"Professional Development for Multicultural Arts Workers - Critical Issues for Action" reports on professional development experiences and needs of multicultural arts workers in Australia.
The arts environment is increasingly affected by globalisation.Government has become more aware of the implications of these cultural flows and has committed itself to Australian multiculturalism as a philosophy of practice - linking cultural inclusiveness to the particular qualities of Australian diversity. The Australia Council policy on arts in multicultural Australia expresses this commitment.
The reality experienced by multicultural arts workers and organisations points to training needs that will sustain their active participation in creating a diverse arts practice. Apprehension still exists as to the effectiveness of the policies that government has espoused, particularly in a context of changing funding structures and a recent history of perceived public and government hostility to multicultural policies.
Professional development themes/SWOT analysis
Arts practitioners have identified professional development needs that include skill development in business, communication, marketing, and organisation and audience building in a multicultural Australian community. A SWOT analysis confirms the priorities emerging from field research and suggests both content and delivery strategies for professional development. Confidence building strategies, through supportive and informative networks, emerge as a priority across the country.
The range of needs requires the development of a national learning network that can sustain local hubs, draw on formal program materials as well as new material emerging from the field, and ensure a role for reflective workbased learning. New online learning environments will aid this process. Professional development will become part of the support available throughout the working life of arts workers and administrators.