Friday, November 14, 2014

'Creative Nation' - Keating's cultural legacy

Hard on the heels of the death of Whitlam comes an article about another Labor icon and his policy creation. There was so much focus last year on the second Australian National Cultural Policy of all time that little was said about the first, 'Creative Nation'. In this article a strong point is made that 'Creative Nation' acknowledged two distinct and very different strengths in Australian culture. The first was the contemporary diversity of Australia. The second was the economic significance of the arts and culture sector, including creative industries.


The Keating cultural legacy bridged the disparate aspects of cultural life - encompassing both a recognition of cultural diversity and a view of culture from an economic standpoint.
This is interesting because the widespread public consultation underpinning the development of the National Cultural Policy towards the end of 2011 strongly echoed much of this. According to the overwhelming majority of respondents to the online survey during the consultation process, the most important element in a new national cultural policy was recognition of Australia’s cultural diversity. In fact, if anything, this view was even stronger in the consultation than it was in the final policy itself.

The twin aspects of recognition of cultural diversity coupled with a view of culture from an economic standpoint as a key industry sector were central to both policies. This view reflects the reality of how Australia had changed in half a century. However it also reflects a different way of looking, beyond the narrow view of ‘the arts’ as a gently civilising influence on the surface of a frontier society.

This is a consolidated version of an earlier post to my Facebook page 'indefinite article'.

See also

Creative industries
‘The developing creative industries are a critical part of Australia’s future – clean, innovative, at their core based on small business and closely linked to the profile of Australia as a clever country, both domestically and internationally.’ Creative industries critical to vitality of Australian culture.

Indigenous jobs
'Subsidised Indigenous arts and cultural jobs are real jobs with career paths that deliver genuine skills and employment capability.' Real jobs in an unreal world

Indigenous culture and Closing the Gap
‘Experience of many years of the Indigenous culture programs shows that involvement in arts and cultural activity often has powerful flow on social and economic effects.’ The gap in Closing the Gap.

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