Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE and David Gonski AC on how the UK/Australia Season will forge stronger ties between the two nations

27.08.21 | Blog

Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE and David Gonski AC on how the UK/Australia Season will forge stronger ties between the two nations

The UK and Australia may be 10,000 miles apart, but our relationship is strong, and indeed becoming closer.

The importance and potency of initiatives that build and strengthen cultural ties between different countries have never been more important. In the post-Brexit era, there is much emphasis on strengthening UK-Australia trade and investment flows, and we were delighted that a Free Trade Deal was reached in June 2021. Just as we encourage and expect businesspeople to build strong economic international connections links, it is incumbent upon the arts sector to build cultural ones. Both sides will benefit, and the umbilical cord between our two great countries will become stronger and more prosperous as a result.

It is for these reasons that we are immensely proud to support the UK/Australia Season 2021-22. The Season is a tangible and timely recognition and celebration of the artistic excellence that epitomises the UK and Australian creative sectors. It is also a vital opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two nations. The Season creates conditions for collaboration, bringing the UK’s best artists and creative organisations to Australia, and vice versa. The Season is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the best of our arts and cultural life, and our successes in creative and technical innovation.

The bond between the UK and Australia has always been strong. We hope that audiences to the Season will uncover new and interesting perspectives and will appreciate the breadth and depth of talent in both countries. Whilst everyone knows about the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall, there is a distinctive, vibrant and enormously varied creative artistic sector in both countries which also deserve recognition. We also believe that the diverse programme has the potential to reach an incredibly wide range of audiences in both countries. We’re immensely proud that the Season will provide a platform for artists, academics and thought leaders from all walks of life to lead cultural exchange, to tell their multifaceted stories in their own words.

The past 18 months have been an unprecedented challenge for the arts sector. Many charities have been forced to close, freelancers have struggled and iconic arts organisations in both Australia and UK have been brought to the brink. The UK and Australian governments have both provided vital emergency support and, in addition, many philanthropists have stepped up to support the arts and creative industries. Philanthropists can help not only by providing money; by sharing their skills, experience and insight, they can play a pivotal role in helping organisations to innovate, navigate risk, enhance their digital offering and build resilience. We believe philanthropy is central to assisting the arts and creative industries to take on challenges, leverage opportunities and create impact, for which their core funding or income generation is not sufficient. It makes things happen.

The arts have never needed our advocacy, attention and engagement more. Ultimately, we hope that audiences will come away with a renewed understanding, excitement and appreciation for artists and the creative industries not only of their own country, but from one of their closest friends. We do hope you enjoy the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.

The Season is generously supported by a philanthropic Patrons Board, co-chaired by Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE in the UK and David Gonski AC in Australia, with members in both countries.


About the authors:

Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the Founder of the Travelex Group, the world’s largest retailer of foreign exchange. He is the Chairman and co-founder of e-Commerce IT Platform Doddle, as well as Chairman of Dorfman Media Holdings. He is Board Director of the London Theatre Company, sits on the Business Advisory Board of the Mayor of London, and has been Chairman of Prince’s Trust International since December 2015. He holds several roles in the charity sector, including Deputy Chairman of the Community Security Trust, and is a Trustee of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Academy Trust, BAFTA and UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

David Gonski AC is Chancellor of the University of New South Wales and Chairman of the UNSW Foundation Ltd.  He is also President of the Art Gallery of NSW Trust, Non-Executive Chairman of Barrenjoey Capital Partners Group Holdings Pty Limited and Chairman of Sydney Airport Limited.  He has been the Chairman of many for profit and not for profit companies in Australia, including in the past being Chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Sydney Theatre Company and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

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Queen Elizabeth II (1926 – 2022)