Robyn Archer AO

Robyn Archer was the first woman to direct a major state festival of the arts.

Honour Roll

Robyn Archer is a singer, writer, songwriter, director and lately artistic director of festivals. She has forged a singularly diverse career which not only earned her a prestigious international reputation as a foremost interpreter of the songs of Brecht, Weill and Eisler, but combined the work of a singer/songwriter/theatrical creator with strong positions on social, sexual and arts politics.

She has performed on all the main stages throughout Australia and in as many unlikely spots on the globe (Rangoon, Bogota, Nullumbuy, Visby, Chiang Mai) as well as in the expected centres of London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and New York.

Robyn was also the Chair of the Community Cultural Development Board of the Australia Council, a position indicating her rare coupling of a high degree of professional excellence with continuing concern for access and process. Robyn made history with the Menstruation Blues (1974), and with her appointment to the National Festival of Australian Theatre (1993-95) became the first woman in such a position in a major Australian Arts festival. She went on to be the first woman Artistic Director in the 40-year history of The Adelaide Festival of Arts (1998 and 2000) in her hometown, and then to create 'Ten Days on the Island', Tasmania's inaugural international Arts festival (2001).

In all these positions, Robyn continued to support and enable the creation of new Australian work, and to advocate it to audiences and presenters in Australia and throughout the wider world. She is currently the Artistic Director Designate of the Melbourne International Festival of Arts (2002-03), Adviser to the artistic program of 'Ten Days on the Island' (2003) and continues to sing, write and direct.

Robyn is a member of the Board of Directors of ISPA, Ambassador for the Crows football team, Member of the Australian International Cultural Council, Trustee of the Don Dunstan Foundation, Trustee of the Adelaide Festival Centre. She has also been awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia, Chevalier du l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an Australian Creative Fellow (1992-94). Robyn is, in every sense of the word, a star.