Craft Australia has actively and successfully advocated on issues of relevance. The General Manager gives an overview of the advocacy undertaken in 2008 by Craft Australia for the growth and sustainability of the sector.
This year has been an important year of consolidation for Craft Australia. 2008 marks the fourth full year of the organisation's operation since relocating to Canberra. We have established solid foundations with new modes of program delivery and we have embraced the changes that have marked the growth of the Australian craft and design industry. With support from national stakeholders, Craft Australia has actively advocated on issues of relevance. This is an overview of the advocacy undertaken by Craft Australia for the growth and sustainability of the sector.
With the Labor Government elected in late 2007, this year has been one of much political change and realignment. To this end Craft Australia has focused on ensuring the issues of the craft and design sector are understood and supported by government. We continue to be active in the following areas.
Craft Australia worked closely with the network of Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDC) the board of Directors and key stakeholders to develop a submission in response to the Review of the National Innovation System chaired by Dr Terry Cutler.
What will all this mean for artists? Well early days to be sure, however, the potential to facilitate the engagement of craft designers within industry and to increase the financial support to makers who are working in this field are key goals.
Craft Australia has been working closely with the Australia Council for the Arts in the area of innovation and design. The conversations have predominantly been to increase support for the hybrid nature of craft practice. Increasingly we see the influence of design and new technologies resulting in new modes of conception, manufacture and distribution of craft production. The outcome of this change has an impact on how craft and design is supported. To this end the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council will hold a sector round table discussion on design. The aim of the roundtable is to identify new trends and provide relevant support for industry.
In 2007 the General Manger was elected to the board of the Council of the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), and held the position of Treasurer. CHASS are a national cross sector lobby group that includes the visual arts. Much of the work is done in response to government inquiries. The involvement with CHASS has been highly beneficial for the sector and has brought the concerns of the industry to the attention of the government.
Craft Australia is the secretariat for the network of Australian Craft and Design Centres (ACDC). See ACDC network
ACDC meet biannually to discuss strategies that are significant to the promotion and presentation of Australian contemporary craft and design. The most recent meeting was in Canberra to meet with representatives from government departments as well as key sector stakeholders.
Discussion centred around design, innovation and science which are key focus areas for Federal government. In light of this the ACDC group is currently considering a number of national policy goals that align sector activities with government areas of focus.
Throughout the year Craft Australia has been active in advocating for artists' rights. In collaboration with NAVA and the National Visual Arts Craft Network (NVACN), the following issues have been highlighted for government attention: Establishing a minimum industry artists' fee. This is now under consideration by the Australia Council for the Arts; resale royalty for artists; changing the sedition laws and participating in the national review of visual education.
Craft Australia has been active in nominating artists and key figures in the craft and design field for national awards that recognise the contribution of the sector to the overall social and cultural fabric. Over the past 4 years Craft Australia has established a strong record of successful nominees.
The need to present Australian contemporary craft and design to international markets has been an important strategy to ensure sustainability for the sector. Craft Australia, in conjunction with the ACDC network and key stakeholders, continue to pursue this strategy as an imperative for the livelihood of artists.