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Strout to step down as SWF executive director

The Sydney Writers’ Festival has announced that executive director Ben Strout will leave the role at the end of 2014.

Strout joined the festival in 2009 and has ‘overseen growth in the festival’s annual turnover of more than 60%’, said the festival in a statement.

Festival chair Deena Shiff said Strout had ‘made a truly significant contribution to the Sydney Writers’ Festival, managing its growth to become one of the leading literary festivals in the world’.

‘His careful management and stewardship over the last six years will enable us to hand to a new executive director a robust and exciting cultural organisation,’ she said.

Strout said he was ‘very happy with what we’ve achieved over the past six years’. ‘The company has a strong artistic program, we’ve improved its financial position, the governance structure is strong and our audience is growing,’ he said, adding that the 2014 festival was ‘in many ways the most successful we’ve ever produced’.

Shiff said Strout would assist the festival ‘with its transition to a new executive director and advise us on our new audience development programs in 2015’.

 

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