Creating a fairer, more inclusive Arts Sector in Victoria

Diversity Arts AustraliaTen leading Victorian arts organisations will be the first to take part in a transformative program to become more diverse and inclusive.

Fair Play: Equity, Inclusion and the Creative Industries is a first-of-its-kind initiative backed by the Victorian Government to ensure Victoria’s creative sector better reflects our diverse communities.

“Diverse voices and perspectives bring better understanding and strength to our workplaces, boardrooms and creative offerings – Fair Play seeks to do just that,” said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley. “I commend each of the participating organisations and their leadership who have shown a genuine commitment to equity and inclusion and to creating meaningful change.”

The program acknowledges that particular groups are under-represented at all levels of Australia’s creative landscape and focuses on building organisational capacity and opportunities. Tailored to each organisation, the program seeks to reduce barriers to leadership, employment and participation faced by First Peoples, Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and Victorians with a disability.

Research by Diversity Arts Australia analysed the leadership of 200 Australia arts and cultural organisations and found that culturally and linguistically diverse Australians comprise only about 10 per cent of leadership and board roles – despite making up 39 per cent of the population.

To address this and other issues of under-representation, organisations will be matched with expert mentors. Organisations will learn how to adapt their programs and practices to improve accessibility, respect and inclusion of marginalised communities, and set realistic goals for change.

The participating organisations are: Regional Arts Victoria (RAV); Australian Centre for the Moving Image; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Bendigo Art Gallery; Warrnambool Art Gallery; The Wheeler Centre; Melbourne International Arts Festival; Music Victoria; Theatre Network Australia and Emerging Writers’ Festival.

Fair Play is being delivered by Diversity Arts Australia and addresses one of the priorities of the Labor Government’s Creative State strategy. A further 10 organisations will be selected to participate in 2020.

“This project goes far beyond the tick-boxing exercises of most diversity programs,” said Diversity Arts Australia executive director Lena Nahlous. “The Victorian Government should be acknowledged for developing such a groundbreaking initiative.”

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of Diversity Arts Australia