Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

British Council

The British Council supports the Australian debut of two shows by award-winning UK artist Bryony Kimmings, both of which are presented by Melbourne’s TheatreWorks. Source: British Council in Australia

Excerpt from Chloe Wolifson, ‘Collaboration and the creative economy: The British Council in Australia’ ArtsHub, 28 October 2014

The British Council in Australia plays a vital role in fostering cultural leadership and helping local creative talent to make a mark internationally.

Australians working in the creative sector have long been aware of the British Council, with many knowing someone who has been the beneficiary of their flagship Australia-UK exchange programs. The British Council in Australia draws from its parent organisation’s research into the creative economy, and plays an increasingly pivotal role in fostering cultural leadership locally and in the East Asian region.

The British Council was founded in 1934 as the United Kingdom’s global organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Established in Australia in 1947, it is one of our oldest cultural institutions. Originally providing opportunities for UK artists to reach Australian audiences, this has developed into a mutual exchange benefiting both countries and their surrounding regions.

Director of the British Council in Australia, Helen O’Neil, came to the role in August 2014 and is excited about the Council’s ongoing work and vision. O’Neil explained that, “the British Council is working to ensure that in Australia we understand contemporary Britain’s diversity and dynamism,” concentrating its activities where Britain has shown itself to be the front-runner – primarily its fundamental work on the creative economy and cultural leadership.

“Britain realised its strength in the creative industries well over a decade ago, so it’s got a depth of experience which Australia and other countries can benefit from,” said O’Neil. In particular, “Britain has spent more than a decade [researching] solutions to the issue of how you create confident leaders who can lead the cultural sector in times of enormous change.”

Read the rest of the ArtHub article here (may involve paywall).

Read more about the opportunities provided by the British Council in Australia here.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
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