Monday, May 10th, 2010

A report by the Australian Council for the Arts has revealed 15 to 24 year-old Australians are the most creative demographic with 60 per cent creatively participating in the arts over the past year.

The report, More than bums on seats - Australian participation in the arts , was conducted to assess the access to and participation in the arts.

It has been a decade since the Australian Council for the Arts has undertaken a report of this nature, exploring public engagement and participation in the arts.
Artistic Director of non-profit group The Australian Voices (TAV), Gordon Hamilton, welcomed the report saying the findings helped groups like TAV to respond more effectively to artistic demands.

Internationally acclaimed, TAV is one of Australia’s only vocal ensembles which composes and performs distinctly Australian music both at home and abroad with singers are between the age of 17 and 30.

The report also revealed that while most believed the arts should be a part of every Australian’s education to make for a more meaningful life, some also believed the arts attracted pretentious people and was only for the elite.

Hamilton said this result was disappointing and that TAV was eager to change this perception and make music more accessible to as many Australians as possible.

“TAV members come from diverse backgrounds and there is no room for elitism or pretention because a vocal ensemble must work together as a unit regardless of our socio-economic backgrounds,” he said.

The report also states that low socio-economic factors can lead to a lower participation in the arts.

Hamilton said this finding in particular was concerning as most arts groups are not-for-profit and rely on government and community support.

“Many arts organisations struggle for funding and financial support and it is disappointing to know that because of socio-economic factors, some of Australia’s best talents will stay hidden,” he said.

“The pursuit of artistic expression should not be a privilege for a selected few but accessible to anyone who feels the need to create and express their talent. Any Australian can participate in the arts,” he said.

Responding to why anyone should care about the music at all, Hamilton said Australian music was not only an aesthetic pursuit but was also a critical factor in boosting economic performance.

“Look at the world’s top cities and you will see they are artistically rich which makes people want to invest, live and work in those areas and enhance their local economy,” he said.

The Australian music sector is estimated to contribute $7 billion worth of economic activity which is more than some Australia’s other major industries such as manufacturing ($2.7 billion); forestry and fishing ($2.5 billion); water supply ($6.3 billion); and gas ($1.4 billion).

“Music is like culinary appreciation,” said Hamilton. “The more you practice the more you expand your musical palette and the more you can express your human sentiments through sound,” he said.

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The Australian Voices

About The Australian Voices – Singing Australia to the World

The Australian Voices (TAV) has championed new Australian choral music around the world since 1993. The mission of TAV is to commission, perform, record and promote the music of Australian composers to the highest international artistic standards. They were multiple gold medallists at the Choir Olympics in China and prize-winners at the Choir of the World competition in Wales. Their new music vividly captures the sound, colours and energy of the Australian continent and its people. The singers come from all over Australia and commit to a rigorous professional schedule of concerts and workshops, both in Australia and overseas each year.

Internationally respected, TAV has performed new Australian music at high-profile international events around the world for over seventeen years (often winning international awards). TAV has criss-crossed the globe participating in major musical events in Hungary, the UK, Malaysia, Poland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Canada, Belgium, China, Central America, Spain, Taiwan, Korea, The Czech Republic and America.

For more information please visit

Annie Sen
P: 07 3457 5100
M: 0433 764 773


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