Exit interview: Steve Saffell, CEO, Country Arts SA

After 26 years at Country Arts SA, including nine as CEO, Saffell reflects on his tenure and the changes he’s seen in that time.

Steve Saffell’s 26-year tenure at Country Arts SA began at the same time the organisation was founded in 1993. Starting out as the brand new organisation’s Manager of Program and Resources, he went on to become Country Arts SA’s Chief Executive Officer, a role he’s held for the last nine years.

Now, as the organisation prepares to close for the Christmas break, Saffell is retiring, stepping down as CEO and handing over the reins to his replacement, Anthony Peluso, whose appointment has just been announced.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts