WASO Chairman Richard Goyder pays tribute to Janet Holmes à Court AC for her incredible contribution to the WASO Board.

When I became Chairman of WASO in 2018, I had just one condition - that my predecessor Janet Holmes à Court AC would remain on the Board as a Director. She graciously agreed, and has since continued to contribute her intrinsic understanding of the company and its work, to all our benefit. Earlier this year, she let us know that it was time for her to step down from the WASO Board and focus on the other roles she continues to play in Australia’s arts community.

To fully pay tribute to Janet’s contributions to the arts in Australia, let alone the other accomplishments and awards bestowed upon her through her remarkable career, would take up this entire page and then some. Suffice it to say that countless artists and organisations in Western Australia, from music to theatre to the visual arts to children's television, have been indelibly graced by Janet's generosity and energy. In her role as the founding Chair of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra since 1998, Janet’s extraordinary gifts of wise counsel, time and encouragement saw WASO develop into WA’s premier cultural organisation, and she did it all with her trademark candour and respect for all.

Asher Fisch, Janet Holmes à Court AC and Richard Goyder with WASO at Perth Concert Hall

Janet’s leadership legacy is not one of being a mere figurehead, but of truly encouraging others to follow her lead. This is especially evident in her philanthropic achievements with WASO, pioneering programs that commission new music from Australian composers, provide instruments to musicians, and give children access to music education, as well as her gifts through WASO’s Annual Giving and Bequest programs the orchestra thrives because of those who have followed Janet’s lead in generosity. I’m delighted to announce that Janet has accepted the title of WASO’s Honorary Patron, in recognition of her unparalleled commitment to WASO’s music and community, and her advocacy of philanthropic giving in Australia.

We look forward to celebrating Janet’s immense contributions to WASO when we are all able to gather again, orchestra and audience together, in the hopefully not-too-distant future.

Until then, please join me in saying - bravo Janet, and thank you. 

Richard Goyder AO, WASO Chairman

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