Our Supporters

A Message from Our Royal Patron

“On the occasion of the UK/Australia Season, I send my best wishes to all those involved in this cultural exchange programme. Over the next year, I hope that people both in the United Kingdom and Australia take the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the artistic cultures of both nations.

As Patron, I wish you every success in delivering this project in affiliation with the British Council.”

Elizabeth R.
Her Majesty the Queen.

Government Representatives

Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women

“In the UK/Australia Season 2021/22 artists, policy makers, thought leaders and academics will come together through vibrant and diverse art forms, exploring our national identities, elevating our First Nations voices, and examining who we are together in a very different 2021/22.

The Season will remind us of the bonds of history we share and the exciting future ahead of our great nations.”

Nigel Adams MP, Minister for Asia at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)

“The UK/Australia Season provides an unprecedented opportunity to further strengthen the UK’s relationship with Australia as two open, diverse and forward-looking nations in this truly collaborative endeavour with the Australian Government. The UK is committed to strengthening its relationships with countries in the Indo-Pacific and the Commonwealth as we look to build back better after the pandemic. Through the work of the British Council and many partners in the UK and Australia, the breadth and scale of this ambitious Season – spanning culture, education and business – enables us to develop networks and to drive collaboration, investment and attraction for the benefit of our two nations.”

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Australia’s Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts

“Our artists have lifted spirits over these difficult months, and the UK/Australia Season 2021-22 will take the spirit of our artists and showcase them to an international audience. I’m proud to support this major cultural exchange, collaborating with the British Council to provide an important avenue to grow cultural understanding and establish new international audiences for our talented artists and performers, which will be increasingly important as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

“Despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, our cultural and creative sectors have shown immense resilience and flexibility in helping to shape the ambitious UK/ Australia Season with the British Council and Australian Government. By providing the opportunity to showcase the excellence and innovation of UK and Australian arts and culture, the Season will help to develop new partnerships and ensure these vital sectors build back better from the pandemic. I look forward to experiencing the wealth of content within the Season which will represent the whole of the UK across many artforms.”


His Excellency the Honourable George Brandis QC
High Commissioner of Australia to the United Kingdom

“The UK/Australia Season 2021-22 is the most ambitious cultural exchange between the UK and Australia. It comes at a time of great change and opportunity for both of our countries, as we forge even closer ties. The Season gives both nations the opportunity to look at ourselves, and at one another, through fresh eyes. Australian audiences will experience some of the UK’s famous companies and artists; UK audiences across the nation will experience new and innovative work coming out of Australia right now, alongside our globally recognised and world-class artists, major performing arts companies and cultural institutions.”

Her Excellency Vicki Treadell CMG MVO, High Commissioner for Australia

“It is wonderful to celebrate the launch of the UK/Australia Season, and we look forward to the most incredible year ahead as we highlight our modern and relevant people-to-people links. The Season is a celebration of not only our culture, and how our artists, performers and our educational institutions connect, but also how we recognise each other for who we are today. This is about a celebration of the UK and Australia, and I am really looking forward to the months and year to come.”


Cate Blanchett AC

“I am thrilled and honoured to be an Ambassador for the UK/Australia Season.

Art breaks down the borders and boundaries of our imagination, poses questions, expands reality, and by sharpening our feelings into ideas offers pathways to insight.

Living works of art in performance being shared cross culturally provides a genuine opportunity for audiences and artists alike to expand their horizons at a time when many fear they are closing down.

I am excited that this Season will facilitate a cornucopia of visions which speak to the depth and breadth of the ongoing artistic exploration in contemporary Australia and Britain.”

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE

“I am so fortunate to call these two wonderful countries home and to have seen the wonderful artistic talent that resides in both places. It is right that we recognise them, especially at this time.

To cite Katharine Brisbane “Art is a quality that can be applied to myriad forms but has no form of its own. It is an expression of certain values.”

And right now is the time to express our shared values and to forge our future together, through the special connectivity that the arts provide.”

Rudi Dharmalingam

“The arts have always had an innate ability to inspire and initiate change in all corners of society. The only way to truly break down barriers is for us all to share our stories with each other. International collaborations like this partnership between the UK and Australia create a disruptive platform to challenge prejudice, to manifest a borderless mutual appreciation and understanding of each other’s complicated cultural intricacies.”


Professor Bernardine Evaristo OBE FRSL FRSA

“Culture is essential to the advancement of humankind, but for it to flourish and progress, we need to replenish it through global engagements, influences and partnerships.

The UK/Australia Season is an amazing opportunity for both countries to bridge the geographical and creative divide through sharing the exciting ways in which our societies are enriched by our many different communities and unique approaches to the formation of culture.

This is an ambitious and inspiring initiative, and I expect it will be transformational.”

Barry Humphries AO CBE

“We have always had a close relationship with the U.K. We have a shared history, but more important, a shared sense of humour. This is our precious bond and our salvation.”


Dr Gaye Sculthorpe

“I am excited that the UK/Australia Season will highlight aspects of the unique culture and art of the First  Nations of Australia.  The origins of these artistic traditions predate British colonisation by millennia  yet in their evolving forms are amongst the best of contemporary artistic practice in Australia.”


Board Of Patrons

The UK/Australia Season is supported by a board of UK and Australian representatives called the Board of Patrons.

The Board of Patrons is chaired jointly by Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE and David Gonski AC. It advises the UK/Australia Season on partnership opportunities and collaborative initiatives in the UK and Australia. Members include directors from the British Council, representation from the Australian High Commission to the UK and British High Commission to Australia, founding partners, business and arts leaders.

Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE and David Gonski AC © Photo credit: Maja Baska

About our co-chairs

The Board of Patrons is co-chaired by a representative of each country. For the UK, this is Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE, and for Australia, this is David Gonski AC.

Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE

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

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).




Our Board of Patrons

  • Nicholas Allott OBE

  • Georgina Black

  • His Excellency the Honourable George Brandis QC

  • Catherine Brenner

  • Tom Dery AO

  • Peter Flavel

  • Dr Peter Goode

  • Lord Glendonbrook CBE

  • Sir Michael Hintze GCSG AM

  • Kathy Lette

  • Michael Lynch CBE AO

  • Sam Meers AO

  • Simon Mordant AO

  • Bill Muirhead AM

  • Allan Myers AC QC

  • Dick Porter

  • Her Excellency Vicki Treadell CMG MVO

  • Geoffrey Winters