State Library Victoria welcomes new CEO Kate Torney

State Library Victoria CEO Kate Torney
Credit: Teagan Glenane

Media release

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Wednesday 18 November 2015


State Library Victoria this week welcomes its new Chief Executive Officer Kate Torney who officially commenced her five-year term on Monday.

Kate Torney comes to the State Library as the former Director of News at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, after being a veteran broadcast journalist for more than 20 years.

In her role as CEO, Ms Torney takes the helm of Australia’s oldest and busiest public library, with nearly 1.8 million visitors each year and 3.5 million visitors to its website.

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

“It is an honour to be joining this great institution through an exciting time in its history,” Ms Torney said.

“The State Library has a rich cultural heritage as one of Victoria’s oldest public institutions, and one of the custodians of our history. Throughout its 160-year history, this institution has been a place where people congregate to read, learn, be inspired, be entertained and share ideas, and I am proud to be part of that history and its future.

“Already, I am realising there is so much more than meets the eye in this wonderful place,” she said.

Ms Torney will lead the State Library as it embarks on its $83.1 million major redevelopment Vision 2020 announced in April this year. Vision 2020 will be funded with $55.4 million from the Victorian

government with the remaining third of funding to be raised from philanthropic sources, including $10 million already pledged by the Ian Potter Foundation.

The five-year redevelopment will see the Library’s original reading room Queen’s Hall refurbished and reopened, public space expanded and new purpose-built spaces created for early learning, digital media, entrepreneurship and an e-town hall initiative to connect more with regional Victoria.

“Vision 2020 will be an important part of preparing the Library for the future. This is a rare opportunity to transform the Library and create services and spaces which are relevant and highly valued now and in the years to come,” she said.

Ms Torney takes over the role from interim CEO and State Librarian Justine Hyde, who steered the Library through the Vision 2020 announcement.

“I’m grateful to Justine and the management team who have shown leadership during a period of challenge and change,” she said.