Speeches and Opinion
03 December 2019
It is an absolute privilege to be here tonight. I’d like to pay my respects to the Ngunnawal people as custodians of this land, to their Elders past and present, and to the vibrancy of the continuing living cultures of First Nations peoples across Australia. I’d like to welcome our distinguished award recipients and congratulate each for their exceptional contribution to Australian art and culture.
19 November 2019
In 2006 Clive Humby famously remarked, ‘data is the new oil’. 13 years on, more people believe that ‘creativity is the new oil’. A ‘crude’ metaphor but needs must. Because there’s disconnect, a gap we need to close. Between what we instinctively know as individuals and what we’ve yet to realise as a nation.
02 November 2019
We live in ‘Liquid Times’ – a great metaphor, coined by the late Zygmunt Bauman to describe modern society. A society incapable of maintaining its form, a society where old social bonds are being replaced by more fluid, and flexible forms of identity and association giving rise at once to more individualised, and more globalised lives that drive us through uncertainty, to become more adaptable.
Anxiety Culture and the Future – The value of art and culture for creating empathy and hope for the future – Adrian Collette AM
19 October 2019
In his book Man’s Rage for Chaos, Morse Peckham wrote: ‘Art is the exposure to the tensions and problems of a false world such that man may endure exposing himself to the problems and tensions of the real world.’ I came across Peckham’s quote whilst listening to a lecture given by Brian Eno. Brian Eno, the man who made music Roxy, Talking Heads edgy, and U2 surrender. A brilliant artist who describes art, indeed defines art, as ‘everything we do that we don’t have to do’.
26 September 2019
As our mineral resources helped us fuel our economy, our creative resources will help us navigate this fourth industrial revolution. We are entering an era of acceleration that is already disrupting industries, communities, relationships. A time of unprecedented change is upon us. But rather than hide from this change, we will embrace it. Because we preside over the cultural and creative resources most needed to make sense of it. The cultural and creative resources most needed to properly explore cultural, social and economic opportunities that will come with it. At a time when our future is rushing towards us and opinions are dividing around us, the arts have a bigger and more public role to play.
26 September 2019
Contemporary Australia is an unfathomably more complex place than in the 1960s. But I think the value of the Australia Council, when it is working at its best, is pretty much as Nugget Coombs described it: it should be a strongly civic-minded organisation, supporting artists as they challenge and give expression to our cultural understanding and identity.
13 August 2019
Dr Wendy Were, presents the final keynote at REMIX, Sydney - Friday 12 April 2019. As the final keynote for REMIX, my role is to gently send you on your way after a pretty intense two days. I suspect, like me, many things are now whirling in your brains. This is not a formal summing up, but I hope you will hear echoes of the last two days in what I’ll briefly share with you now.
01 August 2019
It’s a great pleasure to be here with you all at the Australian Design Centre and a great honour to help open the ninth Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft exhibition - showcasing the indelible work and singular career of Prue Venables. May I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, and paying my respects to elders past and present.
29 May 2019
It is my privilege to meet with you today on land where people have gathered to share art, culture and knowledge for more than 60,000 years. I would like to add my acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land on which we meet - the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples present this evening, and Elders past, present and emerging. I would also like to thank you, Yvonne Weldon, for your warm welcome and acknowledge colleagues Wesley Enoch and Lee-Ann Buckskin.
28 February 2019
It is an absolute honour to open CONCRETE, the final exhibition in Jam Factory’s acclaimed ‘art design architecture’ series, which has celebrated the links between these three disciplines through the very materials that surround us: WOOD, GLASS, STEEL, and culminating with CONCRETE. The CONCRETE exhibition we celebrate tonight is a potent example of the extraordinary artistry and skill that Australia is home to. It’s central to my mission as the new CEO of the Australia Council to ensure that there is greater recognition of the true public value of arts and creativity in this country.