Australia - International Document

Towards Equity: A research overview of diversity in Australia’s arts and cultural sector

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Australia Council for the Arts

Year of Publication:

Australia Council for the Arts

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This research overview brings together published and unpublished data and research on representation within the arts and cultural sector in Australia. It assesses equity among audiences and participants, artists, cultural and creative workforce, cultural leaders and among Australia Council investment and staff. It aims to inform future data collection, research, discussion and action to achieve equity and vibrancy in Australia’s arts and culture.

The report presents information for eight focus groups or demographics in the Australian community: First Nations people; cultural and linguistic diversity; people with disability; gender; LGBTIQ+ people; Australians living in regional and remote locations; children and young people; and older people.

Key findings:
• Despite limitations in the data, the research shows that Australia’s arts and culture do not yet reflect the diversity of our people.
• Many of the communities who are most engaged with Australia’s arts and culture are also underrepresented, under-resourced or under-compensated for their work.
• For example, we see arts and cultural engagement embedded in the daily lives of First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse Australians. However, while core to the energy of the sector, First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse Australians are still often unable to access or shape its resources and decision-making.
• Australians living with disability are more likely than other Australians to be making art but are less likely to making money from it. And people with disability continue to face barriers in attending arts events.
• While women are more likely to recognise the positive impacts of arts and creativity than men, they face more barriers to arts attendance. And while there are just as many women artists as men artists, women artists earn less.
• Australians in remote areas are more likely than those living in metropolitan or regional areas to attend the arts to improve their wellbeing. However, they are twice as likely to experience difficulty getting to events compared to those in metropolitan or regional areas.

Evidence Type: Policy Document

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Community

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Australia Council for the Arts (2020. ) Towards Equity: A research overview of diversity in Australia’s arts and cultural sector. Sydney: Australia Council for the Arts.