Wesfarmers has been a leading supporter of the arts for more than four decades. We partner with a diverse range of arts and cultural organisations in Western Australia and nationally because we believe the arts make a vital contribution to vibrant communities where creativity, social cohesion and innovation can thrive.
We make significant contributions to First Nations arts and culture. During the year, we supported a major Western Australian regional tour of the Wesfarmers Arts’ commission Koolbardi wer Wardong – Australia’s first work of musical theatre developed in Indigenous language by Nyoongar musicians Gina Williams AM and Guy Ghouse, for the West Australian Opera.
In the 2023 financial year, we celebrated 30 years in partnership with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, bringing world-class music to the people of Western Australia.
During the year, we celebrated 25 years in partnership with the Bell Shakespeare Company, making Wesfarmers the most long-standing corporate partner. Our support for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Musica Viva Australia continued.
We are proud our support has facilitated taking performances to regional Australian communities that have enjoyed performances and education programs with leading Australian and world artists.
The highlight of the year – and one of three leadership projects underpinning our Elevate RAP – was the exhibition Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia, developed in partnership with the National Gallery Australia. Three years in the making, Ever Present premiered at the Art Gallery of Western Australia before commencing a two-year international tour at the National Gallery of Singapore from May to September 2022. Ever Present opened in New Zealand at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki in July 2023.
Ever Present features more than 170 works of art reflecting seven overarching and interlinked themes: Ancestors + Creators; Country + Constellations; Community + Family; Culture + Ceremony; Trade + Influence; Resistance + Colonisation; and Innovation + Identity.
The works underline the ever-present existence of the First Peoples of Australia. From Albert Namatjira's Ormiston Gorge, Timothy Cook's Kulama to Julie Dowling's Self-portrait: in our county, the exhibition works cover themes of identity, connection, Australia's contested historical narratives, and the contemporary experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists practising today. Each piece reveals the determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to tell their stories in their own way.
Find out more about Wesfarmers Arts here.
GRI 3-3, GRI 201-1, GRI 413-2