Recent Federal Budget decisions are beginning to have an impact on Australia’s artistic communities, including the literature sector. Alterations and cuts to the national arts funding landscape will affect young readers and youth literature creators; the Centre for Youth Literature is deeply concerned about these changes.
These changes include enormous cuts to the Australia Council, the establishment of a National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA) within the Arts Ministry and the formation of a Book Council.
We have written to Arts Minister Senator George Brandis noting our concerns; we have also made a formal submission to the Senate Inquiry on Arts Funding. Such inquiries usually receive a few hundred submissions – this committee received over 2,000 letters from concerned arts practitioners. You can keep up with the Inquiry on the #Freethearts tag, and their report will be lodged on 25 November 2015.
What Can We Do?
We will continue to push for sustained, strategic support for young readers and youth literature, and for recognition of the amazing work so many of our colleagues and subscribers do to promote youth reading and creative writing.
We’ll be writing to the new Prime Minister to note our concerns, and to highlight the value of the youth literature community in Australia. We’d urge you to so the same, or to let us know in the comments any points you think we should add.
Our Senate Inquiry Submission
You can read our Senate submission below. (It’s pretty long, but contains detail about the changes noted above.) Alternatively, download it from the Parliamentary website - we’re submission 705.
For more information, contact Anna Burkey, Centre for Youth Literature Manager.
“Teenagers need Young Adult (YA) fiction because we want to read about people like us, who act like us, face the same problems as us… We want to see more, learn more, be more: we want to grow up, we want to stay young.”
Lily Stojcevski, Inky Awards teen judge 2013, writing for Meanjin.com.au