On Thursday 27th July 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, the Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival, Mr Joseph Mitchell and Ms Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin, Chief Executive Officer of the Cultural Economy Development Unit of Malaysia (CEDU), signed a memorandum of understanding between the latter and Adelaide Festival Centre, ensuring ongoing cultural exchange and sharing of artistic performances between Australia and Malaysia.
The Cultural Economy Development Unit of Malaysia (CEDU) is supported by the Malaysian Government. It is an effort announced in the National Budget 2017 by the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, on October 21 2016. CEDU's goal is to build a vibrant, sustainable and ambitious cultural economy for Malaysia, and has a 5-year strategy for 2017-2022 that is created in consultation with local and international partners, government, arts organizations and artists.
This is the first MoU signed between CEDU and an Australian arts organisation and coincides with the 70 year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Malaysia in 2017.
The signing of the MoU will be witnessed by South Australia’s Minister for the Arts, The Hon. Jack Snelling MP, and The Hon. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia. CEDU’s support will enable Malaysian performances at the 2017 OzAsia Festival and in future years, providing a premier platform for a variety of contemporary artists, regional Indigenous arts and high profile arts companies from Malaysia to audiences and arts industry in Australia.
The MoU also enables Australian arts industry professionals to facilitate masterclasses and knowledge sharing activities in Malaysia. In turn, CEDU will arrange a suitable arts manager from Malaysia to undertake a professional development internship at Adelaide Festival Centre.
Minister for the Arts, The Hon. Jack Snelling MP, says: “This MoU adds another successful partnership to the ever-expanding portfolio that both the Adelaide Festival Centre and State of South Australia enjoy with our Asian counterparts, including the 2016 memorandum that was signed with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and continues to support artists in the 2017 OzAsia Festival, and continuing benefits of the Port Adelaide AFL game that was recently played in Shanghai.”
‘’As OzAsia Festival enters its second decade, it continues to shorten the cultural distances between Australia and Asia and showcase just why Adelaide is constantly recognised globally as an exceptional tourism, arts, economic and business destination: something that Kuala Lumpur is also celebrated for, and to which we look forward to ongoing collaboration and sharing of knowledge.’’
The Hon. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia says “We are excited to see the formation of such strong connections, deepening the already strong relationship between Australia and Malaysia. This MoU reflects our commitment to elevate Malaysian arts to a wider community and continue creating lasting people-‐to-‐people links. Considering the many shared similarities we have between both countries in terms of diverse cultures and appreciation of other languages, ethnicities, religions and beliefs, we look forward to developing international capability of arts professionals and assist audiences to better understand Malaysia.”
This timely partnership strengthens the Malaysia-‐Australian cultural connections. It will enable us to grow exchanges, community and business engagement between Australia and Malaysia. We aspire to have more agreements like this with other countries as part of our efforts in internationalising Malaysian arts as we continue to improve the knowledge, skills and networks of the cultural sector based on partnerships, collaboration and reciprocity.” Founding CEO CEDU Izan Satrina said.
CEO and Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival Centre Douglas Gautier AM says: “The MoU between OzAsia Festival and CEDU will ensure that Adelaide audiences can experience a more comprehensive and diverse ranges of arts experience from Malaysia in the coming years. OzAsia Festival has built many successful international partnerships across the region, which directly results in increased opportunity for arts programming and cultural engagement in the Asian region. The fact that it is the first MoU that CEDU has signed with any Australian arts organisation is testament to the vision of Adelaide Festival Centre as a leader in Australia-‐Asia engagement.”
In its 11th year, OzAsia Festival is Australia’s leading annual contemporary arts Festival focusing on Asia. Each year, the Festival presents the very best contemporary artists from across Asia, connecting audiences with an outstanding array of theatre, music, dance, visual arts, film and food. In 2017 it runs from 21st Sept – 8th October at Adelaide Festival Centre.