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What do the arts mean to a TV chef or a professional footballer? Do they engage with art the same as a retired nurse or a bowls club greenkeeper? How do the arts make you? Australians are about to find out.

The What makes me website (, launched today by the Australia Council for the Arts, invites all Australians to share their own stories about what the arts add to their everyday lives.

The website introduces the personal stories of twelve ordinary and extraordinary Australians and the difference art makes to them. The subjects of these intriguing films range from famous names like Lote Tuquiri, Kylie Kwong and Mick Mundine through to office workers, amateur burlesque performers and stay at home parents.

From poetry to circus to classic rock, each of these very different Australians relate deeply personal opinions about how the arts make them feel and think and wonder.

Visitors to What makes me are invited to share their own stories by marking the sides of a virtual cube with their favourite arts experiences. As everyone’s art cubes are combined, the Australia Council is hoping to build Australia’s largest collaborative digital art work – a mosaic of cubes to celebrate Australia’s collective appreciation of arts and artists.

Visitors can make their cube by drawing on photos, music and videos from YouTube, Google Images, Google book, Soundcloud and Flickr.

‘Many Australians don’t necessarily identify with the arts and see how creativity and the arts impact their daily lives,’ said Sandra Bender, Executive Director of Arts Development at the Australia Council. ‘What makes me communicates the message that art is all around us and comes in many forms whether it is school bands, amateur comedy and circus, or classical music and oil painting.’

‘By sharing stories, all of us can better understand the many different ways in which people can and do engage with the arts. What makes me wants to reach Australians who rarely have a voice in the art world and to identify the contribution of the arts to our society and individual lives’.

Recent Australia Council research, More than bums on seats: Australian participation in the arts, revealed that more than nine out of ten Australians had engaged in at least one artform over the last year – and that the internet is an increasingly popular tool for people wanting information about the arts or creatively participating in them.

The What makes me site will also be available to mobile phone platforms and incorporate an iPhone app. Users will also be able to add their cube to their Facebook page or other personal website.

‘Visitors can mix and match and create as many cubes as they like,’ said Sandra Bender. ‘The twelve films now on the site communicate that art is all around us in many forms and encourages visitors to ponder what sort of art makes their day.’

Australians featured in the What makes me films:

  • Snowy: greenkeeper, gardener, handyman, and keen bowler
  • Lote Tuqiri: dual international professional footballer
  • Kylie Kwong: prominent TV cook, author and restaurateur
  • Mick Mundine: CEO of the Redfern Aboriginal Housing Company
  • Jenny: retired nursing matron who lives next door to a circus
  • Bernie Hobbs: judge on ABC TV’s The New Inventors and radio presenter
  • Harvey: mayor of a seaside community
  • Gillian: a mum to two boys living in rural Australia
  • Dahlia: amateur burlesque performer
  • Sam: a stay at home dad with an extraordinary film watching habit
  • Digby: an office boy by day and b-boy by night.
  • Cleo: a regular teenager who loves dancing, Facebook …and a special book

The What makes me campaign and site has been created by Wanted Digital for the Australia Council.

Media enquiries:

Victoria McClelland Fletcher – 02 9215 9008



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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