Mainland is currently the co-CEO and executive director of RISING, formerly known as the Melbourne International Arts Festival, where she has worked since 2016.
She has also chaired Regional Arts Victoria since 2019.
Her appointment at the Adelaide Festival will see her take over as chief executive in April following the conclusion of this year’s festival season.
Touted as a globally recognised leader in the arts, Mainland held a number of high profile arts roles in Scotland including CEO of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and chair of Festivals Edinburgh.
Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter described the appointment as a “coup” for the organisation.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have Kath join Adelaide Festival, bringing with her experience from some of the world’s pre-eminent arts companies,” Potter said.
“She’s an exceptional talent, adept at identifying opportunities and making them happen.
“With her clear and decisive leadership she is primed to navigate the new world that international arts festivals now face.”
Mainland’s appointment comes after former Adelaide Festival executive director Elaine Chia departed the organisation in November after around a year and a half at the helm.
Mainland said she has been attending the Adelaide Festival for nearly two decades and the opportunity to lead the arts event was a “privilege”.
“I am incredibly passionate about the arts and its place in society, so it will be pure delight to immerse myself in the arts and cultural scene of South Australia and build on the legacy of one of the world’s great festivals,” she said.
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