Sir Sidney Kidman Public Lecture

Balancing on a Tower of Chairs
40 Years in Cultural Relations with China

Balancing on a tower of chairs is not easy. It requires decades of training, self-discipline, teamwork, trust, mental acuity, physical strength, long term goals and more. Coming to terms with the rise of China requires many of the same qualities and skills but our political acrobats sometimes lack the requisite training. Carrillo Gantner, whose career in the performing arts has included decades of productive engagement with China, will reflect on some of the lessons learned and how they might apply more broadly to enhance the challenging Australia China relationship.

Carrillo Gantner AC is an actor, director, theatre founder and cultural leader, known for his work in the Australian theatre.

He has contributed to the Adelaide Festival, the Australia Council, Melbourne Theatre Company and the Playbox Theatre Company, and chaired the Australia Council‘s Performing Arts Board, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He was President of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust and President of Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Carrillo has been recognised for promoting cultural exchange with Asia.

His accolades include: Officer of the Order of Australia (2001), Victorian of the Year (2007), Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2008), two Honorary Doctorates, and significantly, “The Cultural Exchange Contribution Award” (2014) from the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. He was appointed Commander of the Order of Australia (2019).


Sidney Kidman
Tagged in faculty of arts