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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 September 2017) . . Page.. 4110 ..

One outcome has been to make a separate allocation of project funding specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, on top of the $750,000 now available each year for arts project grants. There is currently $200,000 in this fund, and artsACT is working alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to determine how best to allocate the money.

There has also been a deep and considered engagement period throughout 2016-17 between artsACT and the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to foster networks and relationships that will be able to continue informing how the government can best support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and artists. This period of discernment revealed strong themes about how the arts are important in reconnecting with or maintaining culture and identity and how they strengthen family and community, provide opportunities for economic activity and self-expression, and engage young people.

A draft report on these outcomes, titled Mob in Arts, was recently released for additional final feedback from the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This sensitive and robust consultation process has already led to connections which we believe will have long-lasting positive impacts on engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the government and the wider community on arts and culture. ArtsACT will release an action plan in response to the findings of Mob in Arts once feedback is finalised. But the consultation will, rightly, never actually end but remain part of an ongoing dialogue that will build strong, ongoing engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. (Time expired.)

MR PETTERSSON: Can the minister please update the Assembly on consultation on the development of his new arts advisory mechanism?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary question. Having access to engaged, productive, expert consultative bodies is important to all ministers of this government. Having recently announced the refreshment of my advisory councils in the area of seniors and veterans portfolios, I am looking forward to working with the diverse stakeholders in Canberra’s thriving arts scene to build the best possible consultative mechanism to advise me as Minister for the Arts and Community Events.

I can advise the Assembly that my directorate ran an open expression of interest process in May and June this year, promoted through various communication channels, to call for people from all walks of life in Canberra to participate in roundtables about the future of a ministerial arts advisory mechanism.

There were 85 expressions of interest received. Some of these people failed to provide contact information so they could not be invited, and some arts organisations put up multiple representatives. So, to ensure a proper diversity of views, we asked those organisations to send only one or two representatives. Consequently, 77 invitations were sent and 57 people accepted the invitation. There were also nearly 80 people who responded to an online survey that asked open questions about views on the nature and purpose of an arts advisory body.

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