When we embarked on our first Creative State strategy four years ago we sought to redefine how government works with, recognises and invests in the creative industries.

We sought to find and leverage the connections between creative sectors, to find and encourage new ways to collaborate, to address gaps and explore new modes of investment and support.

We started by asking those who work in, and with, our creative industries about their aspirations and the biggest challenges they faced, individually and collectively. The result was 40 targeted – and funded – actions, that we have steadily rolled out over the last few years.

Four years on, Victoria’s creative industries are in a strong position – increasingly recognised as an important economic driver, for the social value they bring and for their intrinsic cultural benefit.

Economically, our creative industries are a force to be reckoned with – injecting $31 billion into the state economy, up 23% from four years ago. They are also a significant employer, providing jobs for 260,000 Victorians – up 15% in four years. All Victorians reap the benefits of a strong creative sector and rich cultural life – and that’s why the government invests in the creative industries.

Creative State was always envisaged as a starting point. The strategy has laid a strong foundation but for our creative industries to continue to thrive it is imperative that we look ahead and respond to emerging opportunities, challenges and shifts – both local and global.

There is plenty of work still to do. Work to break down barriers to participation and employment. Work to build the sustainability of creative practice, creative organisations and creative businesses. Work to ensure our creative industries and creative opportunities reflect and respond to the diversity of our contemporary society. And work to ensure Victoria remains a place where creative people are nurtured, a place where creative people want to live, work and make their mark on the world.

I have appointed a 20-member Creative Industries Advisory Group to help guide the development of our next four-year strategy. Comprising big thinkers from across different creative sectors, different parts of the state and different careers stages, they will play an active role in the consultation and strategy design process.

I invite you to be part of this next step too – to help define our priorities for the next four years, to challenge the status quo, and lay the path for the future of our creative state.

Martin Foley MP
Minister for Creative Industries

Image: Back row left to right: Ross Symons, Rosalind Crisp, Helen Marcou, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley, Lisa Barron, Treahna Hamm, Abe Nouk, Alison Croggon, Vicki Couzens, Fiona Tuomy, Lana Nguyen, Martyn Hook

Front row (sitting) left to right: Nicole Beyer, Angharad Wynne-Jones, Katrina Sedgwick, Caroline Bowditch, Lisy Kane, Peter Tullin

Absent: Adam Briggs, Erin Castellas, Russel Howcroft