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Australia Council for the Arts chairman James Strong AO received the Richard Pratt Business Leadership Award at the AbaF awards in Sydney on October 25, 2007.

The award recognises a business person who through their leadership, advocacy, practice and example has made an exceptional contribution to Australia’s cultural life by fostering and facilitating increased business investment in and support for the arts and engagement between business and the arts.

James Strong has a distinguished record of serving the arts in Australia. He has been chairman of Sydney Theatre Company, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Australia Business Arts Foundation. In 2005, he oversaw an Australian Government review of Australia’s orchestras, which led to $32 million over four years in extra funding. James was also president of the Council of the State Library of Victoria from 1989 to 1992.

As the recipient of this year’s business leadership award, James Strong joins the distinguished company of previous winners such as David Clarke AO, former Australia Council chairman David Gonski AC, Harold Mitchell AO, Kenneth Tribe AC, Janet Holmes a Court AO, Anthony Berg AM and Michael Chaney.

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