We are delighted to announce the appointment of an innovative new Leadership Team for Four Winds.
Melissa King and Gabrielle Waters will be Co-Executive Directors, and Matthew Hoy will be Artistic Director. Together they will form a new Leadership Team to lead Four Winds, working closely with both Lindy Hume AM, Creative Director of the Four Winds Festival at Easter, and David Hewitt, Director of ‘Create and Inspire’ (our key music-based program focused on youth, community, and First Nations).
Gabrielle Waters will be responsible for day-to-day operational management, including staff, budgets, and artistic production. She was formerly the Director of Operations at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and has held similar roles at Opera Australia and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She has a particular interest in the training, care and development of artists and administrators, having started her lifelong orchestral journey as a bassoonist performing in orchestras around Australia and abroad.
“I have been coming to this part of the world since my childhood and am eager to deepen my relationship with this special place. We are all hugely looking forward to meeting the Four Winds’ community, making connections, and exploring how we can contribute even more to the thriving daily life of our region,”
Melissa King will lead business management and artistic administration, including relationships with artists, funding bodies and donors. She is the Director of Artistic Planning at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and will continue in this capacity alongside the Four Winds role. She has held similar roles at the MSO and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and previously managed the National Youth Orchestra of NZ. Melissa is deeply committed to the impact of music in community.
“We have all long admired the unique position Four Winds holds in Australia’s musical firmament. Its sense of place physically and its commitment to building a community through music-focused arts speaks to our hearts and joint vision. We hope that through our partnership we are embodying a future of inclusiveness and collaboration, and all it promises. We are honoured that the Board has entrusted us to build upon the remarkable foundation of the past 30 years at Four Winds,”
Matthew Hoy will focus on the year-round program of activity that puts music at the heart of Four Winds. He is a cellist who is Head of Programming at MSO, and he will continue to make a significant contribution there alongside his Four Winds role. He has also held similar roles at the Australian National Academy of Music and worked closely with both Melbourne Festival/RISING and the Perth Festival. Matt has performed at Four Winds, led the inception of its residency programme with ANAM as far back as 2013 and understands what a special musical experience it gives to both performers and audience. He is interested in bringing people together to both make and hear music and has always explored the relationship between music and its connection to place – which is so much a part of what we do at Four Winds!!
“This leadership model offers increased possibilities to combine our skills to realise the immense potential of drawing on our differences and the diverse pathways that have led us to this place, together, at this time. Never has music been more vital in the unity and healing it can offer. We are humbled and inspired by the opportunity before us,”
Going forward, Matthew and Gabrielle will remain involved with the MSO and Melissa with the SSO, bringing significant benefits to artists, participants, and audiences on the Far South Coast of NSW. These ongoing relationships will provide new opportunities for Four Winds to build new partnerships and collaborate nationally.
The Team know each other well and have experience of working together across many years and circumstances. Four Winds is delighted that three professionals with such a depth and range of experience will bring their skills as a collaborative team to take the organisation forward. The Team will work from both the Four Winds site near Bermagui and remotely. Melissa King and Gabrielle Waters both live in Eden Monaro and all have committed to maintaining a consistent local presence.
Four Winds Chair, Michael Darling said: “This is an innovative structure enabling a regional arts organisation to capture the high-level skills of wonderfully talented industry professionals in a new, “21st Century way” of working together. It endorses the standing of Four Winds now and signals the scale of our ambitions for the future.”
Gabby, Melissa and Matt are looking forward to being in Bermagui, meeting the Four Winds community and getting to work.