New NORPA boss wants Northern Rivers shows touring the world
TACKLING the big challenges like how to get Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA) productions touring on a state, national and international scale, is high on the agenda for the arts organisation's new general manager Patrick Healey.
Before making the sea change north to work for NORPA, Mr Healey was finance director for four years at the Melbourne Theatre.
On top of that, he has more than 27 years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector in Australia and overseas and as the director of finance and operations for the Community and Public Sector Union in Australia.
Mr Healey said he made the move as a "career opportunity" because he believes NORPA has a lot to offer both the national and international markets.
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"The uniqueness of NORPA is that it's in this amazing place in terms of the nature of stories it creates," he said.
"It's quite fascinating to those who live in cities or overseas; it's just so unique and fresh.
"And it's at that point where it's really beginning to get national recognition, there's even some international recognition beginning to emerge."
Despite its impressive potential, Mr Healey said NORPA was currently constraint in its success both in terms of its finances and its capacity to tour.
"We've got the product, what we now need to do, and why I've been hired, is to help build the capacity to realise those successes," he said.
"It's sort of a Catch 22; you've got the wonderful product, people will want it, now we need to build up the financial resources to be able to put that out there."
Mr Healey said another focus of his new job would be to increase NORPA's community engagement.