The Australia Council wishes to acknowledge the passing of Neil Balnaves AO and recognise his impressive contribution as a businessman and arts philanthropist.
Mr Balnaves was a significant supporter of Australia at the Venice Biennale for more than a decade through the Balnaves Foundation, which he established in 2006. The foundation also supported a wide variety of arts and cultural organisations, including the Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery of South Australia, the Ensemble Theatre, the Adelaide Festival and Bangarra Dance Theatre.
In 2010 Mr Balnaves was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his services to business and philanthropy.
Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM said:
“We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Neil Balnaves, who was a passionate supporter of the arts. He was a firm believer in the value of investing in arts and culture, and has had a powerful impact on many artists and arts organisations. We express our deepest sympathies to his friends, family and colleagues.”