Young artists charged $2600 per month to exhibit

As students and graduates start to embark on their professional arts career, an ABC report earlier this year into the ‘hidden costs’ borne by professional artists is worth a re-read.  Interviews with young artists reveal that ‘expenses like materials, labour and transportation of artworks to and from galleries’ and fees for lease payment or gallery hire which can add up to $2600 per month are creating barriers for young artists seeking to make a living from their art. Interviewee  Kalanjay Dhir sees these costs as ‘an inevitable part of being a recent art school graduate or early career artist.’

With the number of university media releases proudly proclaiming the successes of their students, graduates and early career artists to prospective students and for impact/engagement evidence, perhaps it is time for universities to provide financial support to ensure that they have a sustainable supply of promotional material.

The original article, written by Marcus James, provides a wider consideration of the costs to young graduates and is available on the ABC site at:

Tertiary arts and social inclusion: A voice for the voiceless?

Commenting on the release of the latest report into New Zealanders and the Arts earlier this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Aderne said ‘I believe arts and creativity are integral and inseparable parts of what it is to be human’. In this edition of NiTRO, we highlight just a few examples of how tertiary and creative arts is seeking to ‘give a voice to the voiceless’ as Robert L Lynch famously declared.

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From the President: The Diversity Issue

Just as higher education is seen as a marker of privilege by some and empowerment for others, so the current debate about the relevance of the creative arts to the well being of communities also draws on, one might say, particular ideological ground. This is the question of the moment, is it not? What has brought about this scepticism and suspicion of the complexities and diversity of contemporary society but a fear of diversity itself.

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Symposium: The Future of the Scholarly Book

Event date: 31  July 2018
Event location: Sir Roland Wilson Building Room 1.02, 120 McCoy Circuit, Australian National University, Canberra
Event website:

This event, sponsored by Springer Nature and organised by ANU Library, will discuss the challenges, issues and trends in the modern scholarly monograph – particularly in social sciences and humanities. The event will explore a number of issues surrounding the impact of digital publishing and social media on the scholarly monograph: What do PhD graduates expect for their career – is it the traditional book as their first research product? Are scholars using blog posts and new forms of communication to replace the tradition book? Is there a crisis in peer review? Is the metrics tide sweeping over the higher education sector relevant or distracting debate of scholarly communication?

Key speakers include:

  • Prof J. Stephen Downie, Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Information Sciences, and the Illinois Co-Director of the HathiTrust Research Center;
  • Dr Niels Peter Thomas, Chief Book Strategist at Springer Nature
  • Professor Frank Bongiorno, ANU
  • Dr Jan Zwar, Macquarie University who will report on the findings and issues identified through the ARC funded project on the Australian Book Industry.

Sam Walsh AO appointed as new Chair of Australia Council

Sam Walsh AO  has been announced by Minister Mitch Fifield as the 13th Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts. Mr Walsh, formerly Global CEO of Rio Tinto, has served on the Board of the Australia Council since late 2016 and is the current Chair of the Art Gallery of WA. His previous arts roles include Chair of Black Swan State Theatre, Chair and founding member of the WA Chamber of Arts and Culture, and Chair of the Australian Business Arts Foundation. He will take over from current Chair Rupert Myer AO in July.

Less than 1% of National Research Infrastructure investment to go to HASS sector

Closer inspection of the government’s research infrastructure plan by the Australian Academy of Humanities has revealed that the bulk of the $53.4M allocated to Platforms for HASS over the next five years will not deliver for the 41% of the national research workforce that works in the HASS sector. AAH President Professor Joy Damousi points out that '$43M for a new building for CSIRO to house a national collection of animal and plant specimens to support biological knowledge and $2.1M for the Atlas of Living Australia can in no way be construed as an investment in HASS research'. The AAH has reiterated the need for long overdue investment in HASS research infrastructure. 'For a nation to be smart, we need to be smart about how we support our cultural institutions and our HASS researchers to be world leaders. Decisions like this hold back Australian research and impacts our international contribution and standing,' said Professor Damousi.

The Research Infrastructure Investment Plan is available at:

ERA 2018 REC members announced for Humanities and Creative Arts

The Australian Research Council has announced the members of the Research Evaluation Committee for the next round of ERA:

  • Professor Han Baltussen, The University of Adelaide (Classics & ancient history)
  • Professor Susan Broomhall, The University of Western Australia (history)
  • Associate Professor Maryrose Casey, Monash University (performance studies, cultural history and ethnography)
  • Professor Hilary Charlesworth, The University of Melbourne (law)
  • Professor Catharine Coleborne, The University of Newcastle (history)
  • Professor Stephen Crain, Macquarie University (linguistics)
  • Professor David Cross, Deakin University (visual arts)
  • Professor Richard De Dear, The University of Sydney (design)
  • Professor Susan Forde, Griffith University (media)
  • Professor Ross Grantham, The University of Queensland (law)
  • Professor Helena Grehan, Murdoch University (performance research)
  • Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth, RMIT University (digital media)
  • Professor Ralph Horne, RMIT University (design)
  • Professor Susan Martin, La Trobe University (literature)
  • Professor Jennifer McMahon, The University of Adelaide (philosophy)
  • Professor Martina Möllering, Macquarie University (linguistics)
  • Associate Professor Gregory Nolan, University of Tasmania (architecture)
  • Professor John Powers, Deakin University (philosophy)
  • Professor Benjamin Richardson, University of Tasmania (law)
  • Professor Benjamin Smith, University of Western Australia (rock art)
  • Professor Sean Ulm, James Cook University (archaeology)
  • Distinguished Professor Jennifer Webb, University of Canberra (creative practice).

New Zealand’s pledge for arts and creativity contrast with Australia’s productivity plans

New Zealand PM Jacinda Aderne has pledged to "place more emphasis on integrating the arts and culture sector into all policy areas, into our regional economic development strategy".  Speaking on the launch of the most recent report into New Zealanders and the Arts, she said, "You only need to look at the collective impact of the sector ... to know that helping turning a craft into an income is worth investing in". Aderne sees the importance of education policy change noting that "early involvement in arts and culture also fuels the success of our creative industries later". She said, "I want to change the way we perceive a career in arts by recognising the legitimacy of the arts as a career just as we do any other".

Compare this perspective with the Australian Government’s recent response to Innovation and Science Australia’s (ISA) Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation (2030 Plan). Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash confirmed government support for the plan’s science focused recommendations saying:
"We will continue to work with ISA to ensure innovation, science and technology drive the best economic outcomes for Australia, help us remain globally competitive and ensure we have the skills and jobs we need to prosper now and into the future". 

Creative arts are conspicuous for their absence amongst the investments highlighted the Turnbull Government’s 2018-19 budget in its response to the 2030 strategy.

ACUADS 2018: call for papers

Conference date: 27 & 28 September 2018
Call for papers deadline: 15 June 2018
Conference location: Perth, Western Australia

The theme of the next Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools annual Conference is: Art and Design in Transition.

The conference,  co-hosted by Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and North Metropolitan TAFE in conjunction with UAMA (University Art Museums Australia), will take place in Perth in September  The deadline for submissions is 15 June 2018.

Further details are available on the conference website:

Julianne Schultz steps down as Griffith Review Editor

After 15 years in the Editor’s seat at Griffith Review, Julianne Schultz is handing over to author and journalist Associate Professor Ashley Hay who will take up the position in July. 

Under Julianne’s editorship Griffith Review has featured many Australian writers, artists and academics and has brought the work of academia to broader public attention.

Julianne will combine her role as publisher with her own writing and research as Professor of Media and Culture in the Griffith Social and Cultural Research Centre.