Neil Balnaves, Australian philanthropist and major arts patron dies aged 77 after boating accident


Australia’s philanthropy lost its champion in a boat accident near Tahiti, killing one of America’s leading arts, science and education philanthropists, Neil Barnabeth. He was 77 years old.

The fatal accident is believed to have occurred when Mr. Barnabeth was on board the luxury ship The World, which was on vacation with his wife Diane. A statement from his family confirmed the death of Mr. Barnabeth and said, “Thank you very much for the kind words and wishes of the people.”

“Don’t wake up one morning and say,’I want to be a philanthropist today.’ That’s evolving,” Balnaves told ABCRN’s Life Matters in 2010.((((Provided by: AAP / Dean Lewins).

With hundreds of compliments from the recipients of his philanthropic gift, Mr. Barnabeth is described as “one of the good men” and a “bloody generous benefactor” who has given millions of people.

A former successful television and film entrepreneur, he poured his wealth into the Balnaves Foundation, which he founded in 2006 to support research in both arts, education, medicine and social justice across Australia.

In 2010, Barnabeth was appointed to the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions to business and philanthropy.

In a strange twist of fate, it was an early boat accident in 2002 that spurred his career as a private philanthropist.

“I had a pretty shocking accident in my late 50s. It was a boat accident that really flattened me and I took a year to recover.”

Still suffering constantly and unable to travel, he sold his television production business and saved his fortune. It will be a nice or bigger house.

“”[But] It was pretty wrong, and it gave birth to the Foundation. I really came to a conclusion … it was good to return good things to the country. “

His charity, which he ran with his wife Diane and his children Hamish and Victoria, then distributed a $ 3 million annual grant, for a total of over $ 40 million in 15 years of history. rice field.

Balnaves has become a prominent and generous supporter of Australian art and has distributed funds to a wide range of winners, including the Sydney Dance Company, Adelaide Festival, Bangara Dance Theater, Sydney Ensemble Theater, Australian National Museum and Tarrawarra Museum.

Two indigenous female performers (one older and one younger) play together on a dark stage, and a young woman kneels.
Wudjang: Not the Past (pictured) was co-produced by the Bangara Dance Theater and the Sydney Theater Company, premiered at this year’s Sydney Festival and supported by the Barnaves Foundation.((((Supply: Bangarra / Daniel Boud).

The Foundation also supports the Sydney Biennale and fellowship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Sydney’s Belboa.

Fiona Menzies, CEO of Creative Partnerships Australia, states that art philanthropy was a personal passion and Balnaves’ main focus.

“He was devoted and effective and really wanted to understand the organization he was involved in. He provided long-term stability and what the organization needed to achieve that goal. I saw. “

A bald Aboriginal man is crouching next to a tree stump on which a possums skin is placed in a structure made of tree branches.
How Much Does Belvoir St Theater Cost? (Photo) Written by Nathan Maynard, debuted in late January 2022 and supported by the Barnabeth Foundation.((((Supply: Belboa / Breadboard Man).

NGA Director Nick Mitzevich told The Sydney Morning Herald:

The Balnaves Contemporary Series has promoted NGA’s major annual committee of contemporary artists since 2018.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales also issued a statement by Barnabeth, stating that he is “an important benefactor of the museum and a generous supporter across many cultures.”

“In a time when it was difficult to sponsor a contemporary art exhibition, Neil and Diane supported a series of five sculpture exhibitions through the Foundation for five years from 2003.”

The gallery pointed out that the Balnaves Foundation Australian Sculpture Archive was founded in 2010 “to obtain an archive of leading Australian sculptors and expand research in 3D practice”.

Mr. Barnabeth’s love for public sculpture is due to several years of support for Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi and a large funding for the Australian presentation at the Venice Biennale in partnership with the Australian Council. It also led to the offer.

Explaining his childhood in Adelaide, where art was a “distant concept,” he gave ABC access to gallery events every week for hundreds of parents and children, and the START program at the Art Gallery of South Australia. He said he immediately agreed to fund the museum.

Neil Balnaves
Balnaves spoke to ABC RN’s Michael Casskirt in 2013, describing art as “the soul of the country, the essence of the country.”

He said it is essential that Foundation activities “focus on indigenous Australia, youth, and disadvantaged people with the goal of creating a better Australia.”

It has led to a broad portfolio of funding, from the University of New South Wales-based Indigenous Law Center to medical research and programs at the St. Vincent Hospital and Blackdog Institute in Sydney.

Long-term partnerships have supported smaller organizations such as Story Factory, a non-profit writing center for young people based in Redfern and Parramatta, Sydney.

Last September, the Balnaves Foundation donated more than $ 500,000 to NIDA’s First Nations Program, provided scholarships for new students to travel and study at NIDA, and established NIDA’s first indigenous elders. did.

Former film and television executive Balnaves ran the Southern Star Group (later Endemol Shine Australia) and was the former chairman of the Ardent Leisure Group. He is proud to be involved in bringing many popular shows to Australian screens such as Water Rats, Blue Heelers, Big Brothers, The Secret Life of Us and Bananas from Pyjamas.

The cast of our secret life is stacked on top of each other on the couch.
Our secret life was aired over four seasons from 2001 to 2005.((((supply).

“We’ve been riding that lucky wave for 10 to 15 years, doing a long series of Blue Healers and Waterrats,” he said in a 2013 interview.

“Neil was an imaginative, entrepreneurial and talented manager in the film and television industry,” says Helengrass Will, a former ABC television producer who worked with him in the ’70s.

“He was always very amiable and made him stand out in the industry.

“He once said he didn’t want his kids to grow up with the wrong idea about money, so he cultivated his money into the Foundation and his kids worked with him.” She says.

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Balnaves told ABC that private philanthropists strongly believe that governments and large corporations should be proud to make a difference in a shrinking world.

He urged them to make their donations more public.

“We are talking about the soul of the country … and we have to keep it [the arts] Growing up.

“In the end, while politicians’ salaries are rising, we are wondering why we are paying taxes on an ever-increasing scale. [but] Funding for art goes against it, “he said.



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