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:

Federal Arts Funding Changes

As announced in the Commonwealth Budget in May, 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.  Previously this funding was available through the Australia Council for the Arts and will now be administered from the Ministry.  The revised programs of the Australia Council and the new programs of the Ministry are yet to be announced.  As Australian councils have ongoing funding and housing relationships with many small to medium sized companies impacted by this change, we will aim to bring up to date news though this page.  For a full array of views and activities you can Google #freethearts.

On Wednesday 17 June 2015 the Senate voted for an enquiry into the funding of the Senate Inquiry into the proposed National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).  Media Release

On Thursday 18 June 2015,  a group of more than 60 arts organisations gathered in Canberra to meet with parliamentarians to protest the changes that were made without consultation with those impacted the most.  It is anticipated that this change in funding programs will disadvantage the many small to medium arts companies that are often supported by local government.  Media Release 

Senate Enquiry: Terms of Reference and Closing Date

Creative Industries Strategy- have your say

The development of Victoria’s first creative industries strategy is underway with the release of the discussion paper Let’s get creative about Victoria’s future.

Now it’s time to have your say.
Find out more:

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.


LGA Learning Circle – Reconciliation

Reconciliation Victoria, in partnership with Reconciliation Australia (RA) and the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) recently held a special Reconciliation Week Learning Circle for Local Government. The Learning Circle aimed to give practical and innovative ideas for how to engage and incorporate reconciliation into local government and how this can improve organisational outcomes and engagement with the local community.


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: