Regional Arts Australia

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Regional Arts Australia
Typepeak organisation
ABN: 45 000 525 182
  • Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Area served
Formerly called
Arts Council of Australia (1966 – 1998)

Regional Arts Australia is the national peak body for regional arts organisations throughout Australia.[1][2] Formed in 1966 as the Arts Council of Australia, it is a federation of the peak non-metropolitan community arts organisations in each of the Australian states and territories.[3] It advocates better recognition and support for the regional, rural and remote arts sector in Australia. It initiates and manages projects to support regional artists, artsworkers and communities in arts practice, arts promotion and audience development in the regional and rural sectors.[4]


The origin of the Arts Council movement in Australia was the New South Wales based Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) formed in 1943 by the singer Dorothy Helmrich modelled on the British organisation of the same name.[3] In 1947 the New South Wales Division of CEMA decided to change its name to the Arts Council of Australia (NSW Division) with a view to establishing a national body.[5] Lack of funding delayed that vision being realised until 1966. Arts Councils were formed in South Australia (1946, lapsed in 1952 and reformed in 1965), Tasmania (1951), the Australian Capital Territory (lapsed in 1952 and reformed in 1962), Queensland (1961), Victoria (1969), the Northern Territory (1967) and Western Australia (1973).[3] In 1998, the organisation changed its name to Regional Arts Australia.[6]

Member organisations[edit]

The constituent members of Regional Arts Australia are:[7]

State or Territory Organisation Website
New South Wales Regional Arts NSW
Northern Territory Arts NT
Queensland Queensland Arts Council
South Australia Country Arts SA
Victoria Regional Arts Victoria
Western Australia Country Arts WA

Alliances and associations[edit]

In 2003, it joined with four other peak industry bodies, the Federation of Australian Historical Societies, Museums Australia, the Australian Council of National Trusts, and the Australian Library and Information Association, to form The Regional Cultural Alliance in order to "help regional artists gain greater access to skills development and training as well as present a united front when lobbying government ... to better co-ordinate existing programs for cultural development in the regions and recognise the economic opportunities art and culture create for regional centres."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Writing's on the wall", The Canberra Times, 1 March 2006, p 8 via Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b Cathy Pryor, "A force for the regions", The Australian 4 December 2003 p 15 (Features section); via Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, EBSCO (database online) Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Arts Council of Australia" in William H. Wilde, Joy Hooton, and Barry Andrews (eds), The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature, Oxford University Press, 1994, via Oxford Reference Online Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  4. ^ About Us, Regional Arts Australia, Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  5. ^ "C.E.M.A. Takes New Name". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). NSW: National Library of Australia. 23 December 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Regional Arts Australia", Authorities (database online), Libraries Australia, Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  7. ^ Member Organisations, Regional Arts Australia, Retrieved 30 September 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dorothy Helmrich, The first twenty-five years : a study of the Arts Council of Australia, (Sydney, Southwood Press, 1968)

External links[edit]