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News August 20, 2019

Victorian music & arts commit to be more diverse, inclusive

Victorian music & arts commit to be more diverse, inclusive
Image: The Age Music Victoria Awards

Music Victoria and the Melbourne International Arts Festival are among ten music and arts organisations which will spearhead a transformative program to become more diverse and inclusive.

‘Fair Play: Equity, Inclusion and the Creative Industries’ is a first-of-its-kind initiative backed by the Andrews Labor Government to ensure Victoria’s creative sector better reflects its diverse communities.

It acknowledges that particular groups are under-represented at all levels of Australia’s creative landscape.

The program will be tailored to each organisation by matching them to mentors, as it seeks to reduce barriers to leadership, employment and participation faced by First Australians, Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and Victorians with a disability.

As reported in TMN, research by Diversity Arts Australia analysed the leadership of 200 Australia arts and cultural organisations and found that culturally and linguistically diverse Australians comprise only about 10% of leadership and board roles – despite making up 39% of the population.

Minister for creative industries Martin Foley observed, “Diverse voices and perspectives bring better understanding and strength to our workplaces, boardrooms and creative offerings – Fair Play seeks to do just that.

“I commend each of the participating organisations and their leadership who have shown a genuine commitment to equity and inclusion and to creating meaningful change.”

Lena Nahlous, executive director of Diversity Arts Australia which is delivering Fair Play said, “This project goes far beyond the tick-boxing exercises of most diversity programs.

“The Victorian government should be acknowledged for developing such a ground-breaking initiative.”

The other eight organisations in the first pilot program are Regional Arts Victoria, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Theatre Arts Network Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Bendigo Art Gallery, The Wheeler Centre and Emerging Writers’ Festival.

Ten more organisations will be added in 2020.

Fair Play addresses one of the priorities of the Labor government’s Creative State strategy.


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