She's part of Canberra's cultural landscape. And Harriet Elvin's long-standing contribution to the national capital's cultural and artistic standing has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Ms Elvin was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her "significant service to arts administration in the ACT and to the community".
She was "honoured and humbled" to receive the AM.
"I do think these awards are never about one person. I think they represent the whole support network behind that person," Ms Elvin said.
"So, in my own case, that support includes arts ministers and boards of the organisation and staff and volunteers and patrons and supporters."
It is timely recognition - Ms Elvin last month announced she was stepping down as chief executive officer of the Cultural Facilities Corporation after holding the post ever since the corporation was formed in 1997.
The corporation is a statutory enterprise of the ACT Government that manages the Canberra Theatre Centre, the Canberra Museum and Gallery, and three historic places : Lanyon, Calthorpes' House and Mugga-Mugga.
During her 24 years as the corporations's first and only CEO, Ms Elvin has led major projects such as the completion and commissioning of The Playhouse and the Canberra Museum and Gallery, the Library and Link Project, major conservation programs at the historic sites, and the initial stages of the new theatre project.
She also believed the award shone a light on the local cultural, heritage and arts sectors, just re-emerging after being battered by the restrictions and lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic, when patrons couldn't attend performing arts and other events.
"Now we're able to operate at full capacity in our theatres, people are really keen to back. There's nothing like being back for a live performance," she said.
Ms Elvin said Canberra had a bright future as a creative city.
"And very much as a thriving, regional hub. If you look at something like the Canberra Theatre Centre, it is so much a facility for the region, to bring people in from the region," she said.
"It's really great for us culturally, but also from an economic point of view, the Canberra Theatre Centre pumps about $30 million in the ACT economy each year."
Ms Elvin has lived in Canberra since 1983, migrating here from England where she studied classics and law at Cambridge University. She is now chair of The Cambridge Society of the ACT.
"It's been a land of great opportunity for me," she said.
Ms Elvin will be staying on as CEO of the Cultural Facilities Corporation until her successor is decided.
She is excited to be starting a new chapter in her career, pursuing academic research in cultural leadership.
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