Creative Australia launched

In launching the National Cultural Policy today, Simon Crean made plain early in his speech to the National Press Club that Creative Australia was fundamentally about art and that artists were at the centre of his vision of creativity.  Not suprisingly, given this framework, the Australia Council, various art forms and artists were the winners as far as funding announcements made today.  The funding announcements can be seen in the table below.

National Network for Museums

While much  of the Creative Australia policy document also deals with art forms and artists, it does contain at least one significant breakthrough for the museum sector.  As argued for in the CAMD submission to the 2011 Discussion Paper, the Government has committed to establish a national network for museums and galleries.

The network, which will be managed in partnership between the National Museum of Australia and Museums Australia, will ‘share resources and improve access to collections across Australia, to assist industry, researchers and the public’.  As yet no funding seems to have been allocated to this initiative but it does provide an important framework for the establishment of a national program for the distributed national collection.

The other major initiatives impacting collecting institutions under the new policy (some of which were announced earlier) were:

  • the $40m already allocated to national cultural institutions in the last budget to assist with digitisation of collections;
  • the passage of the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Bill;
  • the creation of Creative Partnerships Australia to provide opportunities to expand private funding;
  • the extension of the current print-based legal deposit arrangements in the Copyright Act 1968 to include digitally published material.  A new legal deposit scheme is also mooted for the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia to preserve audio-visual material; and
  • the current review of the Copyright Act 1968  which is seeking to balance the protection of the intellectual property of creators against the increased public push for online access.

Other announcements which may be of interest to CAMD and its members relate to:

  • the proposed National Accord on Arts and Culture.  The Accord, which has been circulating to State and Territory governments over the last few months, has been proposed to identify opportunities for whole-of-government collaboration and look at partnership and cooperative programes between the national, state, territory and local government and the cultural sector.  In his speech today the Minister indicated that the Accord would be signed next month; and
  • the proposal to undertake an audit of programs run by the Australia Council and the Office for the Arts which will ensure the Australia Council focuses on funding artistic excellence and the Office for the Arts focuses on cultural policy and programs supporting national priorities.

Funding Announcements

The following table (reprinted from Ben Eltham ‘National Cultural Policy out at last – and its a big win for arts’, Crikey, 13 March 2013) gives a rough indication of what is known at present about the dispersal of the $235m in new funding announced by the Minister:




Australia Council

$75m (over 4yrs)


Creative Partnerships Australia



Elite arts training organisations



Indigenous languages



Major performing arts companies (6)



ArtsReady on-the-job arts training



Creative Young Stars (grants allowance for federal MPs)



Screen Australia digital and multi-platform programs



Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support Program (supplementary funding to continue)



Australian Music Radio Airplay Project



Production incentives for Hollywood films to shoot in Australia



Regional Development Australian Fund (arts and cultural infrastructure through rounds 3/4)




The full policy can be read online or downloaded from: Creative Australia.

Meredith Foley
CAMD Executive Officer