business edge is what is needed for the new manager of Maryborough's $16 million Brolga theatre and convention complex.

Former manager John Flanagan has gone after six years and Brolga board chairman Barbara Hovard said yesterday his would be “big shoes to fill”.

“There are people out there with management skills and customer service expertise but they also need to deal with entrepreneurs who want to make money out of them.

“This is not an easy job ... it's a big ask.”

The council started to advertise the manager's job this week and Ms Hovard said: “We are casting the net wide across Australia to find the right person ... we think we have something special here.”

One of the council's ads reads: “A competitive remuneration package is on offer for a five-year performance-based contract. We are looking for a performance-driven manager.”

The council also asks applicants applying through its website whether they “hold a recognised undergraduate or post-graduate degree in business management, arts administration, commerce, performing or visual arts or other related qualification.

For those would-be applicants who don't, remember that Kevin Spacey didn't have a degree when he took over artistic direction of the Old Vic in 2003.

“We didn't know what to do with the structure,” Ms Hovard said. “Whether to review it or not. Well, the reviews have been conducted and the Brolga will stay the same.

“John Flanagan got it back on track financially.”

The Brolga board is made up of Ms Hovard, who took over after amalgamation when Mayor Mick Kruger said he would feel more comfortable not chairing, councillors Linda Harris, Anne Nioa and Julie Arthur and community representatives Rollo Nicholson, Nola Hemming and David Rees.

Applications close at 5pm Monday, November 2.

The Brolga Theatre was built by the Maryborough City Council after a mighty fundraising effort in Maryborough and, with help from the state and federal governments, opened on July 14, 2000.

The complex is next to the town centre on the banks of the Mary River.

The centre has established itself as a convention venue, with five main rooms including a 919-seat auditorium, 200-seat Federation Room, foyer and exhibition area, conference room and band room.

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