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B. ORGANISATION OVERVIEW AND PERFORMANCE

 

B.1 ORGANISATIONAL OVERVIEW    1

B.2 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS  22

B.3 SCRUTINY  57

B.4 RISK MANAGEMENT  57

B.5 INTERNAL AUDIT  57

B.6 FRAUD PREVENTION   58

B.7 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION   58

B.8 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT  59

B.9 ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER REPORTING   60

B.10 WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY  61

B.11 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT  63

B.12 ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT  65

 


B.1 Organisational Overview

B.1.1 Vision, mission and values 

The CFC’s 2016–21 Strategic Plan provides the overarching framework for the organisation’s planning activities over a five-year period, including for the development of its annual corporate plans. 

The Strategic Plan identifies the CFC’s role, vision, key values and principles, and key priorities.  It also identifies the mission, purpose, vision and key strategies both for the organisation as a whole and for its three program delivery divisions :

·         the Canberra Theatre Centre;

·         the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG), including The Nolan Collection; and

·         the ACT Historic Places : Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.  

Overarching Vision for the CFC

Our vision is for Canberra to be a creative capital that values the arts for their intrinsic qualities, their contribution to building a more inclusive and resilient society, their support for making the city an exciting place to live and an attractive destination for business and tourism, and their important role in the economy of the ACT and region.

We see the CFC as a leader in this creative city, providing high quality cultural experiences based on the arts and heritage resources that we hold in trust for the people of Canberra, and playing a significant role in the region’s cultural and economic life.

Mission

Mission/purpose statements (What we are/What we do) are identified in the Strategic Plan for the CFC as a whole and for each division.  These are supported by vision statements for each area and statements as to what the CFC is seeking to achieve in a number of areas, as set out below.

CFC

What we are

An enterprise of the ACT Government that manages a number of Canberra’s major cultural facilities

What we do

We connect people with rich and diverse cultural experiences through activities at our venues

Our vision

To provide cultural leadership in the Canberra region and beyond

What we want to achieve

Leadership : A cultural leader in the ACT region and beyond

Strategy : A clear direction for our future

Governance  : An accountable and dynamic organisation

People : An employer of choice

Finances : Long-term financial sustainability

Assets : Support for delivering high quality cultural experiences


Canberra Theatre Centre

What we are

The Canberra region’s main theatre centre, incorporating the Canberra Theatre, The Playhouse and the Courtyard Studio

What we do

We connect people with theatre experiences of national and international quality

Our vision

To be a leading theatre centre in Australasia and Asia

What we want to achieve

Customers : Audiences that are growing, diverse, engaged and entertained

Programming : A diverse, high quality, entertaining and distinctive program

Business : Venues, systems and people that support high quality live performances

Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond


CMAG

What we are

A museum and gallery dedicated to the visual arts and social history of the Canberra region

What we do

We connect people with the Canberra region’s rich and diverse stories, sense of place, and contemporary identity

Our vision

To be a leading regional cultural venue in Australia and beyond

What we want to achieve

Customers  : Audiences that are growing, diverse and engaged

Programming : Exhibitions and programs that reflect Canberra’s unique identity

Stewardship : Venues and collections that allow us to tell the many stories of Canberra

Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond


ACT Historic Places

What we are

Three historic places that reflect different aspects of Canberra’s history : Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga

What we do

We connect people with Canberra’s rich and diverse stories and heritage

Our vision

To be leading historic places in Australia and beyond

What we want to achieve

Customers : Audiences that are growing, diverse and engaged

Programming : Programs that explore Canberra’s history by interpreting each place

Stewardship : Buildings, grounds and collections that are conserved and researched

Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond

Key Values and Principles

Leadership

·         We are committed to providing cultural leadership, excellence and innovation, including leadership in using digital applications to enhance our systems and programs.

Engagement

·         We actively seek to engage our communities in a greater understanding of the value of the arts, and of our cultural heritage, through our programs and activities, placing customer service as our primary goal and recognising the diverse needs and expectations of our customers.

Collaboration

·         We value cooperative and strategic partnerships across all areas of our activities.

Professionalism

·         We place major importance on maintaining professional standards in the management of our facilities and in the design and delivery of our programs.

In observing these values, we are committed to implementing the :

·         ACT Government Service Values : respect, integrity, collaboration and innovation;

·         Principles of the 2015 ACT Arts Policy : participation and access to the arts; great arts and great artists; vitality of the Canberra region arts ecology; and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures; and

·         The ACT Government’s Strategic Priorities.

B.1.2 Role, functions and services

The CFC was established under the Cultural Facilities Corporation Act 1997 (the CFC Act), which came into operation as from 1 November 1997.

The functions of the CFC, as set out in the CFC Act (Section 6) are :

·         to manage, develop, present, coordinate and promote cultural activities at designated locations and other places in the ACT;

·         to establish and research collections;

·         to conserve and exhibit collections in the possession or under the control of the CFC;

·         to undertake activities, in cooperation with other people if appropriate, to exercise its other functions; and

·         to exercise other functions given to the CFC under this Act or another Territory Law.

The CFC Act (Section 7) requires that the CFC, in exercising its functions, must consider :

·         any cultural policies or priorities of the Executive known to the CFC; and

·         other cultural activities in the ACT.

The CFC is responsible for :

·         the Canberra Theatre Centre;

·         CMAG, including The Nolan Collection; and

·         the ACT Historic Places : Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.

The CFC’s functions therefore include the performing arts, the visual arts, social history and cultural heritage management.  The organisation delivers a range of cultural services to the community by providing activities such as theatre presentations, exhibitions, and education and community programs, and through conserving and presenting significant aspects of the ACT’s cultural heritage.

Additional information about the CFC can be found at the following websites :

·         www.culturalfacilities.act.gov.au covering whole of CFC matters;

·         www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au covering the Canberra Theatre Centre;

·         www.cmag.com.au covering CMAG and The Nolan Collection; and

·         www.historicplaces.com.au covering the ACT Historic Places.

Clients and stakeholders

During 2019–20, the CFC reported to the Minister for the Arts, Creative Industries and Cultural Events.  The Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD) is the “parent” directorate for the CFC.  The CFC’s other clients and stakeholders include :

·         the community of the ACT and region;

·         visitors to the ACT;

·         the arts, cultural, heritage, education, business and tourism sectors, including other cultural organisations;

·         national producers of performing arts, including commercial and funded companies;

·         the diplomatic community; and

·         the media, especially the Canberra media.

B.1.3 Organisational structure, environment and planning framework

Organisational structure

The CFC is organised into three program delivery divisions: the Canberra Theatre Centre, CMAG, and the ACT Historic Places, together with a central finance/corporate section.  The CFC’s top level organisational chart as at 30 June 2020 is provided below.

Figure B.1.3a CFC Organisational Chart

2019-20 Organisational Chart

Organisational environment

During 2019–20, the CFC had close working relationships with a number of ACT Government agencies and entities including the City Renewal Authority, artsACT, Minister’s Creative Council, Major Projects Canberra, Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, ACT Heritage Council, Reconciliation Day Council, Libraries ACT, Shared Services, ACT Property Group, Territory Records Office, Public Sector Workforce Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, ACT Treasury and ACT Audit Office.

Planning Framework

As noted in Section B.1.1, the CFC has adopted a five-year Strategic Plan that provides the overarching framework for the organisation’s planning activities, including for the development of its annual corporate plans. 

The CFC’s 2019–20 Corporate Plan, based on its 2016–21 Strategic Plan, identified the actions the CFC intended to take during the year to work towards the Strategic Plan.  Results relating to these actions are reported in summary in this section and in detail in Section B.2.

The CFC’s accountability indicators and targets for 2019–20 were identified in the CFC’s 2019–20 Statement of Intent, which was included in the 2019–20 ACT Budget papers.  The Statement of Intent also identified the CFC’s strategic objectives and indicators.  Results relating to the CFC’s accountability and strategic indicators are reported in summary in this section.  Further details about the CFC’s accountability indicators are provided in the 2019–20 Statement of Performance to this report.  Further details about the CFC’s strategic indicators are provided in Section B.2.

B.1.4 Summary of performance in achieving objectives and targets

Performance outcomes for the CFC in 2019-20 were significantly affected by restrictions arising from the COVID-19 situation, especially the closure of CFC venues for approximately a quarter of the reporting period.  Other detrimental impacts on performance outcomes related to the severe bushfire threats and smoke haze affecting Canberra in the 2019-20 summer season.  These factors resulted in the CFC not meeting the majority of its accountability indicator targets for the year.  In summary, during 2019-20 the CFC :

·         welcomed an estimated 291,789 visitors and patrons to its facilities and programs, a figure 27% below target;

·         provided 267 education and community programs, a figure 39% below target; and

·         recorded 476 days in total of venue usage at the Canberra Theatre Centre’s venues, a result 24% below target.

 

The CFC did, however, achieve a higher number than expected of exhibitions for the year, presenting 26 in total, compared with a target of 22, and including an additional exhibition that became available at short notice through a partnership with the Embassy of Cuba.  In another above-target result, the overall customer satisfaction rate for the year of 97% exceeded the target of 90%.

Detailed performance results and variance explanations are included in the 2019–20 Statement of Performance to this report.  

Performance outcomes – Financial Management

The CFC’s overall financial result for 2019–20 was an operating deficit of $3.748m, which was 52.6% higher than the budgeted deficit of $2.456m.  It should be noted that, due to its large asset holdings and consequent significant depreciation expenses, the CFC always expects to have an operating deficit as it is not funded for depreciation, but receives capital injections through the capital works program.  The budget deficit for 2019-20 was, however, significantly worse than budget and this was due to COVID-19 closures and restrictions impacting on the theatre activities of the CFC, with a consequent reduction in revenue.

The CFC achieved an own-sourced revenue figure of 49.0% as a proportion of total revenue for 2019–20, against a target of 50.7%.  The below-target result was due primarily to the loss of own-sourced revenue during the period of theatre closures, partially offset by higher than expected theatre-related revenues generated in the pre-closure period.  The CFC recorded a result for Cost to Government per estimated visitor/patron of $31.40 against a target of $23.03, the worse than target result reflecting the below-target number of visitors and patrons.

The CFC completed the majority of its 2019–20 capital works and capital upgrade projects by year-end, although some expenditure on, and funding for, capital projects for ACT Historic Places and Canberra Theatre Centre, was deferred from 201920 into 202021, as a result of revised project scheduling.  

A full analysis of the CFC’s financial results and financial position is set out in the Management Discussion and Analysis to this report.

Performance outcomes – Strategic Objectives/Indicators

Strategic Objective 1 – The CFC provides cultural leadership in the Canberra region and beyond.

Strategic Indicator 1 : The extent to which the CFC connects people with rich and diverse cultural experiences through activities at its venues, in the following areas.

·         Leadership : A cultural leader in the ACT region and beyond

-   Throughout the year, the CFC pursued its goal of providing leadership in cultural planning, administration and management.

-   The CFC continued to work closely with other ACT Government agencies on initiatives to plan future directions of the city centre and the future provision of cultural facilities in Civic.  A particular area of focus again this year was the CFC’s participation in work on a full business case for a major new theatre for Canberra, and its involvement in the development of a Civic Arts and Cultural Precinct Plan.

-   During the year, the CFC was closely involved in consultation on the heritage listing of the Civic Square Precinct, in view of the implications of this listing for the CFC’s existing facilities in the Precinct, and for the new theatre project.  The CFC supported the heritage registration of the Precinct but sought to ensure that the wording of the registration would enable appropriate changes to take place in the Precinct, in order to maintain and enhance its cultural significance, including through the new theatre project.

-   The Childers Group, with support from the CFC, presented an Arts Forum at CMAG for the ACT arts community, Sustainable arts practice : creativity and business, in November 2019.

·         Strategy : A clear direction for the future

-   The CFC’s five-year Strategic Plan, covering the period 2016–21, continued to provide the framework for the CFC’s operations. 

-   During the year, the CFC’s 201920 Corporate Plan, based on the Strategic Plan, was used to guide the work of the Board, advisory committees, staff and volunteers.  Reports on progress towards the CFC’s key priorities and tasks were provided to each Board meeting during 201920.  For the April and June 2020 meetings, reporting to the Board focused on the CFC’s management of impacts from the COVID-19 situation.

-   The CFC’s Corporate Plan for 2020-21 was developed in June 2020, based on four key priorities to guide the CFC’s operations in the year ahead, including COVID-19 management and recovery.

 

·         Governance : An accountable and dynamic organisation

-   The CFC maintained robust governance systems in order to provide a high standard of accountability throughout the year.

-   A Board renewal program was completed during the year.  This resulted in changes to the sequencing of Board appointment terms, whereby for the six Ministerially-appointed members on the CFC Board, there are now three appointment term conclusion dates, each for two members.  This sequencing of appointment terms ensures better continuity in Board matters and a smoother transition in membership.

-   The CFC participated in the 2019 Audrey Fagan Board Mentorship Program, providing mentorship for three young women.  A graduation ceremony was held for the participants at a dinner following the December 2019 Board meeting.

-   The CFC’s Security Executive Group met, generally fortnightly, during the year to discuss security matters, and physical security policies, plans and procedures for each business unit were developed.

 

·         People : An employer of choice

-   The CFC continued to focus on attracting, developing and retaining highly skilled staff and volunteers, and on ensuring its sites are safe and rewarding places to work.  The CFC regularly attracted a good field of high quality applicants for advertised vacancies.

-   A number of changes took place in the senior management team during the year, including for the positions Director of the Canberra Theatre Centre; Director, ACT Historic Places; and Director, Canberra Museum and Gallery.

-   CFC staff participated in a range of training, staff development opportunities and networking programs in 201920.  Staff were invited to sit on boards, committees and judging panels, open exhibitions, attend major conferences, and deliver lectures at other institutions.

-   Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) and injury management improvement strategies continued to be implemented throughout the year, with regular reports to the Board, and meetings of the CFC WHS Committee and of work unit Health and Safety Committees.

-   The CFC’s three advisory committees operated throughout the year and attended a range of meetings and workshops.  All committee members provided their time on a voluntary basis. The first advisory committee meeting of 2019–20 was held as a plenary strategic planning workshop for all three committees on 14 October 2019.  The workshop included a presentation by the CEO.  Members of CFC’s three advisory committee all agreed to continue their membership through to 30 June 2021 following a renewal process undertaken in early 2020.

 

·         Finances : Long-term financial sustainability

-   In 201920 the CFC maintained high standards of financial management and reporting, with a major focus during the final quarter of the year on oversight of the impact of the COVID-19 situation on the organisation’s finances. 

-   The audit of the CFC’s 201920 Financial Statements by the ACT Auditor-General resulted in an unmodified audit and no new audit findings.

-   For 201920, the CFC achieved own sourced revenue of 49.0% compared with a target of 50.7%, the below-target figure relating primarily to the loss of theatre revenues due to the COVID-19 situation. 

-   The CFC achieved a cost to government per visitor outcome of $31.40 compared with a target of $23.03.  The worse than target figure related to the lower than expected number of visitors/patrons, due to the closure of CFC sites for approximately a quarter of the reporting period to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

·         Assets :  Support for delivering high quality cultural experiences

-   High quality asset management continued to be a key priority for the CFC during 201920, in view of its responsibility for managing major cultural sites.

-   Work continued on facilitating access to the CFC’s sites for those with special needs; for example, through use of the electric people mover at Lanyon to assist people with limited mobility to move around the site, and upgrades to bathroom facilities at the Canberra Theatre Centre, which provided an ambulatory cubicle in all toilet blocks.

-   The CFC’s 201922 Resource Management Plan continued to provide the framework for the CFC’s sustainability and energy efficiency practices.

Further details regarding outcomes against Strategic Objective 1 and Strategic Indicator 1 are provided under Section B.2.

Strategic Objective 2 – The Canberra Theatre Centre is a leading theatre centre in Australasia and Asia.

Strategic Indicator 2 : The extent to which the Canberra Theatre Centre connects people with theatre experiences of national and international quality, in the following areas.

·         Customers : Audiences that are growing, diverse, engaged and entertained

-   During 2019–20, the Canberra Theatre Centre (the Centre) continued to focus on providing a high-quality experience for its patrons.  A 97% approval rate was recorded from post-performance surveys.  Many value-adding activities were presented by the Centre during the year to enhance the patron experience.  These included pre-show In Conversations, post-show question and answer sessions, foyer activations and an exhibition.

-   The Centre continued its commitment to inclusivity in 2019–20, by ongoing implementation of its Access Action Plan, providing a range of access services for patrons with special needs, together with captioned performances, audio-described performances and tactile tours. 

-   The Centre’s ongoing Social Capital program provided 561 tickets to the value of $37,356 to charities and community organisations between July 2019 and March 2020.  In collaboration with the RMC Band from Duntroon, the Centre delivered a program of Music@Midday concerts during the year, raising over $7,000 for local charities from donations at these concerts.

-   With the closure of the Centre from March 2020 as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the Centre’s focus shifted to timely, accurate communications with patrons about changes to events and to the venue, resulting in positive feedback via Facebook and email.

 

·         Programming : A diverse, high quality, entertaining and distinctive program

-   During 2019–20, the Centre continued to program a broad selection of works both inside and outside its subscription seasons.  This program showcased the diversity and range of contemporary Australian arts practice and brought a range of art forms to Canberra audiences, including contemporary dance, drama, musicals, comedies, political satire, adaptations of classic movies, and works that showcased Australian First Nations stories and culture. 

-   Opera Australia and GWB Entertainment’s West Side Story was successfully presented at the Centre in October 2019 to more than 20,000 attendees, with over a quarter of these being visitors to Canberra.

-   With the closure of the Centre from March 2020 as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the Centre developed new strategies and products to engage with audiences in a virtual format.  These included curating a program of Australian and international theatrical streaming options, and presenting a digital season of free live streamed performances by Canberra artists, CTC@Home, with funding support from the ACT Government.  The Centre also worked closely with presenters during the COVID-19 closure period, to reschedule or cancel productions, and to minimise the financial effects of these reschedules and cancellations. 

-   Throughout the year, local creative development was promoted by the Centre : presenting the CTC@Home program of local artists; supporting the script development of new work; supporting local companies and producers to present work at the venue; implementing the Centre’s Local Arts Engagement Policy; and creating opportunities for local theatre makers to sit in on rehearsals or other elements of the pre-production process of selected shows.

 

·         Business : Venues, systems and people that support high quality live performances

-   During 2019–20, the Centre continued a program of upgrades to retain its functionality and status as a professional performing arts centre, including through funds made available under the COVID-19 “screwdriver-ready” stimulus package.  The upgrades included :  refurbishment of public bathrooms to include an ambulatory cubicle in all toilet blocks and to improve functionality; installation of safe material handling anchor points; upgrading computerised controls for the Heating Ventilation and Air Condition systems; and commencement of an upgrade to the Centre’s security and access control systems. 

-   A number of improvements were made to the Centre’s systems and operating arrangements during the year, including the implementation of new event management software, and the migration of the website to a new server, to reduced the risk of website overload and to increase security. 

-   During the COVID-19 closure period, a major focus for the Centre was on putting in place systems and arrangements to enable certain operations to be undertake remotely, including the installation of new telephone equipment to allow Box Office staff to work from home, by accessing the Canberra Ticketing call centre offsite. 

-   Regular casual staff continued to be engaged and provided with work during the COVID-19 closure at the Centre.  The work included : site-specific tasks; work that could be undertaken remotely; and, in some cases, work placements either elsewhere in the CFC or in other ACT Government agencies, such as Access Canberra and ACT Health.  Technical staff completed a range of repair and maintenance projects, which resulted in major improvements across the Centre’s facilities, including a full refresh of Canberra Theatre and Playhouse dressing rooms and back of house areas, and the repair of The Playhouse pit.

 

·         Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond

-   The Centre’s marketing team worked closely with GWB Entertainment and Opera Australia to roll out a large-scale marketing campaign for West Side Story, which included a major regional marketing campaign, and hosted the international premiere of The Works Entertainment’s new production Cirque Stratosphere.

-   During the year, the Centre’s profile was raised by the participation of senior managers in major industry organisations.  The contribution of the outgoing Director of the Centre, Bruce Carmichael, received national recognition from the performing arts industry, on his retirement.  Both the Live Performance Australia Executive Council and the Board of the Performing Arts Centres Australia moved formal statements of appreciation for Mr Carmichael’s role in the industry.

-   The Centre’s major commitment to Discovery and Learning activities during 2019–20 was demonstrated by a wide-ranging program of activities, including hosting work experience students, university students and an Indigenous intern;  working with the Canberra Institute of Technology to continue offering a Certificate III in Live Production and Services; supporting school drama teachers in professional development; supporting the Come Alive Festival and ACTUP! Student Fringe Festival; and providing pre- and post-show activities, master classes, workshops, and venue tours. 

-   Centre staff played a key role in supporting the development of the business case for a major new theatre for Canberra, including by attending meetings of the project control group for the business case; hosting venue tours for consultants working on the business case; and supplying a range of information to support the project’s financial analysis.

Further details regarding outcomes against Strategic Objective 2 and Strategic Indicator 2 are provided under Section B.2.

Strategic Objective 3 – CMAG is a leading regional cultural venue in Australia and beyond.


Strategic Indicator 3
: The extent to which CMAG connects people with the Canberra region’s rich and diverse stories, sense of place, and contemporary identity, in the following areas.

·         Customers : Audiences that are growing, diverse and engaged

-   Throughout the year, CMAG focused on providing high-quality experiences for its customers, resulting in an 89% approval rate, based on visitor feedback.

-   Comments from visitors were used to improve various aspects of CMAG’s operations; for example, the exhibition Building a Life : The Jennings Germans story was extended for a longer period, in response to social media feedback.

-   CMAG continued to engage actively in tourism sector initiatives.  VisitCanberra staff were invited to familiarisation sessions in association with the major exhibitions Hi-Vis Futures and The Nolan Collection, and Access and Learning staff created a range of Floriade themed children’s activities in Spring 2019, and hosted Floyd the Pink Floriade Gnome in the CMAG Courtyard.

-   Digital initiatives during the year included the development of a new exhibition template for the CMAG website to extend access to exhibitions, with the exhibition Building a Life : The Jennings Germans story being the first exhibition to feature in this format.  A Seeing Canberra online learning program was developed, providing resources to students and teachers during the period of CMAG’s closure due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

·         Programming : Exhibitions and programs that reflect Canberra’s unique identity

-   Major exhibitions held during the year included VOID; Building a Life : The Jennings Germans story; Activism : Forces for change in Canberra; and Seeing Canberra.

-   New interpretation and branding for The Nolan Collection was developed for the installation of these works in the newly refurbished Gallery 5, and the Young Nolan Project was launched, whereby CMAG invites an individual school to work on an extended program to explore the work of Sidney Nolan, and to present the resulting art to the public.

-   CMAG presented a comprehensive range of community and education programs and other activities, often in association with specific exhibitions or special events.  To mark the opening of the exhibition Seeing Canberra and Canberra Day, CMAG hosted a conversation with Canberra Living Treasure Dawn Waterhouse, focusing on reflections of life in Canberra from 1928 to 1951.  The event was recorded and shared online.

-   A focus on Indigenous engagement during the year included CMAG’s NAIDOC week event for 2019 : a talk with Ngambri-Ngunnawal elder Paul House and Tom Rowney about their collaboration to create the glass yidaki recently acquired by CMAG, and an opportunity to hear Paul House play the yidaki in the gallery.

·         Stewardship : Venues and collections that allow us to tell the many stories of Canberra

-   During the year, CMAG completed a major upgrade of storage and display areas funded through the 201819 ACT Budget.  These works included refurbishments to upgrade temperature and humidity controls in Gallery 5; extending the Collection Store area into Gallery 1; and installing additional painting racks in the original Collection Store.  The entire CMAG Collection was safely moved back into the extended Collection Store area following the completion of the works. 

-   A photography project on the Nolan Foundation Collection works was completed in June 2020.  The reverse sides of these works were photographed, revealing details of the history and provenance of the works.  These photographs will form the basis of research for a proposed exhibition Back Story in which the photographs of the backs will be featured next to the paintings themselves.

-   Digitisation of the CMAG collection continued, including digitisation of 2,953 photographs from the Canberra Press Photography Collection.  CMAG invested in a Digital Asset Management System to assist in the storage of digitised photographs.

·         Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond

-   CMAG took an active role in the planning of the national conference of Australian Museums and Galleries Association Conference (AMaGA) in Canberra, which will now be held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 situation.  A MuseumHack tour of The Nolan Collection gallery will be made available to delegates at the conference.

-   CMAG staff presented a number of speeches and seminars for the museums sector.  For example, Senior Curator Virginia Rigney spoke at the Heritage of the Air Conference in November 2019 and Assistant Director, Access and Learning Samantha Rutter delivered a national online webinar on museum education for AMaGA, and spoke about CMAG’s approach to learning programming.

-   CMAG partnered with Civic Library and ACT Playgroups to offer a National Multicultural Festival Family Space during the 2020 National Multicultural Festival, with over 1,000 visitors participating in activities over the course of the day.

 

Further details regarding outcomes against Strategic Objective 3 and Strategic Indicator 3 are provided under Section B.2.

 

Strategic Objective 4 – The ACT Historic Places are leading historic places in Australia and beyond.

Strategic Indicator 4 : The extent to which ACT Historic Places connects people with the Canberra region’s rich and diverse stories and heritage, in the following areas.

·         Customers : Audiences that are growing, diverse and engaged

-   Throughout the year, ACT Historic Places focused on providing high-quality experiences for its customers, resulting in an 93% approval rate.

-   40,402 people visited ACT Historic Places (Lanyon, Mugga-Mugga and Calthorpes’ House) in 201920.  This figure includes casual visitors, group bookings, education and public programs and venue hire.

-   Engagement with Indigenous communities continued to be a focus in 201920.   Highlights included the hosting of an Indigenous Women’s Possum Skin Cloak Making Workshop for the Winnunga Nimmityah Aboriginal Health group at Lanyon; ongoing collaboration with Buru Ngunnawal Aboriginal Corporation to provide the Canoe Tree Walk at Lanyon; the program Fireside Storytelling: Wiradjuri Echoes, featuring Wiradjuri man, Duncan Smith OAM; and Ngunnawal elder Wally Bell giving a Welcome to Country at the 2019 Lanyon Christmas Carols and Picnic.

-   ACT Historic Places’ digital strategy continued to be implemented, using digital media to enhance and extend audience experiences, including the use of digital guides at each site.  During the COVID-19 closure period, new video content was developed for use on social media.  This included blogs designed to replace cancelled public programs, children’s activities and short ‘Object Stories by ACT Historic Places Staff’.

-   ACT Historic Places volunteers attended for a total of 761 hours of service across a range of activities at each property, including guiding, collection care and the training of new volunteers.  During the year, a call for new volunteers attracted a good field of applicants.

 

·         Programming : Programs that explore Canberra’s history by interpreting each place

-   The programs offered by ACT Historic Places during 201920 provided a broad range of events and encounters that linked heritage with positive social, cultural, environmental and economic outcomes, including celebrating anniversaries, special events and festivals. 

-   While the number of learning programs provided during the year was impacted by bushfire threats, smoke haze and closures due to the COVID-19 situation, programs were still provided to 2,694 students and teachers from 34 schools. 

-   Lanyon was host to a series of events during the year including an Australia Day Picnic and Lanyon Christmas Carols and Picnic.  In partnership with EventsACT, Lanyon hosted Floyd the Pink Floriade Gnome during Floriade 2019 and provided the supporting children’s holiday program Bugs and Butterflies.  A  highlight at Calthorpes’ House was the public program presented by Dr Martyn Jolly, Suburban Apparitions | Magic Lanterns at Calthorpes’ House, while at Mugga-Mugga, Performance : A Mugga Ceildh was particularly successful, being fully subscribed and with the Irish Ambassador in attendance. 

-   ACT Historic Places partnered with the University of Canberra, ACT Health, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and the National Arboretum to develop a pilot program for older adults to improve physical well-being through nature and heritage.  The pilot program was a success and will be used as a basis to develop inter-generational programs to provide physical, social and mental well-being benefits through heritage and nature-based experiences.

·         Stewardship : Buildings, grounds and collections that are conserved and researched

-   A range of activities was undertaken throughout the year in keeping with ACT Historic Places’ remit to conserve, manage, research and interpret the Historic Places. 

-   Work progressed during the year on capital works projects funded through the 201920 ACT Budget, including on the documentation and design of a new water supply infrastructure system for Lanyon, and on the design of an upgrade of security at Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.   Under the ACT’s COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package, ACT Historic Places received funds to support repair and upgrade works to two cottages at Lanyon.

-   The “green collections“ of the ACT Historic Places were a focus of attention in 201920.  Initiatives included completion of a Tree Condition Assessment and Database for the three sites, and preparation of a Grasslands Management Plan to guide the conservation and management of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation listed native temperate grasslands at Mugga-Mugga.

-   The ACT Historic Places Bushfire Action Plan was reviewed and updated, in view of longer bushfire seasons and higher frequency of extreme weather conditions.  The Bushfire Action Plan was activated in January 2020 due to the high fire danger and bushfire threat, and provenance-based items were relocated from Lanyon Homestead to CMAG for safe storage.  This was done as a precautionary measure given the worsening situation from the Orroral Valley Fire in the southern region of Canberra.  

 

·         Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond

-   ACT Historic Places undertook productive partnerships with a range of groups during the year.  A particular focus of attention was the preparation for Lanyon’s major involvement in the 2020 Floriade festival, Floriade : Reimagined, where ACT Historic Places partnered with EventsACT to include Lanyon as a National Attraction location for the event, and joined with  Cuppacumbalong Homestead and Canberra Institute of Technology to develop joint programs for the festival.

-   Lanyon continued to be popular as a venue for private events and celebrations, although the number of events held in 2019-20 was impacted by site closures due to bushfire threats and the COVID-19 situation.  There were 16 venue hires in 201920, six of which were weddings. 

-   To support venue hire business, the ACT Historic Places Venue Hire fee structure was reviewed and updated, and work progressed on a new micro website specific to ACT Historic Places venue hire, to better promote the capacity to cater to corporate, families and wedding clients, including a new focus on the children’s party sector.

-   Preparation of an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Survey of Mugga-Mugga was completed and will help to interpret the Aboriginal cultural values and sites, as well as informing a grasslands fencing project.

Further details regarding outcomes against Strategic Objective 4 and Strategic Indicator 4 are provided under Section B.2.

B.1.5 Outlook

Current and future priorities

In view of COVID-19 impacts on the CFC’s operations, in June 2020 the CFC Board reviewed the six key priorities it had previously identified in the CFC’s 201621 Strategic Plan as the major goals for this five year period.  The Board decided, in place of these, to adopt the following four priorities as the main focus for the organisation for 202021.

 

·         Manage through, and recover from, the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that, to the extent possible :

-   negative impacts of COVID-19 on the CFC’s venues and operations are minimised;

-   positive impacts are retained and built upon;

-   the CFC’s financial sustainability is maintained; and

-   the CFC provides cultural leadership in the recovery from COVID-19.

·         Play an active role in planning towards a major new theatre for Canberra, and position the Canberra Theatre Centre for the development of this new theatre by programming large-scale performing arts productions, with consequential benefits for tourism and the visitor economy.

·         Play an active role in planning towards a revitalised cultural precinct around Civic Square.

·         Develop a new Strategic Plan during 202021, covering the period from 2022 to 2025, as the basis for future annual corporate plans.

 

In addition to the four key areas identified above, other specific issues to be pursued by the CFC in 202021 include the following, to the extent that these can be progressed within restrictions arising from the COVID-19 situation.

 

·         Encouraging visitation to, access to, and patronage of, the CFC’s facilities, programs and collections.

·         Presenting exhibitions, learning and community programs, including outreach activities and partnership programming.

·         Presenting a varied program of performing arts productions, including by attracting major theatre presentations to Canberra.

·         Completing Stages 5 and 6 of a continuing program of upgrades for the Canberra Theatre Centre, in order to enhance the safety of patrons, ensure a high level of WHS standards for staff, implement accessibility improvements, enhance security infrastructure, and upgrade the Centre’s building management system.

·         Continuing to implement a program of infrastructure upgrades at Lanyon, to facilitate effective business operations and achieve high standards of WHS, especially by completing a new workshop, progressing a new water infrastructure project, undertaking building stabilisation measures, and upgrading security infrastructure.

·         Undertaking ongoing programs of other infrastructure upgrades and capital projects, in order to ensure the CFC’s cultural facilities remain fit for purpose and support the delivery of high-quality cultural experiences.

Apart from the areas identified above, the main ongoing priority of the CFC is to achieve its vision and mission, by providing cultural leadership through a high standard of service to the community.  In keeping with this priority, the CFC will continue to promote the value of a vibrant cultural life, not only in terms of serving the existing community of the ACT, but also as a contribution to Canberra’s economic development and its attractiveness as both a business and tourist destination into the future.  In the years ahead, the CFC’s activities will be an important aspect of the ACT’s creative recovery from COVID-19.

Current and future challenges

201920 was the most challenging year of the CFC’s existence as a result of the successive impacts on its operations of major bushfire threats, severe smoke haze, and the COVID-19 pandemic.  These challenges are each addressed below, together with comments as to how each was managed.

Major bushfire threats 

The CFC took a range of measures in relation to the bushfire threats that impacted on Canberra during the summer of 201920.  The primary purpose of these measures was to protect the safety and wellbeing of CFC staff and volunteers, visitors to the CFC’s venues, and CFC tenants at Lanyon and Mugga-Mugga.  The next consideration was to protect the collections and places managed by the CFC, including the Nolan Collection managed by CMAG.

The bushfire threats related mainly to the two historic places managed by the CFC that are outside Canberra’s urban fringe : Lanyon and Mugga-Mugga.  Lanyon was particularly impacted by the Orroral Valley bushfire and was in an area controlled by roadblocks at the times of highest risk from this fire, but fortunately did not suffer any damage.  The CFC monitored the bushfire situation through close liaison with the ACT Emergency Control Centre and the Emergency Services Agency.  It activated the ACT Historic Places Bushfire Action Plan and implemented appropriate measures for the various levels of bushfire risk, especially the risk presented by the Orroral Valley fire.  These included :

·         preparing the Lanyon site to be able to withstand a bushfire to the extent possible;

·         closing the site to visitors at times of highest risk, including from 28 January to 6 February 2020 inclusive;

·         relocating staff to other sites;

·         providing appropriate notification to the public about the closures;

·         providing advice to tenants at Lanyon about the threat levels;

·         relocating priority, provenanced collection items from Lanyon to the collection store at CMAG, as a precaution;

·         moving Bunya nuts and other heritage stock from Lanyon to other sites, to enable generation of  replacement trees and plants if the Lanyon gardens had suffered damage; and

·         undertaking a risk assessment, once the threat level of the Orroral Valley bushfire was downgraded, and reopening Lanyon to the public on 7 February 2020.

 

Severe smoke haze

 

The CFC also took a range of measures in relation to the severe smoke haze situations that affected Canberra during the summer of 201920.  Again, the primary purpose of these measures was to protect the safety and wellbeing of CFC staff and volunteers, visitors to the CFC’s venues, and CFC tenants at Lanyon and Mugga-Mugga, with the further consideration of protecting the collections and places managed by the CFC.

During the period of poor air quality in Canberra, the CFC monitored air quality levels generally in the ACT, as well as undertaking indoor air quality monitoring at the Canberra Theatre Centre and CMAG.  This allowed the CFC’s venues to determine appropriate actions on a day to day basis to protect staff, visitors and collections, such as :

·         restricting the number of doors open in venues, or closing venues temporarily in situations of very low air quality (for example, CMAG was closed to the public on 6 January 2020 and closed early on 11 January 2020 due to the poor air quality in Civic at those times);

·         for those venues with air conditioning systems, checking filters on air conditioning units, and where necessary and possible, arranging for these to be cleaned or adjusted, to restrict the level of intake of outside air;

·         providing staff with information about air quality issues and how to protect their health when air quality was poor; and

·         making masks available to staff, especially those working outside, and offering alternative work arrangements for staff affected by smoke.

COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, and consequent health-related restrictions, had a significant impact on all areas of the CFC’s activities from mid-March 2020, with major aspects summarised below.

Site closures and suspension of most on-site activities

·         All performance venues at the Canberra Theatre Centre were closed from 18 March 2020 through the final quarter of 201920, resulting in a very significant workload for staff of the Centre to cancel, or reschedule and reticket, booked theatre shows.  The Centre’s approach to show cancellations and reschedules was guided by advice from the ACT Government Solicitor regarding contractual issues.

·         During the closure period, the Centre was, however, able to host certain small scale events that were not open to the public, such as Chief Minister press conferences, since the venue’s large spaces allowed these activities to be held in a COVIDSafe manner.

·         All community programs, events, guided tours and group tours at CMAG and the ACT Historic Places were discontinued from 18 March 2020, followed by the total closure of these sites from 24 March 2020.  The various sites remained closed for either most, or all, of the final quarter of 201920.

 

Provision of activities remotely

·         During the site closure periods, each area of the CFC adopted new ways of engaging with its audiences through digital means.  Examples of this digital engagement are provided below.

·         The Canberra Theatre Centre curated a list of Australia and international theatre streaming options, and posted these on its website to encourage continued connection to the performing arts.  The Centre also launched a digital season of free livestreamed performances by Canberra region artists, CTC@Home, including family content, literary readings, music and drama. 

·         CMAG launched an online learning program, Seeing Canberra: What Do Artists Make? to assist teachers while most students were learning from home.  The program provided a virtual tour through CMAG’s Seeing Canberra exhibition, with links to hands-on activities.

·         ACT Historic Places developed new video content for use on social media.  This included blogs designed to replace cancelled public programs; children’s activities; and short Object Stories by staff members.

 

Staffing arrangements

·         The health and wellbeing of the CFC’s staff and volunteers were a priority during the COVID-19 closure period.

·         During this time, staff were encouraged to work from home except where functions needed to be done on site, such as asset management tasks.  This involved putting in place new arrangements to enable complex functions such as the Canberra Theatre Centre Box Office, and the CFC’s payroll and accounts payable functions, to be carried out remotely in a secure manner.

·         Connections were maintained to the workplace for staff and volunteers, through the use of applications like WebEx and Microsoft Teams, and by initiatives like “virtual morning teas”. 

·         Resources such as the Mental Health Guru were provided to assist staff in looking after their own wellbeing, and special measures were put in place to support the CFC’s more vulnerable staff members, including those older staff members and volunteers at the ACT Historic Places.

·         Regular casual staff continued to be engaged and provided with work during the closure period, including the large regular casual team at the Canberra Theatre Centre.  The work provided to these staff included : site-specific tasks, such as work on asset upgrades; work that could be undertaken remotely, such as cataloguing of collection material; and work placements in other parts of the CFC or in ACT agencies that needed additional resources, such as Access Canberra and ACT Health.

 

Management of, and reporting on, COVID-19 impacts on the CFC

·         The CFC provided regular updates on the impact of COVID-19 on its activities to a whole-of- Government “COVID-19 Binder” of agency reports. 

·         From early April 2020, the CEO sent a weekly CEO COVID Update to staff, to keep them informed about the main COVID-related issues for the organisation.

·         Regular reporting was provided to the CFC Board during this time, both by providing copies of the CFC’s updates to the COVID-19 Binder, and of the CEO COVID Updates, and by more detailed reports to the April and June 2020 Board meetings, including on financial impacts of the crisis. 

·         Decisions on key matters, such as the closure of the CFC’s sites, were made by resolutions of the Board, and the Board also reviewed and agreed to arrangements for dealing with a range of strategic activities of the CFC that were impacted by the COVID-19 situation.

·         The Minister was kept informed through the CFC’s inputs to the COVID-19 Binder, the CEO COVID Updates, and more detailed reporting on key matters such as COVID-related impacts on the CFC’s finances.

·         The CFC’s senior management team started meeting as a CFC COVID-19 Crisis Management Group from mid-March 2020.  Meetings were initially held daily, to address and record the wide range of complex issues the organisation was facing at that time.  By year-end, the Group had met a total of 29 times, with the frequency of meetings reducing to weekly by that stage, due to the stabilising situation.

 

Phased resumption of normal activities and site reopening

·         With the easing of government restrictions in June 2020, the CFC commenced a phased reopening of its sites and a phased resumption of programs, enabling arrangements for hygiene and social distancing to be tested with low capacity numbers before building back to larger activities on-site.

·         CMAG and Lanyon (including the Lanyon Café) reopened on the 10 June 2020, and Calthorpes’ House reopened on the 27 June 2020, for limited visitation, with Mugga-Mugga reopening on

4 July 2020.  The Canberra Theatre Centre Box Office and the CMAG Café reopened to the public on 29 June 2020.  

·         Post crisis recovery strategies were implemented with the reopening of these sites, such as the use of site-specific COVIDSafe plans covering procedures for hygiene and cleaning, physical distancing, and adjustments to business operations.

In addition to the major issues discussed above, in 2019–20 the CFC also dealt with a range of other challenges relating to its business operations.  These are summarised below.

Construction of the Constitution Place development adjacent to the Canberra Theatre Centre : the CFC continued to liaise closely with the project developers and managers to ensure easy access and wayfinding around the construction site, and appreciated the close working relationships achieved, at both a strategic and operational level, and the care taken by the project managers to minimise disruption to theatre activities.  Close liaison with the Constitution Place project developers and managers will continue to be a priority in 202021 as the project is completed and the new facilities commence operation.

Capital works projects undertaken by the CFC during the year : these presented certain challenges in terms of the lead time required to implement certain projects, and the need to ensure operational continuity, as far as possible, during the works programs.  COVID-related site closures had the benefit, however, of allowing works at these sites to take place without interruption.  This facilitated the completion of a range of scheduled works as well as additional stimulus projects, such as “screwdriver ready” projects at the Canberra Theatre Centre and at Lanyon, and refurbishing of CMAG’s foyer and stairs.

 

Changes in the CFC’s senior staff : a series of major changes in the CFC’s senior management team that commenced in 201819 continued into 201920, presenting the challenge of maintaining continuity in the leadership of the organisation.  This challenge was addressed by appointing suitably qualified and experienced staff to act in the various roles prior to their substantive filling. 

·         The Director of CMAG, Shane Breynard, resigned from the role after taking an extended period of leave to commence work on a doctorate.  Sophie Chessell continued acting in the Director role throughout the year, providing much-needed leadership and stability to CMAG at a time of major external challenges.  The role will be advertised for substantive filling early in 202021.

·         Bruce Carmichael retired from the role of Director of the Canberra Theatre Centre in November 2019, after taking extended leave.  Gill Hugonnet continued acting as Director very capably until the arrival of the new Director, Alex Budd, who commenced in the role in February 2020.

·         Dr Anna Wong was selected for the role of Director of ACT Historic Places, and was promoted to this position in October 2019.

 

Hailstorm damage : the severe hailstorm that affected Canberra on 20 January 2020 resulted in limited damage, fortunately, to the CFC’s sites.  The main impact was damage to the awning over the deck at Mugga-Mugga, which has since been repaired under insurance.

Apart from the specific risks and challenges experienced in 2019-20 and discussed above, the main continuing challenge for the CFC remains the variability and unpredictability of the performing arts business, which impacts directly on the CFC's main non-government income source: its theatre-related revenues.  

The creation of a Theatre Reserve is a key strategy that the CFC has put in place in seeking to manage the unpredictability of its income levels.  The Reserve has been increased where good theatre trading results have allowed this, and now stands at $1.2 million.  It assists in managing the risks inherent in theatre programming, as well as supporting efforts to bring larger-scale shows to Canberra.  This will be particularly important as the CFC seeks to rebuild theatre business and contribute to national efforts to support performing arts touring, following the COVID-19 closures.

The CFC will continue to address all the risks identified above, and other risks, to the best of its ability, including through its Strategic Risk Management Plan.  This Plan informs the prioritisation of projects for internal audit programs and is supported by other plans, such as those covering Fraud Control, Business Continuity, Disaster Preparedness and Security.  The Plan will be revised and updated early in 202021 to reflect the experience gained in managing the major challenges experienced in 201920.

B.1.6 Internal Accountability

Senior Management of the CFC

During 201920, the senior management team of the CFC comprised the following positions :

·         the Chief Executive Officer;

·         the Chief Finance Officer;

·         the Director, CMAG and Corporate Strategy;

·         the Director, Canberra Theatre Centre; and

·         the Director, ACT Historic Places.

 

The names and information about the occupants of these positions are provided at Appendix 1 (for the Chief Executive Officer, as a CFC Board member) and Appendix 2 (for the other four senior management positions).  Information about remuneration for the Chief Executive Officer, as the only senior executive position in the CFC, is provided at Appendix 1.

 

The responsibilities of each senior management position are reflected in the organisational chart.  Further information relating to the structure of the organisation is provided at Section B.1.3.

 

The senior managers meet as a Senior Management committee every fortnight to discuss matters of CFC-wide interest.  Other significant committees of the CFC include the WHS Committee (refer to Section B.10), the Agency Consultative Committee, and the Security Executive Group.  In addition, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the CFC established in March 2020 a CFC COVID-19 Crisis Management Group, comprising the CEO and senior managers.

Board of the CFC

·         Composition

Section 10 of the CFC Act provides for the CFC Board to have seven members.

The Chair, Deputy Chair, and four Members of the CFC Board are appointed by the Minister in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Management Act 1996
 (the FM Act), Sections 78–79.  The CFC’s Chief Executive Officer is also a Member of the CFC Board in accordance with Section 80 of the FM Act.

The functions of the Chair, Deputy Chair, Chief Executive Officer, and associated provisions relating to Board Members
, are set out in the FM Act (Division 9.3).

Details of the CFC Board’s membership and remuneration during 2019–20 are provided at
Appendix 1.

·         Meetings

The CFC’s Board
 meetings are convened and conducted in accordance with the provisions of the FM Act (Division 9.4).

A schedule of the CFC’s Board
 meetings held during 2019–20, and information about attendances at these meetings, are at Appendix 1.

·         Board Charter

The Board has adopted a Board Charter to guide its operations and performance.  This is available at http://www.culturalfacilities.act.gov.au.

Audit Committee of the Board

The CFC has established the Audit Committee as a sub-committee of the Board, with a formal charter setting out its role and functions in relation to oversight of financial, audit, and compliance matters, including risk management and internal controls.

The Audit Committee Charter is provided as Part G of the CFC Board Charter, available at http://www.culturalfacilities.act.gov.au.  Membership details and a schedule of meetings held during 2019–20 are provided at Section B.5.

Advisory Committees

The CFC has established three Advisory Committees, in accordance with Section 8 (i)(a) of the CFC Act, to provide expert strategic advice in relation to their respective specialist areas.

The committees include :

Name of Committees

Role of Committees

CMAG Advisory Committee

 

Historic Places Advisory Committee

 

Canberra Theatre Centre Advisory Committee

To provide the CFC Board with expert strategic advice, within the context of the CFC’s Strategic Plan for 2016–21 and its annual Corporate Plans.

The committees provide expert advice and assistance on a voluntary basis.  This support is valuable in contributing to the CFC’s policy development, business planning and community participation activities.

The Committees were appointed for a three year term to 30 June 2019 and extended for a further period to 30 June 2020.  Due to COVID-19 impacts and the resulting disruption to normal activities, it was difficult to arrange a full renewal process in 2019–20 and a decision was made to invite all current committee members to continue for a further period, to 30 June 2021.  All members accepted this invitation.

The advisory committees’ first meeting of the year was held as a plenary strategic workshop, which included a presentation by the CFC’s CEO, together with breakout sessions to allow the committees to meet individually.  Individual advisory committee meetings were held throughout the year, although it was not possible to hold the plenary planning workshop scheduled for June 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In 2019–20, members of the three advisory committees attended for approximately 56 hours of time in total.

The operation of the advisory committees is governed by an Advisory Committees Charter, which is  available at http://www.culturalfacilities.act.gov.au.

Details about Advisory Committee memberships, together with information about advisory committee meetings held during 2019–20, are provided at Appendix 3.

Further information about the operation of the advisory committees, including their interaction with the CFC Board, is provided under Section B.2.

B.2 PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS

The CFC’s 201920 Statement of Intent was prepared in accordance with Section 61 of the FM Act and published in the 201920 ACT Budget papers.  The Statement of Intent identified the CFC’s strategic objectives and indicators.  Performance against these is summarised under Section B.1.4.

The 2019-20 Statement of Intent also identified targets for the CFC’s accountability indicators, which represent the CFC’s key performance indicators.  A detailed analysis of outcomes against these targets is presented in the CFC’s 2019-20 Statement of Performance with a summary provided under Section B.1.4.

To allow an understanding of trends relating to these key performance indicators, charts are presented below of results for the indicators from 2016–2020.

Figure B.2a : Estimated number of visitors/patrons to CFC facilities/programs

The upward trend in the estimated number of visitors/patrons to the CFC in the past two years was reversed in 201920.  The lower outcome for the year was primarily due to the closure of CFC venues to the public for approximately a quarter of the reporting period, to comply with restrictions relating to the COVID-19 situation.  Severe bushfire threats and smoke haze also had a detrimental impact on visitor numbers for the 2019-20 summer season.  Overall, the result for the year was 27% below target.

Figure B.2b : Number of exhibitions at facilities managed by the CFC

         

The outcome of 26 exhibitions for 201920 was higher than the target of 22.  This was due to a higher number of exhibitions being presented than originally scheduled, including an additional exhibition that became available to CMAG at short notice through a partnership with the Embassy of Cuba, Havana Passion : the magic of 500 years.

Figure B.2c : Numbers of education and community programs provided by the CFC

      

Reduced program numbers in 2019–20 were a result of the suspension of all programs from 18 March 2020 to the end of 201920, to comply with restrictions relating to the COVID-19 situation.  The outcome of 267 programs was 39% below target, reversing an above-target trend for this indicator in the past three years.

Figure B.2d : Number of days venue usage at the Canberra Theatre Centre’s venues

 

Above-target usage rates were achieved for the venues of the Canberra Theatre Centre over the past three years but were not maintained in 2019-20, due to the COVID-19 situation.  The Centre’s venues were closed to the public for approximately a quarter of the reporting period.  There were 476 days of venue usage in 201920, 24% below target.

Figure B.2e : Customer satisfaction with quality of services provided by the CFC, as measured by annual survey

 

Customer satisfaction levels over the past four years have been above target, reflecting attempts by each venue to achieve as high a standard as possible.  The level for 201920 was 97%, 8% above target.

Figure B.2f : Cost to Government per estimated visitor/patron to CFC facilities/programs

The downward trend in the Cost to Government per estimated visitor/patron in the past two years was reversed in 201920, where the outcome was $31.40 against a target of $23.03, or 36% worse than target. This was due to a lower than expected number of visitors/patrons, resulting primarily from the closure of CFC venues to the public for approximately a quarter of the reporting period, to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.  Visitor numbers in the 201920 summer season were also impacted by the severe bushfire threat, smoke haze and poor air quality experienced at that time.

Figure B.2g : Own Sourced Revenue as a Proportion of Total Revenue for the Corporation

 

The upward trend against this indicator in recent years was reversed in 2019–20.  The result for the year was 49.0%, against a target of 50.7%.  This negative variance related to the loss of own-sourced revenue during the period of venue closures at the Canberra Theatre Centre, partially offset by higher levels of theatre-related revenues generated in the pre‑closure period.

 

CORPORATE/FINANCE/HR
AT A GLANCE


FULL TIME EQUIVALENT
STAFF

105



QUALITY OF SERVICE

97%
of visitors satisfied with quality of the CFC’s services

FINANCE

Over 4,472 invoices processed for payments totalling more than $11.2 million



127 total show acquittals including programming and venue hire

 


GENDER COMPOSITION OF CFC WORKFORCE

Female 59%
Male 41%


OWN SOURCED REVENUE

49.0%

 


ADVISORY COMMITTEES

16 members attended for
56 hours


HUMAN RESOURCES

 46

 

The number of staff that attended Respect, Equity and Diversity training


PAYROLL

6,270 individual pays





CASUAL STAFF

12 casual staff placed with Access Canberra and ACT Health to assist in their service areas during CFC’s site closures due to COVID-19


The following section analyses in detail the organisation’s performance against the CFC, Canberra Theatre Centre, CMAG and ACT Historic Places mission/purpose statements as set out in the CFC’s 2019–20 Corporate Plan, which in turn is based on the CFC’s 2016–21 Strategic Plan.

In each case, the start of the section (What we are, What we do and Our vision) and the shaded area (Strategies to achieve this) set out the long-term strategies identified in the 201621 Strategic Plan.

The next area contains the key outcomes achieved against these strategies during the course of 2019-20.  Some of the key outcomes were not fully achieved in 2019-20 due to restrictions relating to COVID-19 impacting on the CFC’s operations.

B.2.1 CULTURAL FACILITIES CORPORATION (CFC)

What we are : an enterprise of the ACT Government that manages a number of Canberra’s major cultural facilities

 

What we do : we connect people with rich and diverse cultural experiences through activities at our venues

 

Our vision : to provide cultural leadership in the Canberra region and beyond

Leadership A cultural leader in the ACT region and beyond

Strategies to achieve this :

·         Play a key role in planning the Civic Square/City Hill cultural precinct, and the wider city centre, emphasising the importance of car parking for visitors to our city-based facilities.

·         Provide leadership in cultural planning, administration and management.

·         Contribute to major policies, reviews and studies that are relevant to our cultural leadership role, highlighting the importance of the arts to economic and social wellbeing.

Key outcomes in 201920 against the above strategies

·         Throughout the year, the CFC pursued its goal of providing leadership in cultural planning, administration and management.

·         The CFC continued to work closely with other ACT Government agencies on initiatives to plan future directions of the city centre and the future provision of cultural facilities in Civic, including new theatre facilities. 

·         The CFC engaged with the City Renewal Authority (CRA) on the revitalisation of Civic and on cultural planning for the city, especially through continued work on developing the Civic Arts and Cultural Precinct Plan.  This engagement included the CEO of the CRA attending the August 2019 CFC Board meeting to make a presentation on the Plan, and a number of CFC Board members attending the February 2020 Board meeting of the CRA for strategic discussions.

·         CFC representatives also attended a workshop of interested parties, convened by the CRA in June 2020, to discuss development of the Civic Arts and Cultural Precinct Plan in detail.

·         Further information about progress towards the new theatre project is provided under Section B.2.2.

·         Throughout 201920, the CFC worked closely with the developers and managers of the Constitution Place project as the project progressed towards completion.  The CFC sought to :

-   minimise impacts of the project on the CFC’s city-based facilities during the construction phase, in terms of pedestrian and vehicle access, construction noise and vibration, and car parking availability; and

-   maximise benefits of the completed project for the CFC, in terms of car parking availability and services for visitors, patrons, and visiting theatre companies, including pre- and post-theatre dining and hotel accommodation.

·         Good communication was maintained between the Constitution Place project team and the Canberra Theatre Centre on operational matters such as site access and storage of materials, and a site tour of the development was provided for CFC staff in June 2020.

·         During the year, the CFC was closely involved in consultation on the heritage listing of the Civic Square Precinct, in view of the implications of this listing for the CFC’s existing facilities in the Precinct, and for the new theatre project. 

·         The ACT Heritage Council decided to provisionally register the Precinct on the ACT Heritage Register in September 2019.

·         The CFC’s involvement in consultation on this provisional registration included :

-   making a preliminary submission in October 2019, during the initial period of consultation;

-   meeting with representatives of the ACT Heritage Council, at the February 2020 CFC Board meeting and at a separate meeting in April 2020, to discuss the heritage listing in more detail; and

-   providing a more detailed submission during a further period of consultation, prior to the finalisation of the registration process in early 202021.

·         The position taken by the CFC in these submissions and discussions was to support the heritage registration of the Precinct but to seek to ensure that the wording of the registration would enable changes to take place in the Precinct that would maintain and enhance its cultural significance, including through the new theatre project.

·         Representatives of the Minister’s Creative Council attended the December 2019 CFC Board meeting to discuss areas of mutual interest, including the needs of the local performing arts sector and how these could be incorporated into the new theatre project.

·         Throughout the year, staff of the CFC participated in a range of activities with peak cultural and tourism bodies, including participation in conferences and meetings of the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres, the Australian Museums and Galleries Association, Performing Arts Connections Australia and the Australiana Fund.

·         The Childers Group, with support from the CFC, presented an Arts Forum at CMAG for the ACT arts community, Sustainable arts practice : creativity and business, in November 2019.

·         Representatives of the Reconciliation Day Council attended the October 2019 CFC Board meeting to discuss ways in which the CFC could support the Council’s work and could further develop the CFC’s commitment to reconciliation.  One immediate outcome of these discussions was the inclusion of an Acknowledgement of Country at the start of each CFC Board meeting from December 2019.

Strategy A clear direction for our future

Strategies to achieve this :

·         Use the Strategic Plan as the basis for our annual corporate plans.

·         Use the Strategic Plan to guide the work of the Board, advisory committees, staff and volunteers.

·         Monitor and report on progress towards the Strategic Plan on a regular basis.

·         Use the Strategic Plan to guide how we communicate with our stakeholders.

Key outcomes in 201920 against the above strategies

·         The CFC’s five-year Strategic Plan, covering the period 2016‑21, continued to provide the framework for the CFC’s operations. 

·         During the year, the CFC’s 201920 Corporate Plan, based on the Strategic Plan, was used to guide the work of the Board, advisory committees, staff and volunteers.  Reports on progress towards the CFC’s key priorities and tasks were provided to each Board meeting during 201920. 

·         For the April and June 2020 meetings, reporting to the Board focused on the CFC’s management of impacts from the COVID-19 situation.

·         Information compiled during the year has been used as the basis for reporting against the 20192020 Corporate Plan in this 20192020 Annual Report.

·         At its June 2020 Board meeting, the CFC Board approved four key priorities to guide the CFC’s operations in 202021, including COVID-19 management and recovery.  These four key priorities provided the framework for the CFC’s 202021 Corporate Plan.

·         The CFC’s web portal was updated, and key documents were uploaded during the year.  In complying with the Freedom of Information Act 2016, documents that are of public interest are also accessible via the Open Access Information Scheme website.

·         A register of key documents continued to be used by the CFC during the year, in order to centralise policies, develop consistent formatting, ensure alignment to the Strategic Plan, and identify timeframes for review, updating and approval.


GovernanceAn accountable and dynamic organisation

Strategies to achieve this :

·         Ensure that our governance systems provide a high standard of accountability.

·         Maintain the Board at full strength, with members who are skilled, diverse, well informed and committed to continuous improvement.

·         Focus on performance as well as conformance at Board level.

Key outcomes in 201920 against the above strategies

·         The CFC maintained robust governance systems to provide a high standard of accountability throughout the year.

·         A series of changes were made to the CFC Board Charter and these were approved at the February 2020 Board meeting.

·         A Board renewal program was completed during the year, when Julian Widdup commenced his term on the CFC Board in February 2020.

·         As part of this Board renewal program, changes were made to the sequencing of Board appointment terms.  For the six Ministerially-appointed Board members, there are now three appointment term conclusion dates, each for two members.  This sequencing of appointment terms ensures better continuity in Board matters and a smoother transition in membership.

·         Representatives of the ACT Audit Office were invited to all meetings of the CFC’s Audit Committee during 201920.  A representative of the ACT Audit Office briefed the Audit Committee at the Committee’s September 2019 meeting on the audit of the CFC’s 201819 Financial Statements and 201819 Statement of Performance.

·         The CFC’s quality assurance program for the year focused on key risks identified through its Strategic Risk Management Plan, Fraud Control Plan and Audit Committee discussions.

·         The Senior Management team commenced a review and update of the CFC’s Strategic Risk Management Plan and Fraud Control Plan in June 2020.  The updated plans will be provided to the Audit Committee and the CFC Board in early 2020-21 for approval.

·         During the year, the CFC’s Security Executive Group met, generally fortnightly, to discuss security matters.  Physical security policies, plans and procedures for each business unit were developed in 2019–20, following on from physical security risk assessments that had been undertaken previously.  

·         The CFC participated in the 2019 Audrey Fagan Board Mentorship Program, providing mentorship for three young women : Jo Clay, Thea McGrath and Holly Zhang.  A graduation ceremony was held for the participants at a dinner following the December 2019 Board meeting.

 

People An employer of choice

Strategies to achieve this :

·         Attract, develop and retain staff and volunteers who are highly skilled and passionate about their work.

·         Ensure our workplace is safe and rewarding for staff and volunteers.

Key outcomes in 2019