Cultural Ministers Council (CMC)
The CMC was established in 1984 to provide a forum for the exchange of views on issues affecting cultural activities in Australia and New Zealand. It comprises Australian Government, state and territory government ministers responsible for arts and cultural heritage, as well as the corresponding New Zealand government minister. The relevant minister from Papua New Guinea participates with observer status.
Governments are aware of the significance of the impact of cultural activities on general civic, social, political and economic development. One of the Council's many roles is to recognise and promote the linkages between the cultural aspects of our lives and the development of a robust Australian society. CMC's core activities include, the commissioning of studies and investigations through the appointment of working or advisory groups and/or consultants. The CMC's Statistics Working Group plays an important role in this regard. This group liaises with the ABS on cultural statistics; monitors the need for the development, collection and dissemination of culture and leisure statistics; commissions studies; and provides advice to the CMC on statistical matters. Additional information about the CMC and its activities can be obtained from the web site, <http://www.dcita.gov.au/cmc/index.html>.
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory body. It was formed as an interim council in 1973 and was given statutory authority by the Australia Council Act 1975 (Cwlth).
The Australia Council supports Australian artists and arts organisations through diverse funding options, in order to allow them to pursue artistic excellence, to create and present their work, to take advantage of opportunities to improve and develop their skills, and to tour and promote their work to wider audiences nationally and internationally. It supports young, emerging, developing and established artists through a range of grant programs. These programs cover: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts; community and cultural development; dance; literature; major performing arts; music; new media arts; theatre; and visual arts and craft.
During 2002-03, 4,765 grant applications were made to the Australia Council, of which 1,982 were successful. These grants totalled $126.6m in 2002-03. Two-thirds of the grants, amounting to 93% of the funding, went to organisations or groups, and the remaining grants, with an average value of $13,608, were paid directly to individual artists. Further information about the Australia Council and its activities can be obtained from their web site, <http://www.ozco.gov.au>.
Training in the arts
Training in the arts in Australia involves a broad range of organisations. Formal training is available through courses in TAFE institutions, universities and private institutions. A number of on-the-job training programs are also available in the arts, and many organisations offer in-house training programs for their staff. The last decade has seen the development in some states of multi-disciplinary tertiary institutions providing training in the arts.
A number of national specialised education institutions have been established to provide training in cultural fields. For example, the Australian Film, Television and Radio School is the national training centre for the film and broadcasting industries. The National Institute of Dramatic Art is the national training school for people who wish to enter the professions of actors, directors, designers, stage managers, theatre crafts technicians, production managers or teachers of voice and movement. The Australian Ballet School provides full-time training for young Australian dancers seeking a career in the classical dance profession. The Australian National Academy of Music offers master classes and short-term programs which bring distinguished national and international performers and music educators into contact with students.