Ruth is Head: School of Management and has been Associate Dean: Research Education, and Professor Arts and Cultural Leadership at the University of South Australia. She has 20 years’ experience working in governance, management and marketing in the non-profit sphere at local, state, national and international levels. She has leadership experience in entrepreneurial, start-up, business, government and higher education positions. She is a DAAD scholar, a St Hilda's College, University of Melbourne scholar and recipient of various awards and prizes. She graduated first class honours, first place, from the University of Melbourne. She completed her PhD at Monash University.
Ruth has over 20 years’ service on non-profit boards including in health, for e.g., VicHealth; in the arts for e.g., Australian Dance Theatre, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Duldig Museum and Sculpture Garden, in education, for e.g., Deakin University Council, Chair Academic Board Deakin University. Her interest in governance is wide and deep, linking research, policy and praxis.
She has conducted governance research in Australia for visual arts organisations, arts ministries, performing arts organisations (to name a few) and has spoken internationally on the topic in the UK, Europe and Asia as an invited key note speaker. Ruth's other research interests focus on diversity and inclusion in arts management. During her time in universities, she has been active in obtaining research grants (including category 1 grants) to investigate arts management social and economic policy issues. Ruth recently completed a research monograph on arts governance as the first in a series on the cultural and creative industries for Routledge, Oxon. (an A category publisher).
She has taught at postgraduate level in arts management and doctoral studies. She initiated and designed the arts management program at Deakin, bringing it to the forefront of postgraduate arts management education nationally and internationally. She has conducted key note addresses in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia on a range of contemporary issues in her field, such as arts governance, audience diversity, arts marketing and arts management. She has published widely including research books, for e.g., The Entrepreneurial Arts Leader Brisbane: University of Queensland Press; Creative Marketing Palgrave MacMillan, London (with Ian Fillis); Routledge Companion to Arts Marketing Routledge, London (with Daragh O’Reilly and Theresa Kirchner); Marketing Museums: Competing in the Global Marketplace Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxon. (with Anne-Marie Hede); Innovative Arts Marketing, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
Ruth has received recognition with various awards. In 2012, she was awarded a Medal for the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to education, to the arts and to the community. At Deakin University she was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Community Service, the Faculty of Business and Law Award for Outstanding Research, Best Doctoral Supervisor Award in the Faculty of Business and Law. She has also received best paper awards at conferences. She is on the editorial board of various international journals. She is the book editor for the International Journal of Arts Management. She is also Chair of the international doctoral symposium in arts management, which takes place as the precursor to the international arts management conference, AIMAC. She is a member of the scientific committee for AIMAC.