Enhance Creativity in Australia

Posts Tagged ‘innovation

Simon Crean (Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and the Arts) was interviewed on ABC National Radio Breakfast on 16th May 2012 about the National Cultural Policy before it was released and comments on the importance of the Arts, here are the main points I’ve gathered from the interview:

We’ve got to look afresh of how we reinforce our creative talents, our innovative talents. …It’s the arts that are a very important underpin for creativity and innovation.

It is a vast employment sector, the arts and creative industries is a faster growing sector than a manufacturing sector in terms of employment opportunities. It’s not just the people who perform, it’s the people behind the stage, the lighting the costume, the design, the marketing, all that goes with it…..

Why do we need a Cultural Policy anyway? Some might think that at the moment if the Government puts it’s dead hand into the culture, the worst will be for it so we should let these things grow organically and let the culture live off it’s own merits.

It doesn’t grow organically, it’s there but it’s got to be nurtured, it’s got to be promoted, it’s got to be challenged. We are home to the oldest living culture on earth and we’re welcomed the greatest diversity of cultures, that’s what makes Australia unique and some of Australia’s most exciting art forms, new art forms and expressions of ourselves, in our words, our stories are coming from that depth of culture.

I might also say that investment by government in the arts and creative industries produces a social dividend because it underpins our values inclusions of understanding and respect, and teamwork, all of those good things that are a part of the Australian ethos but there’s also an economic dividend because a more creative nation is also a more production nation. It drives innovation, it drives productivity and those are good things. Those are good things. That’s why government have to invest in the arts to reinforce that strength of culture that recognition of the indigenous role in our cultural expression but to also understand the biggest spinoffs.

With changes to Arts Funding, is there going to be more money?

Well, interestingly, despite the difficulties in this budget there wasn’t more money in this budget for the arts, there was a significant injection (and there was in last years budget too, the creative fellowships which we announced the first of yesterday were in last year’s budget), so we have put more money in… of course there are calls for more money and that’s difficult in the current circumstances…

But also where we’ve evolved too is more of a recognition by the private sector, the corporate and the philanthropists have the importance of investing in the arts, we’ve got to leverage their contributions. As well, we’ve got to try get better cooperation with the state governments but also local governments are investing heavily on the arts now because they understand it’s important in the regions in particular to liveability. So what’s happening now, it’s not just a question of commonwealth money here, it’s how we use additional money to leverage more investment in the arts and culture.

What are your thoughts on Simon Crean’s opinions? Do you agree or disagree with him?


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