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Hawkings, Rebecca: Keating’s Creative Nation

Hawkings, Rebecca

Keating’s Creative Nation: a policy document that changed us‘, The Conversation, 30 October 2014

Article marking the 20th anniversary of Creative Nation, which injected $252 million of new spending into the arts and culture and had a profound effect on the sector.

Creative Nation changed the way Australians saw themselves, and their place in the world. It defined “culture”, broadening out the concept beyond the confines of the high art elite. Most notably, the policy document reframed the cultural industries in economic terms. It changed the very language used to talk about Australia, its culture, its artistic expressions …

As Australia’s first Commonwealth cultural policy document, Creative Nation forever changed the way that Australians saw themselves. Culture was now an economic concern, the arts were for all Australians, and the nation could no longer so rigidly define its national identity through its British colonial past.