Victorian Government announces new funds to build Creative State

Shepparton Art Museum artist impressionVictoria has confirmed its status as Australia’s creative leader, with an ambitious new plan from the Government that will create jobs, develop local talent and grow the state’s $23 billion creative and cultural economy.

The upcoming 2016/2017 Victorian Budget will provide $152 million to deliver a strong program of support to the creative and cultural sector. The centrepiece of the investment will be Victoria’s first Creative Industries strategy; Creative State.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley last night launched Creative State, a $115 million investment to develop and keep the best creative talent across film and television, digital games, design, fashion, music and the performing and visual arts, and enable Victorians to undertake ambitious, internationally recognised work.

“Victoria has the best of everything – but we can’t take it for granted. The Creative State will create jobs, develop local talent and grow our creative industries,” said Minister Foley. “This is an investment that will deliver economic, social and cultural benefits for all Victorians whether they work in, or enjoy our creative industries.”

“Creative State lays out our plan for making Victoria a global creative centre and the place of choice for people embarking on creative careers.”

The strategy provides comprehensive support to key industry sectors including $16.4m to strengthen Victoria’s design industry, the state’s fastest growing creative sector; and $14.2m for the screen industry to attract more opportunities to Victoria and support Melbourne International Film Festival, one of the world’s best consumer film festivals.

In addition, the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will provide $20 million to support a creative hub in the Latrobe Valley and a gallery in Shepparton. Other highlights in the $152 million package include:

  • $33.7 million will be provided to increase participation and access, build international engagement, grow and nurture creative excellence and strengthen career pathways
  • $7 million to support a cultural hub for Bendigo
  • $23 million to expand and upgrade the state’s cultural collections storage, including a new facility in Ballarat
  • $50 million boost for the State Library of Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Recital Centre.

Creative State will roll out from July 2016, with key initiatives overseen by the Creative State Advisory Board, chaired by the Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley.  The Board will bring together expertise from across Victoria’s creative sectors, the members are:

  • Nicole Beyer: Director, Theatre Network Australia (Victoria)
  • Robert Connolly: Film director, producer, screenwriter
  • Richard Frankland: Filmmaker, artist, Head of Wilin Centre, VCA
  • Ella Hooper: Singer-songwriter, radio presenter, TV personality
  • Graeme Lewsey: CEO, Melbourne Fashion Festival
  • Alice Nash: Executive Producer & Co-CEO, Back to Back Theatre
  • Tony Reed: CEO, Game Developers’ Association of Australia
  • Katrina Sedgwick: Director/CEO, Australian Centre for the Moving Image
  • Melis Senova: Founder and Managing Director, Huddle Design
  • Kate Torney: Chief Executive, State Library of Victoria
  • Peter Tullin: Cultural entrepreneur and Co-Founder of
  • Marcus Westbury: Broadcaster, writer, media-maker, festival director and CEO, Collingwood Arts Precinct

Targeted initiatives will support cultural hubs and creative co-working spaces across metropolitan and regional Victoria, accelerate creative ideas and businesses, increase the export of creative services and cultural product, and boost Victoria’s tourism industry.

Designed to grow the state’s $23 billion creative and cultural economy, the Creative State strategy comprises 40 funded initiatives aimed at turbocharging the state’s creative enterprises, creating new jobs and employment opportunities, and bringing social and cultural benefits to Victorians.

The strategy will see the introduction of programs to attract and retain the best creative talent; enable Victorians to undertake large-scale, internationally recognised work; and provide more opportunities for more people to enjoy high quality cultural experiences and pursue creative careers wherever they live.

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Artist’s impression of the new Shepparton Art Museum – courtesy of Greater Shepparton City Council