$42 million supports Australia's Indigenous arts, culture and heritage

09 June 2010, Australia

$42 million from five Australian Government programs is supporting over 380 Indigenous arts, culture and heritage projects across Australia, the Minister for Arts and Heritage, Peter Garrett, announced today.

"The Australian Government is committed to supporting Indigenous communities through funding for Indigenous arts, culture, languages, broadcasting and heritage conservation activities in communities right across Australia," Mr Garrett said.

Funding includes $37.5 million in new funding and $4.5 million for projects that were selected for triennial funding last year.

The five programs are the:

National Arts and Crafts Industry Support (NACIS) Program which provides funding for Indigenous art centres and art support organisations.
Indigenous Culture Support (ICS) Program which helps to maintain Indigenous culture through community involvement, transmission of knowledge and skills across generations and support of new forms of cultural expression.
Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records (MILR) Program which addresses the steady erosion and loss of Australia’s Indigenous languages by providing funding for the maintenance and revival of these languages.
Indigenous Broadcasting Program (IBP) which supports Indigenous broadcasters around Australia.
Indigenous Heritage Program (IHP) which supports the identification, conservation and promotion of Indigenous heritage places important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
"I am particularly pleased the funded projects touch so many parts of Australia, from major metropolitan centres like Melbourne, Victoria to the more remote regions of Australia including Warakurna in Western Australia," Mr Garrett said.

"The range of projects receiving funding is also impressive, from pandanus weaving in the deserts of the Northern Territory, to the use of multi-media techniques to help collect traditional knowledge in Bundaberg, and the creation of a pilot radio station to revive traditional languages in Adelaide.

Given the important position Indigenous history and expression occupies in Australia's cultural life, these five programs provide vital practical support including:

Eurobodalla Shire Council: $100,000 for Connecting with Country a project to document important heritage places and facilitate the passing of cultural knowledge from senior traditional owners to Aboriginal youth, Eurobodalla, NSW (IHP).
Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation for Women’s Arts and Crafts: $107,690 for traditional and contemporary art and craft workshops, Launceston, Tasmania (ICS).
Burrunju Aboriginal Corporation: $30,000 to contribute to the operational costs of the Burrunju Aboriginal Arts Centre, Acton, ACT (NACIS).
"Together these programs are a significant part of the Government's commitment to Closing the Gap on Indigenous Disadvantage by contributing to the overall well-being of Indigenous communities and supporting employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

"It is crucial that as a nation we continue to protect, preserve and promote Indigenous arts, culture and heritage to help build a diverse and dynamic Australia," Mr Garrett said.

Since 2007 the Rudd Government has increased funding to the Indigenous visual arts sector by over $17 million.