Arts Minister Simon Crean today announced $48 million for projects that support Indigenous arts, culture and languages, including a $21 million investment in jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Speaking at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide, Mr Crean said connection to culture was an important part of the work in Closing the Gap.
"Increasingly, evidence shows that participation in culture, languages and the arts has a positive effect on physical and mental wellbeing in our Indigenous communities," Mr Crean said.
"We also know that our investment in art centres in the APY Lands, through round one of the Regional Development Australia Fund, has produced some great results for the communities involved.
"The funding announced today will continue to join the dots between arts and culture and social and economic wellbeing.
"It is also important recognition of the fact that the oldest continuing culture on earth is now producing some of the most dynamic art forms on earth, demonstrated through the projects supported today.
"The organisations and projects receiving grants are making an immeasurable contribution not just to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but to the cultural life of our communities and our nation."
Mr Crean said the Australian Government will provide $27 million to support 293 Indigenous arts, culture and language projects; and $21 million to support employment opportunities for around 590 arts and culture jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
"The funding announced today will not only foster cultural engagement and creative expression, but it will also support employment opportunities for Indigenous people," Mr Crean said.
"We are committed to providing ongoing support for Indigenous arts, culture and languages and are partnering with Indigenous communities to address the loss of language.
"For example, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute will receive $106,903 to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural engagement in Adelaide.
"Tandanya will provide opportunities for cultural engagement through performance and arts practice as well as opportunities for involving youth through the creation of temporary public art.
"Funding will also support a community celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their culture."
Mr Crean said funding will be distributed across projects that will make an impact at a community level, as well as projects with a national focus.
"In Brisbane, the Australian Rugby Football League will receive $55,000 to further promote Indigenous culture and to develop language teaching resources as part of the 2013 Indigenous All Stars match," Mr Crean said.
"Nationally, support will be provided to two Indigenous visual art showcase events, with the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair receiving $85,000 and the Darwin Art Fair receiving $70,000.
"The Arts Law Centre of Australia will also receive $70,000 to provide will-drafting and casework services to Indigenous artists across Australia and the Indigenous Art Code will receive $100,000 to support ethical trade within the industry."
Technology was a strong feature of the projects being supported in this year's funding round, with many organisations developing online media, interactive software and audio visual content for apps, tablet devices and smart phones.
"For example, the Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association in Newcastle will receive $341,150 to create innovative online audio and video language learning tools, which will be available on its website and on YouTube," Mr Crean said.
Projects have been funded through the following programs:
• Indigenous Culture Support which helps to maintain Indigenous culture through community involvement, assists the transmission of knowledge and skills across generations and develops and supports new forms of cultural expression.
• Indigenous Employment Initiative which provides funding to support jobs in the arts and culture sector.
• Indigenous Languages Support which provides funding for the maintenance and revival of Australia's Indigenous languages.
• Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support which provides funding for Indigenous art centres and industry service organisations.
The funding includes $3.3 million for new projects and $6.6 million for projects previously allocated biennial or triennial funding.
The full list of funding recipients is available at www.arts.gov.au/indigenous.
04 July 2012