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AbaF Awards for Arts Partnerships and Leaders


Tuesday, 19th August 2003 at 1:08 pm
Staff Reporter
The business arts partnership between Sun Microsystems and Musica Viva is Australia’s best – according to the judges of the 2003 AbaF Awards.

Tuesday, 19th August 2003
at 1:08 pm
Staff Reporter


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AbaF Awards for Arts Partnerships and Leaders
Tuesday, 19th August 2003 at 1:08 pm

The business arts partnership between Sun Microsystems and Musica Viva is Australia’s best – according to the judges of the 2003 AbaF Awards. The partnership won the AbaF Business Arts Partnership of the Year Award and the Bytecraft Commitment Award for long-term partnerships.

The Prime Minister, John Howard presented the Award on 7 August before an audience of over 800 business, arts and government leaders at the third annual AbaF Awards Councillors’ Dinner.

Sun Microsystems and Musica Viva’s partnership, now in its 12th year, includes an International Concert series, an Export program enabling Australian musicians to tour overseas, Musica Viva in Schools, Country wide regional tours, Menage for younger audiences, and the Sun Microsystems Yarra Valley Festival.

The judges, chaired by businessman James Strong say the relationship shows commitment, continuity and has grown over a substantial period. It is much more than a monetary relationship – it is a long-term investment in the value of the arts.

Partnership Awards were presented in nine categories.

 Business Arts Partnership of the Year: Sun Microsystems and Musica Viva
 KPMG adviceBank Award: Adviser – Ron Evans (Bayside Festival, Hobsons Bay City Council and Toyota Australia)
 Caliburn Corporate Strategy Award: Alcoa World Alumina Australia
 Scotchmans Hill Encouragement Award: The Empower Group & Circus Oz
 Bytecraft Commitment Award: Sun Microsystems and Musica Viva Australia
 AbaF Councillors Community Award: Rio Tinto WA Future Fund, Wesfarmers Arts and Craftwest Centre for Contemporary Craft And Design
 Australia Council Media Arts Award: JCDecaux and Various arts organisations
 City of Sydney Open Award: Woodside Energy And Western Australian Museum
 QantasLink Regional Award: Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and Wangaratta Festival of Jazz
 Sensis Small Business Award: PLATED – The Event Caterer and Sydney Festival

This year’s Leadership Awards honour one business leader and one cultural leader who have been exceptional in building partnerships between the sectors. Janet Holmes à Court won the Richard Pratt Business Leadership Award and John Bell won the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Cultural Leadership Award

Janet Holmes à Court, the Chairman of Heytesbury Pty Ltd, has been dedicated to the arts in Western Australia and nationally for over two decades. She is Chairman of the Board of the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO). In this role, Janet has used her business connections to help provide the communities of remote and regional Australia with the joy of hearing live orchestral performances. As Chairman of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation for 20 years, Janet has fought for funding and the programming needs of young TV viewers.

In 1991, Janet was asked to help form the Black Swan Theatre Company – a labour of love built on Janet’s appreciation of Indigenous culture nurtured from her childhood.

Much of her art collection is constantly on public view – at any time, approximately 1,000 works are on loan. The Holmes a Court Gallery at Heytesbury’s corporate building in Perth reflects Janet’s belief in sharing her art and her business skills, time and energy.

John Bell is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Bell Shakespeare Company. Before the founding of Bell Shakespeare Company he was an established actor and director, and the co-founder of Nimrod Theatre. Since 1990 John Bell has pursued a top quality Shakespearian theatre company for Australia. The company continues to create challenging and innovative productions of Shakespeare’s works. Bell was launched without government support, depending on funding from audiences, business and donors.

The Australian community has been the beneficiary of this, as the Company has flourished and expanded its touring programs and in particular its educational work. Today with significant private sector support, 200,000 people around Australia attend Bell productions or take part in community, education and outreach programs.. Bell Shakespeare Company has a firm foundation for the future, in large part because of the strong relationships it has forged with corporate Australia.

John shows business how companies can benefit from the arts through presentations, workshops and training. There are business benefits, new opportunities for Bell and partnerships that meet community and social objectives. Recently John Bell masterminded the unique executive training program that has become the focus of a partnership between Bell Shakespeare Company and the Melbourne Business School, launched in May 2003.



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