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Play on the Plains Festival general manager resigns

John Harvie will leave after the inaugural Deni Blues & Roots Festival, but before the 15th Deniliquin Ute Muster.

December 18, 2012 4:55am

John Harvie.


John Harvie (pictured) has resigned as general manager of the Deniliquin Ute Muster and Play on the Plains Festival Ltd.

Mr Harvie’s resignation comes five years after initially being approached to fill the role for a 12 month period.

He will remain with the organisation until after the inaugural Deni Blues & Roots Festival to be held at Easter next year.

When contacted by the Pastoral Times yesterday, Mr Harvie said his contract was due for renewal but he had made the decision to leave.

He said it was about ‘‘succession planning’’.

This is the second time Mr Harvie has tendered his resignation this year.

He had offered it at a board meeting in October saying he felt the event needed fresh management for continued success.

On the same day he withdrew his resignation after receiving support from the board.

Play on the Plains Festival chair Harold Clapham has this time, however, regretfully accepted Mr Harvie’s new resignation.

In confirming the move yesterday, Mr Clapham said Mr Harvie’s input into the organisation and event had been invaluable.

‘‘John leaves the organisation and event in a very different position than when he commenced, and his influence and contribution has been profound,’’ he said.

‘‘What we have today is very much a reflection of his commitment, dedication and vision for the event and the venue.

‘‘It is important the organisation builds upon the gains in status of the event and utilises the venue, that is at everybody’s disposal, in a manner that reflects John’s hard work and selfless approach to his many and varied responsibilities.

‘‘On behalf of the board and staff we wish John every success in the future and hope that he remains involved in the Deni Ute Muster to enable us to draw upon his knowledge and experience for many years to come.’’

Mr Clapham said Mr Harvie was the catalyst for necessary change and growth of the festival, which is set to celebrate its 15th anniversary next year.

Mr Harvie said he had enjoyed his time with the Play on the Plains Festival and thanked its sponsors for helping make it a success.

‘‘It has been a privilege to be a part of this wonderful organisation over the past five years,’’ he said.

‘‘I have enjoyed working with the dedicated team at muster HQ and will miss the friendly banter and celebrating our achievements.

‘‘The Deni Ute Muster is what it is today because of the wonderful support of our volunteers, community groups, amazingly supportive business community and the commitment of our partners.

‘‘Please accept my thanks for your allowing me to share in the muster’s success.

‘‘My biggest wish is to see the Deni Blues and Roots Festival become as big a success as the Deni Ute Muster.’’

The Deni Play on the Plains Festival committee said Mr Harvie’s achievements at the helm of the organisation are numerous. Some include:

Being the impetus to apply for the Regional Development Grant of $500,000 towards a $912,000 project. It has enabled the new twin stage complex to be built, permanent toilets and showers and the completion of the electricity network including floodlights to be completed by March 2013.

The introduction of a second event that will be of great benefit to the community and the entire region — The Deni Blues & Roots Festival.

Helping organise the biggest Muster to date with headliners Cold Chisel attracting 25,000 patrons in 2010.

Initiating the purchase of the Ute Muster site, a project that in itself has taken five years.

An abundance of award nominations and wins, most notably the top gong at the 2012 NSW Tourism awards.

Initiating the building of all of the infrastructure on site including the XXXX Bar, the Holden Hangar, VIP centre and the electricity network.

Mr Harvie’s last official date as general manager will be April 30, 2013.

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