Indigenous people will have an increased representation in Victoria’s creative sector under a new plan launched on Tuesday.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced the $2 million First Peoples Actions Plan for Creative Industries 2018-2020 at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
The plan commits to the state’s creative industries to working closer with Indigenous artists and people.
It also aims to address current barriers to employment and training, under-representation of First Peoples on boards and in senior roles of creative organisations, and the sale of inauthentic First Peoples creative product.
“This was developed because First Peoples came to us and said ‘we are under-represented in this sector’,” Mr Foley said.
“Our creative state policy identified the need to have Indigenous cultural expression at the centre of what we do. You can't do that for Indigenous people, you have to do it with Indigenous people.”
Mr Foley said the plan took two years to develop.
“It is built on two years worth of close consultation with Indigenous people and more than 200 meetings with community leaders and artistic practitioners across the state,” he said.
“The action plan sets two year’s worth of goals in increasing participation, leadership and the recognising the worth of First Peoples in our creative state.”
Bendigo Art Gallery curatorial manager Tansy Curtin said a number of great Indigenous art projects were happening in the region.
“We have a dynamic group of Indigenous people, including traditional custodians and the wider Aboriginal community, working to create a vibrant art scene,” she said.
“There is a lot of movement in galleries to create real and meaningful engagement with the First Peoples. This funding gives legitimacy to what we are trying to achieve.”
Bendigo Art Gallery recently created the position of First Nations Curator.
“It is something we (saw) as being a direction that was important for us,” Ms Curtin said.
“We have a strong and active Indigenous community in the region and (want) our voice to be authentic.”