Jane Haley: Ten Days on the Island
Jane brings her passion to the Ten Days on the Island festival, which promotes innovation and creativity while celebrating Tasmania’s island culture
Chasing the arts has seen Ten Days on the Island CEO Jane Haley move from Tasmania to Canberra, London, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and finally back to Tasmania once more.
Jane was born in Scottsdale. Her father’s love of literature and radio drama stimulated her passion for theatre, which led her to the ‘big smoke’. She headed to Sydney in 1983 and returned to Tasmania thirty years later, lured by the much-developed arts environment.
“My family still lived here so I came back at least once a year. There were lots of things I missed – particularly Tasmania’s physical landscape,” explains Jane.
Upon returning home, Jane began working for the University of Tasmania, and when an opportunity emerged to get involved in the local arts industry, she couldn’t resist. Jane was asked to review Ten Days on the Island – the biennial Tasmanian arts festival – by its Board, and to develop a forward looking strategy to meet future challenges.
On the strength of her work, she was offered the role as CEO of the Ten Days festival. In line with her recommendations to strengthen its regional focus, Jane moved the festival to Burnie, with activations statewide.
Jane now lives in Penguin on Tasmania’s North West Coast, and is heartened by the passion of locals and visitors for both the region and the festival.
“One of the things you hear is how the people on cruise ships love coming into Burnie. They are treated exceptionally well and there’s an amazing amount for them to do, visiting Cradle Mountain, Stanley, Table Cape and local places like the Burnie Regional Art Gallery and Hellyer’s Distillery.”
“For me personally, coming to the North West was much the same as Ten Days coming to Burnie. We received an extraordinary welcome from the City of Burnie and from the University of Tasmania to support the Festival’s move. The University gave us accommodation at the Makers Workshop,” adds Jane.
Ten Days on the Island is now an epic 10 day arts adventure spread over three weekends and across three regions. In 2019, the festival began in Burnie, then moved to Launceston and the third weekend was based in Hobart.
“There was such an appetite for the Festival here in Burnie, ” explains Jane. “We delivered provocative international work, such as the incredible, internationally renowned visual arts installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] and the audiences of the North West responded with elation.”
“Our North East program included Enchanted Island – opera in the vineyard at Clover Hill – and intimate performances on epic themes in villages around Launceston. The program in the South was equally terrific with sell-out shows of local work – The Mares by Tasmanian Theatre Company and Women Of The Island – as well as international singing sensation Bozo Vreco.”
The Women of the Island documentaries that were part of the 2019 festival program particularly resonate with Jane. These women’s stories stretched from Zeehan to Stanley to Exeter to Geeveston, and demonstrated there is a big appetite for local content.
It’s safe to say Jane is happy to be home. “It is the landscape that I love here,” explains Jane. “It’s all the things – clean air, fabulous produce and a slower pace of life. I find myself overwhelmed when I go back to Sydney or Melbourne with the traffic and busy lifestyle.”
“Here it’s about having the time and opportunity to connect with other people. I’ve been blown away by how quickly I’ve forged deep and powerful bonds with people in Tassie, particularly in the North West. It’s a welcome that’s just delightful.”
“The Tasmania I’ve returned to is a Tasmania of confidence, tolerance and openness, with a willingness to have a go and let others have a go. Those who are creative and entrepreneurial have great opportunity here.”
Are you interested in making a move? Make it Tasmania.
Explore the stories of local women with Women of the Island.
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