Claire Spencer AM (she/her)
Chair of the Board of Directors; Member People, Remuneration & Nominations Committee; Member Audit & Risk Committee
During her first five years as CEO of Arts Centre Melbourne, Claire steered the organisation toward financial stability, securing work for thousands of artists, technical crews and arts workers as the four indoor venues, iconic outdoor Sidney Myer Music Bowl, and cafes returned to operating at near to full capacity. Throughout this period, she positioned the organisation to lead a major redevelopment that is the centrepiece of a $1.4+ billion transformation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct. Reimagining Arts Centre Melbourne will include the full refurbishment of the nearly 40-year-old Theatres Building and the addition of a new campus, the Centre for Creativity, which will house a permanent and expanded Australian Music Vault and major new gallery celebrating Australia’s performing arts history.
With a long-held commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of her team and the wider live performance sector, Claire was instrumental in setting up the Arts Wellbeing Collective in 2016, which has grown to be a national member body of 400+ organisations, providing invaluable and sought-after resources for an industry deeply impacted by the pandemic.
As part of her commitment to equity and inclusion, Claire has been a board member of The Pinnacle Foundation since 2017, supporting and providing opportunities for LGBTIQ+ youth. She became Chair in October 2021.
Claire believes in the power of mentoring and continues her life-long learning by being both a mentor and mentee. She lives the adage of “bring your whole self” to work and encourages her colleagues to do the same.
Claire and her team’s work through the Arts Wellbeing Collective has been recognised numerous times with several awards, and in 2020 Claire was honoured to be awarded an Order of Merit for her services to community in the performing arts.
Claire has been a member of Chief Executive Women since 2015. She is a member of several other industry groups, including the Australian Government’s Australia-Singapore Arts Group. In June 2020 she was invited to join the board of the Committee for Melbourne joining business, academic and civic sector leaders to help shape a better future for Melbourne.
She lives with her husband, three children and two dogs on Kulin Land.