Samuel is completing a PhD at Deakin University. Written as a monograph thesis, entitled Where to from here? Framing a new model of cultural leadership for Australian professional orchestras, the research aims to make two original contributions:

  1. To understand how Australian orchestras determine and enact cultural leadership. 
  2. To develop a leadership model for cultural organisations that is highly relevant, contemporary, contextual, and deeply connected to the organisations’ operating environments. 

The catalyst for this project is a deep interest in the shifting role of cultural institutions in contemporary society. This led to interrogating how this role has developed in recent years, and the factors contributing to such a shift. Given the vast global challenges of recent years, particularly the fundamental social realignment continuing to take place post-Covid, the research seeks  to understand and position the role of cultural institutions in this new paradigm. The research applies a lens to the ways in which cultural organisations facilitate discourse as a means of contributing to social change. It looks at orchestras as a field of inquiry, as they are highly visible, established institutions in Australian cultural life.

The orchestral sector, and the associated systems and structures that have been created to support orchestras, are highly informative when considering the overarching significance and role of cultural institutions in contemporary society.

Work on Medium

Changing the purpose narrative: Australian professional orchestras & cultural leadership

Samuel publishes on Medium at @samuel.j.cairnduff


Is it time to look more closely at cultural leadership?

Is it time to look more closely at cultural leadership?

New research from the UK has scratched the surface of ingrained cultural issues, linked to a failure of leadership. A preview of new research from the UK examining leadership in arts and cultural organisations was released in February. The results...

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