Australian National Cultural Policy submission -19 Feb 2010

AusHeritage submits proposal on the development of an Australian National Cultural Policy to the Minister for the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett, AM MP

The Hon Peter Garrett, AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The consultation phase for formal contributions on the development of a national cultural policy concluded on 15 February, 2010. One hundred and ten formal submissions were received and these can be accessed at:>
See the Library Section of the site which will remain unchanged as archival material for the time being.

AusHeritage’s submission was number 34 in the 110 received and is available here and on the Minister’s website. It was prepared by Deputy Chair Ian Cook ably assisted by Board members Catherine Millikan and Marcelle Scott as well as WA Museum representative Dr Ian McLeod and former Chair Graham Brooks.


The key thrust of AusHeritage’s submission relates to whether it is possible for a national cultural policy to be conceived in isolation from Australia’s larger cultural environment? It argued that the concept of the nation state operating in isolation can hardly be supported in a global world facing the challenges of climate change, food security, health endemics, financial crises and racial and religious conflicts. It suggested that it makes sense for a national cultural policy to be framed ‘globally’, notwithstanding its need to focus ‘locally’ on cultural traditions and cultural futures. Managing this dichotomy was highlighted as a major challenge in drafting a national cultural policy.

The submission also argued that an Australian National Cultural Policy should be holistic and established so that it reflects the complex diversity of Australia’s history and its peoples. To this end the submission proposed that a national cultural policy should reflect the important historical and present role of the sciences and sport in the Australian way of life. The submission recommended that the Government should therefore highlight the need to take the arts, heritage, the sciences and sport into account in framing an Australian policy.

The Minister has thanked contributors for their interest in the National Cultural Policy forum which has created the opportunity for diverse inputs to help shape Australia’s cultural future.

Ian Cook
19 February 2010