Friday, April 24, 2009

Australia 2020 Summit - TOWARDS A creative Australia

Here are "TOWARDS A creative Australia" items accepted by the Australian Government in its "Responding to the Australia 2020 Summit" on 22 April 2009:

Australia has a rich, diverse, creative and unique culture. The Government recognises that fostering creativity is not merely fundamental to a healthy arts industry, but is critical to capturing innovation and strengthening a unique Australian identity that is recognised around the world. The Government is committed to encouraging excellence in the arts, supporting our cultural heritage, promoting creative education and ensuring public access to arts and culture.

During the 2020 Summit, the participants in the Creativity Stream agreed that the arts and creativity are a valued and integral part of society and that all Australians should be encouraged to realise their creative potential. Some of the core themes addressed by the Creativity Stream included the reshaping of teaching and mentoring in the creative arts, reforming the way arts are supported, making the arts a key national objective, expanding the audience for Indigenous culture and focusing on Indigenous culture as the core of Australian culture. The Creativity Stream also focused on increasing access to culture and the arts throughout Australia, including through the use of emerging technologies.

The Creativity Stream developed a broad range of ambitions, themes and ideas that have influenced and guided the Government's policy in this area, including:

  • ABC Children's Channel - The Government is committed to supporting a dedicated ABC Children's Channel. This channel will give all Australian children ready access to advertising-free, child-appropriate, content to support the development of our children.

  • Artists-in-Residence - The Government will fund a $5.2 million Artists-in-Residence schools program over four years to improve access to quality artistic experiences for primary, secondary and tertiary students.

The following tables provide the Government's response to the ideas raised by the Creativity Stream at the 2020 Summit.

Key ideas being taken forward by the Government

Topic

2020 proposed ideas

Government response

Dedicated ABC Children's Channel

  • Create a children's channel on the ABC in order to provide high quality content for children.

  • Making healthy food choices easy - e.g. banning junk food advertising to children.

Agree in-part. The Government is committed to supporting a dedicated ABC Children's Channel. This will give all Australian children ready access to advertising-free, child-appropriate content to support the development of our children, as discussed at the Summit.

The Government response to healthy food choices can be found in the Health Stream.

Arts in Education - Artists-in-Residence Program

  • Bring art into our schools by introducing 'practitioners in residence' via a national mentoring plan funded by philanthropic funds and tax incentives.

  • Expose students to creativity, with artists' presence in schools as mentors or residents.

  • Introduce a new model of teacher attraction and development by integrating artists more thoroughly into education delivery.

  • Subsidise or provide a tax benefit to support artist residencies in schools, museums, galleries and workplaces.

  • Facilitate artists in residence across all industries and institutions to engage in storytelling, sense-making and capacity building.

  • Expand the current limited program of artists in residence at schools, which are now confined mainly to private schools.

Agree in-part. The Government considers that creativity, interpretation, innovation and cultural understanding are all sought after skills in the industries of the 21st century.

The Government has committed to funding a $5.2 million Artists-in-Residence program over four years to improve access to quality artistic experiences for students in primary and secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Memoranda of Understanding are being developed between the Australia Council and the Arts and Education Agencies in each state and territory. This will allow consultation and delivery of targetted programs for students.

In addition federal, state and territory education ministers agreed on 17 April 2009 that arts be included in the national curriculum.

There are many other existing state, territory, local government and philanthropic activities in this area, and these are encouraged.

Arts in Education - Training Teachers in Creativity

  • Explore new opportunities for extension and development, such as Creativity Summer Schools, pre-service and in-service training for teachers.

  • Introduce a national mentoring program at secondary school level and provide tax incentives for artists to participate.

Agree in-part. The Government is progressing the development and extension of teachers' creative and innovative skills through a variety of mechanisms, including:

  • The Artists-in-Residence program, where teachers from schools and universities work with artists to develop innovative teaching methods

  • The Count Us In Program teacher professional development component

  • Teaching for the Digital Age (TDA) Work Plan, which supports the integration of ICT skills in teaching practice.

There are also a wide range of other existing programs in this area from a range of organisations, including state and territories, local government and philanthropic bodies.

Education - Digital Education Revolution

Also raised by:

Productivity

Economy

Rural

  • Expansion of online education in tertiary and secondary schools to ensure that courses are accessible to remote, rural and regional people via virtual classrooms, online tutors and mentors, e-learning tele-education centres, and better use of hard infrastructure such as school buildings for out-of-school-time use.

  • Establishment of interactive learning centres of excellence, which could be provided by satellite technology, to allow high quality education and training relevant to any field of expertise to be 'zoomed in' to remote, rural and regional communities.

  • Use technology to improve the delivery of education inside and outside the classroom.

Agree in-principle. The Government is committing new funding of $2 billion over five years to support the Digital Education Revolution. This includes:

  • Grants through the National Secondary School Computer Fund for new or upgraded information and communications technology (ICT) for secondary students in Years 9 to 12

  • A contribution of up to $100 million through the Fibre Connections to Schools initiative, to support the development of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband connections to Australian schools

  • Collaboration with the states and territories and Deans of Education to ensure new and continuing teachers have access to training in the use of ICT

  • $32.6 million over two years to supply students and teachers with online curriculum tools and resources.

In addition, the Government has also committed to a new Vocational Education Broadband Network which will create a single post-secondary high speed broadband network, connecting the Australian training system to the same network currently serving universities.

National Broadband Network

Also raised by:

Rural

Productivity

Economy

  • Connecting Australia: Use new technologies to foster new working environments that dissipate the 'tyranny of distance' both within and beyond Australia.

  • Build and enable the use by all Australians of a world class broadband system to foster full participation in the digital economy.

  • Roll out a competitive national broadband network across Australia.

  • Establish a national digital fund to continue to expand Australia's broadband.

  • Improve technology infrastructure and increased access to technology.

  • Provide broadband access for remote, rural and regional Australia.

Agree. The Government has announced it will establish a new company that will invest up to $43 billion over eight years to build and operate a National Broadband Network (NBN) delivering superfast broadband to Australian homes and workplaces.

Every person and business in Australia, no matter where they are located, will have access to affordable, fast broadband at their fingertips.

The Schools Summits also recognised the importance of connecting regional areas to the internet, and the Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) program complements the rollout of the National Broadband Network in rural areas by providing safety net broadband services to all Australian households that are unable to access metro-comparable broadband services. An additional $270.7 million over four years was allocated in the 2008-09 Budget to continue the ABG program.

In addition the Government is preparing a 'Digital Economy - Future Directions' Paper in consultation with industry. The paper will provide a roadmap of how the Government and industry can collaborate to maximise the participation of Australians in the digital economy.

Further, the Government's Vocational Education Broadband Network will create a single post-secondary high speed broadband network, connecting the Australian training system to a similar network to that currently serving universities. This will increase flexibility in the place and pace of learning, and offer speedy access to resources no matter where they are located.

  • The rural, economy, creativity and productivity streams proposed that the Government should assess the case for vertical separation of the national broadband network owner from retail carriers and carriage service providers.

Agree in-part. The Government has established a company that will invest up to $43 billion to build and operate a new super fast national broadband network.

The network will be a wholesale-only, open access network that offers equivalent access terms and conditions for all access seekers. The Government will encourage private sector investment in the new network but measures will be put in place to ensure that the equivalence arrangements are not compromised.

The Government has also announced that in the transition period to the full rollout of the new network, it will give consideration to stronger measures to ensure access seekers receive equivalent access terms on Telstra's existing fixed-line network.

  • Fibre-to-the-home should be the key technology goal of government.

The Government has announced that it will establish a company that will invest up to $43 billion to build and operate a new super fast national broadband network.

The Government's objective is that the national broadband network achieve 90 per cent coverage to homes, schools and workplaces using optical fibre (fibre-to-the-premises or 'FTTP') and remaining coverage to be delivered through wireless and satellite technologies, within this funding envelope.

Alliances between Indigenous Communities and Australian Manufacturers

  • Establish alliances between Australian manufacturers and Indigenous communities to make unique Australian design products for export and address issues of Indigenous employment income and skills development.

The Government is committed to improving Indigenous employment incomes and skills development. On 29 November 2008, COAG agreed to a five year National Partnership on Indigenous Economic Participation. The Commonwealth and state Governments will invest $228.8 million to assist up to 13,000 Indigenous Australians in obtaining employment. This is in part to support the 26 March 2008 commitment by COAG to a national target to halve the gap in Indigenous employment outcomes within a decade.

There are also a range of state and territory and philanthropic programs in place which aim at addressing issues in Indigenous employment.

Convention on Cultural Diversity

  • Ratify the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity.

Agree. The Government has committed to ratifying the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity and a draft National Interest Analysis has been prepared. Ratification is expected in 2009.

Government Patronage

  • Overtly value arts and artists at the federal government level: this will ensure that politicians attend arts events and foster a whole of government view of arts and creativity.

Agree. The Government is strongly committed to a vibrant, diverse and well-supported arts sector, and recognises the contribution of the arts to Australia's identity, community and economy. The Government will continue to seek opportunities to demonstrate this commitment.

Australian Honours

  • Enhance community perceptions of artists to ensure that artists have mainstream recognition, including through civil honours.

Agree in-principle. Artists can be, and are often, nominated for Order of Australia honours by community members. Standard recognition processes are sufficient to ensure the continuing representation of artists in these honours lists.

Commonwealth-State Visual Arts and Craft Strategy

  • Establish facilities and 'soft infrastructure' to support artists.

Agree in-principle. The Commonwealth-State Visual Arts and Craft Strategy includes support for infrastructure and the National Arts and Craft Industry Support Program provides support for Indigenous art centres.

Arts Administration - Compliance

  • Revise compliance obligations in the grant process and reduce bureaucracy - in some cases compliance obligations are too burdensome and distract the artist from their work.

Agree. The Government has committed to ensuring the Australia Council implements simplified and faster grant application processes.

Tourism Australia and Australia Council

  • Use tourism as a way of advancing international promotion of Australian culture and creativity.

Agree. One of the legislated functions of the Australia Council is to promote the knowledge and appreciation of Australian arts by persons in other countries. The current Chair of Tourism Australia is a member of the Australia Council.

In October 2008, Tourism Australia released major advertising campaigns developed by Baz Luhrmann to link with the launch of his film 'Australia'.

Artist Development - Mentoring for New artists

  • Support a mentoring scheme for new artists.

Agree in-principle. The Government is providing $6.6 million over four years to the Opportunities for Young and Emerging Artists program, which will include a significant national mentoring component.

There are also a range of State and Territory, and philanthropic programs in place which aim to mentor and support new artists.

Cultural Diplomacy

  • Create an environment in which we can present our unique stories to the world.

Agree. The Government is committed, through its overseas network of Australian diplomatic posts and interagency arrangements, to the active promotion of Australian arts and culture internationally.

Digitising Collections of Major National Institutions

  • Digitise the collections of major national institutions by 2020.

Agree in-principle. All national collecting institutions are gradually digitising their collections.

Indigenous Representation on Cultural Boards

  • Integrate Indigenous influence into cultural institutions by having Indigenous appointees on boards.

Agree in-principle. The Government supports Indigenous participation in cultural institutions, and a number of cultural boards already include Indigenous members, such as Screen Australia and the Australia Council.

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