Stimulating innovation and wider creative impact 

Children in costumes throwing paper in the air

Polyglot Theatre and Suitcase Royale Separation Street (2015). Photo: Greta Costello

Creativity is not limited to the creative industries. It has major impact when used in other parts of our economy and society. 

Creative, cultural and artistic experiences and skills have a valuable place in mainstream healthcare to reduce stress, pain and anxiety and to improve community wellbeing. In education, they can deliver better academic results, higher motivation and attendance, and greater resilience.4 

Game technology and ideas, or gamification, has been used in Victoria to deliver novel approaches in police training, to reduce obesity and for injury rehabilitation. Community arts projects have achieved a reduction in recidivism rates of 50 per cent.5 

The application of creative services and cultural experience has enormous potential to deliver wide-reaching social outcomes for Victorians but has suffered from lack of investment and co-ordination. More needs to be done across different social policy areas and with different parts of government to demonstrate impact and encourage investment. 

Creativity is also an under-utilised resource for Victorian businesses. As the basis of innovation, creativity can drive productivity, economic growth and job creation. The more innovative a business, the more likely it is to export, create jobs, train employees and turn a higher profit.6 

Design is one of the tools that help businesses to improve processes, products and services, and to compete internationally. Existing government programs support the design sector and also help to build business capability and increase innovation across different industries. More can be done to promote the benefits of design and expand its application to make Victorian businesses more competitive. 

The government has established Creative Victoria to drive this agenda in a more dedicated and coordinated way. This will see the impact of creativity pushed further. 

The following actions, worth $14.05 million over four years, will broaden the application of creative services, products and content to achieve social and economic benefits. 

New Actions

  1. Social impact projects 
    Cultural and creative services and products deliver a range of social benefits. This action will significantly increase the number of projects that apply the services and expertise of creative industry organisations towards social goals. Projects will be developed in partnership with other areas of government (such as the Departments of Health and Human Services, Premier and Cabinet, and Justice and Regulation), social delivery NGOs, and philanthropic organisations. Initial projects include:

    • Creativity and mental health
      A project that utilises the benefits of participation in creative arts production on the health and wellbeing of people with a serious mental illness. Involving writers, directors and actors, the project will be delivered through a partnership between Prahran Mission and the University of Melbourne. 
    • Music and at-risk youth
      A project that will engage at-risk CALD young people, harnessing the power of music to give voice to the issues that impact them. Utilising eminent artists, the project will be delivered in partnership with Mushroom Group and community organisations.
  2. Government and community design capability
    A new program to support government, not-for-profit and community organisations to make service improvements and increase innovation and efficiency using design.
  3. Creative education
    Creative Victoria will work with the Department of Education and Training to develop stronger creative and artistic capability in children and young people by helping schools embed arts and other creative programs in the curriculum. Consistent with the government's Education State policy, this collaborative approach will contribute to better student experience and outcomes.
  4. Career pathways
    Creative Victoria will work with the Department of Education and Training, training institutions and potential employers to pave clearer pathways to creative careers and ensure the best industry-relevant information is readily available to students.
  5. Victoria – design leader
    Reflecting the wide economic impact of design, this new package of actions will reshape and increase capability within and outside the design sector building on our strengths in this field:

    • Business design capability
      New funding and refocusing for the Design to Business program to build business and organisational capability, making Victorian businesses better users of design and, therefore, more innovative, productive and internationally competitive. 
    • Design leadership and events
      A coordinated approach to strengthening Victoria's global design reputation through delivery of, and participation in, significant local and international public and trade events. A re-vamped public design program in Melbourne will anchor the strategy. The Premier's Design Awards will run in parallel as a signature event. 
    • MPavilion
      New funding to support the annual design and architecture installation. MPavilion, an initiative of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, delivered in partnership with the City of Melbourne and the design sector, includes a public program of talks, seminars, exhibitions, workshops and other activities to promote the benefits of design. 
    • Creative design and planning
      Creative Victoria will work with the Victorian Government Architect and relevant government departments on a set of guidelines to assist state and local governments, developers, arts organisations and community groups to apply sound architectural and design principles. This work will contribute to the improvement of streetscapes, renewal of public, community and internal spaces and a stronger commitment to the integration of art into new developments.

4 Boston Consulting Group, Victoria's Creative and Cultural Economy, 2015, slides 37-49; Caldwell and Vaughan, Bridging the Gap in School Achievement through the Arts, 2011; R. Ewing, The arts and Australian education: realising potential, Australian Education Review, 2010. 

5 The Torch Project's Confined program saw rates of recidivism among Aboriginal offenders reduce by 50 per cent., June 2015. 

6 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2010-11.