A new research report by Prof David Throsby notes that artists' incomes continue to fall well below average incomes, with a high percentage living below the poverty line. This cannot but reflect on a nation’s valuing of its creative and intellectual capital. Nine out of ten Australians participate in the arts, but current arts policies ensure that government investment of less than one per cent of its expenditure fails to recognise the contribution being made to the society at large and the economy by Australia’s cultural creators. Art education is an area covered by International Conventions governing the rights of people to receive an adequate education in arts and culture but the recent debates and lobbying campaigns around the national curriculum narrowly avoided the arts being left out of the top tier subjects altogether.

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