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Sydney Festival Director Wesley Enoch awarded Order of Australia

Sydney Festival Director Wesley Enoch awarded Order of Australia
January 26, 2020

In recognition of his significant contribution to “Theatre and the Arts as an Indigenous Director and Writer”, Festival Director Wesley Enoch has today been announced as a Member of the Order of Australia.

Enoch, a proud Noonuccal Nuugi man, is a writer and director who has previously been the Artistic Director at Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts; Artistic Director at Ilbijerri Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-operative; Artistic Director at Queensland Theatre Company; and the Associate Artistic Director at Belvoir Street Theatre.  

Noting the achievement, Festival chair, David Kirk MBE advised “the board of Sydney Festival is delighted that Wesley has been recognised for his wide-ranging contribution to the arts in Australia over many years. At Sydney Festival, Wesley has been a great champion of Australian writers, producers and performers in all genres.”  

Fellow board member Professor Larissa Behrendt echoed Kirk’s sentiments “Wesley has had a profound influence on Australia’s arts sector. This award is a wonderful recognition of Wesley’s profound contribution to the place of Indigenous storytelling and narrative in our national conversation and to the cultural life of Australia more broadly.”  

Enoch’s other residencies include Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company – he was also creative consultant, segment director and indigenous consultant for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.  He is Chair of Create NSW’s Aboriginal Arts and Culture Board; Chair of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy Panel; a Board member of Annamila and NAISDA; and a member of the AGNSW Aboriginal Advisory Committee

Enoch has written and directed a number of renowned Indigenous theatre productions, including The 7 Stages of Grieving which he directed and co-wrote with Deborah Mailman; The Sunshine Club for Queensland Theatre Company; and Black Medea – a new adaption of Euripides’ Medea. In 2004 Exoch directed the original stage production of The Sapphires, which won the 2005 Helpmann Award for Best Play. He directed Black Diggers, presented at Sydney Festival in 2014 and his most recent production was Black Cockatoo, which premiered at the 2020 Sydney Festival.  

Of the accolade, Enoch commented “this appointment recognises not just my achievements but the contribution of all Indigenous artists working in Theatre. The soul of our nation is reliant on artists stepping up to tell the stories that reflect and challenge us to be better human beings. The storytelling of our nation has often overlooked Indigenous narratives and there are many who have gone before me and will come after me who will assist all Australians to connect to the 60,000 + history of this continent. The recent bushfires have reminded us all that Indigenous Australia has knowledge and stories of living in this country that can help us all to live more harmoniously in this Land.”

Related Articles

8th January 2020 - Sydney Festival show cancelled due to bushfires and poor air quality

1st November 2019 - Sydney Festival unveils 2020 program

17th October 2019 - TodayTix joins Sydney Festival as Digital Ticketing Technology Partner

26th January 2019 - Prominent industry achievers recognised in Australia Day Honours 

16th January 2019 - Sydney Festival’s strong attendance boosts NSW visitor economy¬†

3rd December 2018 - Sydney Festival launches first Disability Programming Initiative in Australia

19th January 2017 - Sydney Festival opens to great reception

31st August 2016 - Indigenous performances shunned by arts sector

13th January 2016 - Sydney Festival opening celebrates its 40th anniversary

4th June 2015 - Sydney Festival to welcome Wesley Enoch as Director from 2017

11th November 2014 - Indigenous cast to present significant ANZAC production as part of the 2015 Perth Festival


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