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Towards equity: a research overview of diversity in Australia’s arts and cultural sector

June 8, 2021

Towards equity: a research overview of diversity in Australia’s arts and cultural sector

June 8, 2021

Overview

Towards Equity: A research overview of diversity in Australia’s arts and cultural sector brings together published and unpublished data and research on representation within the arts and cultural sector in Australia.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, the cultural and creative workforce, cultural leaders and among Australia Council investment and staff.

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.

The Australia Council – like many other government and industry organisations – is committed to monitoring and reporting diversity across our investment, activities and sector.

In many cases, terminology and definitions are shifting and/or contested. Information and data gaps, as well as questions and recommendations for building a more comprehensive picture of diversity in our arts and culture, are also identified in this report.

Australia’s diversity is our richest asset. Equity must be central to how we think about, support and engage with arts and culture in this country.

This research shows that while much work has been done, much more work lies ahead.

Please explore this report. It is one milestone in the conversation that can inform action across the industry to address inequities.

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 toimprove their wellbeing. However, they are twice as likely to experience difficulty getting to events compared to those in metropolitan or regional areas.

Easy English

 Image Download an Easy English version of the report..

Watch an Auslan interpreted introduction of the report