Chapter Five

In his address, Gough Whitlam praised the initiative behind the event: "the example of Mr Belgiorno-Nettis and Mr Salteri will be followed by others inside and outside the commercial world. I commend their efforts unreservedly. They and the Transfield organisation are to be congratulated on bringing this event to the Australian people".

Whitlam proved to be insightful. Born out of Australia's cultural introspection and the initiative of an extrovert Italian entrepreneur, the Biennale of Sydney has become, arguably, Australia's most well regarded cultural event internationally, if not locally. The Biennale of Sydney continues to enjoy the support of Federal, State and City as well as a host of foreign government agencies, private benefactors and corporate partners.


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1976. Opening of the second Biennale of Sydney. P.M. Malcolm Fraser leaning on an artwork. 1986. Opening of the sixth Biennale of Sydney. Art dealer Bill Wright with Franco Belgiorno-Nettis.