Ms Kate Torney

Ms Kate Torney

The President of the Library Board of Victoria, Mr John Wylie AM, today announced the appointment of Ms Kate Torney as the new Chief Executive Officer of State Library Victoria.

Currently Director of News at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Ms Torney will bring a new perspective to State Library Victoria – Victoria’s oldest cultural institution and Australia’s busiest library.

Mr Wylie said Ms Torney was the outstanding candidate from a strong field and would join the Library as it embarked on an exciting period of transformation.

He said: “We are thrilled to have someone of Kate’s calibre and experience leading the next phase of the Library’s evolution, overseeing its transformation into an innovative contemporary centre for knowledge, learning and culture, and servicing the millions of people who come through its doors, or connect online, each year.”

State Library Victoria is Australia’s busiest public library, with around 1.8 million visitors each year and 3.3 million visits to its website.

State Library Victoria has commenced work on the proposed five-year $83 million redevelopment building project. Key features include a digital transformation of the Library with new facilities and function spaces. These will include a centre for digital media, an e-Town hall initiative featuring emerging high definition, multi-venue communication technologies, a centre for entrepreneurship, new education and learning spaces for families, children and young people, and new exhibition spaces.

Since 2009, Ms Torney has led a team of 1,400 people across Australia and 11 bureaus around the world, with an annual budget of $200 million. She has led ABC News through a critical period of change in the global news industry, expanding the national broadcaster’s news and current affairs services with the launch and growth of News 24 and the rapid expansion of online and mobile news services.

Prior to being appointed Director of News, Ms Torney served as Head of the Asia Pacific News Centre and Editor of the Australia Network, Executive Producer of Insiders and as a reporter and producer for 7.30 and ABC News. Raised in Ballarat, Ms Torney started her career as a reporter and producer with media outlets including InPress Magazine, VicTV Ballarat (now WIN TV) and the Nine Network.

Ms Torney said it was an honour to have this opportunity to lead one of Victoria’s great cultural institutions at such an exciting time.

I look forward to working with the Board and the Library team to build on the world class service the Library offers and to further the digital transformation of this wonderful centre for knowledge and ideas,” Ms Torney said.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley MP welcomed the appointment, “State Library Victoria is one of our most beloved public institutions. It has a rich history and an even more exciting future ahead. I look forward to welcoming Kate home to Victoria to help chart that future and to contribute to the creative and cultural life of our state.”

Mr Wylie also acknowledged the work and contribution of acting CEO Ms Justine Hyde, who will continue in the role until Ms Torney commences full time as State Library Victoria CEO in mid-November 2015.

Justine has done a fantastic job leading the library over the past four months. I look forward to her continued contribution to the success of State Library Victoria, in the coming months and beyond,Mr Wylie said.

Kate Torney joined the ABC in 1995 and has worked as a radio and TV reporter, producer, bureau chief, executive producer and editor. She was appointed Director of News in early 2009, leading 1,400 journalists and production staff working around Australia and in 11 international bureaus, with an annual budget of $200 million ABC News is Australia’s leading provider of independent news and current affairs, delivering scheduled television and radio news and current affairs as well as running continuous coverage on ABC News 24, NewsRadio and ABC News Digital and producing international services through the Asia Pacific News Centre. Kate’s achievements as Director of News include launching ABC News 24, establishing cross-platform news teams and significantly expanding online and mobile news services, while maintaining the ABC’s tradition of delivering world class current affairs and long form journalism. She is widely respected within the Australian media industry.


Download media release: SLV-CEO-announcement-media-release-24-July-2015


This article has 11 comments

  1. Why don’t we have a librarian running Australia’s busiest library?

  2. Would like to second Greg’s comment and also mention that the Melbourne Athenaeum, established 1839 as the Melbourne Mechanics’ Institute, is Victoria’s oldest cultural institution and actually older than the state of Victoria itself.

  3. As a librarian I too am disappointed that a librarian was not appointed. We have some fantastic, experienced and innovative librarians with many years experience and several university degrees.
    Extremely disappointed. I feel librarians are being overlooked and the skills that we have misunderstood. Our skills are very diverse and adaptable and there are many capable people who would do very well in that position.

  4. oh librarians you are so short sighted. Skills are transferable, great move to have someone so highly skilled at the helm.

  5. I agree. It is disappointing not to see someone with at least some mention of library experience or appreciation. Simply because of the concern that libraries are a passion for those people they matter too. @simone, of course skills are transferable. However unless you are actually trained as a library professional, or have some experience working in one you dont fully understand what we do.

  6. All we need is a librarian to be appointed head of ABC News as skills are so transferable.

  7. Simone – please don’t lump all librarians together. We’re not all short sighted. I agree with you 100% about skills being transferable and think the appointment is a great one.

  8. It seems to be that ‘innovative’ ‘librarian’ and ‘State Library’ are words/concepts that do not go together. We seem to fall down and worship at the feet of ‘marketing’ ‘media’ in this day and age. No mention of ‘scholarship’, ‘academic exellence’. Of course skills are transferable, but I hardly expect to be appointed CEO of Australian Medical Association because i have managed a library…..

  9. Susan Nicholas

    Kate Torney is a wonderful choice.
    She may not be a librarian, but she has a wealth of experience and a genuine passion for our State library.
    Librarians will always have a very special place but I am not convinced that the expertise they offer fits with the practical needs of running such a large institution.
    Kate will tick all the boxes.

  10. Richard Hayward

    Congratulations SLV on the appointment of your new CEO. I look forward to future achievements and to enjoying our great library.

  11. With all due respect to Ms Torney, I think a librarians skill set would have been more applicable.

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