Taking the lead in Australia's creative business

Australia's creative industries sectors are a major driver of the economy, worth an estimated $30 billion dollars with almost 300,000 people directly employed. While the economic contribution is evident, there is still a need to increase the business skills of creative people to help these sectors achieve maximum growth.
In June 2012, the University of Western Sydney and UWSCollege will offer thirty creative people the chance to develop these essential business skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification in creative business management through the new Associate Degree in Creative Industries.
Dr Kerry Hudson, CEO of UWSCollege and Director, Education Partnerships at UWS, says the Associate Degree in Creative Industries has been developed with both artist and industry in mind.
"There are many business courses available but none are tailored for the Australian creative industries. So, we went directly to leading creative industry organisations and professionals in Sydney and beyond to ask them what skills they valued and what they believed was essential for success," says Dr Hudson.
Dr Hudson says the principles for conducting business may be similar across all industries, but those working in creative industries are often freelancers who must go it alone when negotiating rights and licensing agreements, navigating tax rules and OH&S laws and other employer responsibilities.
"The Associate Degree in Creative Industries provides tuition which is directly relevant to students' creative working lives providing them with strong management, project planning and business skills."
Ms Peta Downes, Executive Coordinator for the Associate Degree in Creative Industries says the undergraduate program - taking its first cohort of students in 2012 - is unique in New South Wales.
"Students are trained across all areas of creative industries business management and benefit from sharing this learning experience with a select group of people who understand the creative process. Practical course activities expose students to essential professional practices and enable them to make valuable industry connections whilst studying," says Ms Downes.
"The real life industry environment extends to the final year project which involves the students applying the knowledge they have learnt to design, manage and deliver a series of community-based creative outcomes such as an exhibition, performance or event.
"It's a unique opportunity for the students to practice their newly acquired entrepreneurial skills in the supportive environment of our creative industry partners but also to experience the pressures and challenges of delivering an engaging project on time and on budget," says Ms Downes.
The Associate Degree in Creative Industries course program includes key business, law and communication units which are all highly relevant to creative business management, as well as a series of professional development lectures from industry leaders and real-world creative industries case studies.
The program is full time but will be delivered in a flexible mode to accommodate the professional work commitments of students.
The Associate Degree in Creative Industries is a Commonwealth Government Supported (CGS) program and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. HECS-HELP and Austudy/Abstudy is available.

Associate Degree in Creative Industries