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.

Creative Workplaces

Creative Workplaces is an initiative of the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy: Revive launched on 30 January 2023.

Established as a new function within Creative Australia under the Creative Australia Act 2023, Creative Workplaces will promote fair, safe, and respectful workplaces for Australian artists, arts workers and arts organisations.

Creative Workplaces will support the arts and culture sector to understand their rights and responsibilities under workplace laws and promote best practices.

If you would like to register for updates from Creative Workplaces please subscribe here.

If you are in immediate danger or at risk of harm, contact the Police by phoning 000. 

For wellbeing support, you can contact: 

For information on your rights at work, or to report workplace bullying, harassment or discrimination contact: 

Additional resources and support organisations for the arts and entertainment sector: 

Latest news


May 2024: An update from the Council

Creative Workplaces was established to promote fair, safe and respectful workplaces for artists, arts workers and organisations in the arts and culture sector.

Since being appointed in August 2023, the Creative Workplaces Council has met three times to advise on and set the foundational priorities for Creative Workplaces.

Kate Schaffner commenced as Director, Creative Workplaces on 9 January 2024 and is building the Creative Workplaces Team.

Activity update:

1. The Creative Workplaces Council has been briefed by researchers of the ‘Raising Their Voices’ and ‘A Wider Lens’ reports about their research findings and recommendations. These reports provide valuable insights and have been fundamental to the establishment of Creative Workplaces.

2. Creative Workplaces is fostering collaboration between government, industry and the community to drive positive change. Creative Workplaces has met with senior staff from government arts organisations in all states and territories. In addition, Kate Jenkins AO (Chair) has briefed federal, state and territory Cultural Ministers.

3. Creative Workplaces attended the Fair Work Commission’s Arts and Culture Sector Award Review consultations. The Fair Work Commission will publish a report on completion of this review.

4. A request for tender for the design and build of a new Creative Workplaces website is well underway. The Creative Workplaces website will be a central hub of accessible information, advice and frameworks relating to pay, safety and wellbeing for the arts and culture sector.

5. The Creative Workplaces team is working on developing content and resources for the Creative Workplaces website, which will launch in late 2024 or early 2025.

Creative Workplaces is making significant progress in establishing itself as a central resource for promoting fair, safe and respectful workplaces within the Australian arts and culture sector. If you haven’t yet registered, please subscribe for updates from Creative Workplaces.


Kate Schaffner
Kate Schaffner

Thursday 7 December 2023

Creative Australia has today announced the appointment of Kate Schaffner as Director of Creative Workplaces.

Kate Schaffner is a dedicated workplace relations professional and an experienced leader. Before joining Creative Australia, she held a number of roles at the Fair Work Commission. Kate worked on the implementation of workplace relations policy reforms during the coronavirus pandemic and in response to the Respect@Work Recommendations, and has led national case management, information and engagement teams.

Kate is a strong advocate for plain language communications. She is a longstanding champion for clear and accessible information for workers and businesses. She understands the critical value of taking a user-first approach.

Kate holds an Executive Master of Public Administration from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania. A former allied health professional, Kate also has Bachelor and Master qualifications in Health and Clinical Sciences. Her knowledge of issues relating to pay, safety, and wellbeing will be instrumental in delivering Creative Workplaces’ mandate.

Read the full media release.


 

Thursday 21 September 2023

The Creative Workplaces Council held its inaugural meeting over Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September 2023.

Chaired by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins AO, the newly appointed Council members were all honoured to take on the significant responsibility of guiding the work of Creative Workplaces. Each member brings a broad range of experience and insights into the sector.

The Council acknowledged that there is good work happening across the sector to raise standards and is confident that there is a pathway forward to a more positive future.

The Council carefully considered the context in which it has been established and its mandate set out in the Creative Australia Act 2023, underpinned by the Government’s National Cultural Policy: Revive, A Place for Every Story, a Story for Every Place.

As a next step the Council will host an online sector briefing before the end of the year to share its scope of work and outline its first 12-month workplan.

Please subscribe here to receive the date and details for the briefing, which will be sent out in the coming weeks.

If you need wellbeing support, or information on your rights at work, or to report workplace bullying, harassment or discrimination, there is contact information available below.

The Australian Government’s Minister for the Arts announced the inaugural members of the Creative Workplaces Council on Friday 11 August 2023, with their positions to take effect from Thursday 24 August 2023. 

The role of the Creative Workplaces Council will be to inform and support the operation of Creative Workplaces. The Creative Workplaces Council will report to, and work closely with, the governing Board for Creative Australia, which will continue to be known as the Australia Council Board.

Interested in joining our Board or one of our Councils? Click here to find out more and register your interest.

The Creative Workplaces Council will meet at a minimum 4 times each year and further information about the meetings will be published on this page.

The members of the Creative Workplaces Council are: 

Kate Jenkins AO is a renowned lawyer, leader and change maker. She is a former human rights and sex discrimination commissioner, and is recognised for spearheading some of Australia’s leading reviews, reports and reforms for fairness, safety and equality. Kate is Australia’s foremost authority on respect and equality in the workplace.

Kate has recently completed her 7 year term as the Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Highlights of Kate’s term are leading the landmark Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces Report, as well as her independent reviews of Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces, Gymnastics in Australia and Australian Universities. Kate chaired the Respect@Work Council leading regulators, employers, worker representatives and civil society to implement changes in sexual harassment laws and practices.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours in Fine Arts) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Melbourne. Kate has previously served as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner and on the Boards of Heide Museum of Modern Art, Play by the Rules, Berry Street Victoria and Carlton Football Club. For 20 years Kate was an employment lawyer with Herbert Smith Freehills.

Tina Lavranos is an executive with 20 years of legal, consulting and general management experience. She has performed senior legal and human resources roles across Asia and Australia in the creative, professional services and finance sectors.

Tina is a consultant focussing on the creative sector. Tina was the Executive Director of DarkLab; operator of the annual Dark Mofo festival in Hobart. Prior to this, she worked at MONA as a member of the executive team. Tina is an experienced NFP board member and was the past Chair of Women’s Legal Service Victoria.


Simon Abrahams
is Creative Director & CEO of Melbourne Fringe, where he is recognised as one of Australia’s arts and cultural leaders. Simon’s work explores the intersection of art and civic participation. He is a life member of Theatre Network Australia, an organisation he co-founded then Chaired from 2010-2017. Simon has previously served as Head of Programming at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas and as Executive Producer and Co-CEO at Polyglot Theatre. Simon regularly works as a facilitator, host, peer assessor, mentor, judge and arts consultant, known for his expertise in inclusive leadership, advocacy, dramaturgy, work for children, and art in public space. Simon currently sits on the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Board Programming Committee and is a Trustee for the Betty Amsden Foundation.

Michel Hryce joined Michael Cassel Group as the Director of People and Culture in January 2020, having previously served as In-house Counsel, People and Culture at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position she held since 2012.

Bringing to the role extensive experience in theatre, entertainment and labour relations, Michel served, for eleven years, as National Director of Theatre, Lawyer and NSW Secretary for the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) negotiating collective bargaining agreements on behalf of the union’s members with SBS, the Sydney Opera House, Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and national theatre companies in both the subsidised and commercial sector. Following her time at MEAA, Michel was General Manager, Human Resources and Industrial Relations at the Sydney Ferries Corporation from 2004 until 2009.

Ruth Hazleton is a multi-award-winning performer and recording artist, she has toured nationally and internationally in the folk and roots music sector for over twenty-five years. Throughout this time, she has also gained extensive experience in music, tour and event management (including Sydney Road Street Party, Brunswick Music Festival (VIC) & Across the Borders Agency).

Ruth is a dedicated advocate for Australian independent music and musicians, women in music and culturally and linguistically diverse artforms. She is a passionate supporter of the arts as a core foundation of cultural heritage, identity, and community expression.

Alongside her career in music, Ruth holds a Graduate Diploma in Australian Folklife Studies (Curtin University), and currently works professionally as an independent researcher, author, folklorist and oral historian contracted to the National Library of Australia. She is a mother, a keen gardener, songwriter, plays banjo, sings traditional songs, dabbles in electronica, and was awarded ‘Artist of the Year’ (Solo) at the 2021 Australian Folk Music Awards.

Fiona Donovan completed her first degree in Architecture at Canberra University, before moving to Sydney and taking up a place in the Set and Costume Design Course at NIDA. Since graduating from the NIDA in 1992, Fiona has worked in many genres of film, television and theatre.

Fiona has been nominated four times for the AACTA Award for Best Production Design in Television for her work on the internationally successful period drama, A Place to Call Home. She was first nominated in 2016 for Series 4, Episode 1. In 2017, she was nominated and awarded the AACTA for Series 5, Episode 2. Her third nomination was in 2018 for Series 6, Episode 1, and a fourth nomination in 2019 for Frayed Series 1. Fiona also won the APDG Award for Production Design on a Television Drama for Series 6 of A Place to Call Home in 2019. Fiona has also been nominated for an APDG award in 2023 for The Twelve and 2022 for Frayed Series 2.

Most recently, Fiona was the production designer on the upcoming series Erotic Stories anthology (Lingo Pictures/SBS), prior to this she designed the yet to be released feature Sting directed and written by Kiah Roache-Turner, and the hugely successful Stan feature Christmas Ransom (Stan/Every Cloud). Fiona designed the Logie and AACTA award winning miniseries The Twelve (Warner Bros/Easy Tiger), released in 2022. Fiona worked on both series of Frayed for Merman Productions and Guesswork Television, written by and starring Sarah Kendall. Previously she designed Back to the Rafters for Channel 7 and Amazon Prime and Between Two Worlds for Channel 7, both series were written by Bevan Lee and produced by Chris Martin-Jones and Lesley Parker. Fiona has art directed extensively in both television and film. She has been art director of several high-profile Australian television series, including the police drama Young Lions, the 22-part ABC legal drama Crownies on which she was also the episode designer after the first 4 episodes, and the 1960s period comedy-drama Love Child. She has art directed on international film productions including Truth, The Shallows and Pacific Rim Uprising.

Fiona is currently the vice president of the APDG and is active on both the screen and awards committees, as well as a professional member of AACTA.

Bjorn Stewart is a Sydney-based filmmaker and creator. He has been involved, either performing, writing or directing, in Australian television comedies such as: Summer Love; We Interrupt This Broadcast; Drunk History Australia; Get Krack!n; and Black Comedy to name a few.

Most recently Stewart directed two episodes of the comedy series Gold Diggers for ABC and directed the AACTA award-winning mini-series All My Friends are Racist, which had its international premiere at Series Mania. With films, Stewart wrote and directed the schlock horror comedy Killer Native and directed Last Drinks at Frida’s, both premiering at the Sydney Film Festival and screened at festivals across the globe since. In 2021 he was mentored by and a director’s attachment to Taika Waititi on Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder. On the stage, Stewart has performed in the award-winning play Cursed! at Belvoir Street Theatre and productions such as: Brothers Wreck; Coranderrk; and The Dark Room to name a few.

Working in the Australian entertainment industry over the past 15 years, Stewart understands the demands and execution required within television, screen and stage and hopes to bring that knowledge to advocate for safe workplaces, cultural competency and worker’s rights.