Human rights and international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth, says that Australia's appointment to the UN Human Rights Council gives the country an opportunity to examine its own human rights record.
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The festival will profile Margaret Lawrence’s legacy while generating discussion about public and private philanthropy in Australia through a series of exhibitions, workshops and panel discussions with local and international artists and philanthropists.
Key public events for Give it up for Margaret include a public conversation at the Wheeler Centre ‘Art and Money: A Public Conversation’ on 22 May and a public panel discussion on ‘The Art of Giving: Australian arts philanthropy now’ at the VCA’s Grant St Theatre and Lionel’s Lounge.
Director of the Victorian College of the Arts and inaugural President of The Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts Professor Su Baker said the Festival continued Lawrence’s legacy by promoting discussion about funding of the arts, its significance and philanthropy at a time of great transformation and achievement in the sector.
“The arts need to be recognised as an important component of Australia’s sense of nationhood and culture. Give it up for Margaret provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the arts and its continuing contribution to society and the legacy of Margaret Lawrence, one of its great supporters,” she said.
Ms Lawrence’s generous philanthropy and foresight continues to make a profound contribution to the arts landscape in Victoria.
Ms Lawrence had an abiding passion for the arts, specifically ceramics, which she collected prodigiously. Her collection of over 600 ceramic works collected over eight decades - complete with her detailed, hand-drawn catalogue -will be on display at Chapter House Lane for the duration of the Festival.
Ms Lawrence also nurtured a strong sense of social justice and passionately supported women in education. Recipient organisations of the Margaret Lawrence Bequest include The Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne Business School, Regional Arts Victoria, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts and The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.