51st Symposium
& annual Fellowship events


In light of the broad and deep impacts of COVID-19, we have decided to postpone all Academy events through to early September 2020, and we are currently considering arrangements for our annual events in November 2020.

Further announcements will be made over the coming months.

What transformations are necessary for
Australia’s cultural and creative future?

The 51st Academy Symposium will explore Australia’s cultural terrain, drawing on the insights of researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

Culture and creativity are a valued part of daily life for most Australians, but culture’s status as a public good has long been contested. Right now, this tension is colliding with dramatic shifts in production, consumption and distribution. In this time of disruption we will explore the opportunities for innovative public policy and new creative practice to help strengthen the cultural life of Australia.

To be held in Canberra, the Symposium will be held Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 November 2020 and annual Fellowship events Friday 20 to Saturday 21 November 2020.

The event is open to all and will bring together Academy Fellows, humanities researchers and representatives from the arts and culture sector, government, universities, industry, philanthropy and the public.

A New Approach the independent think tank championing effective investment and return in Australian creativity and culture is the Principal Sponsor.

Provisional program

The program will include a range of free public events, the 51st Academy Lecture, and the main Symposium program. Over the coming months, speakers and further details will be announced.

The provisional program includes sessions on:

How does culture count in 2020? Speakers will reflect on the role of culture in 21st century, exploring how the shifts in production, consumption and distribution are shaping our experience now.

Key insights from A New ApproachKey project leaders will share ideas for how these insights can be used to shape a rich and relevant cultural and creative future for Australia.

Continuous and Diverse: A long history of many cultures Australia was multicultural long before Cook visited. Indigenous leaders have called for a narrative of this country which honours the multiple strands of history, culture, experience and innovation which have brought us to the 21st century. This session will address how has cultural multiplicity and interconnectedness been understood, represented and leveraged over time; how can it be understood and represented in the future; and what opportunities will there be for new cultural expression.

Swipe Right for Arts and Culture As our world becomes ever more digital, questions of civic participation, identity and access become more expansive and globally focused, but also more contingent on geography, generation, technology and power. This session explores the impact of, and opportunities for, culture in the 21st century.

Imaging our Cultural Future The impact of creativity and culture on many aspects of our lives is well established, but we are still striving to embed this in our policy approaches to some of Australia’s biggest challenges. This session explores opportunities at the intersection of culture, work, knowledges, public value, place and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Speakers will share their hope for a cultural future, describe how they understand and measure value, and discuss how we can we make the necessary political, economic and social transformations.

More information

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