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Part 2: Performance Report (page 6)

Private sector support for the arts

As part of the Australian Government's response to the 2011 review of private sector support for the arts, the department facilitated the amalgamation of the Australia Business Arts Foundation and Artsupport to form Creative Partnerships Australia. The department has worked closely with the new organisation to establish a structure and range of programs, including the commercial funding program that will begin in 2013–14. The department is also working with The Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office to facilitate the future transfer of the Cultural Gifts Program and the Register of Cultural Organisations to the Australian Taxation Office.

Increases to the arts training organisations

The department worked closely with six arts training organisations to negotiate four-year agreements for increased funding and to create an activity framework that clearly articulates the Australian Government's objectives for them. The department will monitor progress under these agreements through a simplified common reporting framework and payment structure.

Indigenous cultures

The department played a key role in delivering programs to support indigenous participation in cultural activities. Cultural activities are critical to Indigenous health and wellbeing and promote better education and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In 2012–13, the department managed around $29 million for more than 330 activities through the Indigenous Culture, Languages and Visual Arts Program. The program contributes to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage and helps to keep Indigenous cultures strong. In 2012–13, over 255 activities in regional Australia and 48 activities in priority remote service delivery communities were funded under the program.

In 2012–13, the program's Indigenous Culture Support and Indigenous Language Support streams provided $2.4 million in funding for 28 activities specifically benefiting members of the Stolen Generations, which strengthen connections to languages and culture and can have healing and rehabilitative effects for members of the Stolen Generations.

Indigenous repatriation

The department implemented new four-year funding agreements with eight Australian museums to facilitate the return of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and secret sacred objects to their communities.

Through the Indigenous Repatriation Program, the department supports Indigenous communities to claim and secure the return of their ancestral remains held in overseas institutions. In 2012–13 there were successful repatriations from the United States, the Czech Republic and Germany.

On 26 April 2013, the Charité Medical University returned 33 ancestral remains that had been in Germany for over a century to the communities they belong to in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. This was the first repatriation of Australian Indigenous ancestral remains by Germany, and took five years to negotiate. The landmark event will help pave the way for the ancestral remains still in German institutions to be returned.

In May 2013, two members of the Australian Government's Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation and the Ambassador to the United States participated in a panel discussion in New York, which highlighted the importance of international Indigenous repatriation. The panel was a side event to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Indigenous Employment Initiative

The department continued to administer the Indigenous Employment Initiative in 2012–13. The initiative supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in regional Australia to work in Indigenous arts, culture, language and broadcasting organisations.

In 2012–13, more than $21 million was provided to 122 organisations to support close to 600 jobs, of which approximately 90 per cent were in remote regions. The employees are working as media officers, arts workers, gallery assistants, broadcasting technicians or language assistants.

Regional Arts Fund

The department continued to work with Regional Arts Australia and state-based regional arts organisations to deliver the Regional Arts Fund. The fund supports sustainable cultural development in regional and remote Australia by providing grants for arts and culture projects. In 2012–13 the department administered $3.1 million for more than 160 community grants, 155 quick response grants, an initial rollout of long-term strategic national projects and the national coordination activities for the fund.

Specific areas of focus for funding included:

  • professional development for artists and arts workers
  • support for community participation in the arts
  • cultural development in diverse and remote regions
  • access to and participation in the arts for disaster-affected regions, people with disability, young people and isolated communities.

Public Lending Right and Educational Lending Right programs

Under the Public Lending Right and Educational Lending Right programs, the department provides payments to eligible Australian creators such as authors, illustrators and publishers for forgone income due to the availability of their books in public and educational lending libraries. In 2012–13, more than $9 million was paid to 7,901 eligible claimants under the Public Lending Right program and more than $11 million was paid to 9,865 eligible claimants under the Educational Lending Right program.

In 2012–13 the department conducted an assessment of the programs to identify ways to refine the claiming process. Following the review, the minimum payment for claimants in each program was increased from $50 to $100.

Prime Minister's Literary Awards

The department administers the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, which recognise outstanding literary talent in Australia and the valuable contribution literature makes in shaping Australia's cultural identity. Each year, publishers and authors submit books in a number of categories. In 2012 and 2013 there were six award categories: fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction, children's fiction, poetry and Australian history.

Throughout the assessment process, the department supported an independent judging panel, which advises the Prime Minister on potential award recipients. The department also supervises the submission process on behalf of the judging panel. Each year the award guidelines are reviewed to ensure they are kept up to date with changes in the literature sector and judging panels are refreshed.

The 2012 awards were announced by the Prime Minister and the Minister for the Arts at a ceremony at the National Library of Australia in July 2012. Each award winner received an $80,000 tax-free prize, and shortlisted entries received $5,000 each.

The 2013 awards were launched on 22 November 2012 and entries closed on 16 January 2013. A total of 445 entries were submitted. The shortlists for all award categories were announced in June 2013 and winners were due to be announced in August 2013.

Information on award winners is available at arts.gov.au/pmliteraryawards.

Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act

The Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 14 March 2013. The Act supports the future of international cultural exhibitions in Australia by establishing a scheme to protect from seizure cultural objects on loan from overseas. The Act addresses a significant obstacle Australia's major cultural institutions faced when they attempted to secure international loans.

The successful passage of this legislation followed several years of extensive consultation between the department and Australia's cultural institutions and the broader arts sector.

After the legislation was passed through parliament, the department conducted further consultations on regulations and administrative arrangements for the scheme, which are expected to start in 2014.

Arts appointments

In 2012–13 the department supported the appointment of 74 members to 24 arts portfolio boards and councils. A range of factors—including geographic representation, cultural diversity, skills, experience and gender—are taken into consideration when appointing members. The arts portfolio is already exceeding the Australian Government's goal to achieve at least 40 per cent representation of women on all government boards and councils by 2015. Overall, the 187 government-appointed members of the 29 arts portfolio boards and councils were 51 per cent female and 49 per cent male at 30 June 2013.

The historic Innes Motor Car, an open-topped vehicle with classical-spoked wheels and an upright steering column parked on a scenic country lane.

The 1904 Innes Motor Car is now on display at the Australian Motorlife Museum, thanks to funding from the National Cultural Heritage Account.

Outcome 3

Program 3.1 Arts and Cultural Development

National Portrait Gallery

In 2012–13 the department was responsible, through the National Portrait Gallery, for developing and maintaining a national collection of high-quality Australian portraits that reflect the diversity and culture of Australia.

The National Portrait Gallery's objective is to develop and engage a national audience through exhibitions, education, research, publishing, public programs and online programs that foster an understanding and appreciation among Australians of national and international portraiture. The National Portrait Gallery of Australia will become a statutory authority in the Regional Australia, Arts and Sport portfolio from 1 July 2013.

The department worked closely with the gallery throughout 2012–13 to prepare for the transition.

Night-time image showing the exterior façade of Australias National Portrait Gallery. The contemporary façade of the building is made of concrete and has a large horizontal column near the entrance.

The National Portrait Gallery. (Photo courtesy of Brett Boardman.)

Table 13 summarises the department's performance against its key performance indicator for 2012–13, which was achieved.

Table 13: Program 3.1: Arts and cultural development—National Portrait Gallery—performance results

Table 13: Program 3.1: Arts and cultural development—National Portrait Gallery—performance results
  • Increase the understanding and appreciation of the Australian people by developing and providing access to the national portrait collection and by creating a safe and welcoming environment.
  • Develop and maintain the national portrait collection in accordance with the published collection development policy, international museum standards and legislative obligations.
  • Develop and deliver innovative and diverse National Portrait Gallery (NPG) exhibitions and collection displays underpinned by a broad range of public educational programs and events.
  • Maintain the NPG building in accordance with the 40 year strategic asset management plan, providing a safe and secure environment for people and works of art.
Key performance indicator Resultsa
  • Innovative and diverse NPG exhibitions and collection displays underpinned by a broad range of public access and learning programs and events.

To complement its exhibition program, in 2012–13 the NPG ran 872 public access programs and 436 formal education programs, which brought 27,253 visitors to the gallery, comprising 10,543 public access program visitors and 16,710 education program visitors.

2011–12 result: Achieved

a Trend information provided where available.

Major achievements

Making the National Portrait Gallery a statutory authority

As a statutory authority from 1 July 2013, operating under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, the National Portrait Gallery's governance structure will more closely align with other national collecting institutions'. The transition to being a statutory authority also positions the gallery to pursue corporate and philanthropic funding opportunities.

The department worked throughout 2012–13 to prepare for the 1 July 2013 transition, including developing the National Portrait Gallery of Australia (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012 and associated regulations. The department also supported the appointment of members to the inaugural Board and assisted the gallery's management team to ensure administrative, financial and staffing arrangements were in place.

National Portrait Gallery—success through the art of portraiture

The National Portrait Gallery presented major exhibitions of Australian and international, historical and contemporary portraiture in 2012–13.

During the year the gallery toured six exhibitions, including Beyond the Self, an exhibition of contemporary portrait work from South and Southeast Asia, which travelled to Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin.

Exhibitions and works displayed in 2012–13 included:

  • Elegance in Exile: Portrait Drawings from Colonial Australia 1 June – 26 August 2012 A significant presentation of rare portrait drawings by artists exiled to Sydney and Hobart as convicts.
  • Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture 13 September 2012 – 17 February 2013 Showcased one of the world's most important collections of experimental Chinese art.
  • Diamond Jubilee Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 28 September 2012 – 1 April 2013 Australian-born portraitist Ralph Heimans' spectacular portrait of the Queen attracted record audiences.
  • Ingvar Kenne: Citizen 2 November 2012 – 27 January 2013 An admired exhibition of striking portraits that capture both individuality and shared human experience.
  • First Ladies: Significant Australian Women 1913–2013 1 February – 11 June 2013 A profile of Australian women who have achieved noteworthy firsts over the past 100 years, which drew great interest from audiences.

No Longer Strangers in a Strange Land

A delegation of six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives travelled to Berlin, Germany, in April 2013 to bring home thirty-three ancestral remains which had been held in the collections of the Charité Medical University for more than one hundred years.

The formal handover ceremony at the university provided some closure to a regrettable part of Australia's history.

‘These are very moving moments for Indigenous people around the world,’ the Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation, Ned David, said. ‘They are bringing their ancestral remains home. There are mixed emotions, one obviously of relief, so it's a celebration. And then the moment is tinged with sadness for what was involved with the removal of the remains.’

Representatives of the Queensland and South Australian communities spoke to those in attendance about how, until recent times, they had been unaware that these ancestral remains were in Germany. But through stories passed down through the generations, they were very aware that their ancestors had been taken to become strangers in a strange land.

‘It is a time to heal and a time to embrace healing,’ Gudang peoples' representative Colina Reuben, said.

The repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains to their communities of origin is supported by the department's Indigenous Repatriation Program.

This repatriation from Germany was the culmination of five years of advocacy and cooperation between the department's Office for the Arts, the Charité, the Australian Embassy in Berlin and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and peoples from Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

Image: The handover ceremony for indigenous remains being held in Berlin. Co-chair of the governments advisory committee on indigenous repatriation, Mr Ned David, is addressing attendees. Co-Chair of the Australian Governments Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation, Mr Ned David, addresses the attendees at the handover ceremony in Berlin.

Co-Chair of the Australian Government's Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation, Mr Ned David, addresses the attendees at the handover ceremony in Berlin.

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