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The Hon Linda Dessau AM on sport and the arts

  • Date recorded: 25 Feb 2016

  • Duration: 33:23

'It's a paradox that when we live in a city and a state that loves both sport and the arts, some people seem to show discomfort in saying that they love them both.'

– The Honourable Linda Dessau AM

About this video

In her Big Ideas under the Dome lecture, Sport and the arts: from Ablett (Jnr) to Caravaggio, the Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Linda Dessau AM discusses Melburnians' twin passions. She argues that the two pursuits are equally important and not mutually exclusive.

In sharing her own shared passion for sport and the arts, Governor Dessau notes that they share joy, beauty and health-giving properties, both physical and mental.

When describing the joy and beauty of sport and the arts, she compares the elegant balance of Gary Ablett Jr and the graceful exuberance of Cathy Freeman's win at the 2001 Sydney Olympics with the equal beauty of the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile, Michelangelo's perfectly proportioned David and almost anything written by Verdi. She argues that none of these examples are either better or best.

Applauding Melbourne's claim to be the sporting and cultural capital of Australia, Governor Dessau outlines how the many public occasions she's attended in her role as Governor have underscored her belief in the centrality of sport and art in the life of Victorians. To conclude, she notes how wonderful it is to live in a state where both sport and the arts truly flourish, being neither compulsory nor forbidden.

This talk was held at the State Library on Wednesday 17 February 2016, as part of the Big Ideas under the Dome series. These talks bring together great minds in the arts, culture, social justice and sciences to reflect on the big ideas and issues of our time.

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Governor Dessau is Victoria's 29th Governor and the first female in the role. Her Excellency was previously a Judge of the Family Court of Australia.

Immediately before her appointment as Governor, Governor Dessau was President of the Melbourne Festival, Chair of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Victorian Regional Committee and a national Board Member of the Trust, a Commissioner of the Australian Football League, a Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria, a Board Member and former Chair of AFL Sportsready and Artsready, a Board Member of the Unicorn Foundation and a Patron of Sports Connect.