Exit interview: Rick Heath, Black Swan State Theatre

After a two year tenure that began just days into COVID’s reign, Co-CEO Rick Heath is calling time on what’s been an unforgettable leadership role.
A man sitting on a chair in front of a colourful poster

When Rick Heath was recruited to WA’s State theatre company in early 2020 he knew he was entering fraught terrain. Eight months prior it had been announced that then-Executive Director Natalie Jenkins would not have her contract renewed under controversial circumstances. She subsequently departed the role six months early, prompting disquiet throughout the sector.

As incoming Executive Director and co-CEO, Heath knew he would face scrutiny, but said the challenge of restoring stability to the company was part of what drew him to the role.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).