A leadership change for The Boite

Published by: Eyal Chipkiewicz | 21-Jan-2020
After 35 at the helm of this unique organisation, Roger King announces his retirement as Managing Director of The Boîte. Eyal Chipkiewicz is appointed to take over the leadership of the organisation.
After 35 years at the helm of this unique organisation, Roger King OAM will step down as Managing Director at The Boîte. A recent recruit of the organisation and a very active figure in the cultural development sector in Melbourne, Eyal Chipkiewicz, has been appointed to succeed him in the role. The organisation, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, is embracing the change with a combination of enduring gratitude to Mr. King for all he has achieved, and an enthusiastic outlook for the future.

Established in 1979, The Boîte has been an iconic organisation in the Victorian music scene. Through more than 5,000 concerts and workshops with artists born in over 100 countries before audiences of more than 800,000, The Boîte has introduced brilliant musicians playing a previously unheard-of diversity in Australian music. It has also been crucial in strengthening the community choir scene in Victoria and continues to drive participation in the arts through singing. Underpinning this has been a commitment to multiculturalism and to recognising the wealth Australia derives from its ever-increasing cultural diversity.

Roger King joined the organisation in 1984 in a shared two day per week role as coordinator with his partner, Therese Virtue. Over the years, this grew to become a full-time commitment. He created a series of projects allowing The Boîte to maintain regular contact with a large network of artists and help them develop audiences and support networks, with an emphasis on paid professional performances and workshops. Projects included The Boîte World Music Café, The Boîte Singers' Festival (in Daylesford for 26 years but in Abbotsford since 2017 due to the increasing threat of fire), the Melbourne Millennium Chorus and The Boîte Schools Chorus, all jointly managed by teams of staff and committee members and volunteers. Therese Virtue will continue her work as World Music Café director and in many other The Boîte endeavours. I leave the organisation following its very successful 40th anniversary year, thanks to the inspired work by its staff and supporters. It has been a privilege to have worked alongside so many artists and such a dedicated management team on projects which have a positive impact on individual lives and on Australia's cultural landscape. I feel the organisation is in very good hands and look forward to seeing what the future brings. In recognition of his contribution, Roger King was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2006 and, on behalf of The Boîte, received the Government of Victoria's Meritorious Service Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs in 2019.

Eyal Chipkiewicz first joined the organisation in 2017 as a Board Member and in 2018 joined the staff. I feel very privileged to have been selected by the Board to steer the next phase of The Boîte. I have been equipping myself for a role like this for the last 10 years and can't think of a better place to put it into action than The Boîte. The work that we do is just as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. Without it we would miss so many opportunities to acknowledge and engage with the incredible diversity we live amongst. I am honoured to take on the challenge of sustaining and growing the organisation, strengthening our place both in the music industry and the community sector.

Roger King will retire from his role on January 31st.

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