Australian Cultural Policy: The Next Decade
Monday 8 April 2019
Isabella Fraser Room, State Library of Victoria

Presented by Monash University’s Masters of Cultural and Creative Industries and the National Association of Visual Arts 

8.45am - 9am

Venue open

9am - 9.10am
Introduction and welcome to the Symposium

Dr Xin Gu, Monash University Masters of Cultural and Creative Industries
Professor Sharon Pickering, Dean of Arts Monash University

9.10am - 9.20am
Introduction to the Symposium

Esther Anatolitis, National Association for the Visual Arts

9.20am - 9.30am
Policy context and recent history of Australian cultural policy

Dr Ben Eltham, Monash University Masters of Cultural and Creative Industries

9.30am - 10.15am
Keynote speech and audience questions

Hon Tony Burke MP 

Shadow Minister for the Arts
Australian Government

10.15am - 10.45am
Response to keynote speech

Bianca Beetson

Bianca Beetson is a Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi (Sunshine Coast) Waradjuri (NSW) woman, born in Roma Western Qld. She studied a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) at the Queensland University of Technology 1993-95, completed Honours in 1998 and was awarded a Doctorate of Visual Arts in 2018. She is a visual artist who works in a broad range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography and public art. She is a former member of the seminal Aboriginal artists collectives Campfire Group and ProppaNow. Bianca is the Program leader of the Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art degree at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and was recently appointed to the QAGOMA Board of Trustees. 

10.30am - 11am 

Morning tea

11am - 12pm 
Panel 1: State of Australian culture in 2019 

Moderator: Esther Anatolitis
Australia’s cultural and creative industries contribute $111.7 billion to the economy, or 6.4% of GDP. Artists are working harder and across more disciplinary areas than ever before. And yet artists’ incomes are declining, more and more artists are living precariously, it’s taking longer for artists to become established, and the gender pay gap is worse in the arts than in any other industry. What condition are the creative industries in – and what are the implications for the Australian culture? What are the threats facing these sectors, and what are the opportunities? 

Artists’ rights and industry bodies including Nicholas Pickard (APRA AMCOS), Channon Goodwin (ARI national body, All Conference), Alex Marsden (Australian Museums and Galleries Association) and Kate Torney (State Library of Victoria)

12pm - 1pm
Panel 2: State of the industry: evidence base

Moderator: Ben Eltham
Culture was once a sector with relatively little hard data. In recent years, the evidence base has firmed. We know a lot more about culture and creativity across several dimensions: production, consumption, labour markets, and the diversity of cultural expressions. With more data available than ever before, how can we make sure that this important research and analysis is informing advocacy, action and policy? This panels brings producers, organised labour, and academics together to discuss what we know, and what we still need to find out. 

Industry peak bodies and leading researchers including Katya Petetskaya (Visual Artist/Macquarie University), Marnie Badham (RMIT University), Matthew Deaner (Screen Producers Association) and Adam Portelli (MEAA)

1pm - 1.45pm


2pm - 3.15pm
Panel 3: Policy for the new decade

Moderator: Esther Anatolitis
Cultural policy is a neglected field of public policy, with a manifest need for new ideas and new frameworks. Since 2013 the Australian Government has lacked a documented cultural policy – and yet it’s possible to read an undocumented policy position in the values that have informed funding and program priorities. This lack of concrete policy settings is an opportunity to rethink Australian cultural policy for the new decade. This panel asks artists, academics and policymakers to be ambitious for Australia’s next cultural policy.

Leading academics, critics and practitioners including Alison Croggon (critic and novelist), Amanda Coles (Deakin), Adrian Collette (Australia Council), Justin O’Connor (University of South Australia)

3.15pm - 3.30pm

Afternoon tea

3.30pm - 4.30pm
Panel 4: The public interest

Rethinking public broadcasting for a 21st century Australian democracy
A ‘Media Matters’ seminar in association with the School of Media, Film and Journalism
Moderator: Ben Eltham
Public broadcasting, community media, social media and public spaces are critical for a healthy public culture. The ABC is Australia’s most important cultural institution – a source of trusted, evidence-based information and journalism, which has enabled citizenship, creativity and social cohesion since the 1930s. Despite being consistently named the nation’s most trusted public institution, the ABC has been destabilised by political attack, funding cuts and more recently, a crisis of governance. Community and social media foster specialist discussions for a broad diversity of communities, while public spaces are regulated more and more heavily in the age of right-wing extremism, whose language tends to be fuelled by commercial media in disturbing ways. With spaces for gathering and debate increasingly under attack, what’s at stake for Australian democracy? A panel of leading media and public space practitioners examine the future of the public interest.

Key practitioners on public space, public interest journalism and the future of the ABC including Margaret Simons (Monash), Tony Moore (Monash) and Andy Nehl (journalist and producer, Triple J and The Chaser)

Wrap up and insights

Esther Anatolitis and Ben Eltham wrap up on key insights for the next decade, with Bianca Beetson and Kate Torney



The event will be audio recorded and both NAVA and Monash will release an overview of key issues the following day.