August 8, 2019
Mardi Gras, diversity

The Sydney Opera House and EnergyAustralia today announced the renewal of their Major Partnership for a further two years. Together, the organisations will collaborate on projects to shine a spotlight on their shared values, including diversity, equality and sustainability.

The renewed partnership builds on a two-year program under which the Opera House and EnergyAustralia worked on highly successful projects, including the Opera House achieving carbon neutrality five years early, and for the first time, participating in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, with a glittering 10-metre float titled Out at the House including 50 marchers from both organisations.

To kick-off the renewed partnership, Opera House CEO Louise Herron and EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna, together with a number of First Nations team members from both organisations, recently travelled to the 21st annual Garma Festival (2 – 5 August). Held in the far north east of the Northern Territory, Garma immerses 2,650 guests in the rich cultural, artistic and ceremonial traditions of the Yolngu hosts.  

Under the partnership, EnergyAustralia will also be an event partner for Dance Rites (23 – 24 November), the Opera House’s spectacular annual event drawing First Nations dancers from across Australia and around the world.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said: “Our family of partners plays a vital role in helping the Opera House to do more, reach further and ultimately increase our engagement with the community. Over the past two years, EnergyAustralia’s support has enabled so much at the Opera House, including helping us to achieve carbon neutrality five years early, as well as funding for the Opera House’s first ever Mardi Gras float in the 40th anniversary parade in 2018, realising a long-held dream to see the famous white sails soar down Oxford Street. It was a wonderful experience to attend Garma Festival this year and I look forward to continuing to build on our shared momentum.”

EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said: “What we’ve found in the Opera House is a like-minded partner: optimistic, outward looking and open minded. Something we share with our customers and our people is the belief that the combination of different backgrounds and ideas is a cause for attention and celebration. We’re looking forward to the next chapter of our partnership with the Opera House. There’s still plenty of work for us to do.”

NSW Minister for the Arts and Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin said: “The Opera House is a part of our nation’s rich cultural fabric, celebrated as a world-class performing arts centre, an iconic building and, importantly, a meeting place for the community. EnergyAustralia’s support for Australia’s Indigenous culture and highlighting the issue of diversity and equality is a wonderful example of what true collaboration can enable for the wider community.

“As both Minister for the Arts and Aboriginal Affairs, it is wonderful to see support from the private sector enabling initiatives that provide a platform for the community to celebrate, share stories and discuss issues that matter.”

Key diversity and inclusion initiatives will continue including the Opera House float in next year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, and a series of talks and workshops for EnergyAustralia and Opera House staff focusing on women in leadership and supporting the LGBTIQ networks of both organisations.