#VoteForArt: Federal Election Campaign 2022

Supporting Visual Arts and Culture is essential for our national identity and wellbeing. Use your vote to support bold action for a thriving visual arts community. 

Photo of Betty Kuntiwa Pumani standing in middle of photo in front of a large painted linen artwork laid flat on the ground. She is standing in front of a large natural red boulder.

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, Antara, 2020. Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 300 x 1000cm. Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia for The National 2021: New Australian Art. Photo by Meg Hansen Photography. Image courtesy the artist, Mimili Maku Arts and the Copyright Agency © the artist.

NAVA’s #VoteForArt campaign aims to increase government support for the visual arts to help unlock the full social and economic potential of our community.

Visual Arts and Culture are Everywhere: in the cities, in the regions, in remote communities, in every state and territory. Visual Arts and Culture are Essential: for health, education, jobs, social cohesion, mental health, national identity, and a successful recovery. In times of need Australians turn to the arts. During the pandemic, 73% of Australians sought out arts and culture to improve their mood and quality of life. 

All Australians would benefit immensely from ambitious visual arts and culture experiences made possible through strategic policy and funding investment. We’re calling on federal election candidates to support five key policy priorities:

  1. Put First Nations first
  2. Stimulate long-term sustainability
  3. Pay artists for their work
  4. Prioritise equity, cultural safety and accessibility
  5. Nourish arts education

In the lead up to the federal election, NAVA will meet with candidates to promote NAVA's policy priorities and secure party commitments. But we need your help communicating public support for the visual arts.

Pledge to vote for candidates who will support bold action for a thriving visual arts sector.

What we’re calling for

NAVA has identified five key policy priorities that will boost the entire economy and quality of life for all Australians:

1. Put First Nations first

  • Boost Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) funding for Indigenous arts organisations, peak bodies and support agencies to provide appropriate support across all states and territories, with targeted support for regional and remote communities. 
  • Commit targeted financial support for self-determined First Nations artists.
  • Invest in First Nations-led art centres, education and training programs, studios, and small-to-medium arts organisations and galleries.
  • Introduce targeted programs focused on creating and retaining First Nations employment, supporting micro businesses and strengthening existing businesses, as well as funding First Nations designated roles for visual arts peak bodies and touring agencies sector-wide.
  • Action legislative reform as recommended by the Fake Art Harms Culture campaign.
  • Ensure public investment is tied to equity and industry standards for First Nations people.

    2. Stimulate long-term sustainability

    • Adopt in full the recommendations from Sculpting a National Cultural Plan: Igniting a post-COVID economy for the arts, the final report for the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia’s Creative and Cultural Industries and Institutions.
    • Establish a whole-of-government National Cultural Plan to effectively invest in the medium and long-term needs of the arts sector.
    • Increase the Australia Council’s Four Year Funding for Organisations program to support at least 200 small-to-medium visual arts, craft and design organisations.
    • Establish a National Exhibitions and Events Business Insurance fund to provide direct support in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters and other crises to artists, sole traders, venues and small-to-medium organisations, inclusive of the visual arts sector.
    • Develop a Crisis and Disaster Recovery Fund for direct, targeted income support, inclusive of the visual arts, craft and design sector. All support packages must be equity-tested to ensure they support the most marginalised people.

    3. Pay artists for their work 

    • Invest $133 million in peer-assessed arts funding for independent visual artists and craft practitioners and small-to-medium organisations through the Australia Council.
    • Ensure public funding is contingent on the payment of visual artists at or above minimum standard rates as set out in NAVA’s Code of Practice, and that funding levels are adequate to support those payments.
    • Introduce industrial reform including tax, superannuation and recognition of art as a profession by Centrelink.

    4. Prioritise equity, cultural safety and accessibility

    • Ensure that public funding is equity-tested, tied to accessibility standards and that 30% at minimum is designated for racially marginalised groups, people with disability and d/Deaf organisations, artists and programs.
    • Support arts organisations to meet equity and accessibility standards.
    • Revise KPIs and funding to focus on impact instead of outputs.
    • Invest in increasing access, participation and opportunities for visual artists, craft practitioners and arts organisations in regional Australia.

    5. Nourish arts education

    • Increase funding for arts education across schools through existing Commonwealth-state schools funding agreements.
    • Invest in university funding for creative courses, reduce tuition fees for arts subjects, and remove Ministerial discretion from approving or rejecting research grants recommended and administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC).
    • Commit $83 million for Creative Fellowships through the Australia Council.

    Election report card

    Australia votes on 21 May 2022. What arts and culture vision do the Liberal-National Coalition, Labor and The Greens offer?

    This report card was compiled from publicly campaign information and election commitments made to date by the Liberal-National Coalition, Labor and The Greens. This summary is not a critique or detailed analysis of policies, but aims to provide information to help voters evaluate each parties’ public positions. NAVA does not endorse any of these parties.

    Where the Report Card shows a blank space, we welcome all party representatives to make public commitments or contact NAVA directly.

    Updated 17 May 2022. Not reflective of election commitments made in the final campaign days. 

    Table of four columns and six rows showing dot points of election commitments from the Liberal-National Coalition, Labor and the Greens

    Authorised by Penelope Benton for the National Association for the Visual Arts www.nava.net.au. Compiled from publicly available information and campaign materials. Updated on 17.05.2022. Not reflective of election commitments made in the final campaign days.

    How to research independent candidates’ positions

    Visit the AEC webpage to find which federal electorate you live in, then visit the ABC webpage to see a full profile of each electorate and who’s running. Take a look and figure out which candidate you like the most. You can also visit They Vote For You to see how your MPs and Senators voted on your behalf on issues that matter to you.

    Anna Freeland reported for ABC News:

    Of the 130 independent candidates, there are a handful who have made public commitments to advocating for the arts. They include:

    • Zoe Daniel — Goldstein (currently held by Liberal MP Tim Wilson)
    • Jo Dyer — Boothby (currently held by outgoing Liberal MP Nicolle Flint)
    • Monique Ryan — Kooyong (currently held by Liberal MP and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg)
    • Dr Sophie Scamps — Mackellar (currently held by Liberal MP Jason Falinski)
    • Allegra Spender — Wentworth (currently held by Liberal MP Dave Sharma)
    • Kylea Tink — North Sydney (currently held by Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman)

    Get involved

    Let’s make sure that all candidates commit to investing in Australia’s creative future. The more of us there are, the stronger we can be. 

    1. Enrol to vote or check enrolment
    2. Take the pledge
    3. Share our campaign with your networks and on social media
    4. Contact your MP and candidates


    Download the following social media posts and banners. Feel free to add why support for the arts is essential for your vote. Remember to tag your local candidates and NAVA in your posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

    Key Messages

    • Visual Arts and Culture are Everywhere: in the cities, in the regions, in remote communities, in every state and territory.
    • Visual Arts and Culture are Essential: for education, jobs, social cohesion, tourism, and the expression of our national identity.
    • Visual arts and culture is for everyone: 98% of us engage with the arts and 45% of us create art. 
    • Use your vote to support bold action for a thriving visual arts community.






    Subscribe to election updates

    For updates on NAVA’s election campaign, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.

    Fund the Arts campaign

    NAVA is an ally of Fund the Arts, a campaign aimed at increasing government investment in the arts after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Multi Art Form campaign

    Together with fifteen other national arts and culture peak bodies, NAVA is part of an effort to create a sector wide message that arts and culture are EVERYWHERE and ESSENTIAL in the lead up to the Federal election. Visit link below to read more and download resources.


    It’s Time… To Demand Fair Pay in the Arts, Meanjin Quarterly 25 May

    More funding, more local stories: Arts sector lobbies Labor for a lifeline, Sydney Morning Herald 24 May

    Arts industry welcomes Albanese government, Limelight 24 May

    Sector celebrates Labor win, ArtsHub 23 May

    NAVA welcomes new Albanese Government, Media release 23 May

    Labor and Greens arts policies and what the Coalition is offering this federal election, ABC News 19 May

    Government needs a strategic vision for arts and culture, Independent Australia 16 May

    Arts and the election: Why an arts policy is essential, Limelight 12 May

    NAVA hosted a panel discussion with Fund the Arts and The Paint Factory Breaking the pattern of policy neglect for the arts 11 May 

    Penelope Benton spoke on the panel Public Forum: Arts and Arts Education in Crisis by the CREATE Centre at the University of Sydney and Australian Theatre for Young People 2 May 2022

    The arts news you may have missed, ArtsHub 29 April 2022

    Penelope Benton on Eastside Radio Arts Thursday, 89.7 Eastside FM April 28 2022

    Election resources for the arts, ArtsHub 26 April 2022

    NAVA launches Vote For Art campaign in lead up to Federal Election, Australian Arts Review 11 April 2022

    NAVA’s #VoteForArt campaign launches in lead up to Federal Election, Media release 7 April 2022

    Penelope Benton on Arts industry calls for stronger support to assist economic recovery, SBS News In Depth TV & Radio 27 March 2022