On behalf of the board of Creative Partnerships Australia, it is my pleasure to present our 2019/2020 annual report.
This financial year has been a seminal one in Australian history with the twin disasters of massive bushfires and the global pandemic of COVID-19.
The effects of each continue to reverberate through all aspects of Australian life and the arts sector in particular has been dramatically and negatively affected.
It is a time like this that I am deeply grateful to the national reach and deep arts sector expertise of my fellow board members, augmented this year by Dr Richard Dammery joining us.
Working closely with management, we convened a number of urgent board meetings through March, April and May to optimise our response to the conjunction of bushfire and COVID-19 impacts. This enabled us to support thousands of artists and art organisations by facilitating funding in excess of $2 million.
Consistent with earlier years, we have continued to pursue our mission of fostering a culture of private investment in the arts through a range of programs and services as well as our fundraising platform, the Australian Cultural Fund, enabling the building of strong relationships with donors and artists.
In September 2019, which seems a lifetime ago, we were pleased to recognise and celebrate the roles played by acclaimed philanthropists, who inspire us all, to the arts across Australia. We again thank and congratulate our 2019 Creative Partnerships Awards winners: John Kaldor AO, John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel AC, Helen Carroll, Ian Kew, David McAllister AM, and Dr Terry Wu.
As a Commonwealth company we particularly thank the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, for both the support he has given to Creative Partnerships Australia and in continuing to acknowledge the importance of our role in strengthening the Australian arts sector. We are grateful also to officers from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, who provide valuable and much appreciated support to Creative Partnerships Australia's work.
The Board values the dedication and expertise of the Creative Partnerships Australia executive team led by CEO Fiona Menzies. We are all driven by the opportunity to support Australia’s artist and arts organisations by leveraging private sector support to optimise the growth and contribution of a vibrant and sustainable arts sector in Australia.
This work has never been more important than in this year: a year in which we have seen gritty determination and perseverance within the arts and cultural sector; Indeed, for many, professional survival has called on enormous reserves of creativity and ingenuity.
Creative Partnerships Australia remains committed to continuing our essential work in assisting the growth and long term viability of a vibrant culture of giving to the arts.
For, as Hippocrates reminds us: ars longa, vita brevis and we all do well to remember the lasting impact of art over the brevity of life!
Catherine Walter AM Chair