Cultural Policy


The Cultural Policy, the Australia Council and you:  What does the future hold for Artists and Organisations?

Tony Grybowski, the new CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts in conversation with Frank Panucci, Acting Executive Director of Arts Funding, the Australia Council for the Arts

2013 has emerged as a landmark year for the Arts in Australia. On the 14th of March the second ever National Cultural Policy, Creative Australia, was announced by the Federal Government. Supporters suggest putting the Arts back on the policy agenda for the first time in 20 years is an acknowledgement of the importance of a creative community.  But what does that really mean for artists?  How does the policy agenda impact the daily lives of individuals, companies or the wider community?

Then on the 25th of June the Australia Council Bill 2013 – the first major change to the Governing Legislation to the Australia Council since the passing of the Australia Council Act in 1975 – was approved by the Senate.  It has been suggested this is one of the most significant changes in the 40 year history of the Australia Council.  So what are they actually doing?  What does the disbanding of the artform boards and the establishment of a greater pool of industry peers mean for companies, collectives and individuals?  And to what extent are the changes to the Australia Council related to the delivery of the new National Cultural Policy. Join us for an insight into what these changes mean for the Artist Community.

Tony Grybowski, CEO, the Australia Council for the Arts

Tony commenced his career in Arts Administration with the Victorian Arts Centre, working with the State Orchestra of Victoria. He subsequently spent three years working with the Sydney Symphony and in 1992 was appointed to the position of Planning and Operations Manager with Musica Viva Australia, a position he held for six years. In 1998 Tony was appointed to the position of General Manager of the AustralianYouth Orchestra and steered this national company through a period of significant growth and development. After seven years with the AYO, Tony returned to Victoria and joined the Arts Victoria as General Manager of the Programming and Innovation Unit, leading a range of cultural policy work.

Tony joined the Australia Council in November 2007 as Executive Director, Arts Organisations Division. During his career Tony has served on a range of Boards and Committees, including; Deputy Chair Youth Music Australia, Board of the Institute of the Arts at the Australian National University and the Orchestral Association of Australia. Tony was an inaugural member of the Australia Council’s Youth Panel and served for five years on Arts NSW’s Music Committee and as Deputy Chair of the Queensland based contemporary music ensemble, Elision.

Frank Panucci, Acting Executive Director of Arts Funding, the Australia Council for the Arts

Frank has worked in community and cultural development for over 20 years and held a range of senior positions in the government, community and general arts sector. Frank was involved in establishing and running Sydney’s first Italo-Australian community cultural development performance company, been a principal policy officer at the then NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission, a researcher for trade unions, General Manager of Carnivale (a cultural diversity arts festival) as well as managing the Race Discrimination Unit at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. He has also been an independent consultant on community and cultural issues.

Frank’s usual role is Director of the Community Partnerships Section – a position he was appointed to December 2006. However, Frank has worked at the Australia Council for the Arts in several stints over the last 14 years and has been the Manager of the Council’s Multicultural Arts Policy, and the Manager of the Community Cultural Development Board. He returned to temporarily be Manager of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and then was asked to act as the Director of the Policy, Communications and Research Division of Council.