Kerry Comerford is Executive Director of Ausdance National. Kerry is an accomplished senior executive and CEO in the global arts and entertainment industry. Since 2016 she has worked as an independent producer and consultant and is currently Director – Hayes Theatre, Sydney; Circa, Brisbane and Destination Sydney Surrounds North—part of DNSW Regional tourism network.
From 2012–2016 she was Vice-President for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Really Useful Group Asia Pacific. She joined the company in 1996 as executive producer and was responsible for CATS, the Australian and Asia tour; The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1996; and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In 2001 Kerry was appointed General Manager for RUG where she oversaw the presentation of the first Korean Language production of The Phantom of the Opera and the premier China production of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Beijing and Shanghai. She has been responsible for numerous international CATS seasons including presentations in Lebanon, Qatar, Kuala Lumpur, Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, Scandinavia, Athens, Macau, Philippines, Thailand and China.
As Vice-President for RUG, Kerry led the development of the first Chinese Language CATS; the premiere presentation of The Phantom of the Opera in Istanbul, tours to South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China; and a tour of The Sound of Music to 11 cities in China, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia.
Kerry has worked for many of Australia’s leading performing arts organisations including the MLC Theatre Royal, Actors Equity, The State Theatre Company of South Australia and Come Out Youth Arts Festival. She was Director, Tandanya, Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Marketing Manager for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Executive Producer and Entrepreneurial Director, The Adelaide Festival Centre Trust.
I lead our digital publishing projects and manage the technical and editorial direction of our digital communications, marketing and information services (currently 25 hrs/wk). I work with the Ausdance Network, advocacy partners and the dance sector across Australia and internationally to ensure our information services respect and meet the business and career needs of dance professionals.
Originally from Brisbane, I was a founding member and co-curator (with Clare Dyson, Avril Huddy and Brian Lucas) of Brisbane’s CRAB Room performance space. For many years I was an artistic collaborator on site-specific performance works with choreographer Clare Dyson. I have a BA (Visual Arts) from QUT and Master of Information Studies (Internet Communication) from the University of Canberra.
Kathy has enjoyed 30 years of employment in the arts and cultural sector in wide-ranging roles such as arts and events manager, producer, educator and trainer, practitioner and community development arts worker.
She is currently Executive Director, Ausdance National.
Previously, she was Executive Producer for Shaun Parker & Company, and Faculty of Education Programme Manager at the Royal Academy of Dance, Australia, where she managed teacher training qualifications and the Academy’s Continuing Professional Development Programme. In 2016 she organised and produced the RAD’s inaugural Dance Teaching for the 21st Century: Practice and Innovation International Conference.
She was the founding director of FORM Dance Projects (formerly known as Western Sydney Dance Action), development manager at the Walkley Foundation for Journalism and has held various positions within the public and not-for-profit sectors as an event producer and project manager. Her skills include project and program management and development; marketing, sponsorship and fundraising; research; and community development.
Kathy trained in classical ballet and contemporary with professional experience in Australia and the UK as a dance artist and community arts facilitator. A BA in Dance (UWS), Graduate Diploma in Arts Management (UTS) and an MA in Dance Studies from the University of Surrey UK equipped Kathy to produce and present new work by independent dance artists and facilitate professional development and mentorship programs for dance artists and teachers. She has also lectured in creative arts education and performance studies at the University of Western Sydney.