How to write a submission to an inquiry

It’s so important that the arts and culture perspective is heard on matters of national significance. So how should you go about writing a submission?

The work of all governments requires a high level of public engagement and public accountability. When detailed public and industry engagement is vital to that work, Parliamentary committees hold inquiries to gather specific information. The scope of such inquiries is defined through terms of reference, and often there’s a discussion paper to guide our contributions.

Your voice is vital. So how should you go about writing a submission?

The Australian Parliament offers the following advice – “The best submissions:

  • clearly address some or all of the terms of reference – you do not need to address each one
  • are relevant and highlight your own perspective
  • are concise, generally no longer than four to five pages
  • begin with a short introduction about yourself or the organisation you represent
  • emphasise the key points so that they are clear
  • outline not only what the issues are but how problems can be addressed, as the committee looks to submissions for ideas to make recommendations
  • only include documents that directly relate to your key points
  • only include information you would be happy to see published on the internet.
  • Submissions that include complex argument, personal details or criticise someone may take the committee longer to process and consider.”

Whether you’re an artist, audience member, collector, philanthropist, arts worker or organisation leader, your perspective matters. Not only on inquiries that touch on arts and culture directly, but also, on any matter that concerns you or stirs your passions. It’s so important that the arts and culture perspective is heard on matters of national significance.

Take action: