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26 February 2020

In 2019 the South Australian Government’s Growth State strategy focused on the creative industries, one of nine priority sectors. This was against a backdrop of deep socio-economic challenges around employment – the decline of manufacture, automation, precarity, low wage growth – and the existential threat of accelerating climate change. The creative industries are being asked to do some heavy economic lifting against their own backdrop of dwindling funding for arts and culture, stagnating incomes and declining employment. At the same time South Australia has been a long-term investor in arts and cultural industries – starting from the pioneering Adelaide Festival, JamFactory and Film South Australia in the 1970s – bequeathing a rich cultural ecosystem to the present-day state. In this public seminar, involving local and international speakers, we address the question: what should a creative industries strategy seek to do in 2020, right here, right now in South Australia? Can the state revive its pioneering role in a new challenging landscape?

Professor Susan Luckman from UniSA will talk about the realities of employment in the creative sector, based on extensive research over the last two decades. Professor Justin O’Connor from UniSA will talk to a recent analysis of the ABS Census data, and what it says about state and federal trends in the sector and their implications for South Australia. Professor Andy Pratt, City University London, will talk from an international perspective on how to build local resource capacity and local production systems through supporting local ecosystem development rather than ‘picking winners’.

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