The Australian arts industry was forever altered upon receiving the news that former Executive Director of The Australian Ballet, Libby Christie tragically passed away in October 2023.
26 Oct 2023
Libby’s contribution to the cultural landscape of Australia was immense and her passion, dedication and intelligence touched every sector of the industry and its people. From her tenure as Managing Director of Sydney Symphony Orchestra between 2003 to 2009, Libby moved to the role of Executive Director of Arts Funding at the Australia Council for the Arts (now Creative Australia), where she championed the practice and enjoyment of Australian arts across music, literature, visual arts, theatre, dance, community partnerships and emerging and experimental arts.
Libby became the acting CEO of the Australia Council in 2012 before joining The Australian Ballet as Executive Director in 2013, a role she remained in for almost a decade, working alongside Artistic Directors David McAllister and David Hallberg to lead the company through periods of significant change with grace, resilience and infinite energy.
Libby’s resolve was remarkable as she guided The Australian Ballet through the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing the company to emerge from this challenging time with strength and optimism for a bright future. There seemed to be no obstacle too big for Libby to take on, her passion, commitment, courage and impeccable style were an ever-present inspiration to those who knew her.
Libby delighted in learning and discovering emerging and experimental artistic practices. Beginning her career in further education, Libby moved into the technology and telecommunications sector before joining the Sydney Symphony and fully immersing herself in the Australian arts.
In 2020, Libby was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to performing arts administration and to women in business, and in 2023 was awarded The Australian Ballet’s highest honour, becoming one of our esteemed life members.
We remember Libby for her warmth, passion, incredible leadership and immense contribution to ballet and the Australian arts industry.
A colleague, a mentor and a friend, your legacy will continue to inspire future generations of those who practice art and those who love art.
Libby Christie AM