Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$37.5 million in Indigenous arts and cultural support

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Peter Garrett MP, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Arts Minister, Peter Garrett and Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin today announced more than $37 million in funding for Indigenous arts, cultural, languages and broadcasting programs across Australia in 2008-09.

Visiting the Kurruru Youth Performing Arts Centre in Port Adelaide Mr Garrett said the funding, through four Government programs, would support the activities of almost 250 organisations providing invaluable support, services and programs to Indigenous Australians.

“It is a real pleasure to announce more than $37 million in funds at Kurruru, who themselves will receive more than $105,000 under the Indigenous Culture support program, and meet with and experience the work of these young dance students.

“All Australians will enjoy the cultural benefits which will flow from the projects that receive these funds; the dance, festivals, music, television and radio productions, the art and crafts, and the revival and strengthening of our Indigenous languages.

“For many Indigenous communities, these arts, broadcasting, language and cultural activities are their lifeblood, generating economic benefits, showcasing the skills of Indigenous artists and performers, and keeping communities connected.”

Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin said community art centres held a special place in communities, not only as a meeting place but as a valuable source of income and employment for the residents.

“The funding being announced today will ensure community arts centres continue to play that important role.

“In the same way, the $14 million we’re announcing for the Indigenous Broadcasting Program recognises how essential these services are in helping people stay connected with their families, culture and communities as well as providing security for people living in remote communities.”

The Australian Government arts and cultural funding of $37.5 million in 2008-09 supports the following programs, the:

  • Indigenous Broadcasting Program – $14 million to support Indigenous community broadcasters and the production of radio programs in remote, regional and urban areas, and the operation of Indigenous media peak bodies and Central Australia’s Imparja Television service.
  • Indigenous Culture Support – $6.7 million to support 132 cultural projects including: the transmission of knowledge and skills across generations through multimedia workshops, music, dance and theatre, community festivals, and exhibitions of community-based art and craft activity.
  • Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records Program – $8.8 million to support 66 projects to strengthen and record Indigenous languages through the operation of language centres, multimedia workshops, the production of dictionaries, databases, websites, DVDs and recordings in communities. Many of the funded projects are contributing to the survival of languages by recording and documenting the last remaining speakers of a language.
  • National Arts and Crafts Industry Support – $8 million to build a more sustainable Indigenous visual arts industry through investment in Indigenous art centres and arts support organisations. The program supports professional art practice, community art activities, business management and governance, and employment and training at the community level.

For full details on the projects funded across Australia visit Arts and Culture: Indigenous (