A message from our CEO

Our CEO, Fiona Menzies shares our highlights and milestones from the 2018-19 annual report


Creative Partnerships Australia has had a productive and rewarding year, as we continue to support the Australian arts sector to secure private investment through our expertise, programs and resources.

The influence and impact of the Australian Cultural Fund continues to strengthen, with a record $6.47 million raised through the fund in 2018-19. A total of 538 projects were undertaken and funded, as more artists chose to use the Australian Cultural Fund to support their work.

Similarly, our matched funding projects, Plus1 and MATCH Lab, continue to provide a great incentive for donors and businesses to partner with Government to fund the arts. Demand for these programs significantly exceeds the funds available, demonstrating the role matched funding can play in attracting private sector support.

In the past year we have continued to add to our suite of online resources, providing access to artists and arts organisations in regional and remote communities, and ensuring that arts fundraisers around Australia can find the inspiration and build the skills they need to succeed.

In 2018 we applied the principles of our successful fundraising mentoring program to a pilot mentoring program to assist small arts organisations wanting to improve their management and governance. Five organisations based in Queensland have participated in the pilot and senior arts managers from around Australia have been mentors for these organisations and are addressing a range of issues that face small organisations. Alongside our fundraising mentoring program, this is expected to further build the capacity of small to medium arts organisations and ensure the sustainability of the sector.

Coaching and mentoring were also delivered by Creative Partnerships Australia’s national network of State Managers, who work one on one with staff and boards of arts organisations, providing tailored advice and guidance on best practice arts fundraising. They delivered more than 600 coaching sessions to 457 artists and organisations during the year, driving workshops and presentations in arts industry forums.

Creative Partnerships Australia has also delivered and supported workshops, webinars, masterclasses and conferences featuring Australian and international experts, fostering best practice, innovation and networking for the sector.

It is a privilege to lead Creative Partnerships Australia, which is made easy for me due to the people around me. These include Creative Partnerships Australia’s wonderful staff, who are passionate about the arts and the difference that our organisation can make for artists, arts workers, arts organisations and arts audiences. They do not all come from arts backgrounds, but they all agree that arts matter.

I would also like to acknowledge the staff of the Department of Communications and the Arts who, at all levels, do everything in their power to support the work of Creative Partnerships Australia. My thanks again to outgoing Minister, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, who secured ongoing funding for Creative Partnerships Australia and was a strong supporter of its work. I look forward to working as closely with our incoming Minister, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, with our common goal of a vibrant and sustainable arts sector.

I would like to thank the Board of Creative Partnerships Australia. Our inaugural Chair, Carol Schwartz AO, who completed her second term in December 2018, believed deeply in the vision and mission of Creative Partnerships Australia and played an important role in seeing this realised. Several other foundation Board members also finished their terms during 2018-19 and I am grateful for the contribution they each made as well as their support for me as the CEO. Catherine Walter AM stepped into the Chair’s role with commitment and energy and, along with other new members of the Board, has continued the work of the team to ensure Creative Partnerships Australia serves the Australian arts sector and the broader community through its work.

I would like to join our Chair in thanking the Australian arts community for their talent, hard work and courage to produce work for all Australians to enjoy.

Fiona Menzies


Read our annual report 2018-19 (PDF)  or read a summary of our achievements.