In my experience Australia only properly starts each year shortly after Australia Day. So, as of today the work begins in earnest and for the Arts Party, there is a huge amount to achieve!
Unquestionably this is going to be a difficult year for the Arts and Cultural sectors and many others. The fallout from multiple rounds of cuts and changes last year will really bite in 2016. The list of organisations who have already pre-announced their closure at years end continues to grow. The Gonski plan is in convulsions with the final two years of federal funding pulled. The ABC has just begun new funding negotiations (gulp) and community TV has been given a short stay of execution through VOD - though that wasn’t enough to save TVS. And we’re only at the end of January.
There is growing anger at how this government is treating so many areas of creative action. Hoping they are going to magically 'see the light' about their actions through toothless lobbying is naive. But there is one thing each of us have that all politicians truly care about - our votes.
2016 is a Federal Election Year.
It’s an opportunity for Australians to make real change in how we are governed. About 180 of the 226 elected Federal positions in Canberra are up for grabs. And we need to grab some! We've certainly done the setup. Over the last two years, The Arts Party has crowdfunded into existence, has built up a reach of over 80,000 people a month online and has stood our first official candidate last year in North Sydney. More have been announced and there are more to come. We want to offer every Australian the opportunity to vote for us in 2016.
Our time is now.
Fighting this election is the whole point of the Arts Party. To introduce an artistic, cultural, compassionate voice to the collective intelligence of Canberra, alongside all the accountants, lawyers and businessmen who make up the vast representative majority. Independent Arts Senators from every state, advocates for arts, cultural and community groups across the country - now that sounds pretty good!
There is a huge amount of talent in this country, but a severe lack of opportunity and we want to address that head-on.
But we need your help. If you are a member, then we'll will be sending you out first policy document for feedback very soon. It is very important that you make time to read it and give us your thoughts. If you aren't member yet, then please join, or sign up for the proper newsletter at least!
However our biggest challenge is still financial. We still need significantly more donations to achieve what is needed. We are also looking for heavyweight supporters. If you know any benefactors or media personalities that would be interested in giving us a hand, please email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org .
This year is a truly exciting opportunity to redefine the future we're all going to live into. It's going to be an amazing journey and one we must undertake. Onwards and upwards in 2016!