After a big year, we take a look back at some of our highlights.

11 December 2018

From consultations and new research to repatriations and anniversaries, 2018 has been a busy and productive year for the arts portfolio. Here's what we've been up to this year:

Major Performing Arts Framework survey

We surveyed the arts and culture sectors on ways to strengthen the MPA Framework and received over 8000 survey responses. This informed the ideas to enhance the Framework presented in the consultation paper that was released with the agreement of Australia's Arts and Cultural Ministers later in 2018.

National Arts and Disability Strategy consultation

On behalf of Meeting of Cultural Ministers, we consulted on a renewed National Arts and Disability Strategy in 2019. We received over 680 responses, which will inform the new strategy and help us to improve access to and participation in creative and cultural activities by people with disability.

25 years of Indigenous screen stories

Our portfolio agency Screen Australia celebrated 25 years of its Indigenous Department. To date, it has provided more than $35 million in funding for development, production and fostering talent and has supported more than 160 projects to help Indigenous Australians to tell their own screen stories.

New research on cultural and creative activity

Our Bureau of Communications and the Arts Research released new analysis showing cultural and creative activity contributed $111.7 billion to Australia's economy in 2016–17. This equates to 6.4% of Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for this period.

National Indigenous Languages Convention

We held the first National Indigenous Languages Convention in February this year. The Convention brought together multiple community members, organisations and government to explore how digital technologies can be used to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Indigenous repatriations from Sweden

We facilitated the return of eight Australian Indigenous ancestors from two collecting institutions in Sweden. Since 1997, Swedish collecting institutions have returned 41 ancestors to Australia supported under the Indigenous Repatriation Program.

2018 Prime Minister's Literary Awards

In December the Prime Minister's Literary Awards ceremony was held to celebrate this year's six winning titles from 30 shortlisted books, at an event at Parliament House. To expand our promotion of the Awards and Australian literature, this year we developed an augmented reality function to further the engagement with the winning titles. This function invites the public to scan the book covers with their phone and information about the book is superimposed, providing insight into the creation of the work. 

That’s a wrap! 2018 was a big year for communications and the arts. Take a look at our highlights. Over 600 mobile base stations now live. Regional Telecommunications Review completed. Reconciliation Action Plan launched. 4.4 million premises connected through the NBN. Strengthening the Major Performing Arts Framework. Improving access to arts for people with a disability. Celebrating 25 years of Indigenous screen content. New cultural and creative research released. @CommsAu @artsculturegov

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