Yesterday, the Minister for the Arts unveiled Australia’s new National Cultural Policy. There’s unfortunately no transcript for the launch audio at our national broadcaster, but you can read about it at Creative Australia. The intro and core goals:
Creative Australia, the Australian Government’s 2013 national cultural policy, celebrates Australia’s strong, diverse and inclusive culture. It describes the essential role arts and culture play in the life of every Australian and how creativity is central to Australia’s economic and social success: a creative nation is a productive nation.
Creative Australia has five equally important and linked goals at its core:
* Recognise, respect and celebrate the centrality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to the uniqueness of Australian identity.
* Ensure that government support reflects the diversity of Australia and that all citizens, wherever they live, whatever their background or circumstances, have a right to shape our cultural identity and its expression.
* Support excellence and the special role of artists and their creative collaborators as the source of original work and ideas, including telling Australian stories.
* Strengthen the capacity of the cultural sector to contribute to national life, community wellbeing and the economy.
* Ensure Australian creativity thrives in the digitally enabled 21st century, by supporting innovation, the development of new creative content, knowledge and creative industries.
ArtsHub has a practical summary of the policy here: What will the National Cultural Policy mean for you?
I think the two things I”m most happy about, at a first glance, are the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander centrality, and the cementing of a comprehensive arts education into schools, though this is going to need some sort of funding commitment.
What I’d like added is for every school child to also be able to choose to learn a musical instrument, at least for a certain length of time. I’ve never understood why that’s an out-of-pocket extra. (Mind you, at my child’s public school, dance – done in class groups and in school time – is also an out-of-pocket affair, as is swimming.)
And, of course, there’s the issue that the impending Liberal Federal government may well bleed all the life out of this policy. (After the WA election, I’m feeling pretty blue about all things electoral…)
What do you think of this cultural policy, and of arts education? What’s going on with arts ed in your local public schools?