Kate Jenkins AO to chair Creative Workplaces Council

AAR-Kate-Jenkins-AOAustralian artists and arts workers deserve safe and fair workplaces. That’s why as part of Australia’s new national cultural policy, Revive, the Federal Government is establishing Creative Workplaces – a new body to raise and set workplace standards across the arts.

It will provide advice on issues of safety, welfare and pay in the arts and entertainment sector, refer matters to the relevant authorities and work with the sector to develop codes of conduct and resources for the sector.

The Government has announced the appointment of Kate Jenkins AO as Chair of the Creative Workplaces Council.

A former Sex Discrimination Commissioner and author of the Respect@Work report into sexual harassment, Ms Jenkins is the perfect person to fill this important leadership position.

“Australian artists and creatives aren’t hobbyists, they’re workers. They deserve safe and fair workplaces like every other worker,” said Minister Burke.

“That’s why we’re establishing Creative Workplaces and I can’t think of anyone better suited to chairing this Council than Kate Jenkins.

“She brings a wealth of experience and undeniable authority to Creative Workplaces, and I’m certain her leadership will result in tangible improvements for Australian artists and arts workers,” said Minister Burke.

“Nearly six years ago, the Harvey Weinstein story broke and generated a global conversation about the experiences of workers in the arts, media and entertainment industries worldwide,” said Kate Jenkins AO.

“In Australia, arts workers in every industry had their own stories to tell. Their experiences and the unacceptable risks they faced at work have been heard in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s national surveys on workplace sexual harassment, the national music industry review, Raising Their Voices, and review into the cinematography industry, A Wider Lens.”

“I am honoured to be appointed Chair of the Creative Workplaces Council. My 2020 Respect@Work national inquiry on workplace sexual harassment found that effective measures to prevent and respond to unacceptable conduct included industry-tailored initiatives.”

“The establishment of Creative Workplaces is a practical and proactive way to ensure our Australian artists and arts workers enjoy fair, safe and respectful workplaces. I look forward to working with our expert group of council members, Creative Australia and Australia’s arts sector and will have more to share about our plans and priorities soon,” said Ms Jenkins.

All arts organisations seeking federal Government funding will be expected to adhere to minimum workplace safety and employment standards.

The new body responds to the Raising Their Voices report – which found the unacceptable presence of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the Australian music industry – and the consultation in Revive.

The Creative Workplaces Council will provide expert advice on the services to be delivered by Creative Workplaces.

In addition to Ms Jenkins, the Government will appoint six further members to the Council.

  • Ms Kate Jenkins AO (Chair) – Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner from 2016 to April 2023.
  • Dr Tony Ayres – Executive Producer, Tony Ayres Production, writer, director and founding member of Matchbox Pictures.
  • Ms Fiona Donovan – Award-winning production designer and art director, and current Vice President of the Australian Production Design Guild Board.
  • Ms Ruth Hazleton – Award-winning independent musician, academic and historian.
  • Ms Michel Hryce – Director of People and Culture of the Michael Cassel Group, and previously In-house Counsel, People and Culture for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
  • Ms Tina Lavranos – Executive Director of DarkLab Pty Ltd and previously Director of People and Culture, MONA Museum.
  • Mr Bjorn Stewart – Award-winning freelance Australian actor, writer and television director.

With Revive, the Government is delivering a new chapter in Australia’s cultural story. Artists and creators – from classical musicians to pub rockers, from First Nations designers to the illustrators of children’s books – know they finally have a Government that values and backs them as workers.

For more information on Creative Workplaces, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.

Image: Kate Jenkins AO (sourced)