Australia Day awards honour the arts

Almost 50 Australians have been nominated for their support of the arts or participation in the arts in the National Australia Day awards this week.

Australia Day awards honour the arts


Many are philanthropists who recognise the important contribution the arts make in nurturing a cohesive, dynamic and innovative society.

Two State Governors—the Hon. Linda Dessau (Victoria) and the Hon. Catherine Warner (Tasmania) were both acknowledged with Companion (AC) in the General Division for their support of the arts, with Ms Dessau recognised as past chair of Melbourne Festival and Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria; and as President of the Alcorso Foundation, Ms Warner supports social and cultural advancement in the community through its programs in the Arts, Environment and Social Justice.

Several recipients of Office (AO) in the General Division have had a close connection with some of Australia’s major performing arts companies, as well as extensive work with other arts and charitable organisations:

    ·Dr Fred Affleck has been an active member of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s Patrons and Friends group since 2004, and president from 2009–11.

    ·Massimo Borghetti has been a director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra since 2012 and before that was a director ofTheAustralian Ballet.

    ·William Bowness has been a member of The Australian Ballet Foundation since 2011 and a generous donor to many other arts organisations.

    ·David McKee has been a board member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and theAustralian Chamber Orchestra, as well as supporting theState Theatre Company of South Australia.

    ·Emeritus Professor Larry Sitsky, composer and concert pianist, has worked with all of Australia’s premier orchestras, as well as having work commissioned byMusica Viva Australia.

    ·Brian Castles-Onion has worked with Opera Australia since 1994 as musician, repetiteur and conductor. He has also conducted for theWest Australian OperaandWest Australian Symphony Orchestra, and for Handa Opera productions on Sydney Harbour since 2012.

    ·Anthony Warlow is a classically trained baritone, who has worked in Australian opera and musical theatre includingOpera Australia, all around the country and overseas. He was named Living National Treasure by the National Trust in 1998, and received the Helen Hayes Award, 'for best actor in a musical for Man of La Mancha’, in Washington DC in 2016.

Other great Australian performers have also been acknowledged, with Jimmy Barnes, Nick Cave and Paul Kelly all receiving an AO.

See the full list here


Award Winners, News