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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Editorial: Is it time for a national cultural policy

The Australian Government does not have a policy on arts, culture and creativity.  Is it time for one, asks our executive director Tracey Callinan. Tracey will chat about this with ABC Central West’s Ewan Gilbert Monday July 12 ay 9.45am.

First published in our July Artspeak enews

Both the other levels of government in Australia have policies: each of the Australian states has a policy in place and the Australian Local Government Association has established a national policy position, even though individual councils vary enormously in their own commitment, but meanwhile we have no national position. There has been discussion recently taking place across the sector that suggests that now might be the time where there is sufficient appetite to have one developed.

Plans or policies provide guidance in the best of times, but the difficult times experienced in the arts and the cultural and creative industries as a result of the pandemic has highlighted that the sector needs to have an articulated position that can assist in highlighting the value, the possibilities and the directions that can be taken. Many have turned to the argument that the sector has a significant economic value – far higher than most of the public expect, but this emphasis can obscure the fact that this is a sector that makes people’s lives better because of the huge cultural and social value that activity in the arts offers.

Australia needs a policy that shows that the arts is important to Australia. It is important in its many different genres, locations and levels. We need to recognise the value that the arts, culture and creativity sector brings to interpreting, reflecting, imagining and realising Australia’s past, present and future and to ensure the sector is supported, particularly as so many in the sector grapple with the recent impacts of Covid lockdowns.

Tracey Callinan
Executive Director, Arts OutWest
Phone (office) 02 6338 4657
(mobile) 0418 618 688
Email (direct)

IMAGE: Canva stock photo.