Delivering vision: politicians versus an actor

Working with a ‘laser-like focus’, regional artists and arts organisation offer visionary lessons that are transformative.

In all good conferences, a smattering of inspiring keynotes peppers the program. But how do you get the balance right? And is there a responsibility to land a memorable punch with those keynotes, such as the announcement of breaking news or funding wins, or should you simply offer a rousing speech certain to inspire and lead the room forward?

At the recent Artlands 2023 gathering in Canberra (6-8 September) – marking the 80th anniversary of the peak arts organisation – no less than three politicians were in the room: Special Envoy for the Arts, Susan Templeman, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Shadow Minister for the Arts, Paul Fletcher MP. Templeman and Hanson-Young both presented speeches.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina