Friday, 30 March, 2012


Today, Friday 30 March 2012, a meeting of Arts and Cultural Ministers was held in Melbourne, hosted by the Victorian Premier and Minister for the Arts the Hon Ted Baillieu MP.


Victoria: (chair)
The Hon Ted Baillieu MP
Premier and Minister for the Arts

Australian Government
The Hon Simon Crean MP
Minister for the Arts

New South Wales
The Hon George Souris MP
Minister for the Arts

South Australia
The Hon John Hill MP
Minister for the Arts

Western Australia
The Hon John Day MLA
Minister for Culture and the Arts

The Hon Lara Giddings MP
Premier, Treasurer and Minister for the Arts

Northern Territory
The Hon Gerald McCarthy MLA
Minister for Arts and Museums


The Hon timothy Nicholls MP
Minister for Finance, Natural Resources and the Arts

New Zealand
The Hon Chris Finlayson
Minister for the Arts

South Australia
The Hon Jay Weatherill MP
Premier and Minister for the Arts

Australian Capital Territory
Ms Joy Burch MLA
Minister for the Arts


Mayor Genia McCaffery, President, Australian Local Government Association

Professor Barry McGaw, AO, PhD, Chair Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

John Quinn, Assistant Secretary of the Asian Century Taskforce

Jenny Galligan, Executive Director, Arts Development, Arts Queensland

Meeting summary

At this meeting, the Ministers:

  • Recognised that the Australian economy is in transition and that arts and creativity will play a critical role in identifying and responding to new opportunities and thereby delivering stronger social and economic dividends.
  • Discussed the development of the Australian Government's new National Cultural Policy and committed to develop an Arts Accord between the Australian, state, territory and local governments over the next 12 months, recognising that real change will be optimised through partnerships and collaboration.
  • Welcomed progress in implementing the Major Performing Arts Framework and committed to establish the Excellence Pool to support the major performing arts companies.
  • Agreed to work closely with education ministers on implementing the agreed Australian Curriculum: The Arts.
  • Noted continuing work to develop a national approach to Arts and Health and applauded the formation of a joint arts and health working group under the leadership of South Australia and committed to provide representation to the group.

Ministers discussed a range of other issues including the Australian Government's Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

Further details of the Ministers' discussions are attached.

National Cultural Policy

Ministers appreciated the opportunity to actively engage in the consultation process in the development of the National Cultural Policy, and praised the Australian Government's commitment to delivering the first National Cultural Policy in two decades.

Minister Crean indicated the new National Cultural Policy will show how the arts and culture can make a major contribution to Australian society and the economy by helping to build an inclusive society, delivering an arts education to young Australians, creating career pathways, providing avenues for expression for our citizens, driving innovation and contributing to productivity.

Ministers acknowledged the importance of integrating arts policy within the reform agenda of all jurisdictions, and the need for clearer avenues of cooperation and collaboration.

To that end, Ministers agreed to the development of an 'Arts Accord' between the Australian, state, territory and local governments over the next 12 months and that this commitment will be reflected in the National Cultural Policy. Ministers noted that the development of an Accord is a key opportunity for all levels of government to articulate the respective and shared roles and responsibilities in supporting Australian arts and culture.

Major Performing Arts and Excellence Pool

Ministers welcomed progress on implementing the new national framework for cross-government support for the Major Performing Arts (MPA) sector. In particular Ministers discussed the new Excellence Pool and its role in funding for success within the MPA group. The MPA Excellence Pool will provide both governments and companies with additional capacity to leverage performance outcomes and financial capacity to fund innovation in the performing arts.

Ministers agreed to establish the Excellence Pool to be funded by the Australian Government and a combined contribution from other jurisdictions. Ministers committed to seeking funding for the Excellence Pool through their budget processes for commencement in 2013-14.

Ministers also agreed that companies would be eligible to receive funding based on peer assessment and only for proposals of national significance and impact.

Companies will be invited to submit Expressions of Interest consistent with the criteria for access to the Excellence Pool.

Australian Curriculum: The Arts

Ministers agreed that development of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts is a crucial tool to equip young Australians with the skills to become confident and creative individuals.

Ministers welcomed the news that the drafting of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts is almost complete and that a draft curriculum is expected to be available for consultation shortly. Ministers thanked the valuable input by Professor McGaw, Chair of the Board of ACARA. In particular Ministers acknowledged the process of targeted consultation following the release of the draft shape paper in October 2010.

Ministers agreed to propose reconvening the arts and education working group to investigate and report on how the arts sector and arts portfolio agencies can contribute to the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

Arts and health

Ministers supported South Australia's leadership in progressing the development of a national approach to arts and health collaboration. Ministers acknowledged the commitment made by the Australian Health Ministers' Standing Council on Health in November 2011.

Ministers agreed that an Arts and Health framework is a significant opportunity for genuine whole of government engagement to strengthen arts and health initiatives and community health and wellbeing. Ministers noted the way arts can be used as a mechanism for achieving broader social and economic outcomes.