I am fundamentally positive about the future of the arts and the creative industries in Australia.
In the last year, we’ve watched cut after cut to Arts, education, community and creative funding - the 4 core areas the Arts Party was founded to support. And yet I’m fundamentally positive.
Because we are the lucky country, we are incredibly creative and all we're missing is the political will to reprioritise that creativity in solving our shared problems and defining our shared future.
The Arts Party is less than a year old. It's our beginning and frankly it's a hard path right now. Then again, if it was all too easy at this point, we’d know we were doing something wrong! The point is :- WE ARE FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT.
There is nothing "nice to have" about the arts and the creative industries, there is nothing "tangential", nothing "soft" about any of them. They are essential to our economy, our communal lives and ultimately how we see ourselves and how others around the world see us.
We need to put the arts and our creative industries at the centre of the political, civic, economic and social debates going on in this country. We need a voice and we then need to use it, to get a better deal for every Australian.
Of course... I’m preaching to the converted.
The challenge for all of us is convincing the wider public that the arts can influence and improve all other areas of our lives. We need to spread the word - and take the fight National. We need to stand together and we need to make a lot of noise.
Tomorrow, we will be starting the process of finding candidates for the Arts Party at the next Federal Election.
I hope you will consider this opportunity carefully, particularly if you are a woman.
More than half the membership is female and I would like to see that reflected in candidate applications.
There are only 3 types of people in the world. Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what happened.
Stand up to be counted and let’s make things happen.