As a parting gift to the performing arts world he loved, and in which he had played a key part, James Laurie Artist Agent and Literary Manager, made a half million dollar bequest to Actors Benevolent Fund to establish financial support for senior artists in their later years.
The James Laurie Senior Assistance Fund was launched at Cause Celeb the ABF indoor picnic and cabaret on Sunday 13 August by Philip Quast, close friend of James since their NIDA days together.
Above: Philip Quast
Sadly, James passed away just one week before the launch after losing his struggle with cancer. In his typically efficient managerial style he organised a table of ten guests for Cause Celeb so his family, dear friends and associates would be present to represent him.
The James Laurie Senior Assistance Fund is designed to assist with the cost of keeping members of the performing arts sector in good health and able to stay in their homes longer. It will also help with the need to move to care, an often difficult and expensive decision.
James Laurie was a highly respected actor and literary agent and had enjoyed a 40 year career in the performing arts. Starting as a NIDA graduate in 1979 he became a successful actor throughout the 80s. He was a casting director both in Australia and overseas before opening James Laurie Management in both Sydney and Melbourne representing some of our most acclaimed artists.
James approached ABF with the offer of the bequest and the proposal to set up the fund a few short weeks ago. Aware that he did not have long and despite his failing health, James was involved in every aspect of the establishment of the fund established in his name. This included the creation of the logo, the colour and the appointment of his dear friend author, actor and former ABF committee member Judy Nunn, as Patron.
“It has become clear to me that the senior members of our performing arts community have not been a beneficiary in full of the superannuation scheme established in 1992, at a time when many had already entered an age group where there was less work. They enter the last chapters of career or retirement without the capital to secure themselves into a safe harbour.” Said James.
“ It is my time to give back to the industry that has supported me over my career.”
This much needed financial support is available to industry professionals over the age of 65 and with ten years experience in the business. It will provide assistance with such things as utility bills, replacement of essential household white goods, urgent home repairs, cleaning or home help and meals on wheels not covered by other programs or relocation costs. Certain medical and dental costs can be covered.
Apply now through our online application or download the form and email through to firstname.lastname@example.org
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To continue the work of James Laurie you can donate to the fund here