Australian Cultural Policy Future - MusicNSW

Minister for the Arts Peter Garrett has launched an online forum wecoming feedback on the future of Australia’s Cultural Policy. The forum is attracting a colorful array of responses and gives an opportunity for you to be involved in “the shaping of Australia’s Cultural Future” says Garrett. There are three forum topics that you can comment on and each is said to influence cultural policy in Australia.

Cultural Policy aims to promote cultural diversity and accessibility, creating an Australian image and identity to present to the rest of the world, as well as to ourselves. At the moment Opera and Orchestra’s recieve $71.2 million from the Australia Council for the Arts, with “other music” receiving less than 17% of that in funding (2008-09 figures). Is this the Australian Culture you know?

Recently the results of the most recent census’ have been collated to reveal shock declines in creative industry employments. Most notable is the 12.5% decline in music professionals.

The results come from Music Council  of Australia’s cultural economist Hans Hoegh-Guldberg’s analysis of the most recent ABS Employment in Culture report. While this might not mean we are loosing artists, as the decline may imply, rather we are seeing a decline in the amount of musicians being able to call their music career their “main source of income”.

A career in the creative arts, especially contemporary music industry, comes with the dependency on other forms of income in most cases day jobs to pay the rent. Does the National Cultural Policy and the funding regime derived from it reflect your Australia? Comment on the online forum to have your say on what is most important.

The online forum have been set up around three topics:

To voice your opinion directly to a listening arts ministry head to

For more information on Australia Council and the funding that is available, check out their grants section here.

The Music Council of Australia is a peak body of information, advoacy and research for music on a national level.