Businesses must play a part in the arts and creative industries

Charlie Cush

Written by South Australia Director, Michelle Christie.

Our office in Adelaide is buzzing at the moment as we countdown to 14 February, when Adelaide Fringe will burst into life. Anyone who has seen the Fringe before will tell you how it transforms our city for 31 magical days and nights. Around every corner, you’ll find artists performing music, theatre, comedy, circus and much more.

I think it’s vital for the business sector to get behind the arts and creative industries, not only because of the financial benefits for the local and state economy, but more importantly the platform it provides for local and international talent. Last year, artists in Adelaide and from around the world lit up our city, with an estimated 3.3 million people attending the Fringe, and $95 million in expenditure generated for the state economy

When I reflect on our work at Robert Walters specifically, the Fringe helps make Adelaide a more attractive destination to live and work. That helps me and my colleagues to recruit and retain talented professionals in South Australia.

That’s to say nothing of the social contribution of the Fringe. It’s like a gigantic party that everyone is invited to! I love the way it brings our community together. The attractions and events make it accessible for people from all walks of life.

All in all, the Fringe offers a great case study for business leaders seeking to embed inclusivity and sustainability in their own organisations.

Playing our part

Our partnership with the Fringe is more than just financial. We’re also supporting the Fringe to recruit and retain their diverse team of permanent and seasonal staff. In this area, we know we can add a lot of value, given that we spend all year-round powering people and organisations to fulfil their unique potential.

This consulting work is a really important element of our partnership. My colleagues and I really believe in Adelaide Fringe and we want to contribute however we can to help it succeed.

I’m also excited to be hosting some small, intimate gatherings at Fringe events too. It gives us and our clients an opportunity to see our wonderful city in a fresh light. And it reminds everyone about the incredible results that happen when you combine local, inter-state and global talent.

For any business leader who is considering supporting the arts and creative industries, I would say: “Take the leap!” The benefits go way beyond marketing/PR. You will be making a genuine, tangible contribution to your local community and help nurture artistic talent. And you will be showing your colleagues how deeply you value diversity and creativity. After all, everyone wants to work for an employer that celebrates difference and new ideas.


Michelle Christie is Director at Robert Walters in South Australia.

Adelaide Fringe runs from 14 February to 15 March 2020. Robert Walters is also a proud sponsor of the Adelaide Fringe.