The boss of a key Canberra cultural organisation, Harriet Elvin, has stepped down from the role to take on an academic career.
Ms Elvin has been the chief executive of the Cultural Facilities Corporation since it began in 1997.
Corporation Chair Richard Refshauge announced on Wednesday Ms Elvin would step down to pursue academic research in cultural leadership.
Ms Elvin said it had been an "extraordinary privilege" to hold the role for 24 years and been a difficult decision to step back.
"This role has allowed me to combine my personal values with my professional life, to work with people who are passionate about what they do, and to provide rich cultural experiences to the community," she said.
"I am proud of the organisation's achievements and believe we provide a high standard of cultural services to the people of Canberra and visitors to our city."
Ms Elvin led projects including commissioning The Playhouse and Canberra Museum and Gallery.
She was also a strong advocate for the new theatre project in the city centre.
In February, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he hoped to turn the first sod by 2024, on a broader arts precinct on the site of the London Circuit carpark opposite Bailey's carpark.
In her departure, Ms Elvin said she would create a fund to support professional development in cultural leadership.
"It is always hard to move on from such a rewarding position. But I have an exciting opportunity to do research in my area of particular interest, cultural leadership, and feel confident handing over to a new CEO, as the organisation makes excellent progress recovering from COVID, and has a clear way forward with the new theatre and cultural precinct project."
Ms Elvin will remain in the role until a new chief executive is hired.
Justice Refshauge said Ms Elvin stepping away from the role was the "passing of an era".
"As the Corporation's first and only CEO to date, she effectively and securely established it as a leading institution in Canberra and unique in Australia," he said.
"She assured its place as a cultural leader in Canberra and beyond, inspired committed staff and enabled Canberrans and more to be enriched by its cultural, social history and historic preservation and insight activities and to support them enthusiastically."
Ms Elvin was named one of the 100 inspiring women in Canberra's history, awarded a Centenary Medal and named the ACT Telstra Businesswoman of the Year.
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