Renewal of Cultural Memorandum of Understanding Between The National Arts Council, Singapore, and Arts Victoria, Australia


To show their commitment to maintaining robust cultural exchanges between Singapore and the State of Victoria, Australia, the National Arts Council of Singapore (NAC), and Arts Victoria, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Melbourne, Australia, signed a second renewal of their Cultural Memorandum of Understanding today.


The signatories for the MOU were Mr Lee Suan Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of NAC, and Ms Penny Hutchinson, Director of Arts Victoria. The event was witnessed by Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communication and The Arts, and Ms Mary Delahunty, Member of Parliament, Minister for the Arts, Women’s Affairs and Planning, of the State of Victoria. The ceremony was also attended by Mr Liu Thai Ker, NAC Chairman, the High Commissioner of Australia HE Mr Gary Quinlan, and a delegation from Arts Victoria comprising Ms Gerardine Kerlin, Arts Advisor, and Mr Michael Nation, Manager, Executive Office and Government Relations.


The Cultural MOU was first endorsed in July 1998 for a 3-year term and renewed in June 2001. This cultural agreement has paved the way for many vibrant and diverse exchanges and collaborative projects in the visual and performing arts fields between Singapore and Australia. The inking of a third term marks another level of cooperation between the arts agencies as both enter a new phase of progress and development.


The MOU focuses on major festivals and cultural events, cultural institutions, arts training institutions and organisations active in the performing, visual, literary arts, and new media. At the same time, it will continue to support the development of links and joint programmes between cultural and educational institutions in Singapore and Victoria; facilitate the provision of opportunities for artists to showcase their works; and encourage the provision of training opportunities for artists and administrators.


While there have been fruitful exchanges between Singapore and Australia under the first two MOUs, the latest agreement will build on the groundwork that has been laid with the creation of more joint efforts and artistic collaborations in all the arts forms, including the literary and visual arts, and new media. 


The MOU will also widen its reach to embrace all the important players in the arts ecosystem. New areas of development include the visual and literary arts, as well as arts venue operators and the supporting industries, such as technical artists.  Other new areas that will be looked into include arts education, cultural tourism, artist residencies and staff exchanges between the two arts agencies.


The partnership will move beyond the NAC and Arts Victoria by promoting joint projects to complementary markets and destinations so as to maximise the cultural value of the exchange projects, as well as to extend their shelf-life. A recent example is Opiume, which had its world premiere at this year’s Singapore Arts Festival. Besides Singapore and Australian artists, the modern chamber opera included musicians from Hong Kong, and will be presented at Hong Kong’s New Vision Arts Festival later this year.


New areas to explore for the third term include:

  • Arts Education Programme exchanges – Exchanges between arts education programme providers to increase awareness of Singapore arts, culture and artists to Australian school children, and vice versa.
  • Cultural Tourism – Enhancing arts attendance by targeting key tourist segments; increased cross-marketing of Festivals and other events, such as Singapore Art 2005.
  • Artist Residencies – Support of residencies of artists in either country.
  • Staff Exchanges – Exchanges and attachments of staff in supporting industries (eg, technical theatre staff), and curators.




  • Annex 1 – Aims and Objectives of the Cultural MOU
  • Annex 2 – List of Major Projects Implemented To Date