The Future of Australian Craft

Media Release

Launched today is the Agenda for AustralianCraft and Design which sets out a strong future vision for the sector.

Funded by the Australia Council, this benchmark report results from three years of engagement with the Australian professional craft and design community undertaken as part of the National Craft Initiative (NCI) by the project partners: the AustralianCraft and Design Centres (ACDC); and the National Association for the Visual Art (NAVA).

The report contains practical recommendations for policies and strategic services relevant to governments, funding agencies and other key decision makers and an evaluation of the current climate of opportunities for the sector – download now via

Jane Scott, co-chair of the NCI steering committee states, “Professional crafts practice requires advocacy and a platform to protect and preserve its future. This is a significant opportunity to start insisting on increased visibility for the national craft and design ecology and the unique makers who are the innovators for Australia’s future. They are the storytellers of our multiple histories, the people who generate cultures of learning and exchange, the makers and investors who open up new markets and the collaborators who experiment with solutions for our communities.”

NCI steering-committee co-chair, Pippa Dickson observes, ‘Remarkable work is already being done in the sector across the country by individuals and by organisations. Now is the time to forge collaborations acrossAustralia to multiply our actions and voice. We need to champion and elevate critical discourses, public engagement and fiscal support for the whole craft and design ecology.’

The report sets out four goals and direct strategies to shape a vibrant future for making in Australia.

Key recommendations include to:

Establish a hybrid government and industry managed body for international engagement to support exhibitions, exchanges, event participation with multiple year engagement, and to assist practitioners to build export capacity and skill

Support the continuation of maker spaces and multidisciplinary creative hubs and precincts through subsidised rent programs, and embedded project spaces in larger institutions, organisations and businesses

Connect AustralianCraft and Design (ACDC) organisations through a unified digital strategy including online representation and communication pathways

Research, review and campaign for the visibility and development of pathways between secondary, tertiary and in-practice studio based education and training.

The National Craft Initiative (NCI) has generated major events, discussions, ideas and strategies to ensure a vibrant and resilient future for craft and design including:

the two day international conference, Parallels: Journeys into Contemporary Making presented at the National Gallery of Victoria in November 2015

research report Mapping the Australian Craft Sector

Extensive consultation was undertaken with some of Australia’s brightest figures in craft and design like Liane Rossler (artist, designer, curator, creative advisor), Ewan McEoin (The Hugh Williamson Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture Contemporary, Architecture and Design, National Gallery of Victoria) and Helen Kontouris (furniture & product designer).

The Agenda for AustralianCraft and Design report is available for download here and also attached.

Coinciding with the launch of this publication, the National Craft Initiative will be holding an online forum on Visible Craft – The Politics of Making as part of #NAVAideas on May 5.

For media comment and enquiries please contact:

Georgia Hutchison National Craft Initiative Program Manager


Yu Ye Wu, Marketing & Publicity Coordinator, National Association for the Visual Arts:

ph: 02 9368 1900 e: