2018 Western Australian of the Year Awards

Arts & Culture Award Finalists

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The Arts & Culture Award is presented in celebration of excellence in achievement and/or significant contribution at a state, national or international level to the development, promotion and profiling of arts and culture disciplines in Western Australia.

Meet our 2018 Arts & Culture Award finalists:

John Barrington

John Barrington is a nationally respected strategy and governance expert with ten years in the information technology industry and 20 years in strategic consulting. He has a long commitment to the arts and community service, which saw him appointed as Chair of the Perth International Arts Festival.

Following his appointment to the Board, John made it his mission to help bring Royal De Luxe’s marionettes to Perth, believing it would perfectly encapsulate Perth Festival’s mission to enrich life through art. Attracting an audience of 1.4 million people, ‘The Incredible and Phenomenal Journey of The Giants’ is the largest outdoor event ever conducted in WA.

The resulting foot-traffic brought in $30 million for Perth businesses and the social media reach took Western Australia to the world. Internationally, the event is used as a case study in organising, conducting and promoting outdoor immersive arts experience on a massive scale.

With increasing awareness, Perth Festival continues to attract bigger and bigger crowds every year. John also developed further strategies to booster the arts, working with many arts companies and with the inaugural board to establish the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA, and with the boards of STEPS and Buzz Dance Companies to form CO:3, the State’s flagship contemporary dance company.

In 2017, John was awarded the Australian Institute of Company Directors Award for Director Excellence in the Not-For-Profit Sector.

Janet Holmes à Court AC

Janet Holmes à Court AC is a philanthropist, businesswoman and owner of the internationally renowned Janet Holmes à Court Collection, an accumulation of more than 4,000 important pieces of Australian and Western Australian art, with a strong emphasis on Indigenous works.

Established in the early 1960s, the Collection is often shared with public institutions for exhibition and publication, as well as being made available for curatorial research.

Janet is recognised as a key patron of the arts throughout Australia and serves on the board of a number of key organisations, including being the Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA and Chair of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (a position that she has held since 1985). Janet was also Chair of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for 20 years, having only recently resigned, and Founding Patron of Black Swan Theatre Company.

Janet also holds a number of honorary doctorates, including a Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia. Her contribution has been globally recognised with honours and awards, including UK Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year (1995) and EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Champion of Entrepreneurship Award (2012).

Janet is also the recipient of the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to business, particularly as a leader in the construction, wine and cattle industries, to the advancement of Western Australia’s musical and theatre culture, to the visual arts, and to the community. In 2001, Janet was also awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the arts, business and community.

The National Trust of Australia has included Janet on its list of 100 Australian Living Treasures.

Andrew Ross

Andrew Ross is an award-winning theatre director whose work has encapsulated the story of regional Western Australia and has been instrumental in bringing the stories of Aboriginal people to mainstream audiences through theatre.

Andrew’s service to the State’s arts has spanned more than four decades, since he was first appointed as the Youth Director of the National Theatre in 1976. Over the following years, Andrew established the Playhouse Theatre in Education Company, which later became Acting Out and Barking Gecko, which toured throughout Western Australia, from the Great Southern to the Kimberley. During these trips, Andrew developed a fascination for Western Australia, its landscapes, stories, art and history.

Returning to Western Australia in 1980 after completing a British Council fellowship in the UK, Andrew directed seminal Western Australian works, including The Dreamers and No Sugar by Jack Davis, and Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi and Kuckles.

Following the success of Bran Nue Dae in the 1990 Festival of Perth, Black Swan Theatre was formed under the Chairmanship of Janet Holmes à Court with Andrew as Artistic Director. At Black Swan, Andrew directed many acclaimed productions including Corrugation Road by Jimmy Chi and adaptations of the Randolph Stow novels The Merry -go- Round in the Sea and Tourmaline. Black Swan productions became a regular feature of Festivals of Perth including Sistergirl by Sally Morgan, a stage adaptations of Christopher Koch’s novel The Year of Living Dangerously and Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, and Plainsong in the 2000 Festival.

Andrew’s productions have toured to the UK and Canada and won a number of awards including Melbourne’s The Green Room Award for Best Production in 1988 for a trilogy of Jack Davis plays and The Age Critics’ Award in 1996 for Best Production in the Melbourne Festival for Corrugation Road.

The fact that many of the plays that Andrew contributed to continue to be studied and performed today is testament to the authenticity and humanity of these productions, which have become an important part of our cultural identity.

Phillip Walley-Stack

Phil Walley-Stack is a business man, entrepreneur, singer-songwriter, musician and community volunteer. Phil has dedicated his life to arts and culture and is an international ambassador for the arts in Western Australia. Phil uses his strong cultural foundations to teach, educate and share Aboriginal culture both locally and internationally. Phil has performed in in the USA, Middle East, Germany, France, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. Phil was invited to perform at the Australian embassy in Malaysia and Indonesia and is continually sought after to perform for international delegations travelling to Australia for government and industry including for CHOGM and the Kimberley Process.

Phil is a highly respected community patron for Aboriginal people and culture and has a strong sense of responsibility to the WA community. Phil was one of the leading forces that lobbied the “Fake Art” Campaign which resulted in the establishment of a Parliamentary inquiry into the growing proliferation of inauthentic Indigenous art and crafts. Phil is the volunteer Chairperson for Perth’s only Aboriginal radio station 100.9 FM Noongar Radio, and a volunteer broadcaster for the popular national radio program “Indigenous Beats” promoting Aboriginal music and artists. In 2017 Phil led Noongar Radio into the Community Broadcasting of Australia’s awards, winning the categories Excellence in Indigenous Engagement and Contribution to Australian Music. Phil is also an ambassador for children’s charity 12 Buckets, and sits on a number of working groups including the Town of Vincent’s Reconciliation Action Plan Committee and the Indigenous Remote Communication Association.

Phil uses his profile to create countless opportunities for other Aboriginal people donating his time to produce, coordinate and promote concerts for Aboriginal artists; teaching culture at a number of schools throughout the state; taking a group of school students, from remote backgrounds, to the United States to perform; and the recent coordination of a group of artists from Western Australia to perform as part of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony Four Winds Didgeridoo orchestra.

In 2012 Phil established Walleystack International Pty Ltd (WSI), the only Aboriginal production and events company in Western Australia. WSI regularly produce concerts and events for the Corporate sector and recently produced a series of events for the City of Perth’s Australia Day long weekend which included the 2018 Birak Concert, an inaugural movie night with Ernie Dingo in the Northbridge Piazza, rolling content of Aboriginal music and documentaries on the LED screens in Perth Cultural precinct and a live launch of the Australia Day long weekend in Forrest Place. Through these events WSI gave Perth a strong Aboriginal presence over the entire long weekend, provided employment opportunities to over 25 Aboriginal artists and groups, entertained over 20,000 people with Aboriginal entertainment and most importantly gave Aboriginal people pride seeing their culture celebrated front and centre in the City.

Phil is also the cultural advisor for the books “Aussie Bush Tales”, and narrates the animated series which has gone to air on NITV and SBS on demand. He has also co-authored a book “Rocky and Louie” which is being published by Penguin Australia and created “Jinda”, the first Aboriginal designed luxury sleepwear.

Bourby Webster

Bourby Webster is a violist, entrepreneur, educator, presenter and producer. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Perth Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra that breaks the rules and has spread their mission of ‘Music for Everyone’.

PSO, founded in 2011, was created by Bourby with an ambition to reach a broad and new audience in Western Australia. Bourby is passionate about finding innovative ways and incentives to retain our talent in WA, creating jobs and showcasing Western Australian’s incredibly talented and inspirational musicians.

Since launching, PSO has performed to nearly 200,000 people across our State from Karratha to Kwinana, playing everything from Vivaldi to Nirvana. Generating almost $2 million dollars in to our State from performance fees to date; employed 150 local musicians each year; and created pathways into professional careers for Western Australia’s aspiring younger musicians.

Under the guidance of Bourby, the PSO’s Education and Community Engagement programs have reached over 20,000 children, and seen remarkable collaborations with Aboriginal poets, projectionists, actors, dancers and partnerships with numerous organisations across Western Australia. The Perth Chamber Orchestra, featuring PSO’s leading musicians, has also received critical acclaim for its performance standards.

In 2017 Bourby created the Arts Leaders Collective. A collective that are passionate about supporting women in the arts and leaders of new arts companies.

Bourby has a music degree from Oxford University, is a graduate of the Royal College of Music, has an MBA from UWA, and has been a winner of a 40 Under 40 award for Entrepreneurs and a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards. She also lectures at WAAPA and was formerly a medal-winning, international-level coxswain and was the first female coxswain in 106 years of the WA Kings Cup Rowing Crew in 2002.

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