The arts are a universal language, using creativity, vision and drama to enthral audiences and touch the imagination.
For the past 82 years, the Sydney Eisteddfod has fostered the performing arts, becoming a much loved and enduring part of Australia’s cultural landscape.
The Sydney Eisteddfod’s reach is far and wide. I have benefitted from the way it nurtures talent, taking part in the 1972 NSW Junior Teams Debating Competition.
My team, the Grammarians, contested the final against the Jabberwerks from Randwick and were victorious, arguing “That we should dissent”.
We won what was then the princely sum of $4 each for our efforts.
I’m not sure what I did with that cheque but I do know that I learned much from the experience of public speaking in my school years.
I thank all those—past and present—who have worked so hard to provide this opportunity for other young Australians. The arts and cultural sector, and our community more broadly, are the richer for your efforts.
I offer my best wishes to all attending the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod, and my warmest congratulations to this year’s finalists.
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister of Australia