The National Art School has announced that it has appointed Michael Lynch CBE AM as Interim Director, commencing September 2016.

The appointment follows the recent resignation of current Director Michael Snelling, who is relocating to Hong Kong to support his partner Suhanya Raffel as she takes up her position as Director of Hong Kong’s M+ Museum.

Mr Lynch commented that: ‘The National Art School has an extraordinary history of creating great artists across genres. I recognize the difficulties that face the School over the coming months and hope to work closely with staff and the Board to find a solution that best benefits the arts, National Art School and all interested stakeholders of which the students are paramount.’

Outgoing National Art School Director Michael Snelling said: “Michael Lynch brings a wealth of experience in the arts, education and government at the highest level to NAS. We have worked together before and I am looking forward to working again with Michael over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”

National Art School Chairman Nicholas Johnson added: “The Board and I are thrilled that Michael Lynch has agreed to assume the role of Acting Director of the National Art School. His track record and experience speak for themselves. He will provide outstanding leadership while the Board works towards the appointment of a permanent replacement for Michael Snelling. We are sorry to see Michael leave, he has done a great job for NAS but I am delighted for him and Suhanya to be moving to Hong Kong.”

This week, Mr Lynch was awarded the prestigious 2016 Sue Nattrass Award™ by Live Performance Australia, honouring exceptional service to the Australian live performance industry.

To ensure a smooth hand-over, Mr Lynch will commence working with the National Art School’s executive team in a consultative capacity immediately, taking over as Interim Director from early September 2016, upon Mr Snelling’s departure. Mr Lynch will remain as Interim Director until early 2017, at which time the School anticipates recruitment for the Director’s role will be completed.

Michael Lynch CBE AM Biography: Michael Lynch was Chief Executive of London’s Southbank Centre from 2002 until 2009 and was responsible for the major renovation of Royal Festival Hall and the transformation of the Southbank cultural precinct. Previously, Michael held positions as Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera House, General Manager of the Australia Council and General Manager of the Sydney Theatre Company. From 2011 to 2015 he was Chief Executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District, an ambitious project which will see a huge arts precinct built on the shores of Hong Kong‘s Victoria Harbour. Michael was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 2001 and in 2008 he was named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), both for services to the arts. In July 2016 Michael was honoured with the 2016 Sue Nattross Award at the Helpmann Award for exceptional service to the live performance industry.