Q&A | EY Australia support GLORIA season

Darren.Lewsen_LgCol (3)

19 July 2022

We welcome EY to our portfolio of partners in 2022 in support of our season of Douglas Wright's GLORIA.


They previously supported FRANK ENSTEIN (2018) and THE LINE (2019). Like Co3, they are passionate about their purpose. So, we asked Darren Lewsen, Partner and Assurance Leader, EY Australia, a few questions about 'building a better working world', as it aligns with our purpose of 'enriching and inspiring lives'.

Attracting and retaining talent, sparking innovation and navigating disruption seems to be a core challenge to both our industries. What are your tips for not for profits in this area?

I’d start with balance. Successful businesses in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors benefit from balancing their focus, energy and investment on their people as well as their products and services. Co3 has always led well in this space, focusing on the long-term development of employed and contracted artists as well as their next productions.

Co3 commits admirable time and investment to helping artists safeguard their futures. We see successful businesses follow this model every day, making tough short-term calls to benefit the long game for their people, their sectors and ultimately, their organisations. The impact on retention, loyalty, drive and in many cases, innovation and creativity, are demonstrable.

There is a lot of talk about sustainability and innovation in the arts. How do these concepts translate in the way EY does business?

I think that COVID-19 necessitated sustainability via innovation from the arts companies and corporates alike. EY prides itself on innovation and agility in response to changing circumstances and this proved both critical and valuable for us through the first two years of COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, I think that Co3’s existing ethos, values, governance structure, purpose and strategy were particularly innovative and agile pre-COVID-19. This put Co3 in a strong position relative to many others in the Arts sector when we started to see restrictions taking effect.

How does EY view its role as a corporate professional of the arts, and Co3?

EY has been a proud sponsor of the arts in WA over many years, which has included support for the WA Ballet, WASO, Art Gallery of WA, Co3 and Sculpture by the Sea. Our commitment to the Arts is part of our core values and genuine desire to build a better working world by investing in creativity, artistic expression and innovation that sits at the heart of our communities. Playing a part in the artistic vibrancy of the state and sustainability of the arts is integral to our commitment to enriching our communities and investing in the types of experiences that create a flow-on effect in terms of inspiration, creativity and thinking about things in new and different ways.

What are your personal views around the importance of investing in and valuing the arts in society?

I’m passionate that art and creative expression are part of the lifeblood of our society and human experience. I also believe that if you can contribute in any way – as a sponsor, patron, ticket holder or spectator – you should do everything you can to support the arts. If anything, this belief has strengthened in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. I can’t think of an industry that has been hit harder or more profoundly than the arts sector. Not just in terms of profits or productions, but for artists themselves, many of whom have been challenged to create and perform in exceptionally restrictive circumstances. Gigs, productions and ecosystems surrounding them have been decimated over the past two years, and many artists and performers have struggled to get back on their feet.

Because of this, it has never been more important for those who can support the arts to do so.


“The views expressed in this article are the views of the author, not Ernst & Young. This article provides general information, does not constitute advice and should not be relied on as such. Professional advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.”