John Bell In conversation with

4 Aug 2021

ANU Meet the Author SeriesĀ 

John Bell will be in conversation with Genevieve Jacobs on John’s new book, Some Achieve Greatness: Lessons on leadership from Shakespeare and one of his greatest admirers.

There’s a reason the word ‘Shakespearean’ is often used to describe dramatic times: William Shakespeare is our best analyst of human behaviour and motivation. A man well acquainted with turmoil, Shakespeare’s works are imbued with wit, empathy and a deep understanding of the best and worst of our nature. His words still ring with relevance today, a time when stable, reliable, sensible leadership is needed more than ever.

Having spent a great deal of the last seventy-something years studying, performing and directing Shakespeare’s plays, John Bell has absorbed timeless lessons in life, character and leadership from the Bard. Some Achieve Greatness presents invaluable lessons to help us navigate this unpredictable time.

‘Should be mandatory reading for all our leaders and aspiring leaders.’ David Williamson

‘John Bell on Shakespeare is always riveting, but John Bell on Shakespeare through the lens of leadership is a revelation. Packed with insights, this is inspirational reading for anyone who aspires to be an effective leader – and anyone who wants to understand why so many leaders fail while others prevail.’ Hugh Mackay

John Bell AO is one of the nation’s most illustrious theatre personalities. Award-winning actor, acclaimed director, risk-taking impressario and torch-bearing educationalist, Bell has been a key figure in shaping the nation’s theatrical identity. As co-founder of Nimrod Theatre Company, Bell has presented many productions of landmark Australian plays, and, in 1990, Bell founded The Bell Shakespeare Company.

Bell has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the Universities of Sydney, New South Wales and Newcastle and in 1997 was recognised by the National Trust of Australia as one of Australia’s Living Treasures. As an actor and director, his many awards include a Helpmann Award for Best Actor (Richard 3, 2002), a Producers and Directors Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement and the JC Williamson Award (2009) for extraordinary contribution to Australia’s live entertainment industry.

Genevieve Jacobs AM is the Group Editor for Region Media, Australia’s fastest growing digital news platform. Genevieve chairs the ACT arts minister’s Creative Advisory Council and co-chairs the ACT Reconciliation Council. She sits on the boards of the Cultural Facilities Corporation, the National Folk Festival and is deputy chair of the Canberra International Music Festival. She is also a director of the Conflict Resolution Service and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. She was made an AM in the Australia Day honours list for her service to public broadcasting and the community. Genevieve has an enduring interest in building community engagement, and is a partner in the family farming enterprise.

The vote of thanks will be given by Harriet Elvin AM, the Chief Executive Officer of the Cultural Facilities Corporation, a statutory enterprise of the ACT Government that manages the Canberra Theatre Centre, the Canberra Museum and Gallery and Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga. Harriet will shortly stepping down from this role in order to pursue research into the leadership of cultural organisations.

In accordance to the current COVID-19 guidelines in the ACT, attendees may have to wear masks to attend the event. Attendees are requested to review and follow ACT Health guidelines before attending the event.

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