Australia Council will undergo an independent review, says Simon Creane

The Australia Council for the Arts welcomes a review announced today by Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean.

Chairman of the Australia Council, James Strong says: “The review of the Australia Council for the Arts is appropriate at a time when a new national cultural policy is in advanced development. One of the most important issues in the arts sector is ensuring efficient and effective structures for delivery of funding through transparent processes.

The independent review will be led by Gabrielle Trainor and Angus James ahead of the development of the nation’s first National Cultural Policy in almost 20 years.

Mr Crean said the Australia Council had a proud record of helping local artists develop their talent and connect with national and international audiences. The upcoming review will enable the government to look closely at the current support model and discover what aspects can be improved upon

“The new National Cultural Policy will set the framework for Australian Government support for the arts, culture and the creative industries for the next decade,” he said.

According to Simon Crean, the response from artists, audiences and community groups to the discussion paper on the National Cultural Policy has been huge.

“As part of this work, we must have responsive, timely and expert agencies to deliver support to artists and arts organisations as they respond to new audiences and opportunities including those opening up with emerging art forms and technologies”, he said.

“That is why I am pleased to announce that Mr Angus James and Ms Gabrielle Trainor will review the Australia Council for the Arts and its links with other arts support organisations and agencies.

Mr Crean said Mr James (a Principal Partner of Aquasia, an independent corporate advisory partnership which he founded in late 2009) and Ms Trainor (a company director and former lawyer, journalist and public sector executive) have had extensive experience in corporate change and governance in both the public and private sector.

This will be the first major review of the work of the Council and other agencies since the 1980s.

More information about the policy is at

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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