Building a more inclusive Creative State in Victoria

clay-banks-unsplashThe Victorian Government is backing ten of Victoria’s celebrated creative organisations to become more inclusive, building a fairer and stronger creative sector for all Victorians.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced this year’s participants in the Fair Play initiative, designed to improve access and representation in the arts, across employment, leadership and public participation.

“Fair Play gives our creative organisations an opportunity to reboot and reshape the way they do things so we can build a creative state that is more inclusive and accessible for all Victorians,” said Minister Foley.

Participating organisations include Arena Theatre in Bendigo, Malthouse Theatre, children’s theatre-makers Polyglot, dance company Chunky Move, and Victoria’s peak body for Aboriginal music Songlines. Museums Victoria, Geelong Art Gallery and Heide Museum of Modern Art are also taking part, as are two of the state’s most popular festivals Melbourne Fringe and Melbourne Writers’ Festival.

The six-month program, delivered by Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS), will be led by creative practitioner mentors who have lived experience and connections to the communities. The program focuses on, drawing from first-hand experience to help organisations meet their equity goals through tailored mentoring, training and support.

Mentors will work closely with the organisations to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for greater engagement, employment of, and leadership from First Peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse groups, and deaf and disabled Victorians.

“Fair Play encourages systemic change by empowering and supporting organisations to develop the foundations and strategies they need to participate in more equitable creative industries,” said Lena Nahlous, Executive Director, Diversity Arts Australia. “It is a truly a groundbreaking program.”

The program has been developed with training partners including Koorie Heritage Trust, Arts Access Victoria, Boon Wurrung Foundation and Wurundjeri Tribal Council.

To extend the impact of the program beyond the participating organisations, videos and other resources will be shared via the Creative Equity Toolkit – a free online resource supported by Creative Victoria.

Fair Play was introduced in 2019 to ensure arts organisations that receive government funding better reflect and serve the diversity of the Victorian community, and participating organisations reported a raft of positive inclusion outcomes. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Clay Banks on Unsplash