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Australia Council review released

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Australia Council review released

15 May 2012 SC053/2012

Arts Minister Simon Crean today released the results of an independent review of the Australia Council as part of the development of the National Cultural Policy.

Mr Crean said the Review makes 18 recommendations for reform of the Council and provides an opportunity to reflect on its success and to consider the major challenges ahead.

"I welcome the findings of co-chairs Mr Angus James and Ms Gabrielle Trainor and thank them for their hard work," Mr Crean said.

"The Review is important to the development of the National Cultural Policy and will ensure the Australia Council is best-placed to respond to the arts and culture sector of today and into the future.

"The Australia Council has been in place since 1975, and this report sets out a strategic vision for the Council which, if implemented, would provide the Council with significant flexibility to grow with the Australian arts sector in the 21st century.

"At its heart, the Review recognises the Council has been a central player in the growth of Australia's world-class arts sector but that emerging art forms and technologies, which are changing the nature of artistic practice, pose challenges for how we define excellence and distribute funding to the arts and culture sector.

"The Review's 18 recommendations include the need to refine the Council's legislative purpose, to ensure a modern governance structure and to introduce a new grants assessment model that is focused on funding work of the greatest artistic excellence, regardless of artform.

"Importantly, these reforms retain the Council's operation at arm's length from government, with competitive funding decisions made on the basis of peer assessment."

In preparing the report Mr James and Ms Trainor met with a range of stakeholders and considered views expressed through submissions to the National Cultural Policy. They also released an online survey which received more than 2000 responses from the sector.

"The survey responses showed there was significant opportunity for the Council to increase flexibility and diversify funding to a broader range of arts organisations and individual artists," Mr Crean said.

The Government will formally respond to the Review findings as part of the National Cultural Policy, which will be released later this year.

Mr Crean said Mr James' and Ms Trainor's dedication to undertaking the Review has resulted in a high-quality report.

To read the report, visit

Media Contacts

 Minister Crean's office: Glen Atwell 0403 949 599