A message from our CEO Dr Pilar Kasat
We acknowledge that many First Nations communities have been observing a period of reflection following the recent Voice Referendum. It’s evident that there are mixed views and lingering confusion within the community about the process and its significance.
As an arts and cultural organisation, we are unwavering in our commitment to create spaces that foster connection and cultural expression. We remain dedicated in providing opportunities for our entire community to learn, listen, and share alternative narratives that arise from our different experiences and perspectives.
Our nation has always been diverse; prior to colonisation, more than 250 languages and 500 dialects were spoken across the continent. Today, in contemporary Australia, there are over 300 languages spoken at home. This diversity is something we embrace and celebrate.
We stand in solidarity with those who have encountered hurt during the past few weeks and reiterate our commitment to being a part of the healing and understanding that will move us forward together.
The arts are a source of inspiration for story and truth telling and can express joy and have a role bringing people together. This month we have been thrilled to support the return of the Sand Tracks Contemporary Music Tour to remote First Nations communities. We’ve just heard that the first concert last Saturday night saw over 800 people come together in the small community of Kaltukatjara/Docker River, which has an official population around 390! We have been very proud to partner with two local First Nations organisations, Wilurarra Creative and NG Media, to make this tour a reality.
I’m also delighted to confirm that the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place, has led to a significant uplift to the Regional Arts Fund (RAF), from July 2023. We are extremely pleased to now offer two rounds of Project Grants per year, and increased funding for Quick Response Grants. This is great news for the regional arts sector. We look forward to celebrating an increase in arts activity in coming years, with all the accompanying benefits this will bring for your home communities.
Dr Pilar Kasat
Chief Executive Officer
Image: Smoking ceremony, Walk for Reconciliation 2022