Recent events have highlighted the need for the Australian arts sector to articulate and advocate for our common ideals. Our primary aim is that everyone involved in the Australian arts sector is represented by the principles of this Charter and that it is not owned by any one group or set of interests.

The Charter is as an advocacy tool. It is a public object, available to anyone engaging with arts policy development, be they artists, politicians or community leaders.

The intent of the Charter is to:

  • Enable a voice for artists, arts organisations, arts workers and supporters of the arts – across all artforms, locations and communities;
  • Articulate a vision of the role and purpose of the arts.

The Charter aims to ensure that mechanisms and support for the arts in Australia facilitates a strong, diverse and vibrant sector, now and in the future.

We are calling for your input into the seven core principles and the Charter now – please contribute. All suggestions and constructive criticism welcome.
Contact us:

Please download the DRAFT Australian Charter for the Arts [docx] [PDF]


1. The arts provide both economic and social benefits to society.

2. All Australians have the right to access and participate in the arts.

3. Ongoing financial support is fundamental to sustaining the arts into future generations.

4. A vibrant arts sector is the responsibility of individual artists, organisations and communities. Without sufficient public funding for individual artists, small-to-medium arts organisations and regional and community arts organisations, the vitality and wellbeing of the whole sector is impacted.

5. The arts must be guaranteed public funding, that is distributed at arm’s length from the government of the day. This funding model best enables new ideas, practices and fields to emerge.

6. The arts should serve and be responsive to the specific cultural needs of local, regional and remote communities while existing within national and international contexts.

7. The arts sector plays an indispensable role in nurturing a wider democratic and humane society. The arts offer a voice to the marginalised and disenfranchised, allowing for creativity, reflection and critique by all participants.

The full DRAFT Australian Charter for the Arts outlines these principles in detail. Please download from: [docx] [PDF]


Initially growing out of a small group of arts practitioners and arts workers in Sydney, the draft Charter has been constructed and co-authored by artists, arts workers and arts lovers from across Australia. We are currently a small team of volunteers and welcome active involvement from anyone concerned about the Australian arts sector and arts policy development.

If you would like to be more actively involved in this process, please contact us: