National Cultural Policy launched
On Monday 30th January, the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for the Arts, the Hon Tony Burke launched REVIVE – our National Cultural Policy for the next five years.
REVIVE – A Place for Every Story, A Story for Every Place outlines a fundamental shift in how government interacts with the arts sector and cements a new way forward across five key pillars:
- First Nations First
- A Place for Every Story
- Centrality of the Artist
- Strong Cultural Infrastructure
- Engaging the Audience
While we look forward to working further with government on the granular detail of the policy’s implementation over time, PAC Australia views the National Cultural Policy as a recognition from government that they have heard and are responding to the despair and decimation of the sector over many years, and that the federal government has recognised the essential nature and value of the sector across cultural, social and economic outcomes.
“Arts jobs are real jobs. It is an important part of our economy. It’s important to recognise that, but it’s also important, I think, to lift yourself above the usual economic debate. This is about our soul. This is about our identity.” – Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese at the National Cultural Policy Launch, Monday 30th January.
The policy includes an initial additional investment of $286m over four years to support outcomes across all government portfolios. Key measures announced at the launch affecting the performing arts include:
- Restoration of $44m in funding to the Australia Council and an increase in funding to support more small and medium arts organisations and drive development of new works of scale.
- Increased support for regional arts and culture through an increase to the Regional Arts Fund of $8.5 million and continuation of the Festivals Australia program.
- $1m per annum to support crisis relief, mental health and wellbeing and First Nations programs through Support Act.
- The establishment of Creative Australia as the new arts funding and advisory body: the “new home for public, private and commercial investment in the arts”. This includes a commitment to a dedicated First Nations-led Board and the formation of new bodies Music Australia, Writing Australia and the Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces. As previously announced, the operations of Creative Partnerships Australia will also be transferred into the new Creative Australia.
- The full policy and key measures announced on Monday can be viewed here https://www.arts.gov.au/what-we-do/national-cultural-policy
The renewed vision for Creative Australia will see the merging of commercial, funded and philanthropic representation. It signals a promising development for how government will interact with the sector and an opportunity to leverage better outcomes where these organisations intersect. Adrian Collette, CEO of the Australia Council will be hosting a whole of sector briefing on Wednesday, 1st February to outline the future of Creative Australia. You can register for this session here.
To measure the success of the National Cultural Policy, the federal government has committed to publishing the triennial State of Australian Culture report, based on a survey of Australia’s attitudes and experiences with arts and culture. Complemented by the research and data from the Bureau of Communications, Arts and Regional Research and the ABS, this is a significant opportunity to finally realise a data-driven ‘source of truth’ that can measure the size, reach and impact of the arts sector and we see our members playing a key role in this data collection and engagement with audiences.
Further, we acknowledge that after many years of identifying the importance of a cross-portfolio and whole of government approaches to the arts, the National Cultural Policy has articulated an expectation of realising this untapped potential and resource for the first time. The reinstatement of meetings of cultural ministers, including ALGA as a participant and no longer as an observer to proceedings, is also a critical step in realising a cooperative and coherent approach by government.
We expect that further announcements will be made at the May budget regarding new initiatives and related funding uplifts and opportunities, however we recognise key opportunities for PAC Australia members and their stakeholders across the five pillars outlined in the National Cultural Policy. We believe more detail is required in response to critical sector workforce and training needs and will continue to consult with government and stakeholders regarding both urgent and long term priorities for members.
PAC Australia celebrates the launch of the National Cultural Policy as a landmark moment for the sector, and looks forward to actively contributing to its implementation through the lens of our membership’s priorities, including skills and workforce needs, programming and touring reform, audience development, and cultural infrastructure investment. From PAC Australia Chair, Criena Gehrke:
“This is an important milestone for the arts sector and our members. The Albanese government, through this policy, has recognised that the arts, and those who create, produce and present art are essential. This recognition brings a renewed optimism as the policy itself looks to deliver long-term systemic and cultural change.”
Read more on the response to the National Cultural Policy launch:
- Read the policy in full
- The Government has listened – The Guardian.
- Arts are meant to be at the heart of our life – what the new National Cultural Policy could mean for Australia – The Conversation
- Australia Council sector briefing on the new Creative Australia.
- APRA AMCOS applauds the establishment of Music Australia
- Live Performance Australia Media Release
PAC Australia will provide updates for our members, including information on the new Creative Australia as they become available. Our next Third Thursday Exchange member meeting will also include a briefing on the National Cultural Policy from sector representatives including Kate Fielding from A New Approach.