The Australia Council for the Arts has today welcomed the launch of the National Cultural Policy and response to the recommendations of the Australia Council review.

The arts sector is, “growing almost double the rate of other sectors in the economy,” Mr Crean said at the launch. “This is where the jobs are because it’s where economies and societies are demanding not just this for entertainment, but for development, for expression and for innovation and for new applications.”

Aboriginal art related funding is to include $9.3 million earmarked to go to six major performing arts companies including the Bangarra Dance Company, and a further $14 million going to develop community-driven Aboriginal language resources and activities.

“This is the significance of cultural policy. It crosses so many other areas. It’s the closing the gap, it’s the social inclusion, it’s the innovation, it’s education, but how do you respect a culture and how do you express it unless you invest in its language?” Mr Crean said.

Rupert Myer AM, Chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, said, ˜Creative Australia embodies the principle that the arts are for everyone, and experienced in many ways in every community “ from Indigenous arts and cultures across the country, to opera on the harbour, blockbuster exhibitions in our galleries, and local performing arts centres’.

˜This is an opportunity to ensure artists and Australian creativity are recognised, valued and celebrated for the immense contribution they make to our nation and society. It is an historic juncture to be seized “ where digital technology and the global creative community and market place are expanding artistic horizons beyond anything we have seen in the past.

Creative Australia includes the Government’s response to the review of the Australia Council. Initiated in 2011, the review affirmed the inaugural Chair Mr. H.C ˜Nugget’ Coombs’ original vision for the Australia Council as relevant today, but recommended that the Council’s enabling legislation and governance be updated to reflect the Council’s place in 21st century Australia.

Other recommendations include the establishment of a traineeship program similar to AFL SportsReady to be called ArtsReady to encourage young Australians in gaining traineeships in the arts, and a $75.3 million increase in funding to the Australia Council over four years. This additional funding will enable it to support more artists who have achieved excellence in practice.

The Australia Council receives applications from more high-quality artists today than ever before, some of them working in ways not imagined 10 years ago. This increased funding is welcomed as it represents, ‘a significant further investment in artistic excellence of this kind,’ Mr Myer said.