The Australian Design Council has a rich history dating back to the 1950s when it was originally known as the Industrial Design Council of Australia. However, it ceased operations in the mid-1980s. In 2020, visionary leaders Dr Sam Bucolo and Dr Brandon Gien rallied Australia’s “Captains of Industry and Design” to explore the possibility of relaunching the Council. Recognising the critical role that world-class design talent plays in Australia’s innovation landscape, that effort has now led to the re-establishment of the Australian Design Council as a not-for-profit company.
Peter Freedman’s $1 million donation will be instrumental in jumpstarting the Council’s activities. These funds will be distributed over two years and will enable the organization to employ a CEO and essential staff while also attracting additional sponsorship and revenue. Peter Freedman will be recognised as the Australian Design Council’s Founding Patron.
Freedman’s commitment to advancing design and manufacturing in Australia is well-documented. He has been a dedicated supporter of the Good Design Awards, serving as the principal sponsor of the Next Gen category for nearly a decade, and has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to support emerging designers and innovators.
He is also an avid supporter of Australia’s creative sector. In 2021 he donated $5 million to the Sydney Festival and this year made a significant contribution to the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
“Design is not just about aesthetics; it’s a critical driver of innovation and economic growth. I am honoured to support the revival of the Australian Design Council and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our nation’s future,” said Freedman.
The Australian Design Council has also announced the appointment of a board of non-executive directors who will collaborate with current Council members to fulfill its mission. The board includes distinguished individuals such as Ros Moriarty, Catherine Livingstone, and Peter Freedman as directors of the company. Sam Bucolo and Brandon Gien will continue in their roles as executive directors.
The Council is determined to build upon its rich legacy and reestablish itself as a cornerstone of Australia’s innovation ecosystem. Its commitment to excellence is further demonstrated by its continued collaboration with Good Design Australia to promote and celebrate outstanding design work in the country.
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.