Workshopped 11 Exhibition Opening

(6.30pm 3 August 2011, 8 Hill Street, Surry Hills)

Thank you, Gene Sherman, MC and good evening, everyone. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the traditional custodians of our land, and pay my respects to their Elders, both past and present.

I'm really pleased to be asked to open Workshopped 11.

I know from previous experience what a wealth of design talent it will reveal as I had the pleasure of launching Workshopped 2004 at the Strand where fabulous contemporary design was set amid the ornate Victorian splendours of the Arcade, creating quite a frisson.

Workshopped had started only a few years before, in 2001, with just five designers and the aim of nurturing Australian design excellence.

Its success has kept it on the move, from The Strand to the QVB to Chifley Plaza and now here, to Surry Hills, in a burgeoning design precinct.

The sort of cross-fertilisation that's possible when you achieve critical mass in an urban precinct like this is what keeps a city lively and engaging, a place that provides opportunities for many talents and many voices.

We have a wealth of creative talent in Australia particularly here in Sydney.

We are home to no less than 90,000 creative industry workers. That's 50 per cent more than the next highest Australian city, and it's about one-third of all workers in creative industries in Australia.

We rank first in absolute numbers and in relative share, and we have between one quarter and 60 per cent of all workers in areas ranging from performing arts to film, from recreational services to internet publishing and broadcasting, among others.

We are also the hub of financial and business services in Australia - those sectors which matter when creativity is to be transformed into product.

And of course we're home to ventures like Workshopped which finds new talent and brings it to the marketplace, introducing artists to industry.

Our Sustainable Sydney 2030 puts strong emphasis on the arts and culture as drivers not only of cities that are aesthetically and culturally pleasing but also of a vibrant and varied economy.

It understands that art and culture play an important role in community cohesion, contributing to a safer and more harmonious city and that a diverse cultural offering will attract the lively, creative global workforce.

Now, more than ever, creativity, innovation and productivity are the keys to our future. Our cities are the crucibles of those qualities, and cities which support their creative industries will be the leaders of the new sustainable economy.

Workshopped is a great contributor to that future and has exhibited literally hundreds of designers since 2004 and worked closely with many of them to make the big move from prototype to production and to the marketplace.

It's put Australian design in the public arena, internationally as well as locally, helping build a sustainable future for our fantastic Australian designers.

It deserves the congratulations and thanks of all of us who care about good design and the continuing cultural vitality of our City and I have great pleasure in formally launching Workshopped 11.