On 13 March 2013, at the National Press Club in Canberra, Arts Minister Simon Crean launched Creative Australia, the country’s first comprehensive cultural policy statement since Paul Keating’s Creative Nation almost twenty years earlier. It was soon buried by the incoming Abbott Government. Since then cultural policy, and more specifically arts policy, and its instrument the Australia Council, have been blown back and forth by the winds of change. Where do we stand now?
Throsby argues that Australia’s cultural identity remains a contestable issue. The economic impact of our immigrant population has strengthened visibly and carried our changing culture into distant parts of the world. Artists and performers reflect this in their work. At the same time the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in defining Australia’s cultural identity continues to be of fundamental significance. Questions of who we are as a country and where we are heading remain important matters for public discussion. We don’t need another cultural policy document just yet, he says, but we do need to invigorate the national debate.