In response to recent developments relating to arts funding in this country, back in June 2016 I decided to temporarily take my entire website down in protest.
The current Australian Government seems to have little or no interest in meaningfully or realistically supporting or sustaining the arts in Australia. While they continue to subsidise mining and fossil fuels, they refuse to understand or acknowledge the importance of arts funding or even the arts themselves. All they seem interested in is making cuts to arts funding budgets.
Art won’t disappear from Australia if the declining trajectory of arts funding continues, but it will become a smaller, less diverse, less widely available aspect of our national culture.
None of the writing on this website would have been possible without the support of the Australian government, both direct and indirect. It is because this country has a history of financially supporting culture and the arts that I was able to even contemplate devoting my time and energy to becoming a writer.
My first poem ever published appeared in a Federally sponsored youth poetry anthology. My first gig as an editor of creative writing was with a youth arts organisation funded by the Australia Council. Without these federally funded opportunities I would probably not have considered pursuing a career as a writer.
Market forces are not enough to sustain a diverse and inclusive artistic culture. Arts funding is crucial to the continued existence of the amazing arts scene that exists in this country. I urge everyone reading this to look closely at the arts funding policies put forward by each of the parties contesting the Federal Election on July 2, and to vote for the party dedicated to supporting and sustaining the vibrant and diverse Australian arts scene.
For more about arts funding in Australia and how you can support it, check out this info on Arts Almanac and please consider signing the petition on #istandwiththearts or this petition on change.org. Or both.