The National Cultural Plan is critical opportunity for Australia. 

Australians see access to arts and culture is part of the Australian way of life, saying that without it we ‘may as well live on Mars’. They are keen and curious cultural consumers, attending cultural events and venues at a rate that is 18 percent higher than residents of the European Union. 

Recent sentiment studies have shown that the Australian community believe arts, culture and creativity have a binding effect in the face of disruption and dislocation. They also link arts and culture with benefits to mental health, social cohesion, social inclusion, education, employment and international perceptions. 

However, accessing these benefits requires relevant and sustainable arts, cultural and creative industries, and these are at risk in Australia. The National Cultural Plan will provide a framework for strategic investment to transform and embolden Australia’s cultural landscape to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and to better reflect and serve our contemporary communities. 

The need for The National Cultural Plan 

The need for a National Cultural Plan has been recognised with bipartisan support. In October 2021, the Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia’s Cultural and Creative Industries and Institutions by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts delivered the report Sculpting a National Cultural Plan.

The report asserts a bipartisan understanding of the diverse benefits of arts and cultural participation in Australia and the valued role that it plays in the lives of all Australians. The report also makes recommendations on a number of strategic policy priorities, the most important being the development of a National Cultural Plan.

Australia’s ‘Arts and Recreation’ industry is one of only two industries categorised as High Impact’ by the ABS’s report on the negative impacts of COVID-19. The National Cultural Plan will support individuals and organisations across Australia to recover from the challenges of COVID-19 while at the same time supporting economic and employment growth.  

The National Cultural Plan is a practical way to facilitate more coherent and effective public and private investments across Australia’s arts, cultural and creative industries, as well as legislative, regulatory and policy settings. This will ensure financial support for the arts, cultural and creative industries is well targeted and future-focused.

Preparing for The National Cultural Plan 

The development of The National Cultural Plan will take both energy and commitment from all levels of government as well as from arts and culture creators, participators, consumers and investors. 

To support stakeholders to prepare to take part in the development of The National Cultural Plan, ANA published the Analysis Paper Imagining 2030: Preparing for a National Arts, Culture and Creativity Plan. 

The Analysis Paper was informed by existing national plans for sport, agriculture, innovation, tourism and defence technology and identified common elements across these plans including: 

  • demonstration of need
  • a bold vision
  • understanding of the future with and without a plan
  • framework for collaboration
  • focus areas to be addressed 
  • measurements for success. 

ANA understands these common elements could be translated well to the development of The National Cultural Plan.

Find out more 

For more information on ANA’s contributions to the Parliamentary Inquiry or its recent Analysis Paper Imagining 2030 request a briefing via email at

New Approach acknowledges that it meets, works and travels on the lands of First Nations peoples. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and to all First Nations peoples.