Australia Council's approach to Sector Recovery

The Australia Council recognises the impact COVID-19 has had on the cultural and creative sectors. This has had an immense flow on effect for the broader community and economy.

Australia Council's approach to Sector Recovery


As our sector grapples with the immediate effects of this unprecedented disruption we must also begin to turn our minds to the future, in all its uncertainty, and imagine what that might look like, and what we want it to look like: its challenges and opportunities, and how we can plan for the cultivation of a strong and vibrant ecology. 

A creative-led recovery will be essential for Australia. A natural source of innovation and collaboration, our creative sector will be essential in helping to rebuild communities and our economy and navigating Australia’s path out of the crisis.   

The newly formed Sector Development team, along with the whole of Australia Council, is focused on working with the sector to develop tools, strategies, advocacy capabilities and approaches for the issues, challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Our work encompasses sector recovery along with capacity building, mobility and exchange, responding to and leading in current trends along with specific artform conversations and requirements. 

We have been listening and responding to the immediate needs of the sector in the following ways: 

  • We are developing a framework for re-igniting the creative and cultural sectors, informed by the example provided by the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport).  This work will be complete within the next three weeks.  We have engaged expertise from the creative and cultural, public health and health protection sectors. 
  • We have spoken to over 50 organisations about protocols in development and any gaps that require specialist health advice. With specialist advice from the Office for Health Protection and the Chief Medical Officer Group, we aim to channel your specific questions that can assist in development of protocols and guidelines, as needed.  This information will also inform the framework development. We are also in conversation with the state agencies to share resources and information to support the relevant sectors.  If you have specific questions, please do reach out to the relevant Head of Practice or email us below. 

Between July – September 2020, we will undertake a significant national sector recovery consultation to ensure we have gathered the collective information to support the sector in this period of evolution.  

Change is part of our future. We need to ensure that our creative and cultural sectors can weather future disruption, and that our support is similarly nimble. This requires us to be responsive to the needs and trends as we see them occurring.   

To lead and inform initiatives, investment and research related to sector recovery, it is critical the Australia Council is engaged in direct dialogue with the artists, cultural workers, organisations and communities we support. 

Key aims of the consultation: 

  • to seek understanding and guidance from the sector about its future needs 
  • to identify the key challenges the sector will face as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19  
  • to identify and leverage opportunities created by the changed environment. 

Key focus areas of consultation: 

Artform specific 

  • Dance 
  • Theatre 
  • Circus 
  • Literature 
  • Music 
  • Visual Arts 
  • CACD 
  • EEA 
  • Multi-artform 

Including Australia Council strategic priorities 

  • First Nations arts and culture 
  • CALD and diverse perspectives 
  • Children and young people  
  • Community engagement  
  • Disability 
  • Regional and remote 
  • Mobility – national and international 
  • Digital adaptation 

Engaging a range of stakeholders including 

  • Independent sector  
  • Organisations 
  • Individuals artists and writers 
  • Institutions 
  • Venues  
  • Festivals 
  • Peak bodies and service organisations 

Through a range of  methods, we will invite organisations, representative bodies and individual practitioners to have your say about how we can navigate through the present and future challenges. You can expect to hear more from us by the end of June 2020. 

We look forward to continuing the conversations and continuing to advocate for the Australian creative and cultural industries. 


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