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The Geelong Performing Arts Centre’s (GPAC) general manager Jill Smith will resign in early 2018, after 10 years in the role.
Ms Smith was “looking forward to a break,” a spokesperson told the Indy when asked why she was leaving the job.
GPAC’s trust chair Michelle Quigley on Friday announced Ms Smith would leave the centre.
“Jill has been an integral part of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre for a decade,” she said.
“She has worked tirelessly to ensure the arts, the centre and the cultural precinct are a key part of the future of the region.”
The announcement comes as the centre’s $38.5 million Ryrie Street redevelopment gets underway.
“This is a transformational project that Jill, the staff and the trust have tenaciously pursued and it is with great pride we are now seeing the fruits of that endeavour,” Ms Quigley said.
Ms Quigley paid tribute to Ms Smith’s efforts in bringing world-class theatre to Geelong and creating opportunities for young people to access arts programs.
“Jill came to us with an extraordinary history of support for Australian playwrights … and as a result we have welcomed many new plays to Geelong, including great Indigenous works.”
Ms Smith established the Arts for Life Endowment Fund which has attracted donations of more than half a million dollars.
She developed other fund-raising initiatives ensure access to arts programs for generations to come, Ms Quigley said.
State Bellarine MP Lisa Neville praised Ms Smith’s extraordinary contribution to Geelong and the G21 region over the last decade.
“She has helped bring many memorable arts experiences and opportunities to people of all ages – on and off the stage,” she said.
“Her hard work and tenacity has paved the way for the next chapter of GPAC’s history and will ripple through our cultural precinct, city and region for a long time to come.”

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