Black Swan rejects conflict of interest concerns

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group being the principal sponsor of Black Swan State Theatre Company raises potential governance concerns, given that Forrest’s wife Nicola is the company’s Chair.

The new Executive Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company, Rick Heath, has rejected concerns about a potential conflict of interest for the company in light of the relationship between the company’s Chair and its principal sponsor.

Fortescue Metals Group was announced as Black Swan’s new principal sponsor at the company’s 2020 season launch last year.

One of the four largest iron ore producers in the world, Fortescue’s chairman and majority shareholder is the billionaire businessman Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest.

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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