New National Culture policy announced
Photo by Thennicke – https://commons.wikimedia.org
The Commonwealth Government’s new National Culture Policy was released on 30 January. Called Revive, it is billed as “a five-year plan to renew and revitalize Australia’s arts, entertainment and culture sector”. It was developed with the advice of five review panels and an advisory group and a series of “town hall” public meetings and consultations. The result is a document outlining five “pillars and principles” and an overall funding commitment of $286 million.
Central to Revive is the establishment of Creative Australia, within the already existing Australia Council, which will be funded $199 million over four years from 2023-24.
Creative Australia will be the umbrella for a number of separate agencies. These will be: A First Nations-led Council; A Center for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces (which will provide advice on issues of pay, safety, codes of conduct and welfare across the sector); Music Australia; and Writers Australia.
The Australia Council welcomed the policy, describing it as “a transformational step in the evolution of the Australia Council”. “…the return of investment to the Australia Council will enable us to effectively support the sector through our existing programs to deliver greater impact in areas including youth and community arts,” says CEO Adrian Collette (who is one of the advisors wash).
The five “pillars” set out the Government’s strategic objectives:
First Nations First: Recognize and respect the pivotal place of First Nations stories at the center of Australia’s art and culture. A place for every story: Reflecting the breadth of our stories and the contribution of all Australians as creators of culture. Centrality of the artist: Supporting the artist as worker and celebrating artists as creators. Strong cultural infrastructure: Providing support across the spectrum of institutions that sustain our arts, culture and heritage. Engage the audience: Make sure our stories connect with people at home and abroad.
The “principles” will guide the government’s actions and investments over the next five years:
First Nations art and culture are led by First Nations. All Australians, regardless of language, literacy, geography, age or education, have the opportunity to access and participate in arts and culture. Artists and arts workers have career structures that are long-term and sustainable, supported by career paths. Australian students have the opportunity to receive an education that includes culture, creativity, humanities and the arts. Creative talent is nurtured through fair compensation, industry standards and safe and inclusive work cultures. Arts and cultural organizations have representation and leadership that reflects contemporary Australia. Cultural infrastructure, including galleries, libraries, museums, archives and digital collections, is restored, built and maintained. Australian stories are seen and heard regardless of platform. Creative industries and practices are future-oriented, technology-enabled, networked and globally recognized, including through reciprocal exchange, export and cultural diplomacy. Art and culture are generative (create new works and support budding artists) and preservative (protect heritage and preserve cultural memory).
The implementation of the policy will be overseen by a National Culture Policy Steering Committee, made up of representatives from across government. In the first phase of implementation, the establishment of clear benchmarks will be a priority to measure success and monitor and evaluate progress to inform the development of an updated National Culture Policy in 2027.
To read the full document, go here.
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