2 February 2023

Federal Government reviving the nation's arts and cultural policies

| Chris Johnson
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Indigenous dancer Casey Keed has a passion for sharing her artform. Photo: Casey Keed.

First Nations first under Revive arts and cultural policy. (Indigenous dancer Casey Keed). Photo: Supplied.

There is a new national cultural policy for Australia and it’s called ‘Revive’.

The Federal Government has launched a fresh approach to culture and the arts in Australia, which places a strong focus on First Nations people and the stories they have to tell.

Setting the course for the nation’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector for the next five years, the Revive strategy creates four new entities and gives Australia Council of the Arts the new name of Creative Australia.

In launching the new policy, Anthony Albanese said it would provide artists with the support they needed to thrive.

“I am excited by the potential it will unleash, and to see our extraordinary and diverse Australian stories continue to be told with originality, wit, creativity and flair,” the Prime Minister said.

“It builds on the proud legacies of earlier Labor governments that recognised the importance of art and culture to Australia’s identity, social unity and economic prosperity.”

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Backed by $286 million in dedicated funding over four years, Revive’s centrepiece is the establishment of Creative Australia, with funding decisions to be made on the basis of artistic merit and at arm’s length from government.

Within Creative Australia four new bodies will be established:

  • A new First Nations-led body that will give First Nations people autonomy over decisions and investments
  • Music Australia, a dedicated new body to support and invest in the Australian contemporary music industry
  • Writers Australia, to support writers and illustrators to create new works
  • A new Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces to ensure creative workers are paid fairly and have safe workplaces free from harassment and discrimination.

The PM said the Revive policy would put First Nations first – recognising and respecting the place of their stories at the heart of Australia’s arts and culture.

In addition to the Creative Australia First Nations body, Revive commits the Government to:

  • Introducing legislation to protect First Nations knowledge and cultural expressions, including the harm caused by fake art; Developing a First Nations creative workforce strategy
  • Funding the establishment of a National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs and an Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Perth
  • Providing $11 million to establish a First Nations Languages Policy Partnership between First Nations representatives and Australian governments.

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Revive also commits the Government to regulating Australian content on streaming platforms, improving lending rights and incomes for Australian writers, increased funding for regional art, and dozens of other measures.

Arts Minister Tony Burke said Revive would ensure there will be “a place for every story and a story for every place” and have a comprehensive roadmap for Australia’s arts and culture.

It will touch all areas of government, from cultural diplomacy in foreign affairs to health and education, the Minister said.

“Our artists are creators and workers. This sector is essential for our culture and for our economy,” Mr Burke said.

“As the sector recovers from years of neglect followed by the tough pandemic period, Revive will set the arts sector on a new trajectory with fresh momentum.”

Arts and culture think tank A New Approach (ANA) welcomed the new national cultural policy.

Chief executive Kate Fielding described Revive as a meaningful step towards Australia fulfilling its creative promise.

“The intent and recognition is clear: arts, culture and the creative industries are key participants in the nation’s well-being, not just a nice to have,” Ms Fielding said.

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