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Indepth Arts News:

"Selling Australian culture to the world"
1999-09-27 until 0000-00-00
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Australia
Sydney, , AU Australia

Leaders from the Australian cultural community have endorsed a three-year strategy to promote Australias culture abroad. Federal Minister for the Arts, Peter McGauran, today chaired the third meeting of the Australia International Cultural Council in Darwin on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.

The Council intends to engage comprehensively with the arts industry, cultural businesses and artists to achieve its objectives.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to build an international profile by using major world events held within our shores and overseas during the next three years, Mr McGauran said.

The Council identified a number of substantial opportunities for promoting Australian culture internationally including the Sydney Olympics, the Centenary of Federation celebrations in London in 2000 and in Australia in 2001, and the Hannover Expo in 2000, he said.

The ABCs Millennium Day live broadcast was also recognised as an excellent opportunity to showcase our culture through international television. This global broadcast will feature commissioned works at truly Australian sites such as the Sydney Opera House and Uluru, he said.

The Council agreed that it was important to maintain the momentum created by these events.

The Council discussed a draft report by Government agencies on international promotion and market access for Australian cultural exports.

The report considered ways of better integrating arts exports into the Government trade promotion and trade development programs. It will be further developed by examining export prospects for specific cultural industries, Mr McGauran said.

Other issues discussed at the Council meeting included:

noting the significant progress the Commission for International Cultural Promotion has made in strengthening cooperation among Government agencies in support of key cultural events;

confirming the need for an up-to-date, comprehensive and easy-to-access guide listing all Australian cultural activity in Australia and overseas. This guide would contribute to the image overseas of our nation being culturally rich;

affirming the Councils commitment to promoting and strengthening the export of Australian cultural products;

supporting Austrades efforts to provide information on its services to potential arts exporters; and

agreeing the cultural community should be represented at the National Trade Consultations - the regular dialogue among Federal, State and Territory Governments, industry associations and unions on policies for increasing Australias trade and investment.

The next Council meeting will be in Adelaide to coincide with the opening of the Adelaide Festival in March 2000.

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