Magpie Dance appoints new Chief Executive


Posted on: June 14, 2017

The UK’s leading dance charity working with people with learning disabilities, Magpie Dance has today announced the appointment of Thalie Martini as Chief Executive, successor for founding Artistic Director, Avril Hitman BEM, who stands down at the end of July ending 32 years leading the company.

Thalie has a BA in Theatre and Film from the University of New South Wales, Sydney and worked in public policy before running a major project for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney.  Her current role involves managing a major national programme to transform care practice in schools for children with medical conditions for Diabetes UK.

Thalie Martini has said:

“I feel immensely privileged and thrilled to be joining Magpie.  It gives me a huge sense of purpose and excitement knowing that I’ll be working alongside such inspirational participants, the hugely talented and dedicated staff, volunteers and the many supporters to take Avril Hitman’s incredible legacy forward. I simply could not pass the opportunity to be part of an organisation whose model of inclusive dance provides such positive outcomes in people’s lives. I’m committed to bringing to this role all the dedication and passion it deserves. I can’t wait to get started”.

 Magpie Chair, Mark Dempsey has said:

“It was always going to be a challenge to find a successor to Magpie’s exceptional founding Artistic Director after 32 years, but we are delighted to welcome Thalie Martini into the new role of Chief Executive. With her experience and proven track record in the charitable sector, we are confident Thalie will bring the necessary energy, vision and passion to the role and take Magpie forward into this exciting next chapter”.

Supporting Thalie, existing freelance team members – Alison Ferrao (Adult Group Director) and Natasha Britton (Youth Group Director) take on new enhanced part-time roles of Co-Artistic Directors. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Magpie’s work, having over 30 years’ experience between them of Magpie’s programmes.