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Archived media releases and speeches


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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Parliamentary Secretary fo Disabilities and Children's Services

National Arts and Disability Strategy

Media release
9 October 2009

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Arts Minister Peter Garrett and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, today commended the Cultural Ministers Council for endorsing the National Arts and Disability Strategy at their national meeting.

"Arts and culture enriches us all - and with one in five Australians experiencing some form of disability, it has been an imperative to include and enable everyone who wishes to engage with such a vital part of Australian life," said Mr Garrett.

The National Arts and Disability Strategy came out of a consultation process between the Cultural Ministers Council and the arts and disability sector, including organisations and individuals, and with submissions from arts practitioners and arts consumers in the sector.

"We now strongly recommend that state and local governments, venue owners and others review this important document and incorporate it into their future planning and approach," Mr Garrett said.

"Australians with a disability face barriers to participation, whether physical, financial or social," said Mr Shorten.

"This strategy sits under a broader national strategic policy push to get people past these barriers and into full participation in the life of the community."

Partnerships among governments, and between governments and the private and non-profit sectors, are a vital component of the strategy, which guides partners to identify and develop priority projects.

Four priority areas are set out in the National Arts and Disability Strategy: finding ways to address barriers to participation, as audiences or in arts practice; aiding ambition, and helping emerging professional arts practitioners; growing audiences for work created by those with a disability; and empowering people to participate in arts policy development and planning.

The Australian Government provides financial and secretariat support to the Cultural Ministers Council through the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

For copies of the Strategy, including accessible formats, see the Cultural Ministers Council website: , or contact the Cultural Ministers Council Secretariat at

Commonwealth of Australia