The arrival of COVID-19, on the heels of a summer of natural disasters, has led to profound disruptions to cultural life in Australia, propelling our artists, creators, researchers and cultural institutions into survival mode, and throwing into stark relief the dramatic pre-pandemic shifts in cultural production, consumption and distribution. Yet the events of 2020 have also highlighted how deeply culture and creativity are embedded in the daily lives of Australians, giving claim to culture’s status as a public good.

The 51st Academy Symposium At the Crossroad? Australia’s Cultural Future will explore Australia’s cultural terrain in light of recent events and longer-standing disruptions to consider what transformations are needed to secure our cultural and creative future. Bringing together perspectives from researchers, practitioners, creators and policy makers, it will consider how innovative cultural policy settings and creative practice could together underpin a path to recovery, for our people and our communities.

Free online webinars

The Symposium will be held as a series of free online webinars from Monday 16 to Friday 20 November 2020.

Additionally, there are a number of satellite events co-hosted by the Australia Council for the Arts and National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) exploring intersections between creative practice, research, industry and government. We are also creating opportunities to bring participants together in an informal online networking space.

The webinars are open to all. See the program for full details and registration.

Having trouble registering?

If you have already registered for any part of the Symposium and wish to add additional events, please contact our events team and we will update your registration.

Convenors & sponsors

This year’s program has been convened by Malcolm Gillies AM FAHA (Australian National University), Jennifer Milam FAHA (University of Newcastle), Shelagh Magadza (The Chamber of Arts and Culture Western Australia) and Joanne Tompkins FAHA (University of Queensland).

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

Annual events for Academy Fellows

Details of Section meetings and the Annual General Meeting are now available in the Fellows’ Area of the website. 

More information

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About the image

The Academy is grateful for the permission from Bangarra Dance Theatre Ensemble to reproduce the image from Unaipon (2019), by photographer Lisa Tomasetti, for the Symposium poster and banner.