NAVA started 2018 by building a critical mass of advocacy for the arts – setting a confident national agenda that’s led by artists.

Boxing Gloves

The Australian Parliament started its new year on the week beginning 5 February 2018, with both Houses sitting for four days.

Financial sector regulation, immigration detention facilities, and national security and foreign intervention, are just some of the bills that got the Government’s 2018 agenda underway.

At the same time, artists across Australia have been, and continue to, show work in independent and state-owned galleries, in public and unconventional spaces, in studios and online.

Each one of these exhibitions and art festivals offer perspectives on contemporary Australia that’s sensitive and complex, timely and urgent.

Like each bill before Parliament, each of these exhibitions and festival have involved many months and possibly even years of work to be ready for this moment.

So what’s on the arts agenda? What have Australia’s artists chosen to make work about? What have Australia's curators and festival directors chosen to share. What does the critical mass of all these exhibitions and festivals tell us about what’s most pressing right now? And how can we inform Parliament with artists’ and curators' passions, concerns and bold expectations?

NAVA encourages artists, galleries, festival directors and audiences to ask some big questions across the country – and put them to our politicians. Let’s enrich decision-making at the highest level with the voice of the artist.

Share your exhibition or festival's take on the national agenda using #artsagenda. Speak to local media. Ask your local MP for a comment, and share it far and wide.

Let’s do this.

Tips, Tricks & Ideas

Parliamentary Friendship Groups
Ever wondered who the arts-friendly MPs are beyond the Minister and Shadow? Parliament has obliged us with this handy list. The Parliamentary Friendship groups cover all sorts of specialisations including Blockchain, Philanthropy and Women & Work. Look for Parliamentary Friends across artform groups including Books & Writers, Live Music, and Museums, Galleries & Libraries – and be sure to get in touch.


Getting in touch with MPs
Overwhelmed by contacting numerous MPs? Parliament has kindly put together these downloadable databases and even label-ready files so you can send letters with ease!  There’s even guidelines on modes of address, making it very easy to contact elected members when you need to.


Dealing with Trolls
Getting trolled when you talk arts and politics on social media? Always best to ignore anyone whose only aim is to get an irritated response – why debase the online discussion further! Let’s focus constructively on the exchange of opinions that develop our thinking. Contrary opinions and new perspectives strengthen our advocacy when they’re offered honestly.

In the media

Gina Fairley and Richard Watts The best agitation is about awareness, Arts Hub 31 January 2018

Esther Anatolitis, Rare News: Australian politicians admit their love and respect of the arts, Daily Review, 11 February 2018

On Social Media

Abdul Abdullah
ACE Open
Kelly Leonard Weaving
Blak Dot gallery
Abbas Alaboudi
Mark Gerada
Abdul Rahman Abdullah
Chips Mac
Arts Access


Join NAVA in building a critical mass of advocacy for the arts during the first sitting week of Parliament – setting a confident national agenda that’s led by artists.