NAVA welcomes new Government and Arts Minister

Media Release

Image: The Hon Tony Burke MP, at the launch of NAVA's Arts Day on the Hill and inauguration of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Contemporary Arts and Culture, Parliament House, Canberra, 30 July 2019. Photo by Irene Dowdy.

Today NAVA is happy to congratulate Anthony Albanese, the new Australian Labor Party Prime Minister, and his team. We also congratulate the successful Greens and Independent candidates, many of whom campaigned on a platform with support for the arts.

“We are excited and optimistic for a better future and look forward to clear, inclusive communication about what is needed to best support our artists to enhance the world in the way only they can,” said NAVA’s Executive Director Penelope Benton.

NAVA especially looks forward to continuing our positive and constructive relationship with Tony Burke MP, likely incoming Arts Minister, over the coming years. “Given Tony Burke’s experience of the portfolio we know he will engage with the sector and be an Arts Minister who will be genuinely interested in NAVA’s agenda.”

“NAVA enthusiastically welcomes the Labor Party’s pre-election commitment to spearhead a new national cultural policy that puts First Nations arts and culture at the centre. This must include centreing the principles of First Nations self-determination and story sovereignty, and working alongside our First Nations colleagues to support First Nations culture bearers, artists and organisations, communities, and knowledges across Australia.”

We join Australian arts peak bodies in calling for a whole of ecology approach to arts and creativity that represents and supports all the small to medium, majors, funded and unfunded organisations across Australia. A national cultural plan must commit to working to transform our sector to be more diverse and inclusive, to better reflect the reality of the Australian population. 

“Importantly, a National Cultural Plan should include a considered strategic approach to investment and arts funding for impact, as well as much needed industrial reform and legislative change to improve the position of artists in Australia. These may be modest but impactful, recognition of art as a profession by Centrelink, tax exemptions on art prize winnings, inclusion of visual artists in the Superannuation Guarantee Act and restoring artwork investment for self-managed super.”

Sustainable long-term blueprinting would inform and strengthen a robust and inclusive creative sector that will in turn contribute to the health, wellbeing and social cohesion of a contemporary national identity.

“NAVA is also calling for a commitment that fees be paid at least at the minimum recommended industry rates by all federal and state/territory government funded organisations to artists who have been commissioned or have loaned works for exhibition, and that funding levels are adequate to support those payments.”

“This will provide incentive and recognition for artists that their work is valued and that there is a real prospect of their being able to build sustainable lifelong careers.”

“Visual artists and arts workers are the backbone of the diverse cultural experiences enjoyed by Australian and international audiences. Support for the visual arts will help sustain Australia’s creative excellence for years to come.”

“A strong arts and cultural sector is critical to Australia’s future. With support from the new federal government, visual arts, craft and design will boost the entire economy as well as inspire the nation.”

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Leya Reid