Creative State is the first strategy of its kind in Victoria. It represents a new way for the government to understand and support Victoria's creative industries – its people, organisations and ecosystem. As such, implementing this strategy required a new framework – including a new act of Parliament – and new partnerships.
As Creative State is a four-year commitment, some of its actions were designed to be implemented quickly while others will require longer term planning and execution. In many cases, actions rely on partnerships with other organisations.
Representative and peak bodies, such as the Arts Industry Council of Victoria, Game Developers Association of Australia, Regional Arts Victoria and Arts Access Victoria have been, and will continue to be, crucial for advice on the structure or content of programs, or to act as a delivery partner, as will representatives from Victoria's Aboriginal creative community. For design-related work, the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, the Design Institute of Australia and the Australian Graphic Designers Association have important roles. For initiatives in regional areas, the establishment of co-working spaces, public events and programming and community participation active involvement from local governments is critical.
Other groups in the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, such as Regional Development Victoria, Investment and Economic Projects, Trade Victoria and Sector Development and Programs have also offered support that is complementary to actions in this strategy.
Find out how Actions 35-40 have helped to pave the way forward and will continue to ensure that Creative State is implemented in the most effective way:
With the Minister for Creative Industries as Chair, the Creative State Advisory Board has been established to advise on the implementation of strategic projects.
The Creative State Advisory Board (CSAB) was established in April 2016 to take a leading role in the rollout of Creative State and ensure that the sector has a strong voice in the implementation of the actions.
The board is chaired by the Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley, with the following members:
- Nicole Beyer – Director, Theatre Network Australia
- Karla Burt – Screen producer, Head of Unscripted, Princess Pictures
- Richard Frankland – Film maker, artist, Head of Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, VCA
- Ella Hooper – Singer-songwriter, radio presenter, TV personality
- Graeme Lewsey – CEO, Melbourne Fashion Festival
- Alice Nash – Executive Producer and Co-CEO, Back to Back Theatre
- Tony Reed – CEO, Game Developers' Association of Australia
- Katrina Sedgwick – Director/CEO, Australian Centre for the Moving Image
- Melis Senova – Founder and Managing Director, Huddle Design
- Kate Torney – Chief Executive, State Library of Victoria
- Peter Tullin – Cultural entrepreneur and co-founder of CultureLabel.com
- Marcus Westbury – Broadcaster, writer, media-maker, festival director and CEO, Collingwood Arts Precinct
Film director, producer and screenwriter Robert Connolly made an important contribution as an inaugural member of the board but stepped down in early 2017 due to work commitments overseas. Karla Burt joined in June 2017.
CSAB has met quarterly since it was established and individual members continue to commit time and provide expertise outside of the formal meetings.
Recognising that there are many areas of common interest under Creative State, the government, through Creative Victoria, will enter into a formal memorandum of understanding with the City of Melbourne to ensure that actions are implemented collaboratively for greatest impact.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Creative Victoria and the City of Melbourne in May 2016. This aims to strengthen the liveability and reputation of Melbourne through its creative industries and community.
In the first year of the agreement, collaboration has focused on four broad areas:
- Infrastructure and Precincts – including state-owned agencies and assets such as the Meat Market and Federation Bells, the Melbourne Arts Precinct, and the Creative Spaces program
- Programming and Events – including key events such as Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, City of Melbourne-produced arts festivals such as Dance Massive, Arts House developmental programming and the new Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival
- Industry Development – including international profile, trade and engagement, through initiatives such as the UNESCO City of Literature Office, and annual and multi-year arts funding programs
- Research, Policy and Strategic Initiatives – including City of Melbourne Arts Strategy 2014-2017, City of Melbourne Music Strategy 2014-2017, and Creative State.
As part of the agreement, key representatives from the City of Melbourne and Creative Victoria meet formally twice a year to track progress and plan for the future.
Creative Victoria will establish and resource a formal partnership with the Municipal Association of Victoria to work with local councils across the state on the growth of creative industries organisations and activities, ensuring that actions are aligned with local priorities and increase the impact of the creative industries at a local level.
A partnership agreement between Creative Victoria and the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) was signed in September 2016. As part of this agreement, Creative Victoria provided funding to MAV for an initial four-year period to create a new Arts and Cultural Policy Adviser role to work with councils across Victoria.
This role works to ensure that arts and cultural activity is at the forefront of planning at a local government level and is also charged with working with councils and Creative Victoria to ensure that Creative State actions are implemented in the most effective way across the local government network. MAV's first Arts and Cultural Policy Adviser commenced in September 2016.
The key focus in 2017 was to establish an annual plan covering advocacy, capacity building, promotion of local government, supporting leadership and networking.
Working groups have also been established to advance sector issues relating to Aboriginal careers development, live music and council cultural assets.
The Victorian Government will continue to advocate for Victorian creative talent to be properly supported at the Commonwealth policy and program level. Victoria will monitor policy and regulation at the Commonwealth level that has a negative impact on the performance and growth of the creative industries. Identified areas for advocacy include tax treatment of new financing models, funding for small and medium arts and cultural organisations, screen production offsets and the rollout and performance of the National Broadband Network.
The Victorian Government has continued to draw attention to national issues that impact Victoria's creative sector, these include:
- Changes to the Commonwealth's VET Student Loans scheme which meant that many creative industries courses across the nation were no longer eligible for Commonwealth support. Victoria raised this issue at the 2016 Meeting of Cultural Ministers, held in Fremantle. Following this meeting the Commonwealth Minister used his powers under the legislation to reinstate support for several creative industries courses delivered in Victoria including dance, professional writing and editing, screenwriting and jewellery design.
- The National Opera Review in 2016 which has resulted in the proposed elevation of Victorian Opera to the status of a Major Performing Arts company with additional Commonwealth funding of $340,000 per annum.
- The Victorian Government's submission to the Australian Government Inquiry into the Australian Film and Television Industry. You can view the submission here.
- Film Victoria's submission to the Australian Government's Australian and Children's Screen Content review.
- Film Victoria's submission to the Commonwealth Senate Inquiry into Australian Content on Broadcast, Radio and Streaming Services.
- Preparation of a whole-of-Victorian Government submission to the Commonwealth House of Representatives Standing Committee in Indigenous Affairs on the proliferation of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait 'style' art.
The Victorian Minister for Creative Industries was also vocal in his opposition to the Australian Government's funding cuts to the arts and screen sectors and changes to Australia Council funding, including formally conveying the Victorian Government's concerns and the detrimental impact of the changes to the Federal Minister.
In 2016, the Minister for Creative Industries will introduce new laws to repeal the Arts Victoria Act and to update the government's legislative recognition of the status and operation of Creative Victoria, its lead agency for the creative industries.
The Creative Victoria Act was passed in the Victorian Parliament in May 2017 and came into operation on July 1 2017. It expresses the Victorian Government's vision and support for the arts and creative industries and commitment to their ongoing development.
The Act recognises that:
- The arts have an intrinsic value that contributes to the cultural depth, diversity and life of Victoria
- The arts and creative industries contribute significantly to Victoria's wealth and prosperity
- The arts and creative industries are means to improve the quality of life for all individuals in Victoria and improve the community of Victoria as a whole
- All individuals in Victoria are equally entitled to access opportunities and participate in, and contribute, to the arts and creative industries in Victoria
- All individuals should be free to express their ideas and opinions through the arts and creative industries.
It explicitly recognises the contribution and importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultural practice, and includes a specific objective to support and promote it.
The Act also acknowledges the economic value of the creative industries, which contribute $23 billion a year to the state and provide around 220,000 jobs.
The principles expressed in the Creative Victoria Act 2017 draw on and represent the key values that emerged during the consultation process for the Creative State strategy.
The Act requires that a new creative industries strategy be developed every four years.
A project to develop a clear, rigorous and replicable methodology for determining the economic, social and cultural value of the creative industries. The project will provide a basis for understanding the extent of the sector's impact, for measuring growth and quantifying the benefits, which can be applied at state or local level.
While it is clear that there are positive economic, social and cultural impacts from the creative industries, there is no agreed approach to measuring them. Valuation methodologies have been developed to measure the economic, social and cultural benefits of other industries such as science, healthcare, planning and tourism, and these may provide insight for the creative industries.
The Creative Impact Research project will develop a set of key measures which will:
- enable the tracking of economic, social and cultural impact over time
- contribute to high-level, publicly reportable progress against government initiatives
- provide a framework to assess the value of new proposals and programs.
Work is underway to develop the framework which will provide an engaging and credible indication of the impact of the creative industries in Victoria. It will help Creative Victoria demonstrate the effectiveness and value of programs that support the creative industries and assist with sector advocacy.