05 February 2024


Many of us heard the glorious tones of a brass fanfare and a string quartet ringing through the marble foyer this morning, as talented musicians from the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Australian National Academy of Music helped us celebrate the beginning of the new parliamentary year. AYO and ANAM are members of the ARTS8—the eight arts training organisations supported by the Australian government to nurture the next generation of creative talent. Other members include the Australian Film Television and Radio School, the National Institute of Dramatic Art—NIDA—the Australian Ballet School, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, the NAISDA Dance College and the National Institute of Circus Arts.

Last year, the ARTS8 trained 1,694 artists and arts workers. They have produced some of Australia's most accomplished and internationally celebrated creatives, performers and arts workers. I'm proud that our national cultural policy provided new financial support to these institutions and affirmed the government's commitment to their ongoing sustainability. Australia needs Aussies skilled up to tell our stories. If we want a healthy, dynamic and innovative cultural sector, if we want a confident and distinctive Australian cultural identity, and if we want our finest creatives to be able to thrive in their own country, we need strong arts training institutions like these ones.

View Susan delivering this speech in Parliament here.