What is Reasonable and Democratic? #freethearts

In case you hadn't heard, earlier this year Minister for the Arts George Brandis announced an $104.8 million cut from the well established & democratic national arts funding body The Australia Council. Why?  To fund Brandis' own proposed National Programme for Excellence in the Arts. How can he do this with no consultation or peer review process? Just because he can. Who will be most affected? Small to medium arts orgs and individual artists. Result? A whole lot of anger and questions  from Australia's arts sector. You can read and sign the open letter to George Brandis, Australians for Artistic Freedom. And have a look at the details of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of Brandis' decision. (Report date for that one is September 15).

Please, don't do nothing.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.


So Please, do something. The deadline has passed for letter submissions to the Senate Inquiry but you can still write a letter and send it to your local member and State Senators. 

  • There is a list of contacts at the bottom of this post. 
  • Send a letter by post rather than email. It is widely believed that this has more impact.  
  • Not sure what to write? Go here for a template.

I struggled to stay within the one page suggested template. Nevertheless,  my letter has  been sent to the Senate Inquiry into the Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts. I couldn't help but get a little cheeky .. here is the little prayer that I included:


Dear God,

Poor Minister Brandis. Clearly he is unwell. Please grant him as much resilience as the Australian artists and companies whose livelihoods are affected by his unbalanced decision making: The small to medium companies who intended to apply for the now scrapped Australia Council’s six-year funding program; the independent artists who were going to apply for the axed June grant round; the communities and artists affected by the cancelled ArtStart, Creative Communities Partnership Initiative and Artists in Residence programs. And they are just the tip of the iceberg.

God, I’m sure Minister Brandis didn’t mean to say ‘F*!k You Lot’ to the Australian arts sector. Please grant him as much humility, creativity, good sense and gsoh as the wonderful Australian artists who are not employed by Australia’s major performing arts companies and who often struggle to earn a minimum wage.

ps Let him know that when I say ‘grant him’, I don’t mean he has to apply for a grant. God, no! He is far too busy making important, reasonable, democratic decisions; I totally understand he has no time for that applying-for-grants palaver.

List of  contacts:
The Prime Minister, Minister for the Arts and South Australian senators 

The Prime Minister
Hon A.J. Abbott MP
Member for Warringah
PO Box 450
Manly  NSW 2095
The Minister for the Arts
Senator G.H. Brandis
P.O. Box 143
Albion DC QLD 4010
South Australian Senators

Senator  N. Xenophon
Level 2, 31 Ebenezer Place
Adelaide SA 5000
Senator S.C. Hanson-Young
Level 7, 147 Pirie Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Senator P.L. Wright
PO Box 8117
Station Arcade, Adelaide
SA 5000
Senator A.M. Gallacher
265 Churchill Road
Prospect SA 5082
Senator A. McEwen
PO Box 55
Torrensville Plaza SA 5031
Senator P. Wong
PO Box 6237, Halifax Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Senator C. Bernadi
PO Box 2192
Kent Town SA 5071
Senator S.J. Birmingham
107 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton SA 5033
Senator R.J. Day
77 Fullarton Road
Kent Town SA 5067
Senator S. Edwards
187 Grenfell Street
Adelaide SA  5000
Senator D.J. Fawcett
Commonwealth Parliament Offices
Suite 4, Level 13, 100 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Senator A. Ruston
PO Box 1671
Renmark SA 5341