Special Announcement

Australia Council funding

Update on Creative Sector Advocacy 

This week we received a response from the CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts to our letter about the Four Year Funding result. You can read it here

Australian Design Centre has been actively supporting the creative sector advocacy on multi-year Australia Council funding and Covid-19 support packages. Here are some key articles that relate to this work.  Click on each article to read the details.

Australia Council says ‘simply not enough money’ for it to fund Australian Design Centre

Australian Design Centre congratulates the 95 organisations awarded Four Year Funding for Organisations for 2021-24 by the Australia Council for the Arts. 

We were among 162 organisations shortlisted in the first round and invited to make a full application. We were unsuccessful.  When we asked the question why, we were told that despite our excellent track record over the past four years and despite our excellent application and vision for the next four years, there was 'simply not enough money'. 

There was not enough money in 2016 when George Brandis raided the Council and there is still not enough money.  Arts and culture matter so little to this Government that they have not seen fit to adequately fund the Australia Council to enable it to effectively support the artists and arts organisations who create and enrich our culture.

We have, however, received Visual Arts and Craft Strategy funding from 2021 to 2024 and we thank the Australian Government and state governments for their important long term collaboration on this program, although we have experienced a 30% reduction to this on pre-2016 levels.  We also acknowledge the Federal Government's generic financial assistance available for small organisations.  This will help us somewhat to cope with the COVID-19 downturn but we note that there is still no sustainable package for the creative sector which contributes $111.7 billion annually to Australia's GDP. 

In 2016 we were one of the many organisations that lost multi-year funding.  We have weathered this for the past four years consistently demonstrating excellence evidenced by the more than 25 project grants totalling almost $1.6 million from three levels of government (including the Australia Council) and philanthropic funds. We have increased our non-government self-generated revenue and supported over 4000 artists. Multi-year funding is essential core support that underpins our operations and enables this funded project work – without multi-year funding that work is now in jeopardy.

Thank you to all those artists – craftspeople and designers –  and organisations which we have partnered with to deliver our programs over the past four years and to all of the donors, supporters and people who participated in events, enjoyed exhibitions and purchased artists’ work through us for their homes and collections. Together we have done excellent work. 

It is shameful that the Australia Council is unable to fund a craft and design organisation in New South Wales because there is ‘simply not enough money’.

Funding the level of 'unfunded excellence' in successful organisations like Australian Design Centre is a small investment. The Federal Government needs to address this urgently before our sector collapses, our culture suffers and more employment opportunities for artists and arts workers are lost. 

If you want to help us make our case to the Australia Council and the Federal Government for this decision to be reversed please email lisa@australiandesigncentre.com and we will pass your views onto the Australia Council and the Minister for the Arts. 

Read our letters sent to the Minister and to the Australia Council on 8 April 2020. Read the response from Adrian Collette CEO Australia Council for the Arts here. 

In the meantime I hope that you and your families have a restful few days over this Easter break and stay well.

Lisa Cahill
CEO and Artistic Director


ADC Achievments

Image:ADC external view 2019. Photo: Rhiannon Hopley.