A key outcome of the Arts Front Rights Symposium was the decision to develop a rights-based Australian Cultural Compact. The Compact will set out shared principles and agreed actions for the whole sector to re-invent culture and the arts in Australia by 2030.
This Australian Cultural Compact Working Group is building on the work done so far, developing a draft that can be shared with the sector and broader community for feedback and input. The finished Australian Cultural Compact will be launched at next year's Arts Front 2030 gathering.
Building on the work initiated at the Arts Front Rights Symposium, Working Groups are being established to play key roles in the lead up to Arts Front 2030:
- contribute to the development of the Australian Compact and Action Plans.
- nominate representative delegates to Arts Front 2030
- help shape and organise the Arts Front 2030
As with everything at Arts Front, this work needs to balance focused advocacy with opportunities to express and navigate the intersectional and interconnected realities of our lives and work. Whilst Working Groups may focus on a particular topic or part of the sector, people can contribute to as many groups as they like to ensure there is connectedness in the evolving Compact. There is also a working group that will lead the drafting of the Compact as a whole, pulling together the output of the working groups into a larger intersectional rights framework. People are also welcome to nominate to be part of that group.
The new working groups will operate primarily online, although there may be opportunities to organise face-to-face gatherings in conjunction with other sector events and gatherings. At a minimum, Arts Front will support quarterly Zoom / Google Hangouts for each of the groups and provide an online home for our work together.
Australian Cultural Compact – 2030 – Draft prologue
The Australian Cultural Compact sets out shared principles and agreed actions to re-imagine culture and the arts in Australia by 2030.
For Australia to fulfil its potential as a nation culture and arts needs to move in from the margins to take on leadership roles. Under the Compact artists and cultural leaders agree to strengthen relationships and build true solidarity. It calls on artists and cultural leaders to stand together, take ownership and responsibility for the future of the arts and the country, and lead change through our day to day actions.
The Compact is a response to the national policy void and the failure of our political and legal systems, our corporations and institutions to provide leadership and create the society in which we want to live. It aims to provide the cultural and arts sectors with a shared framework to connect and coordinate in addressing national watershed issues through collective action (treaty with First Nations, climate change, asylum seekers, inclusion, equality, diversity, etc).
The Compact represents a radical repositioning of culture and the arts in Australia. It rejects the marginal status of culture and the arts, reimagining it at the centre of everything we do as individuals, as communities and as a country. The Compact rejects the predominantly economic criteria for measuring the value of culture and arts. It seeks to reclaim culture and arts as fundamental to part of how we live our lives, adopting the definitions and understanding of culture and the arts demonstrated by Australia’s First Nations cultures.
The Compact actively applies the principles and values of First Nations culture and arts and the critical roles it plays in providing the foundation for everything we do. It acknowledges the leadership, strength and resilience that First People provide and draws on the wisdom, experiences, insights and values coming from the world’s longest continuous cultures. Through the leadership of Australia’s First Peoples, the Compact aims to help the arts sector gain a richer and deeper understanding and connection to the concepts of country that you live and work on and your place within that country.
The Compact is a rejection of partisan politics and political ideologies in favour of a commitment to fundamental shared values derived from and underpinned by the international conventions and rights agreements that benchmark our expectations of humanity. This starts with the Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression and expands to include a host of agreements and conventions (both ratified and emerging?) relating to women, children and young people