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The National Cultural Policy launched today!

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

It’s a day to celebrate. Prime Minister Albanese has launched the Federal Government’s new National Cultural Policy this morning. The Policy is a five-year plan to revise Australia's arts, entertainment and cultural sector. The Policy, called ‘Revive’, aims to put measures in place to not only value, but to prioritise First Nations work in the arts sector.

One of the five pillars that make up the new policy is First Nations First, which places importance on recognising and respecting that First Nations stories belong at the centre of Australian arts and culture.

Central to the policy is the establishment of Creative Australia, a body that will oversee the implementation of the Policy. A new Indigenous-led Board within Creative Australia will give First Nations people self-determination at higher levels in the sector. They will lead in decision-making regarding the use and sharing of Indigenous knowledge, histories and culture and they will strengthen the opportunities for Indigenous creative workers.

In launching the policy, The Government commits to introducing stand-alone legislation to protect First Nations knowledge and cultural expression, including to address the harm caused by fake art. It is over 23 years since the Our Culture Our Future report recommended stand alone laws, so this is a welcome feature of the policy.

Protocols will also be an important consideration in the development of these First Nations laws. The Australia Council for the Arts has already a track record of using Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) protocols. First published in 2002 and revised in 2007 and 2019, Solicitor Director Dr Terri Janke developed the Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts based on the True Tracks ICIP Protocols. It will be great to see the new Cultural Policy build from these protocols and be implemented as a nation-wide effort to improve and expand the capacity for First Nations opportunities, self-determination and the protection of ICIP.

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