In early 2014, just prior to the opening of the 19th Biennale of Sydney, a group of activists called for an artist boycott of the event due to the Transfield Foundation's connection with Transfield Services, who were operating detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru for the Department of Immigration. (A joint philanthropic venture between Transfield Holdings and Transfield Services, the Transfield Foundation had been supporting the Biennale of Sydney since 2010.)
A dialogue ensued between some of the artists selected for the event and the Biennale of Sydney's Board. As it became clear that the Biennale would potentially be damaged by an artist boycott, Transfield Holdings Managing Director and Chairman of the Biennale, Luca Belgiorno-Nettis and the Biennale Board mutually agreed that he would resign as Chairman and that the Biennale would sever all ties with Transfield.
So ended forty-one years of continuous support by Transfield; the company had founded the event in 1973 and had remained as Founding Partner for its duration.