|The Australia Council for the Arts and the First Nations Arts Strategy Board apologises unreservedly for any hurt and distress experienced by members of a Facebook discussion group convened through the Australia Council to discuss the proposal for a national summit on First Nations Arts and Culture.
Some of the conversation recently had shifted from the purpose of the group. We have paused the group in the interests of duty of care and providing a respectful and culturally safe forum for engagement.
We are now undertaking a process to enable an independent investigation of issues raised around the conduct and content on the Facebook group, and additional concerns which have been raised with us in relation to engagement with First Nations artists.
While this process is underway, the Australia Council will be postponing planning for the National Summit on First Nations arts and culture to allow for further consultation and engagement with First Nations communities on the proposed program and approach.
The Australia Council supports the work of community members who have been involved as peers, participants and representatives in the work of the Australia Council in the First Nations Arts and Cultural space and look forward to improving the conversations with the broad range of voices again soon.
The Australia Council remains committed to the advancement of First Nations artists, arts and culture, recognising the importance for First Nations peoples’ self-determination, cultural authority, cultural agency and leadership and contribution to our national identity and wellbeing.