This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Cultural Gifts Program that provides incentives for donors to gift art and cultural property to public collecting institutions.

7 December 2018

Costumes worn by singer Kylie Minogue OBE, a collection of Michael Leunig cartoons and a vehicle used in the film 'Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome' are just some of the generous donations that have been made through the Cultural Gifts Program over the last four decades.

There have been 20,000 donations of cultural items and collections valued at over $1 billion since the Australian Government initiative began as a trial program in 1978. These donations enrich Australia's public collections and help capture our national memories. The Cultural Gifts Program has played an important role in enabling these items to be placed in public collections where all Australians can experience them.

One of the most significant is an amazing collection of Kylie's costumes. These outfits reflect the many dimensions of Kylie's career as a major international artist and an iconic part of Australia's performing arts history. They have been donated to the Victorian Arts Centre Trust over a period of 10 years.

Another well-known Australian, Michael Leunig, gifted 70 of his original cartoons, drawn over a 42-year-period, to the National Library of Australia. Valued at more than $1.6 million, it is one of the most important collections of cartoons acquired by National Library and includes many memorable and important works marking major events that have shaped our nation.

As well as works by some of Australia's most recognised artists, there are also quirky and iconic cultural objects like the Andamooka Buggy (also known as Big Foot) which was donated to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, South Australia. This is believed to be the only vehicle used in the Mad Max series on display in an Australian public collecting institution.

The program enables private collectors, artists, individuals and companies to receive tax deductions for gifts of cultural property to more than 400 participating public collecting institutions – ranging from large national bodies to smaller regional museums, galleries and university libraries.

Administered by the Department of Communications and the Arts, the program endorsed over $57 million worth of cultural property in 2017–18, given by around 450 donors to more than 100 different participating institutions.

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Kylie Minogue's Blue Showgirls Costume. Photo courtesy of Victorian Arts Centre Trust.

Blue Showgirls Costume, worn by Kylie Minogue, Greatest Hits Tour, 2005. Designer John Galliano, Milliner: Stephen Jones. Photo courtesy of Victorian Arts Centre Trust.

Andamooka Buggy (also known as Big Foot), which featured in the film ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’. Photo courtesy of the National Motor Museum (South Australia).