Three full-page ads in the Australian ask voters to consider our cultural future with thanks to the Balnaves Foundation

Media Release

The Balnaves Foundation has partnered with NAVA to publish three full-page advertisements in the Australian newspaper on Monday 13, Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 May ahead of the federal election on Saturday 18 May.

Each advertisement asks voters to “Consider our cultural future when you vote”.

“The Arts and Creative Industries are vital to our economy,” said Hamish Balnaves, Chief Executive Officer, The Balnaves Foundation. “According to the Government’s own reckoning contributing $111.7 billion or 6.4% of GDP, and employing more people than the IT, mining and energy sectors.   

NAVA Executive Director, Esther Anatolitis believes it is really important for Australia to have philanthropists who are willing to speak up to ensure we are looking after our cultural future responsibly. “Investing in artists, small-to-medium arts organisations as well as our cultural institutions. It’s just not fair that politicians’ salaries have increased by a whopping 29% since 2011, whilst investment in arts and culture is endlessly squeezed.”

Mr Balnaves added, “Looking forward fifteen or twenty years to what our future economy could be like, in every scenario creativity will be of central importance to our productivity and global success. We must stand up for it now or we will be left behind.”

The Balnaves Foundation had previously published three full-page ads in the Australian ahead of the NSW election, highlighting the cultural and economic impacts of the arts and questioning why arts and culture remain such low policy and funding priorities at this critical time.

“NAVA welcomes the conviction of the Balnaves Foundation in standing up for artists who don’t have the platform to speak up for themselves,” said Executive Director Esther Anatolitis. “These ads will focus much-needed national reflection and further conviction as each of us takes the time to consider what’s best for Australia. For a contemporary arts sector that’s ambitious and fair, we encourage voters to question all candidates on the ambition of their cultural policy.”

NAVA’s Election Report Card, Advocacy Toolkit, policy outline, Budget response and strategic priorities are available on the website at