There has been much discussion recently about the need for all political parties to develop comprehensive arts policies. This has been partly as a result of the inadequate performance of Creative New Zealand. While we wait for the government and political parties to come up with some new schemes we might want to look at and even copy the new cultural policy published by the Australian Government. The new National Cultural Policy, “Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place” is a five-year plan to renew and revive Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector, following the most difficult period for the sector in generations. Revive will change the trajectory of the creative sector and deliver new momentum to Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector.
The policy is based on several pillars and principles.
Revive is structured around 5 interconnected pillars which set out the Government’s strategic objectives:
- First Nations First: Recognising and respecting the crucial place of First Nations stories at the centre of Australia’s arts and culture.
- A Place for Every Story: Reflecting the breadth of our stories and the contribution of all Australians as the 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 which sustain our arts, culture and heritage.
- Engaging the Audience: Making sure our stories connect with people at home and abroad.
Sitting across these pillars are 10 principles that guide the Government’s actions and investments over the next 5 years:
- First Nations arts and culture are First Nations led.
- 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 vocational pathways.
- Australian students have the opportunity to receive an education that includes culture, creativity, humanities and the arts.
- Creative talent is nurtured through fair remuneration, industry standards and safe and inclusive work cultures.
- Arts and cultural organisations have representation and leadership that is reflective of 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 practice are future focused, technology enabled, networked and globally recognised, including through reciprocal exchange, export and cultural diplomacy.
- Arts and culture are generative (creating new works and supporting emerging artists) and preservative (protecting heritage and conserving cultural memory).
The centrepiece of Revive is the establishment of Creative Australia, which will restore and modernise the Australia Council for the Arts.
With an additional $199 million in funding over 4 years from 2023-24, Creative Australia will provide greater strategic oversight and engagement across the sector.
Within Creative Australia, a dedicated First Nations-led Board will be formed. This is critical to self-determination, supporting the telling of First Nations histories and stories, and to strengthening the capacity of First Nations creative workers.
Recognising creative sector workers as vital contributors to our national culture and economy, Revive will establish a Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces within Creative Australia. It will provide advice on issues of pay, safety, codes of conduct and welfare across the sector.
Creative Australia will also establish Music Australia, to support the Australian music industry to grow, including through strategic initiatives and industry partnerships, research, skills development and export promotion.
Writers Australia will also be established within Creative Australia, to provide direct support to the literature sector from 2025, including for writers and publishers, to grow local and international audiences for Australian books and establish a National Poet Laureate for Australia.
Other key measures within Revive include:
- Sharing the national collection by establishing a program of long-term loans of works from the National Gallery of Australia’s collection to regional and suburban cultural institutions across Australia.
- Introducing stand-alone legislation to protect First Nations knowledge and cultural expressions, including to address the harm caused by fake art, merchandise and souvenirs.
- Establishing a First Nations Languages Policy Partnership between first Nations representatives and Australian governments to improve outcomes for First Nations peoples.
- Enhancing the Resale Royalty Scheme to provide royalty payments to visual artists, including First Nations artists, from the commercial sale of eligible works internationally.
- Developing an Arts and Disability Associated Plan, under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31, to enable people with disability to access and participate fully in the cultural and creative life of Australia.
- Increasing support for regional arts and culture through an increase to the Regional Arts Fund.
- Supporting specialist in-school arts education programs that directly draw from cultural and creative sector expertise, focusing on areas of identified disadvantage.
- Modernising and extending the Public and Educational Lending Right Schemes to include digital content under the schemes.
- Providing pilot funding to support access to art and music therapy programs and generate valuable data on the broader community impact of, and demand for, these services.
The full policy can be read at