I have always said and I have always thought that I would never have achieved what I have...if I hadn't been an Australian...I can walk into an exhibition and say that man was born in Australia or that man comes from Australia. Painters from Australia - they have a vastness, a sense of light, a sense of distance that European people do not have. Being an Australian has given me an outgoing [sic], that supplies something to the theatre that is very very difficult to explain. But I believe, I firmly believe that if I had been born in another country I would not have achieved what I have today.
- Robert Helpman, 1964
Australian of the Year 1965