Our commitment
to diversity

Bangarra, 30 Years of 65 Thousand, ‘To Make Fire’. Sydney Opera House. Credit Daniel Boud.

Since the creation of the Australia Council in 1968, the Council has developed policies, strategies and programs which aim to ensure opportunities to enjoy and participate in the arts are not constrained by an individual’s background or life circumstances.

There is a wealth of artistic and cultural skills, experience and resources that result from Australia’s diversity. The Council is committed to ensuring these are given the opportunity to develop, flourish and contribute to a distinctly Australian style of artistic excellence and innovation.

Over time the Council has introduced a range of policies and strategies focusing on specific demographics and other identity markers.

We regularly reflect on how our strategies, policies and initiatives are relevant and effective in a 21st century context, and how they intersect with the multiplicity of identities across our nation.

In 2007 the Council announced our Cultural Engagement Framework (CEF), aimed at ensuring equity of access to our grants and initiatives.

The Australia Council’s focus on diversity was reaffirmed within the functions of the Australia Council Act 2013, including a function to support Australian arts practice that reflects the diversity of Australia. Further development of the CEF was undertaken through significant reform work in 2014-15.

In 2016 the Council reaffirmed its commitment to the CEF, including updating the priority areas to include a focus on older people. The Council has also refreshed the Diversity Team – a group within the organisation that guides the planning and monitoring of strategies to embed the CEF across every aspect of the Council.

Implementation of the CEF is a responsibility shared across all divisions and teams of the Australia Council. This process is led by the CEO and Executive, with guidance from the Council’s Diversity Team.

The Australia Council is also committed to calling upon the expertise of people within the sector, and we undertake consultation when appropriate to measure our performance and assist us in updating our CEF strategies and action plans. We provide updates on achievements and performance on the CEF through our website and annual report.

We have also published a range of research reports about diversity and equity.