Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

About Us

Soft Centre Festival 2018. Credit: Charl Anfield.

Creative Australia is for the artist.
Creative Australia is for us all.

 

Creative Australia is the Australian Government’s principal arts investment and advisory body.

We were founded as the Australia Council for the Arts in 1968 and established by the Australia Council Act 1975. In 2023 we welcomed the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy – Revive, the centrepiece of which was the establishment of Creative Australia; an expanded and modernised Australia Council and a transformational step in the evolution of the organisation.

On Thursday 24 August 2023 the Australia Council became Creative Australia; a bigger, bolder champion and investor in arts and creativity.

With artists at the heart of what we do, we invest in creative talent and stimulate the market for Australian stories to be told on a national and international scale, sharing our rich culture with the world. We do this because art and creativity define us, recording what we have been and what we might yet become. As a nation, creativity connects us and benefits us all.

We are proud of the Australia Council’s 50-year history of investing in First Nations arts and culture and supporting First Nations self-determination. Creative Australia will build on that legacy from 2024 when the inaugural First Nations-led Board will be appointed (read more).

 

Creativity Connects Us

  • Benefits all our lives
  • Brings us together
  • Forges economic and human growth
  • Allows us to imagine what is possible

Key facts

  • $21.8 billion contribution to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)1
  • Near to 500,000 people employed2
  • 50,000 practising and professional artists3
  • 98% of Australians engage with the arts
    • 92% listen to music
    • 82% engage online
    • 72% read books
    • 68% attend live events
  • 84% of Australians recognise the value of arts and creativity in our lives, including the positive impact on:
    • child development (63%)
    • wellbeing and happiness (56%)
    • dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression (56%)
    • understanding other people and cultures (60%)
    • bringing customers to local businesses (41%)
  • More than one in three Australians connect with and share their cultural background through arts and creativity
  • One in two Australians believe the arts build creative skills that will be necessary for the future workforce

1) Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (2021-22), Australian Industry, the following industry subdivisions: creative and performing arts; heritage activities; motion picture and sound recording; broadcasting; publishing; internet publishing and broadcasting; libraries; printing and recorded media.
2) Based on creative occupations within the creative industries and other occupations within creative industries, 2021 Census. Cunningham, S. and McCutcheon, M. 2022, The Creative Economy in Australia: What Census 2021 Tells Us
3) Throsby, D. and Petetskaya, K. 2017, Making Art Work: An economic study of professional artists in Australia

 

  • Investment and development
    Stimulating creativity, entrepreneurship, and discoverability through recurrent project and program investments and grants, training and mentoring.

 

  • Markets and audiences
    Championing and celebrating Australian creativity nationally and internationally, sharing our stories and culture.

 

  • Partnerships and philanthropy
    Maximising the impact of our investments and development by building new partnerships that bring together philanthropy, commercial, and public funding.

 

  • Research, evaluation, and advocacy
    Researching and analysing issues that impact artists and creative industries and evidencing the role and value of creative and cultural participation, providing insights to inform decision-making and evaluate outcomes of creative businesses and government policy.

 

  • Participation and connection
    Bringing together creative thinkers to build communities and networks, stimulate ideas, and deliver outcomes.

 

  • Safety and welfare
    Promoting fair, safe and respectful workplaces for artists and arts workers.

We deliver in line with the functions set out in our establishing legislation, the Creative Australia Act 2023, and guided by the vision, pillars, and actions set out in the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy: Revive, a place for every story, a story for every place. The accountable authority of Creative Australia is the Australia Council Board.

Importantly, our investment decision-making occurs at arms-length from the Minister responsible for the arts. We draw on subject matter experts, industry advisors, and a peer network of professionals to inform our investment decisions. We work closely with the Australian Government’s Office for the Arts (within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts) and state and territory governments’ creative industry and arts departments, to inform policy and develop co-investment frameworks to maximise impact.

From Thursday 24 August 2023 the Music Australia Council will advise on the strategy for contemporary music and the Creative Workplaces Council will inform our strategy to promote fair, safe, and respectful workplaces for artists and creative workers.

In 2024 the Australian Government will introduce legislation to establish a First Nations-led Board within Creative Australia.

In 2025 the Australia Government will introduce legislation to establish Writers Australia within Creative Australia.

  • Collaboration: cooperation with the same purpose.
  • Resilience: flexible, adaptable and responsive.
  • Integrity: ethical and accountable.
  • Service: professional and engaged.
  • Diversity: embracing difference.
  • Leadership: advocate and empower.

The Australia Council for the Arts was founded in 1968 and established by the Australia Council Act 1975. In 2012 there was a review of its governance, which resulted in the Australia Council Act 2013.

First Nations thought leadership has been integral to the Australia Council since the first national gathering of First Nations artists in 1973 and the formation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board.

The Australia Council for the Arts:

  • supported more than 37,000 artists
  • invested in more than 25,000 organisations
  • made more than 62,000 investments to a value higher than $4.83 billion

In January 2023 the Australian Government launched a new National Cultural Policy – Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place. The centrepiece of Revive was the establishment of Creative Australia, an expanded and modernised Australia Council for the Arts, a transformation step in the evolution of the organisation.

Creative Australia takes forward the purpose of the Australia Council for the Arts and builds on its ambitions to deliver greater investment in the creative sector.

The Creative Australia Act 2023 replaced the Australia Council Act 2013.

On Thursday 24 August 2023 the Australia Council became Creative Australia.