Patrick McIntyre. (Photo: Nic Walker)

Come October, Sydney Theatre Company executive director Patrick McIntyre will begin work as the new CEO of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).

McIntyre succeeds Jan Müller, who resigned last December to return to the Netherlands to be with family.

Prior to his role at the STC, which he has held for 11 years, McIntyre worked across various organisations within the cultural sector. These include Sydney Film Festival, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company and the Sydney Opera House Trust. 

NFSA chair Gabrielle Trainor said that McIntyre would bring to his new role a deep appreciation of Australian storytelling, a love of film and music culture, leadership skills and entrepreneurship, as well as a record of growing connection with audiences. 

The latter point is notable, as the NFSA has undergone significant transformation in recent years, driven by a desire to be relevant and accessible to both industry and the general public alike. Among its strategic priorities is building its national profile.

“Attracting a person of Patrick’s calibre to the NFSA is exciting for us and for all the national cultural institutions,” Trainor says.

“The NFSA, whose work in collecting, preserving, and creating access to our audiovisual memory sits at the intersection of culture and digital technology, has great opportunities ahead. 

“Patrick’s respect for the work of the archive together with his vision will take us further along our transformation from a collecting institution to an even more vibrant participant in our national cultural life,” she said. 

As well as boosting the NFSA’s public face, McIntyre’s chief priorities will be continuing the archive’s digitisation push and redefining its physical presence.

The NFSA recently received additional government support to expedite the digitisation of its magnetic tape collection before 2025 and establish a digitisation hub, to be dubbed the National Centre for Excellence in Audiovisual Heritage. The archive also received further funding at the Federal Budget to help in storage and management efforts.

Until McIntyre begins in October, NFSA COO Nancy Eyers will continue to serve as acting CEO, supported by Jacqui Uhlmann, head of collections and Matt Ravier, chief engagement officer, together with their teams. 

Trainor is also departing her role as chair today after serving the maximum nine years, with Caroline Elliott, chair of the finance committee, now to act as chair.

“While I’m very sad to depart, it has been a transformative time and immensely gratifying to see the NFSA cementing our credentials as a leader in digital audiovisual culture. I thank the Ministers and departmental officials, my fellow board members, the many others in creative industries and the wonderful NFSA executives and team members over those years for the privilege of working with them,” Trainor said. 

“It’s a very happy coincidence that today I can herald the next era of the NFSA, with the board’s appointment of Patrick.” 

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