The peak body protecting and promoting the Australian visual arts sector

The Year in Rhyme - 2015

A wrap up of 2015 for the small to medium arts sector in limerick form.

Image: The George Brandis Live Art Experience (after Hieronymus Bosch).


There once was a pollie named Brandis

Whose tendency was somewhat grandiose

When he thought he’d be smart

Causing pain in the arts

He copped the reward of his hubris


The 'Excellence' program was half assed

The OzCo attacked and embarrassed

No research or analysis

The name changed to Catalyst

But still left the arts feeling harassed


The Majors first murmured and muttered

But were told not a word should be uttered

They were under duress

If they wanted largesse

They should know whose side's bread would be buttered


The new man was Senator Fifield

Who checked whether truth had been concealed

He listened he talked

But finally baulked

And left himself stuck in a minefield


The Senate it held inquisitions

There were nearly three thousand submissions

All the witnesses concurred

The premise is absurd

And needs to be put in remission


Free the Arts & ArtsPeak were vocal

Our actions were national and local

The campaign extensive

The media expansive

The impact was far from parochial


Now more cuts have been made in MYEFO

The Book Council’s gone back to zero

The Department itself slashed

Collections have had hopes dashed

“Nah culture ain’t burning” says ‘Nero’


Ahead of a coming election

The pollies don’t want insurrection

But the campaign won’t stop

No more sh-t will we cop

The arts is in need of protection


But let’s have a fun Festive Season

With ideas that are thoughtful and pleasin’

We just want a policy

That delivers some jollity

For a New Year that turns rhyme to reason.



Tamara Winikoff OAM

Executive Director

National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)

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