The Australian government last month released their ‘National Cultural Policy’ (although I cant find the actual policy anywhere on line). From what I can read, funding has been promised to various visual and performing arts organisations (dance companies, music projects, film projects). This is the first National Cultural Policy released in 19 years and it is hoped this will bring about a greater appreciation for arts and creative industries within the Australian community.
Architecture, however, has been sorely missed from the policy as an artistic pursuit or as relevant to the cultural community of our nation. Its interesting that the Policy apparently includes a quote from Professor Fran Baum of the Flinders Medical School : “Essential ingredients for the health of individuals living within communities are a creative life and a vibrant, civil, social and community life.” Surely architecture is a vital component of creating a vibrant, civil, social life within our cities and towns. The Institute have expressed their disappointment that architecture has been missed from a national policy on our culture and creative pursuits. Besides the obvious funding implications (architecture is not subject to the same funding benefits that other cultural pursuits can now enjoy), there is also the rejection that architecture is considered an art.