Images from CDN & related events

The Cultural Development Network is an independent non-profit organisation that links local government, communities, artists, researchers and related agencies. We are based in Melbourne, Australia. We advocate for the essential function of arts and cultural expression in the development of creative, healthy, engaged and sustainable communities. We support local government in its role of assisting and resourcing local communities to make and express their own culture.

Latest News:

Victorian Government Creative Industries Strategy Taskforce

The Victorian Government announced a Taskforce to over see the development of a Creative Industries Strategy for Victoria.  The Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley and the Creative Industries Taskforce released a discussion paper titled Let’s get creative about Victoria’s future.

To find out more you can visit

Submissions were invited to be made by Friday 17 July and Cultural Development Network lodged the following Submission to Creative Industries Taskforce.

Senate Inquiry on Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts

In May 2015, The Commonwealth Government announced through the Budget that around $25m per year of arts funding will be administered by the Ministry for the Arts under a National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).  Previously this funding was available through the Australia Council for the Arts.  This unexpected announcement in the Commonwealth Budget raised a significant response from the arts sector in Australia.

On Wednesday 17 June 2015, the Australian Senate voted for an inquiry into the funding changes and the impact of the proposed National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).  Media Release  The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee have called for submissions which closed on 17 July 2015 and the Committee is expected to report by 15 September 2015.  Please follow the link to the Terms of Reference or for more information on the Inquiry.

Cultural Development Network made a formal submission to the Inquiry which was lodged on 17 July 2015.  A PDF copy of this Submission to Senate Inquiry is available for download.

New Article on our ‘Arts Central’ Project in Central Goldfields Shire

A review of the Arts Central project was undertaken in Making Arts Central in a Regional Australian Community, recently published in the Global Compact Cities Programme’s latest ‘Cities for the Future’.  In the article Cynthia Lam, a Research Officer from RMIT University explores how the Central Goldfields Shire is trailing a new approach to economic and social revitalisation, by encouraging organisations across all sectors to embrace the arts. To read the full article or to request a copy click here.

Professional Development Forum: Cultural Development Planning in Local Government in Victoria

This forum built on last year’s series on cultural development planning that involved 75 staff and elected representatives from 50 Victorian councils. It offered extended material from last year’s series and a refresher of concepts presented in the 2014 series.

In presenting the cultural planning framework many ideas on how it could be further developed were shared and much positive feedback was provided. An improved version of the framework will be available via our website in coming weeks. For more information on the event click here

Regional Studies Association Inaugural Australasian Conference:

Rethinking the Region & Regionalism in Australasia: Challenges & Opportunities for the 21st Century.

August 31 to September 2 in RMIT’s stunning Building 80.


Local Councils, the Arts and Reconciliation

This report explores ways the local councils in Victoria are contributing to reconciliation in their communities by using the arts as a vehicle. (more…)

Arts Information Exchange

Live now! Arts Information Exchange is a centralised resource for queries about many aspects of the arts. It is designed to be usable by all arts workers to receive questions on the arts from across the local council area, the state or nationally. If you have a question or think you can provide the answers, the Arts Information Exchange is the place to go. You can post your questions anonymously and they go straight into the email inbox of experienced arts managers and artists to answer.

This is a free service you can offer your arts community and broader constituencies.

If you see this logo on a web page you will know that the organisation has people who are members of the exchange Advisors.

askinfoexchangeVisit and it will take you directly to the Exchange where you can enter your questions. The more you use the Exchange, and promote the link and the services, the greater response and value to the arts community.

Your questions are not only answered by knowledgeable people inside arts agencies, organisations, public institutions and artists but they are also distributed to the state-wide network of Advisors drawn from across all areas of the arts who can also contribute to the answer or comment. You can filter question topics from ‘collaboration’, ‘venues’, disability’, ‘events’ and ‘artists’ and many, more.

Become an arts Advisor!

It is easy to join the Arts Information Exchange as an Advisor and take the Exchange to your communities.
Step One: Go to
Step two: Go to the ‘Sign-up’ link in the top right-hand corner and register as an Advisor.
Step three: Complete registration, including the selection of postcodes of you council area (to filter questions)
Step four: Select the topics of interest that your have skills in answering.
Step five: Complete the Advisor information
Step six: promote the exchange and the logo link to your communities

It is that simple.

If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact CDN through: