This submission was created in response to AIATSIS not being considered an important cultural institution as listed in the National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper (NCPDP p.7) despite its substantial achievements. It is long and needs to be viewed in its entirety to understand all the issues addressed.
The submission outlines its achievements in preserving and promoting Indigenous cultures, languages and histories. It outlines AIATSIS’ capacity to support the goals of the NCPDP in regard to Indigenous culture.
AIATSIS’ activities of collecting, preserving, creating and publishing Indigenous Knowledge contributes to the social and economic wellbeing of Indigenous people through policy advice, research, and by celebrating and making accessible cultural materials, languages and history. This also contributes to the Australian Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap and to the social cohesion of Australian society.
The submission is divided into the following areas:
- Introduction and Background
- AIATSIS and the National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper
- How AIATSIS could help meet the NCPDP goals:
To ensure that what the Government supports — and how this support is provided — reflects the diversity of a 21st Century Australia, and protects and supports Indigenous culture.
Recommendations - Goal 1
- That AIATSIS be acknowledged in the NCPDP as a national cultural institution alongside Australian cultural institutions such as the National Library of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the National Archives of Australia.
- That AIATSIS be the lead Australian cultural government agency in the coordination of multi-institutional Indigenous digitisation and online projects.
- That AIATSIS take a lead role in advising other cultural and collecting organisations about protocols and priorities in terms of their Indigenous collections, including digital repatriation of materials (via internet).
- That a national audit be undertaken immediately of Indigenous collections at risk of permanent loss in the next 10-20 years and a plan developed for their preservation and digitisation.
- That a ten-year plan to preserve and digitise AIATSIS’ collections at risk be implemented. These collections are critical for language renewal, native title and family history research.
To encourage the use of emerging technologies and new ideas that support the development of new artworks and the creative industries, and that enable more people to access and participate in arts and culture.
Recommendations - Goal 2
- That high priority should be given to for the rollout of NBN/Broadband to Indigenous remote communities and to regional areas. This will support the digital repatriation and access to Indigenous collections held in collecting organisations by Indigenous people in remote and regional areas.
- That Ara Iritija and Mukurtu be supported to enable the digital repatriation of materials from collecting organisations to Indigenous communities.
To support excellence and world-class endeavour, and strengthen the role that the art plays in telling Australian stories both here and overseas.
Recommendations – Goal 3
- That the Australian government invest more heavily in the Indigenous community arts organisations in order to foster employment in remote areas.
- That the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Artists Database be supported for an update.
- That the National Cultural Policy include resources for evaluation and assessment of it’s effectiveness
To increase and strengthen the capacity of the arts to contribute to our society and economy.
- Broader issues
- AIATSIS Recommendations
Recommendations – Goal 4
See recommendations 1 and 3 in Goal 3 above.