NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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NIDA farewells Jennifer Bott AO

Jennifer Bott AO was fondly farewelled at NIDA this week as she leaves the post of CEO to develop her already astonishing career. After having served as six years as NIDA Board Chair and a year as CEO, Jenny has been a major pillar in NIDA’s history and a major determinant in its future stability and prosperity.

NIDA Board Chair Noel Staunton welcomed guests and introduced Peter Ivany AM, NIDA Foundation Trust Board member, Julie Lynch, Director Centre for Design Practices and Isaac Barron, NIDA Student Council President. Jennifer was presented with a gift from the staff and board.

Jennifer was Chairman of NIDA from 20 May 2013 and Executive Chairman of the Board from 29 October 2018 to 23 May 2019. In 2019 she stepped in to become NIDA’s Chief Executive Officer, showing stable and positive leadership.

All speakers remarked on Jennifer’s openness, transparency and ability to stay focussed and achieve the vision. During her time on the Board and as CEO, she oversaw and continued major projects, such as the completion of the Graduate School building, the formation of new ties between NIDA and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and between the NIDA Board and its fundraising arm the NIDA Foundation Trust.

During NIDA’s 60th anniversary year, Jennifer oversaw both the celebrations and the opportunity for invigorated fundraising for student scholarships. She showed a determined commitment to increasing opportunity and accessibility to any student with the talent and potential to attend NIDA. She also strengthened Indigenous engagement and representation across NIDA and remarked that 2019 saw the largest intake of Indigenous students into the institute.

Photo: Jennifer Bott AO receives a farewell gift from Board, staff and students. (Photo: Merette Boutros)

In thanking all staff, Board members and students who had made her time at NIDA so memorable, Jennifer commented that 'NIDA is a very special organisation – complex, demanding, lovable, inspirational, and important. NIDA is important to the future of the performing arts to Australia. It has an impact on us as individuals, on our sense of self, our place in the world. Our mark, our images and our stories are highly influenced by our writers, designers, actors, directors, cultural leaders and theatre makers all!'

Photo: NIDA Board Chair Noel Staunton congratulates Jennifer on her legacy at NIDA. (Photo: Merette Boutros)

Photo: Peter Ivany AM, NIDA Foundation Trust Board member thanks Jennifer for her commitment to NIDA. (Photo: Merette Boutros)

In closing, Jennifer acknowledged the incoming NIDA CEO, Liz Hughes, and warmly welcomed her to the staff. She continues her role as the Chairman of the Bundanon Trust, a Trustee of the Australian Museum, a Director of the Australian National Academy of Music and a board member of the Sydney Orthopedic Research Institute. Jenny is also working closely with artist Ben Quilty, to develop a regional gallery in the Southern Highlands.

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