While on an Official Visit to Indonesia, the Governor spoke at the launch of the 2019 ReelOzlnd! Film Festival.
My husband and I and our delegation are delighted to be joining you here in Bandung.
We are particularly pleased that our visit here has enabled us to attend the opening of the Reelozind! Australia Indonesia Short Film Competition and Festival, and that we have the treat of being able to watch the winning short films.
As a proud Australian, it warms my heart to see the strong relationship between Australia and Indonesia and the State of Victoria and Indonesia strengthened further by this clever cultural collaboration.
Of course, as the Festival opens here in Bandung, it opens simultaneously in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria.
Just like you do in a good short film, let me briefly set the scene for you with just a little information about Victoria.
The population is growing fast: faster than elsewhere in Australia. Soon, Melbourne will be the nation’s biggest. But the rate of employment and our economy are also growing faster than in other parts of the country.
You may be aware that Melbourne has consistently been named by the Economist Intelligence Unit in the top 3 of the world’s most liveable cities.
Perfect scores in infrastructure, healthcare and education certainly contribute to its liveability. But so too do other factors such as our major cultural events.
Victorians have an insatiable appetite for music, theatre, dance, literature, visual arts, design and film.
Our National Gallery of Victoria is the 16th most visited gallery anywhere in the world.
Last year, Melbourne was chosen as the feature city for the major Business of Design Week in Hong Kong.
The spectacular musical Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is being staged in Melbourne, as the first location outside the West End and Broadway.
And we have a vast array of cultural festivals, including the Melbourne International Film Festival that, at nearly 70 years old, is one of the oldest in the world.
I am pleased that it is film that brings us all here today.
What better way can there be to connect people than through the arts – through film – a medium that can introduce us to the differences in our cultures, at the same time reminding us so clearly that the human condition is the same for each of us – wherever we call home.
Cultural exchanges and collaborations between Indonesia and Australia are not new.
For over 10 years, one of our leading theatre companies, Polyglot Theatre, has collaborated with Indonesian company Paper Moon – making theatre for children.
And our Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australia’s oldest –regularly visits and collaborates with Indonesia. It was wonderful to host in Melbourne a troupe of gamelan instrumentalists playing with our MSO at our last Asia Triennial of Performing Arts.
Indeed, Melbourne’s festivals routinely partner with their counterparts across Indonesia.
The ReelOzInd! Short Film Festival, now in its 4th year, is a great contributor to these cultural exchanges between Australia and Indonesia.
Each year, it grows in size and audience.
You are successfully engaging young film-makers and film fans through social media. This is a true investment in our respective futures, and I have no doubt that this year’s festival theme of ‘Change’ will especially resonate with young Indonesians and Australians.
Recognising its importance in fostering closer ties between creative industry leaders, arts lovers, students, youth, and the Indonesian and Australian diasporas, the Victorian Government has been proud to contribute to this event.
But it could not have happened without the leadership of the Australia Indonesia Centre. Thank you so much. And thank you to everyone who has worked with you towards the Festival’s success.