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First Nations and new arts body the heart of Federal Government’s new cultural plan

First Nations and new arts body the heart of Federal Government’s new cultural plan
January 30, 2023

A revival of support for arts and culture has been laid out today with the Federal Government’s release of Revive, a new National Cultural Policy.

Announced by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Federal Arts Minister Tony Burke, the Policy, to be funded by $286 million over four years, has as its centrepiece the setting up of Creative Australia - the Government’s new principal arts investment and advisory body - and a commitment that “puts First Nations first”.

The establishment of Creative Australia aims to expand the functions and funding of the Australia Council for the Arts, continue to fund projects at arm's length, based on their artistic merit.

As part of Creative Australia, dedicated bodies will oversee investments in the music industry as well as helping Australian writers and illustrators.

This will include $69.4 million over four years for the establishment of Music Australia to drive the growth of Australia’s contemporary music sector while the initiatives for Indigenous culture include funding the establishment of a National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.

The moves reflect the view that that arts policy - especially the Australia Council’s priorities - has become too elitist, and should be tilted more towards mainstream and commercial culture.

Advising that his government recognises the importance of art and culture to Australia's identity and pledging to make the arts accessible to everyone, Prime Minister Albanese (pictured below) stated “the arts cannot be left simply to those who can afford to do it.

"Doors must be opened so we can hear the great diversity of voices that have struggled to find an outlet."

He added that there will also be minimum pay for artists contracted by government entities to perform at Australian government events and functions, noting “it's also important to lift yourself above your economic debate. This is about our soul, this is about our identity.”

Federal Arts Minister Tony Burke says the new investment will help Australian artists reach an international audience and enable them to compete with overseas acts, telling the ABC "people shifted from buying albums and CDs to streaming, international competition is just seamless now.

"It's really hard to make a living just off local streaming revenues. To be able to reach an international audience is critically part of that."

Revive is the result of widespread consultation with industry stakeholders that began soon after last year’s Federal election.

Other highlights from the policy include:

• $19 million over three years, then $4.5 million a year ongoing to fund the development of original Australian works of scale
• Deliver a triennial State of Australian Culture Survey to help measure impact of the policy
• Legislation to protect Indigenous knowledge and cultural expression, such as cracking down on fake Aboriginal art, as well backing for the planned National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs and an Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Perth.
• Plans to introduce quotas for Australian content on streaming services

The Policy builds on Labor's Creative Australia document, first put forward by the former Gillard government in 2013 but later scrapped under the Coalition. During the following decade, Federal arts spending dropped by 22.7%.

First Nations arts policy
Prime Minister Albanese said Australia's First Nations communities were at the heart of the nation's cultural road map, adding “that's why First Nations art has been put as the first pillar.

"Just as we can learn about caring for our country, for our land and our waterways, from those who looked after this island continent for 65,000 years at least, we can learn as well from the way that they told their stories."

The Policy will also introduce legislation to protect Indigenous knowledge and cultural expression, such as cracking down on fake Aboriginal art.

A new arts investment and advisory body known as Creative Australia will be set up, with $200 million going towards the organisation over the next four years.

The Policy will also back the planned National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs and Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Perth.

Click here to read the new Policy.

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30th January 2023 - Live Performance Australia and Australian Live Music Business Council among stakeholders welcoming new National Cultural Policy

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6th January 2023 - Innovative arts projects in Western Australia secure significant funding boost

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14th December 2022 - Nominations open for 2023 National Live Music Awards

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22nd November 2022 - Senior Director First Nations appointed to National Aboriginal Art Gallery

11th November 2022 - Northern Territory Arts Project Grants now open for applications

10th November 2022 - Arts Access Victoria announces free all-inclusive music festival

26th October 2022 - Creative Partnerships Australia to be abolished under Federal Budget moves

20th October 2022 - Kylie Minogue’s gold hotpants among items to be showcased to public in new Victorian arts attraction

19th October 2022 - Applications now open for round five of Live Music Australia program

17th October 2022 - New and streamlined funding programs launched for Queensland arts sector

21st June 2022 - UNIFIED Music Group announces return of its grant initiative to support Australian creatives  

22nd September 2022 - Australia Council to invest $2.3 million in Circus and Physical Theatre in Victoria

31st May 2022 - Leading promoters fearful of rising cost pressures on live music

2nd May 2022 - Art and culture experts to lead National Aboriginal Art Gallery Reference Group

30th March 2022 - Live Performance Australia says Federal Budget falls short in helping the arts and entertainment industry to rebuild

14th March 2022 - New $6 million live music precinct to open in Adelaide

13th December 2021 - Australia Council announces latest investment of $8.49 million in diverse creative projects

15th October 2021 - Live music sector continues call for national event insurance scheme

22nd March 2021 - Australian Live Music Business Council calls on government to ease COVID restrictions on venues

31st August 2019 - Business case released for National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs

13th April 2019 - Fremantle Arts Centre celebrates Western Australia’s Aboriginal artists

28th December 2018 - Nine Aboriginal arts projects to share in Western Australia Government funding

7th December 2018 - Live Music Census prompts focus on audience development in South Australia

10th March 2016 - Arts leader Lynch labels Federal Government’s arts policy as a disgrace

14th March 2013 - Australia Council receives major funding boost under National Cultural Policy


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