Acting Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director (maternity leave cover)

UPLIT - Brisbane Writers Festival
South Brisbane
Full Time
Package Negotiable with successful candidate
Writing & Publishing

The UPLIT Board is offering a rare opportunity to a person with outstanding interpersonal skills who can lead the dedicated team at UPLIT through the delivery of Brisbane’s iconic annual literature event, the Brisbane Writers Festival in September 2018 and work with Board and the leadership team in an engaging and transparent manner to drive the organisation’s strategic goals forward during a 12-month maternity leave contract.

UPLIT enriches and connects Queensland communities through stories and ideas. Presenting a suite of annual events, including our highly regarded flagship Brisbane Writers Festival, UPLIT strives to:
• Engage existing and new audiences of books, writing and ideas through dynamic social and cultural conversations
• Build lasting connections with and between communities through transformative cultural experiences
• Promote high quality writers and thinkers, while strengthening the pathways for emerging talent
• Contribute to innovation and new thinking about literature and writing as an art form, and
• Build and consolidate foundations for sustainable growth.

UPLIT has secured funding year from federal, state and local governments for the 2017-2020 period and has a suite of engaged cash and in-kind partnerships, as well as a strong philanthropic base.

With a strong core audience, UPLIT is expanding its reach by engaging regional communities, exploring innovative modes of presenting literary content and consolidating core events for growth.

The current UPLIT CEO & Artistic Director will be taking one year of maternity leave from 1 December 2017. UPLIT is seeking a skilled arts sector leader to embrace our current vision and deliver on the strategic and delivery plans for 2018.

Our CEO & Artistic Director will thrive in a commercial environment, work closely with a board, leadership team and small support workforce, and consult with our community as an industry leader.

TITLE: Chief Executive Officer & Artistic Director
HOURS: Full time
SALARY: $80,000 including superannuation. Package negotiated with successful candidate
REPORTS TO: Chair, Board
KEY RELATIONSHIPS: Chair and Board, Leadership Team, Funding and philanthropic representatives, Key corporate and commercial partners, Industry networks and community
DIRECT REPORTS: General Manager, Head of Production, Development Manager, Marketing Manager
CONTRACT TERM: 12 months maternity leave cover


UPLIT’s CEO & Artistic Director drives the strategic, creative and financial objectives of the organisation and provides leadership for our staff, contractors and volunteers. The CEO and Artistic Director has a focus on collaborative relationships with government, current and prospective commercial and non-profit partners, industry and community stakeholders.

Strategic and Creative leadership

- Provide artistic leadership in the development of creative programming including the Brisbane Writers Festival.
- Develop and maintain strong relationships with artists, industry and community critical to the delivery of UPLIT’s creative program.
- Maintain knowledge and understanding of current best practice and innovation in arts and literary programming.
- Oversee the curation and delivery of UPLIT’s program of events.
- Drive UPLIT’s data and insights business model.
- Demonstrate and stimulate innovative program planning and delivery including:
• engaging and providing leadership for guest curators;
• leveraging cultural, community and corporate partnerships;
• engaging with writers, publishers, booksellers, tertiary education institutions and other agencies.
- Ensure UPLIT plays an active and valued role in supporting writers and readers at local, State and national levels

Commercial Leadership

Governance and Strategy
- Play a central role in UPLIT’s strategic planning and direction in conjunction with the Chair and Board; and accept responsibility for delivering the actions and targets within the current strategic and delivery plans.
- Ensure Board meetings are effectively serviced with appropriate information and the Board is kept informed of UPLIT’s financial position and operating plans, risks and challenges.

Financial Planning and Reporting
- Take overall responsibility for the budget planning, monitoring and control process, in order to achieve financial targets approved by the Board.
- Submit annual and project budgets to the Board for discussion and approval.

Marketing, Communication and Development
- Lead the development and promotion of the UPLIT brand, and maximise participation across UPLIT’s complete program of events.
- Lead the organisation to identify, convert and maintain relationships with current and prospective corporate and commercial partners.
- Develop and diversify income streams including earned income, and corporate and philanthropic support for UPLIT and its programs.
- Maintain collaborative and regular communication with UPLIT’s philanthropic, government, corporate and private stakeholders, and ensure that all reporting requirements are met.

Human Resources
- Manage the performance of the Leadership Team.
- Resource the organisation with the staff required to deliver UPLIT’s strategy, and maintain a positive and safe working environment for all staff and volunteers.
- Manage disciplinary and grievance issues, where necessary consulting with the Chair.

As the leader and public face of our organisation, the CEO and Artistic Director will demonstrate high level communication, interpersonal and presentation skills, along with the energy and capacity to lead a team to deliver our calendar of events to a standard in keeping with one of Australia’s leading literary organisations.

Applications should specifically address the following selection criteria:
- Demonstrated commercial leadership in the arts/not-for-profit sectors.
- Demonstrated artistic leadership, preferably within the literary or closely related sector.
- Experience in strategic thinking and delivering on multi-year business plans and budgets.
- Track record of building effective relationships and partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders including in:
• A government and/or corporate environment;
• Philanthropic circles;
• Regional and remote communities.
- Demonstrated abilities to effectively lead, manage and contribute in a high performing team.
- Track record of delivering complex projects to deadline and within budget, in a sometimes pressured environment.

Applications should include a full CV, three professional referees (who will not be contacted without prior agreement) and a covering letter addressing how the candidate’s experience and qualifications match the selection criteria.

Applications should be addressed to:
Zoe Pollock
CEO & Artistic Director

More Info

The following option/s are available for more info:
Contact: Zoe Pollock, CEO and Artistic Director, 07 32550254,

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: 6pm 06/10/2017
How to Apply
Email to: Zoe Pollock,