New partnership to help the regional arts sector thrive 

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation is excited to announce a strategic partnership with Regional Arts Australia that aims to strengthen and create opportunities for leadership development in the regional creative industries sector. 

Regional Arts Australia (RAA) is a not-for-profit peak body that is the national voice for arts in regional Australia. It seeks to ensure the arts in regional Australia are recognised as essential and are embedded within the Federal Government’s Plan for Regional Australia. RAA encourages programs that support a creative ecosystem and that is interconnected and integrated across art form, communities and landscapes. 

The ARLF and RAA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising the partnership that commits, through leadership development and action, to build sector capacity and ensuring long term positive impact across the regions.  

This partnership is particularly crucial in light of challenges faced by the creative industries sector, including the impacts of covid shutdowns and shifting funding priorities from corporate and philanthropic sources. 

According to the RAA’s Creating Our Future Report, 71 per cent of regionally based Australians and 81 per cent based in remote areas believe artists make an important contribution to Australian society and that the arts have a big impact on stimulating our minds (64 per cent of regional-based and 74 per cent remote-based).   

Studies also confirm the multiple benefits of the arts sector in the regions from boosting local economies, cultural awareness and tourism to generating jobs, business and skills development and training opportunities, and even improves health and wellbeing and community connection.  

The Australian Government’s national cultural policy paper released this year also recognises a thriving cultural and creative sector is crucial to supporting regional communities and local economies.

“As story tellers through a range of mediums, the creative industries connects our communities making them stronger which aligns with the ARLF’s values and vision for a thriving rural, regional and remote Australia,” ARLF chief executive Matt Linnegar says.  

“The ARLF has a proud legacy of leadership impact in our regions over three decades including in the creative industries sector. While these are alumni of our national Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) , it’s exciting to be partnering with RAA to offer leadership development specifically for those in the creative industries.” 

RAA Executive Director Ros Abercrombie adds: “The partnership will collaborate to provide regional creative industries with strategic sector development activities and programs, building industry and community capacity and capability for regional Australia. The partnership will also advocate to foster the interests of the creative industries including the arts sector in rural, regional and remote Australia.  

“We are excited to explore this new partnership with a focus on leadership as we celebrate 80 years of Regional practice and look towards a vison for the future.”  

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