Sheena Boughen, pro bono CEO for Four Winds Bermagui for a decade, honoured at the Creative Partnership Awards.

Sheena Boughen has been awarded the Arts Leadership Award at the 2017 Creative Partnerships Awards. Boughen, who was the pro bono Chief Executive Officer of Four Winds Bermagui for a decade, joined four other awardees from Australia’s philanthropic, cultural and business landscape, in a ceremony in Melbourne last night.

The Creative Partnership Awards recognise people who have fostered partnerships between the cultural and private sectors, and who have encouraged the spirit of giving to the arts. This was the first year members of the general public were invited to nominate award recipients, who were then shortlisted by a panel of arts, business and philanthropy leaders. The winners were determined by the Creative Partnerships Australia Board.

Creative Partnership Awards 2017Andrew Cameron AM, Cathy Cameron, Ian Narev, Sheena Boughen, James O’Brien. Photo: supplied.

“Without arts, business and philanthropic sectors working together to champion our artists and arts organisations the industry would suffer,” said CEO of Creative Partnerships Australia Fiona Menzies. “This year’s Award winners have helped ensure a strong, diverse and sustainable future for Australia’s cultural sector.”

Boughen served as chair of the board of Four Winds Bermagui until the end of 2015 and was a founding member when Four Winds held its first Easter festival in 1991.

“For me personally, music is at the heart of why I chose this opportunity to build this beautiful place and create a place for music-making,” Boughen said in a video for Create Partnerships Australia. “What matters in any leadership role is to do something that brings people together and builds a confidence and a resilience.”

Ian Narev, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Bank Group, received the Business Leadership Award, for “an individual working in the business sector who through their leadership, advocacy, practice and example has made an exceptional contribution to Australia’s cultural life by fostering increased investment and engagement between business and the arts.”

The Award acknowledged Commonwealth Bank’s longstanding history of partnering with Australian arts organisations, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra – which CBA has supported for nearly 30 years – and Kaldor Public Art Project. Narev has also been Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company since February 2016 and he and his wife are personal financial supporters of both the ACO and STC.

Joseph O’Brien received the Emerging Philanthropy Leadership Award for his active support and advocacy of the Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Since 2015, O’Brien has been instrumental in promoting the membership base of QAGOMA’s Future Collective, a philanthropic programme for young people. O’Brien was appointed to the QAGOMA Foundation Committee’s Board of Trustees in 2016, and is the youngest member of the committee.

The Philanthropy Leadership Award was shared between Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy Cameron for their tireless advocacy for private support of the arts. The couple formed their own Private Ancillary Fund (PAF) in 2005, The Andrew Cameron Family Foundation. Prior to and since the inception of their Fund, they have disbursed grants to the arts sector totaling more than $5 million.

The Camerons have provided funds for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Belvoir Theatre’s redevelopment, assisted the Sydney Biennale to grow over the past decade, granted $50,000 per year to Belvoir for development of new Australian writing, and supported specific artists’ projects over a number of years for the Australian presentation at the Venice Biennale. Andrew Cameron, who was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2014 for services to the visual and performing arts, is the outgoing Chair of Belvoir, current Chair of the Art Gallery of NSW Foundation, Deputy Chair of Biennale of Sydney and Chair of the Finance Committee of Biennale of Sydney. He is also a Board member of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation and a member of the Tate International Council and Tate Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee (London).

Minister for the Arts Senator Mitch Fifield thanked the winners, saying “their private efforts and contributions had a character that can only be realised when something is done willingly, freely, passionately and as a mark of personal commitment.”

“It is top of my mind that we are here to support art,” Menzies said at the ceremony. “Most importantly, I would like to thank the artists and art makers, as they are the ones who provide us with the opportunity to enjoy and reflect on their work.”