On Thursday 24 August, Arts Law’s Katherine Giles attended the launch of Creative Australia. The rebrand of the Australia Council for the Arts also brings Creative Partnerships Australia under the same roof. The Honourable Tony Burke MP, Minister for the Arts, Employment and Workplace Relations officially launched Creative Australia at the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf 1 theatre.
Attendees walked the boards along the hallway that leads to the theatre entrance, and past the beautiful photos of past productions. During the launch, Minister Burke spoke of visiting the theatre when he was young and of his passion for the Arts, and Creative Australia delivering a new chapter for Australian arts and culture, backed by recording funding, and bringing the drive, direction and vision that Australian artists have been calling out for. Following on from the Australian Government’s launch of the National Cultural Policy – Revive; a place for every story, a story for every place in early 2023, the launch continues the Government’s commitment to Australian creators and creative organisations. Minister Burke also spoke of the role the Creative Workplaces Council, chaired by Kate Jenkins AO, will play in raising workplace standards across the arts, including safety, welfare and pay for artists. Kate Jenkins is a former Sex Discrimination Commissioner and author of the Respect@Work report (2020) into sexual harassment. Burke said that Australian artists and creative aren’t hobbyists, they’re workers and deserve safe and fair workplaces with minimum standards:
‘But I do send the message to every organisation out there: we are serious. As Creative Workplaces sets minimum standards, we expect you to keep to them, and if you choose to not keep to them, don’t come knocking on the door for government money. We are serious about changing for a safer workplace for people who are in these creative industries.’
Adrian Collete AM, CEO of Creative Australia and Franchesca Cubillo, Executive Director First Nations Arts and Culture, Creative Australia and the new Chair Robert Morgan all spoke at the launch. Collette noted that Creative Australia will reflect the diversity of Australian communities with both practicing artists and creative industry expertise actively involved in its future direction, and Creative Australia’s commitment to nurturing and growing creative talent, artistic expression, and stimulating a sustainable marketplace because creativity connects us and benefits us in every way. Cubillo discussed the role of the First Nations-led board which will be established in 2024 and noted that starting in September, with the oversight of the First Nations Arts and Culture strategy planel led by the Chair, Professor Larissa Behrendt, the strategy panel will engage with and consult with the First Nations arts and culture sector on the new board and investment framework.
The launch included performances from Fred Leone and Birdz, Bankstown Poetry Slam founder poet Sara Mansour who read a work commissioned for the launch, and the Dance Makers Collective.
The Arts Law Centre of Australia receives funding and support from Creative Australia.