Territory Stories

Shaping the future : Arts and culture in the Northern Territory



Shaping the future : Arts and culture in the Northern Territory

Other title

Discussion paper

Issued by

Northern Territory. Department of Arts and Museums


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; Shaping The Future: Arts and Culture in the Northern Territory Discussion Paper invites you to provide feedback and join in the discussion on the key issues and themes to inform an Arts and Cultural Policy for the Northern Territory. The Policy will set out the vision and principles for the future development of arts and culture for our social, cultural and economic benefit. Closing date for submissions is Friday 6 November 2015.


Closing date for submissions is Friday 6 November 2015.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Minister's foreword -- How to give feedback -- Issues for discussion -- Introduction -- Context for an arts and cultural policy -- Issues for discussion -- Feedback -- Appendix 1.




Arts -- Northern Territory; Northern Territory -- Cultural policy; Arts and society -- Northern Territory; Arts and state -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



19 pages : colour illustrations ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Related links

http://hdl.handle.net/10070/267930 [Submission by the Australian Institute of Architects (NT) in response to Shaping the Future]

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

8 Some of the broader Northern Territory Government priorities which have been highlighted recently include: giving our children the best education and keeping them active; promoting our great Territory lifestyle; strengthening our prosperous economy; and attracting new visitors and celebrating our unique Territory culture. Similarly there are currently several specific Government initiatives including the development of FestivalsNT, with a focus on attracting visitors from overseas and interstate, strengthening the Territorys role as the gateway (and meeting place) between Australia and Asia and the enhancement of significant Territory events. This includes in regional and remote areas and working to create a sense of local celebration, Territory-wide unity and to raise the profile of the Territory through arts and culture. Emerging Federal Government policy may also hold significant opportunities and challenges for arts and cultural development in the Territory. The 2030 Vision for Developing Northern Australia considers that development, especially economic development, represents a major opportunity for Australia as a whole: No longer will Northern Australia be seen as the last frontier: it is in fact, the next frontier. Equally, developing stronger linkages and cooperative approaches with local governments in the Territory could enhance the impact of the ACP. Nearly 30% of Territorians are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, compared with less than 3% across Australia as a whole. In over 75% of Australian households, English is the only language spoken at home, compared with less than 63% in the Territory. This reflects the richness of cultural diversity, alongside the continuing importance of Aboriginal languages in the Northern Territory. The Territory also has a young population with a median age of 31 compared with the Australia-wide median of 37. The current process is to develop an ACP. It is not a Strategy or a Plan. The distinguishing nature of a Policy is that it provides a basis for alignment of future action and decisions, emphasising principles and high-level goals, and enabling different elements of Government to operate within a common framework. The Policy will provide a basis for informing future investment and strategies for arts and cultural development, as resources become available and priorities are identified. The Policy will provide a guide to inform Northern Territory Government planning and investment in arts and culture. It will aim to align programs and provide clarity and consistency for the arts and cultural sector and the community regarding Government priorities and investments. This raises the question of the purpose to which the ACP will be put and how it will inform action across Government not only through the Department of Arts and Museums, but also through tourism and economic development, education, community capacity-building, CBD and regional and remote development, and other fields. How it will drive partnerships building locally, nationally and overseas. How it will be reflected in the work of government-controlled cultural entities and in the work of independent organisations, artists and creative businesses.