Transfield's longstanding commitment to the arts continues by supporting groundbreaking arts projects and organisations that nurture inventiveness and engage the community.


Transfield’s involvement with the arts began fifty years ago when the company’s founder Franco Belgiorno-Nettis, recognising the importance of art to a healthy society and wishing to give something back to the country which had given him so much, launched The Transfield Art Prize. The ‘Transfield’ as it became simply known soon made its mark as one of Australia’s major annual arts events. From there Franco turned his attention to a Biennale for Sydney, which he launched at the newly opened Opera House in 1973. The Biennale has grown to be one of the premier activities in the Australian arts calendar. In the 1990s Transfield began its support for another groundbreaking arts organisation, the Australian Chamber Orchestra.


The Transfield Foundation is not currently considering new grant applications for this area.

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney opening in 1973

Founded in 1973 by Transfield’s Chairman, Franco Belgiorno-Nettis, the Biennale of Sydney is an international showcase for contemporary art.

From the beginning its aim was to develop and present a program that challenged traditional thinking and encouraged innovative, creative expression. The event proved to be a natural fit with Sydney, reflecting the blend of experiment and enjoyment of innovation and energy that has always been a hallmark of Australia's largest city. From a small start, the Biennale is today widely considered to be among the pre-eminent global contemporary art events and Australia’s largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts event. The 18th Biennale in 2012 attracted more than 665,000 visitors to view works by more than 100 artists from 44 countries. This represents an increase of approximately 29 per cent from 2010. The 19th Biennale of Sydney will take place in 2014 under the artistic direction of Juliana Engberg.


Australian Chamber Orchestra

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Internationally renowned for inspired programming and the rapturous response of audiences and critics, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is a product of Australia’s vibrant, adventurous and enquiring spirit.

In performances around the world and on many recordings, the ACO moves hearts and stimulates minds with repertoire spanning six centuries and a vitality and virtuosity unmatched by other ensembles.

The ACO was founded in 1975 by John Painter and its current Artistic Director and Lead Violin, Richard Tognetti was appointed in 1989. Under Richard’s leadership, the ACO has performed as a flexible and versatile ‘ensemble of soloists’, on modern and period instruments, as a small chamber group, a small symphony orchestra, and as an electro-acoustic collective. The ACO’s unique artistic style encompasses not only classical masterworks, but innovative cross-artform projects and a vigorous commissioning program.


Accessible Arts NSW

Accessible Arts Logo

Accessible Arts promotes and provides opportunities for people with disability to participate in arts and cultural activities either as audience members; through attending galleries, theatres, museums and festivals; or as participants in art, drama, music, dance and multimedia activities; and by developing as professional artists. The organisation's vision is a society in which people with disability can contribute to and fully experience the arts and cultural life.

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