Penrith to play key role in new arts policy

The Joan Sutherland Centre in Penrith.
Share this story

The NSW Government is calling on artists and other creative industries practitioners across the state to help craft the first-ever Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Policy for NSW.

Minister for the Arts John Graham has released a discussion paper, A New Look At Culture, which focuses on how to grow the Arts and Cultural sector – an employer of almost one in 10 people in Greater Sydney – in a way that is led by the people involved in the arts and creative industries.

The discussion process seeks to understand what’s working, what’s not working and what fresh ideas will propel the sector forward.

To achieve this, an extensive consultation process will be undertaken across the state, including at least 11 in-person townhall meetings from Bega to Dubbo, Lismore to Tamworth and across Greater Sydney, with meetings in Liverpool, Penrith and Newcastle, as well as online meetings

The discussion paper outlines three considerations for the sector to respond to:

  • A new look at people: How can we create better, more inclusive, support and pathways for practitioners in the arts, culture and creative industries?
  • A new look at infrastructure: How can we create and improve sustainable access to spaces, programs and other support for all aspects of artistic and cultural activity?
  • A new look at audiences: How can we grow local, national and international audiences for cultural experiences, for the benefit of our community and the broader economy?

“It’s time to bring our arts and creative industries together with one policy. Australia’s cultural and creative activity contributes $122.3 billion to Australia’s economy. In Greater Sydney the creative industries account for 9 per cent of the workforce. It should be a bigger part of our state’s story, our economy and sense of itself,” Graham said.

“The principal priority will be to deliver a strategy that aims to grow the arts and creative industries sector in NSW. Our arts and cultural sector is still reeling from the most disruptive period in modern times. Having survived a decade of lockouts and lockdowns, the industry is now beset by serious economic headwinds. A vision to grow the arts sector in NSW and propel us forward must account for these impacts and include effective strategies to address them.

“Creative workers build and support the foundations of our established ‘traditional’ arts institutions. This consultation is an opportunity to participate in the discovery of a new culture for this state, identify specific issues, share lived experiences and offer novel solutions to bring the cultural economy to life.

“A series of public in-person and online discussions will take place right across NSW to ensure individuals and organisations in the creative industries can get involved and have their say. Whether you’re a novelist in country NSW who is yet to be published, or the CEO of a major arts company in inner Sydney, we want to hear from you.

“What you say will help shape this new policy and in turn, our state. We understand that artists and workers haven’t got the time to consult just for consultation’s sake. This is not about generating a report that will just sit on a desk somewhere. We will report back to you by the end of the year, and we want to know what is working, what isn’t working, and your big ideas for us to consider.”

Individuals and organisations from the arts and creative industries are encouraged to join the conversation and share their ideas by submitting a written, audio or video submission online at

Share this story