Let's get this show on the road: developing national cultural policy

Some of Australia’s finest artistic and creative minds will help guide the development of the Albanese Labor Government’s landmark National Cultural Policy.

Fifteen acclaimed writers, musicians, painters, producers, directors and industry professionals have agreed to be part of five expert review panels that will help shape the National Cultural Policy in the months ahead.

They will identify the key issues and themes raised through the public consultation process and help craft what will be a comprehensive roadmap for Australia’s arts and culture sectors for the decades ahead.

“A National Cultural Policy should draw on as many voices as possible,” Minister Burke said.

“That’s why I’m asking every Australian who cares about arts and culture to make a submission. And it’s why I’m drawing on the expertise of these diverse creative sector professionals to help me drive this.

“Together, we can bring new direction and vision to a critical sector that does so much to enrich Australians’ lives.”

Each panel will focus on one of the five pillars of the new cultural policy:

  • First Nations first: recognising and respecting the crucial place of these stories at the centre of our arts and culture.
  • A place for every story: reflecting the diversity of our stories and the contribution of all Australians as the creators of culture.
  • The centrality of the artist: supporting the artist as worker and celebrating their role as the creators of culture.
  • Strong institutions: providing support across the spectrum of institutions – funded, philanthropic and commercial - which sustain our arts and culture.
  • Reaching the audience: ensuring our stories reach the people at home and abroad.

Details of the panellists are below.

I will deliver a new National Cultural Policy before the end of the year. The arts, entertainment and cultural sector is important to who we are as Australians and plays a vital role in the economy.

Public submissions can be made here: www.arts.gov.au/culturalpolicy

Submissions close on August 22.


Panel 1: First Nations 

Panel 4: Strong institutions

Mr Wesley Enoch AM (NSW) is a Quandamooka man from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), an internationally acclaimed playwright and artistic director and current Indigenous Chair of Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology.

Ms Kerri Glasscock (NSW) is Festival Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Fringe Festival, and is a founding Board Member and Deputy Chair of the Night Time Industries Association.


Ms Rachael Maza AM (VIC) is a Yidinji and Meriam woman who is the Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre Company, and an accomplished actress and director.

Ms Karen Quinlan AM (ACT) is the Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, and was previously the Director of Bendigo Art Gallery and a curatorial assistant at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Ms Claire Coleman (VIC) is a Noongar woman who writes fiction, essays, poetry and art criticism. Her debut novel Terra Nullius won the Norma K Hemming Award in 2018.

Mr Kim Walker (NSW) is the Chief Executive Officer of (NAISDA) Dance College, Australia’s foremost training Institute for First Nations students and a former principal dancer of the Sydney Dance Company and Artistic Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.

Panel 2: A place for every story

Panel 5: Reaching the audience

Ms Caroline Bowditch (VIC) is Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Arts Access Victoria. She is an accomplished international performer and choreographer with a commitment to cultural equity.

Ms Kate Ben-Tovim (WA) has over 20 years’ experience in the cultural sector and has lived and worked in Indonesia, India, PNG, China, UK and across Australia.  She has produced a number of large-scale music productions for festivals that have received Helpmann and Deadly Awards.

Professor Deborah Cheetham AO (VIC), Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and Artistic Director of Short Black Opera, has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 30 years.

Mr Fintan Magee (QLD) is a Sydney based social realist painter, specialising in large-scale murals.

Mr Khoa Do (SA) is an award-winning film director and screenwriter who has worked across the spectrum of film, television and community theatre. His films have won awards at various festivals worldwide.

Mr Emile Sherman (NSW) is a television and film producer, best known for producing Lion and The King’s Speech, which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Picture.

Panel 3: The centrality of the artist


Mr Matthew Chesher (NSW) is Director of Legal and Policy for the Media, Entertainment and the Arts Alliance, the largest union of Australian creative professionals.


Mr Michael Hohnen (NT) is an ARIA-winning musician and producer, and co-founder of the local music label Skinnyfish Music.


Ms Deena Lynch (QLD) is a singer-songwriter, musician, photographer, visual artist, director and designer, best known by her stage name Jaguar Jonze.