Thursday, 30 March 2023

Helpmann Academy VIP Vernissage and Graduate Exhibition and launch of HA>NESS

Rod and I are delighted to join you this evening for the Helpmann Academy VIP Vernissage and to launch a new initiative.

Firstly, I join Mark in paying tribute to the outstanding work of the graduate artists on display today. The pieces are not only beautiful to look at but absorb us in the stories they tell through various mediums.

Congratulations. The future of the arts is clearly in capable, creative hands.

I applaud the Helpmann Academy and supporters for nurturing such talent and investing in not only the graduates as artists, but in our State’s contemporary arts scene.

I am sure I speak for all those who have passed through the Academy when I say this opportunity to launch their careers is of inestimable value.

And clearly our arts scene benefits from the new ideas, new expressions and new stories each graduating year affords us.

That imperative to invest in the future has sparked a new initiative from the Helpmann Academy that I am pleased as Patron formally to launch this evening.

HA>NESS (harness) young person’s donor circle aims to harness the next generation of philanthropists in South Australia who share a passion for the arts and culture.

Members will join a community of like-minded people to support promising local new artists and emerging creatives and have the opportunity to explore independent galleries, experience emerging theatre, see experimental films, hear contemporary music.

I understand it is the only young dynamic donor circle for professionals of its kind.


Philanthropy has long been at the heart of building our State.

There is something about South Australians that gives us an impetus to identify what needs to be done, to join together and make things happen – the generosity of spirit alongside the generosity of giving.

A spirit that we need to spark early and foster as a lifelong, active contribution to our community’s vibrancy.

Because the arts are integral to telling the story of who we are and who we want to be.

Art challenges our thinking, brings new perspectives, speaks for the voiceless, sparks social change and leaves a legacy for those who come after us.

It’s not the sole remit of governments to be the lifeblood of support for the arts, although such funding is important and valued.

It is up to everyone to ensure that what we value can endure. And I thank the supporters of the Helpmann Academy here tonight.

After all the arts not only create jobs and contribute to our economy, they also provide space for thought and reflection.

I congratulate the Helpmann Academy, LK Law and Macquarie Group for becoming supporting partners in HA>NESS.

I also welcome the small group of HA>NESS Ambassadors who have already joined the program and are here tonight.

I am sure you are looking forward to the first event - Finissage – which will be held at the end of the Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition.

And now it gives me much pleasure formally to launch HA>NESS.

May it long provide support to our future generations of artists.

Coming events