Code of Practice, advocacy work and Members update

Updates on our Code of Practice work; cuts to arts, craft and design at universities; Inquiry into the arts; Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan; Copyright Reforms; and important Membership information.

Photo by Tanja Bruckner, 2018

Code of Practice

NAVA’s academic partners at RMIT School of Art have been successful in receiving an ARC Linkage Project grant for $328,000 over three years to undertake Ambitious and Fair: Strategies for a sustainable visual arts sector. This is a supplementary project to the Code of Practice revision. 

In a context where artists’ incomes are low and falling, public galleries and universities face funding challenges, and commercial galleries are financially vulnerable, the research project addresses barriers to the sector’s economic health and the challenge of improving artists’ incomes. It will propose interventions for the arts industry and government policy to improve and develop the arts ecosystem. 

In the meantime, three more discussion papers for the Code are currently being drafted on Exhibiting, ARIs and Funding. We are aiming to release them for feedback before the end of the year. 

We are also working with a public art curator and consultant on editing the draft guidelines for commissioning art in public space so we can release them before the rest of the Code revision is complete. 

Dates for our next consultations and other activity will be released in the new year. For more information read Revising the Code of Practice: A Collaborative Plan.

To contribute to the Code of Practice revision, please provide feedback via these Code of Practice discussion papers.

Cuts to the arts at universities

Unfair university reforms were passed through the Senate in early October making it harder and more expensive for people to study the arts. This is a further blow to the university sector which has not been eligible for any of the Federal Government’s income support this year including JobKeeper. Universities have been implementing sweeping changes as part of Covid-19 recovery plans. The impact is being felt with massive job losses, course cuts and studio closures on many campuses – the worst of which have been proposed at QCA and ANU SoAD.

More articles by NAVA

University cuts risk losing Australia's next generation of artists, 1 December

Media release - Concern over detrimental cuts to ANU School of Art & Design, 26 November

Media release - NAVA strongly opposes damaging cuts to Queensland College of Art, 10 November

Media release - Breaking: it’s now harder and more expensive for people to study the arts and creative practices at university, 8 October

Inquiry into the arts

On 9 November Dr David Gillespie MP commended the Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia's creative and cultural industries and institutions noting it was the second-most participated-in survey EVER undertaken by a House committee with 4,871 responses from around the nation plus a further 289 written submissions.

NAVA’s submission made numerous recommendations drawn from our vision for a comprehensive approach to arts policy bolstered by clear and enforceable industry standards. Alongside our industry colleagues, NAVA spoke at the public hearing on 13 November, supporting the call for a national public policy or plan which recognises and supports the arts industry as a major contributor to Australia’s social, cultural and economic wealth.

Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan

In collaboration with Peter White and Bibi Barba, Aboriginal Strategy and Engagement at Create NSW, NAVA is hosting four free Zoom workshops over this fortnight to boost submissions from the NSW Aboriginal visual arts sector to the Federal Government's Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan consultation

It is vital that the Action Plan is based on the views of the Indigenous visual arts sector across the continent. Without an existing peak body for First Nations arts (unlike other states) the NSW based arts sector risks being underrepresented during the consultation.

Let’s ensure that the voices of stakeholders across the NSW Aboriginal visual arts sector are highly visible in the national conversation about Indigenous arts. 

While the focus is on NSW, this program is open to all individual practitioners across the continent.

The deadline for submissions is 18 December 2020.

The Federal Government made a general announcement about proposed copyright reforms to “better support the needs of Australians and our public institutions” in August. The draft legislation is to be released later in 2020 which will provide further details of reforms and an opportunity for stakeholder consultation. It is feared that the draft legislation could be announced late in December leaving little opportunity to respond to potentially damaging changes for artists and creators of content in regard to the provision of free licenses for big tech. NAVA is preparing for this late announcement with the view that the current laws are satisfactory and any proposed changes need to make sure creators are still fairly remunerated for the use of their content.

Changes to your Membership


NAVA’s Premium Plus biannual payment plan will no longer be offered in the new year. If you would like to sign up to Premium Plus Membership using this option please do so by 15 December 2020.

If you are already signed up to the Premium Plus biannual payment plan your coverage will not be affected and will continue through to the expiry of your Membership. Premium Plus Membership and the option to renew with an upfront payment will continue as normal. 

Transit Insurance

NAVA’s Transit & Exhibition Insurance offering will permanently end this year. If you would like a quote for coverage please apply online prior to 15 December 2020.

Operational Plan

With consideration to the impacts of reduced funding, the NAVA Survey results and a series of strategic conversations with the Board, staff and NAVA’s critical friends, an operational plan has been developed to deliver on priority programming between October 2020 and June 2021 within the capacity of the current team and budget.

Our focus for the next 6-9 months is on 5 key areas:

  • Strengthen Membership communication and improve system efficiency.
  • Focus NAVA’s advocacy and campaigns on improving industry standards.
  • Further the Code of Practice revision by outsourcing and increasing collaboration with the sector.
  • Connect professional development programs to the Code revision.
  • Improve the NAVA website to better service needs and accessibility.

In the new year, NAVA will formally commence recruitment for a new CEO who will be involved in setting NAVA’s next strategic plan. 

Out of office

The NAVA office will be closed from 23 December and reopen on 11 January. Premium Plus Membership and grant applications won't be processed during the break, nor will we be available for general enquiries. If you have a question or need something assessed we will get to it as soon as we can in January. In the meantime, it's very likely the answer to your question can be found via NAVA's Frequently Asked Questions.

Enjoy a restful summer break. ☀️