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WA Arts Minister describes Andre Steyl as ‘a bloody treasure’ in parliamentary tribute to Denmark Arts pioneer

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Andre Steyl.
Camera IconAndre Steyl. Credit: Nic Duncan/RegionalHUB

Arts Minister David Templeman paid tribute to one of Denmark’s original hippies in State Parliament this week as he reflected on the life of Andre Steyl a month on from his death.

On Tuesday, Mr Templeman informed his colleagues of the loss of “a remarkable man” who helped develop a burgeoning creative community in Denmark over more than four decades.

He recounted how Steyl had come to live near Denmark after migrating from South Africa in 1978 and how his family had originally kept to themselves before Steyl encouraged the community to embrace their creative side during the 1980s.

“Andre encouraged a generation of regional artists and arts workers to believe in themselves and the power of the arts,” Mr Templeman told parliament.

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“He was a big personality and was persistent in using the arts to radically change Denmark for the better.

“He was a painter, a film lover and a visionary.

“He was a ‘bloody hippie’ and a ‘bloody treasure’, and he will be sorely missed.”

Last month, Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie also paid tribute to Steyl in parliament in the week following his February 6 death.

She described Steyl as a “much-loved Denmark identity, character and beloved friend of the arts”.

“I wish to acknowledge the amazing legacy that Andre leaves and offer my condolences to not only his family and friends but also the arts community, which I know will dearly miss him,” she said.

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