1. What are the creative industries?

The creative industries are a broad, interconnected field, spanning arts, culture, screen and design.

These activities encompass disciplines as diverse as game development and graphic design, fashion and filmmaking, performing arts and publishing, architecture and advertising, media and music, comedy and craft. They include activities that are commercially driven and community-based, experimental and export ready.

2. Why are the creative industries important?

The creative industries are an essential part of what differentiates Victoria from other places. They have a role to play across virtually every area of society – from education and health, to justice, innovation, business and community development. The importance  of the creative  industries lies in their contribution to the cultural, social and economic fabric of the state.

The cultural and creative economy is already a significant proportion of the state's economy –  contributing $23 billion per annum and employing 220,000 people.  It is growing at twice the average rate of the rest of the economy.

3. What is the creative industries strategy?

Creative State is the Victorian Government's strategy to grow Victoria's creative and cultural industries, and guide its investment in the creative industries sector over at least the next four years.

The strategy includes 40 actions (new programs, activities and initiatives) that will benefit creative industries organisations and people who work in creative occupations, as well as audiences and the broader community.  There are also actions to support collaboration between people in the creative industries and organisations that apply or buy creative services, such as design.

The actions of the strategy are funded at more than $115 million over four years and began rolling out in July 2016.

4. What will be the benefits of the Victorian Government's investment in the strategy?

The government has an important role in creating the best conditions for creative practitioners to produce work, start and grow a business and to reach the widest possible audiences and markets.

A successful creative industries strategy will benefit all Victorians, whether or not they work or participate in the creative industries.

Victoria's creative economy is worth $23 billion, employs 220,000 people and is growing at twice the average rate of the rest of the economy. Having vibrant creative industries and culturally-rich cities and regions attracts investment, generates export earnings and helps to create the skills that Victorians will need in the future.

Artists and creative practitioners will have access to a broader range of programs to support career development and career defining projects, as well as more options for collaboration with others in new or expanded co-working spaces.

A wide variety of businesses will see benefits through development of business skills, enhanced tourism and more assistance in reaching new markets and audiences.  New actions in design will help to improve business understanding and application of design in order to drive innovation and business growth.

There will also be benefits for Victoria's wide variety of communities – who will live in more vibrant, healthier and more cohesive towns and cities.

Visit the 'Quick Guides' section of this website for a summary of the strategy, and an explanation of benefits for specific creative industries sectors including design, fashion and screen and for further information about social and regional impacts.

5. What will the creative industries strategy do?

Creative State is a strong and co-ordinated commitment to grow the state's $23 billion creative and cultural economy and its status as Australia's creative state.  Based on a state-wide approach it will:

  • bring a coherent, whole-of-Victorian Government perspective to the creative industries;
  • contribute to the Victorian Government's overarching economic objective to create a productive, competitive and sustainable Victorian economy by:
    • accelerating creative industries business development and export and job growth; and
    • stimulating innovation and investment beyond the creative industries, to improve productivity and economic performance.
  • reinforce Victoria and Melbourne's brand and position as a significant international destination for culture, investment and talent;
  • enable other areas of government to use creative services to improve outcomes in areas such as education, health, regional development and justice;
  • lower barriers to engagement with arts, culture and creativity and increase social cohesion.

6. How much new funding will the strategy provide for the Creative Industries?

Creative State delivers more than $115 million over the next four years for 40 new actions across five action areas.  This is the largest government investment (aside from major infrastructure) in the creativity of Victoria.

7. What are the flagship initiatives? 

Creative State takes a state-wide, cross sector and whole of ecosystem approach to investing in Victoria's creative industries.  As such, many of the new actions aim to strengthen the creative and cultural industries as a whole.

Under the five actions areas there are significant new actions to assist artistic career development, to initiate the production of major new work, to increase entrepreneurship and business skills and to increase international engagement and impact.  Major actions include:

  • Backing creative talent ($6.35 million over four years)Creating more opportunities to produce and present great work ·
    • a major investment in  Aboriginal arts and culture, to be delivered in partnership with Aboriginal business and community groups (Action 1).
    • assistance to artists for the production of significant works as well as career advancement (Actions 2 and 3).
  • Strengthening the creative industries ecosystem ($57.35 million over four years)Building capability and conditions for growth 
    • access for creative industries to business acceleration services to stimulate entrepreneurship and develop a stronger capacity to commercialise ideas and capture economic returns (Action 6).
    • support for screen industry business development, production activity and events (Actions 13 and 14).
  • Delivering wider economic and social impact ($14.05 million over four years)Stimulating innovation and wider creative impact 
    • a major investment in design to support design businesses and broaden the impact of design (Action 19).
    • a pioneering cultural solutions program to extend the role of creative services in securing social benefits, in partnership with government and community organisations (Action 15).
  • Increasing participation and access ($32.15 million over four years) Engaging more Victorians in cultural and creative endeavour 
    • place-based actions, in partnership with suburban and regional councils, to establish spaces for creative enterprises and collaboration, and stronger cultural engagement with communities (Actions 7, 21 and 37).
    • specific actions in regional centres, including Bendigo, Ballarat, Latrobe Valley and Shepparton to enhance creative experiences and infrastructure (Actions 9 and 22 to 26).
    • actions to achieve greater diversity in employment, programming and participation in the creative industries (Action 20).
  • Building international engagement ($5.05 million over four years)Extending Victoria's impact and profile for global audiences, visitors and markets ··
    • a stronger commitment to creative industries touring, collaboration with overseas partners to grow our international impact and trade (Actions 30 to 34).
    • a major initiative to determine how Melbourne can become a world-renowned cultural tourism destination, based on having the right mix of cultural infrastructure, organisations, programming and investment (Action 29).

8. Will all of the actions in the strategy be funded?

The Victorian Government is investing more than $115 million to grow Victoria's creative industries over the next four years. All actions in the strategy will be implemented under the leadership of Creative Victoria as part of that investment.

9. When will the strategy be implemented?

The government began implementing the strategy in early 2016. Funding delivered through the State Budget was available from July 2016. The actions vary significantly in type and scale, and therefore vary in the time they will take to implement.  Some of them require industry consultation and partnership to ensure that they are designed and delivered most effectively.

Implementation of some actions will be guided by the Creative State Advisory Board, chaired by the Minister for Creative Industries.

Creative Victoria will publicly report on the progress of implementation of all actions in the strategy.

10. How will the actions in the creative industries strategy support the sector?

Bringing the cultural and creative industries together under one portfolio whelps ensure that their overall impact is greater than the sum of the parts. The Creative State initiatives are designed to improve the overall conditions for growth rather than separately focus on individual sectors.  That is because they all share parts of the same ecosystem, which provide skills and training, personal and professional development, financial and promotional support and opportunities for collaboration.

More importantly, creative practice is increasingly taking place across previously considered distinct areas of cultural and creative activity. Our policy framework and actions catch up with this reality by addressing five action areas:

  1. Backing creative talent: creating more opportunities to produce and present great work
  2. Strengthening the creative industries ecosystem: building capability and conditions for growth
  3. Delivering wider economic and social impacts: stimulating innovation and wider creative impact
  4. Increasing participation and access: engaging more Victorians in cultural and creative endeavour
  5. Building international engagement: extending Victoria's impact and profile for global audiences, visitors and markets.

Visit the 'Quick Guides' section of this website for a summary of the strategy, and an explanation of benefits for specific creative industries sectors including design, fashion and screen and for further information about social and regional impacts.

11. What's in this for smaller creative organisations, businesses and individual practitioners?

The government recognises that the small to medium sector is the backbone of the creative industries.

We know that smaller organisations have trouble accessing cost-effective spaces for the development of work, for performance or rehearsals, or to run a sustainable commercial operation.  We know that smaller organisations often have trouble accessing the skills they need, raising finance or reaching into international markets.

The strategy takes a cross sector, whole of ecosystem approach to supporting the creative industries. It includes actions to enable more collaboration, business acceleration, greater resource and skills sharing, assistance with promotion and marketing and support to develop international markets and present work abroad.

Visit the 'Quick Guides' section of this website for a summary of the strategy, and an explanation of benefits for specific creative industries sectors including design, fashion and screen and for further information about social and regional impacts.

12. How will the strategy address needs across the state?

The title of the strategy is Creative State.  It recognises the important role of the creative industries in regional development, and creating vibrant communities in outer-metropolitan Melbourne.

As such, the vast majority of its actions have state-wide application, including through partnerships with local government. There are also actions that are specific to regional Victoria and outer-metropolitan Melbourne, such as the Creative Suburbs program, the first Regional Centre for Culture program, a regional White Night, enhancement of Bendigo as a regional focus for arts and design, and significant new cultural infrastructure in Ballarat, Shepparton and Traralgon.

Visit the 'Quick Guides' section of this website for a summary of benefits for regional Victoria and outer metropolitan Melbourne.

13. What are the actions that will support Aboriginal creative practitioners?

Creative State recognises the richness of the Aboriginal contribution to Victoria's cultural and creative landscape and the importance of building on that contribution.

The strategy provides funding for an action plan that will support Victorian Aboriginal artists and creative practitioners to excel, open up pathways to work in the creative industries and increase engagement with Aboriginal art and culture.  The action plan is being developed with the guidance of Aboriginal creative practitioners and cultural organisations.

The strategy also contains actions to ensure that all Creative Victoria funded organisations have appropriate access, diversity and inclusion plans, as well as the requisite training to improve workforce diversity and engender greater diversity in programming and participation.

Visit the 'Quick Guides' section of this website for a summary of benefits for Aboriginal and other creative practitioners.

14. How was the strategy developed? 

Creative State is informed by the experience and expertise of Victoria's creative industries. It draws on an extensive consultation process and a Taskforce report. The Taskforce, chaired by Louise Adler AM, comprised senior industry leaders and was supported by an Expert Reference Group.

The consultation process included publication of a discussion paper and more than 20 industry-specific workshops, an online forum and public (CBD, outer-metropolitan and regional) workshops. Over 10,000 people contributed to this consultation process, including peak bodies, as well as individual practitioners, businesses and Victorian cultural institutions (large and small). Download a copy of the Consultation Summary Report.

Based on the feedback from the consultation process, the Taskforce produced a report with recommended initiatives for the Government. Creative State broadly aligns with the Taskforce's findings and recommendations.

15. How does the strategy fit with the government's Jobs Package? 

Victoria's creative industries are a key driver of employment and innovation-led growth. They are integral to the Victorian economy's continuing transition to higher value services and products, and they create jobs that are more resilient to offshoring and automation.

The strategy aims to maximise the value of Victoria's creative industries in the face of intensifying competition for markets, talent and investment. In doing so, Creative State seeks to make Victoria an international centre for creative services, cultural tourism and trade.

The Jobs Package includes more than $115 million over four years to support some of the actions of Creative State.

16. How will you know that the strategy has been successful?

We will measure and track the growth of Victoria's creative industries and the contribution they make.  Recognising that not all of this can currently be tracked reliably or regularly, the strategy commits to developing new models for measurement of social, economic and cultural value.  In the interim, Creative State sets out how the success of individual actions will be measured. These measures include:

  • Increased economic output – such as export, trade - and employment in the creative industries
  • Accelerated development of creative industries businesses and organisations
  • Expanded application of creative services, products and content
  • Increased participation and diversity in the creative industries
  • Enhanced international reputation of Victoria's creative industries and Victoria as a global cultural destination.

17. What does the Creative State Advisory Board do ?

The Creative State Advisory Board is working with Creative Victoria and provide advice on the implementation of actions contained within Creative State. It also provides advice on the further investigation and development of key actions in Creative State.

18. Who are the members of the Creative State Advisory Board

The advisory board is chaired by the Minister for Creative Industries and comprises a cross-section of creative industry representatives:

  • Alice Nash: Executive Producer, Back to Back Theatre
  • Ella Hooper: Singer-songwriter, radio presenter, TV personality
  • Graeme Lewsey: CEO, Melbourne Fashion Festival
  • Kate Torney: CEO, State Library of Victoria
  • Katrina Sedgwick: Director and CEO, Australian Centre for the Moving Image
  • Marcus Westbury: CEO, Collingwood Arts Precinct
  • Melis Senova: Founder and MD Huddle Design
  • Nicole Beyer:  Director, Theatre Network Australia
  • Peter Tullin: Co-founder, REMIX Summits/culturelabel
  • Richard Frankland: Head of Wilin Centre, VCA, Film/TV director and producer
  • Robert Connolly: Film/TV director, producer, screenwriter
  • Tony Reed: CEO, Game Developers Association of Australia

19. How was the Creative State Advisory Board selected? How long is the term of the current board? 

The Advisory Board represents a broad cross section of the creative industries. It is chaired by the Minister for the Creative Industries. The members' terms are three years.

20. How do I find out more about Creative State?

This website provides an overview of the strategy including 'Quick Guides' that detail what the strategy means for particular groups of interest.

If you are currently a recipient of Creative Victoria funding, and you want to discuss an initiative or action of Creative State, contact your Creative Victoria client manager or you can contact us on 03 8683 3100 (1800 134 894 – free call for regional Victoria only) or strategy@creative.vic.gov.au

Otherwise, keep in touch with the strategy's progress by subscribing to our enews.