Peter Freedman AM donates $1m to revive the Australian Design Council

Peter Freedman AM, Founder and Chairman of RØDE
Peter Freedman AM, Founder and Chairman of RØDE

The Australian Design Council, a not-for-profit industry organisation primarily dedicated to driving national prosperity and long-term growth through design, revealed that it has received a significant boost to its mission with a generous $1 million donation from Peter Freedman AM, Founder and Chairman of RØDE, one of the world’s leading creator technology brands.

What does the donation mean for the council?

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. But 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 design talent plays in Australia’s innovation landscape, that effort has now led to the re-establishment of the council as a not-for-profit company.

Peter Freedman’s generous $1m 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.

Dr Sam Bucolo, one of the leaders behind the Council’s revival, said, “The overwhelming support from Govt, the Research community, and the Business sector underscores the vital role the council will play in shaping our nation’s innovation landscape. We are deeply grateful to Peter Freedman for his generous donation, which will accelerate our mission to advocate for a design-led future for Australia and champion the next generation of designers.”

Who is Peter Freedman AM?

Mr 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 an avid supporter of Australia’s creative sector. In 2021 he donated $5m to the Sydney Festival and this year made a significant contribution to the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Peter Freedman said, “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.”

The Australian Design Council has also appointed a board of non-executive directors who will collaborate with Council members to fulfill its mission. The board includes distinguished individuals like 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 re-establish itself as a cornerstone of Australia’s innovation ecosystem. Its commitment to excellence is demonstrated by its continued collaboration with Good Design Australia to promote and celebrate outstanding design work in the country.