UWS partners with UNESCO and Australia Council

Researchers from the University of Western Sydney have entered a new partnership with the Australia Council and UNESCO to analyse the next generation of Australian artists who draw on Australia's unique cultural diversity for their projects. 

As part of a push to promote cultural diversity in the Asia Pacific, the Federal Government’s arts funding body, the Australia Council for the Arts, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bangkok branch of UNESCO. 

In the first research activity under the arrangement, the UWS Institute of Culture and Society will evaluate seven significant Australian art projects that celebrate the wide range of people, cultures and communities in modern Australia.

The announcement comes days after the release of the Federal Government’s Asian Century White Paper, a blueprint to ensure Australia positions itself to take advantage of the growth of Asia by increasing the study of its cultures and languages.

The Director of the Institute for Culture and Society at UWS, Distinguished Professor Ien Ang, says the new project allows Australian researchers and artists to be at the forefront of the debate on cultural diversity in the Asian century.

“We at the ICS look forward to better understanding the dynamics of how culturally diverse artworks are actually created in Australia,” she says.

ICS researcher Dr Phillip Mar says Australian art is changing rapidly with an influx of new styles, whether its from migrant or Indigenous artists.

“If you look at the art festivals across Australia you can’t help but notice a lot more influences” he says.

“Many of these artists are now sharing influences and working together to form uniquely Australian expressions, which comes out of the mixing of identities and arts practices to create new meanings.”

“What this project will do is examine some outstanding art projects arising from cultural interaction. We aim to present examples to show how we can best develop and promote art that celebrates our incredible cultural diversity.” 


1 November 2012

Contact: Mark Smith, Media Officer