The Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts board chair Dr Chris Sarra today announced the board would extend its consultation with the Indigenous arts sector about proposed changes to the Indigenous key organisations funding program to September 2008.
Dr Sarra said: ‘Meaningful consultation is one of the board’s key principles – just as it is with Indigenous arts practice and indeed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia.
‘The board’s review of its key organisations program will be guided by this principle.
‘It will also be more inclusive; we’ll be speaking to our state and territory partners, our artists, arts organisations and our communities, their elders and leaders to make sure that the available resources are appropriately shared and well-used,’ Chris said.
Dr Sarra thanked the stakeholders who had contacted the board asking for an extension of the consultation period.
‘The board has listened to your concerns and we’re looking forward to continuing our conversations with the field over the next few months.’
‘Government support for Indigenous arts, guided and informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is a key part of keeping culture strong.
‘The board and staff of the Australia Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts division are working to ensure that resources for excellence in Indigenous arts across all artforms and across the country are delivered in ways that are accessible, fair, and equitable,’ Chris said.
Organisations funded under the existing key organisations program have their funding locked in at current levels until 31 December 2009.