13 May 2016

A generation of writers stifled by cuts to arts funding

Express Media, the publisher of Australia’s premiere youth literary journal Voiceworks, has failed to secure support in the latest round of Australia Council for the Arts’ multi-year funding for organisations. The announcement today comes despite the significant recent growth and development of this vital organisation, which for 30 years has delivered outstanding programs for young people in writing and media.

Express Media currently receives triennial funding from the Australia Council as one of 145 small to medium organisations recognised for their national leadership in artistic vibrancy and sector development. This funding underpins core operations and a robust program of support and ongoing opportunities for young writers, editors and arts-workers.

While Express Media’s funding is secure until the end of 2016, this cut now puts the future of the organisation at risk. While funding from the Australia Council represents just a portion of the organisation’s income, Express Media’s capacity to deliver invaluable national programs of craft and skills development, networking and community building, the recognition of excellence as well as the publication and presentation of young writers, will be significantly diminished from 2017.

Express Media is a vital part of a thriving arts, cultural, literary and creative sector in Australia, a complex, interconnected ecology of independent artists, small to medium and major arts organisations. The decision not to fund essential organisations such as Express Media, which develops and supports artists at the start of their careers, will have a crucial impact in the arts sector and across the broader community.

Express Media has launched the careers of countless Australians who have made a significant contribution to Australian arts and culture. Its alumni includes Christos Tsiolkos, Benjamin Law, Anna Krien, Lili Wilkinson, Romy Ash, Van Badham, Tom Doig, Liam Pieper, Josephine Rowe and many more.

Pippa Bainbridge, Express Media’s General Manager and CEO said:

“Express Media is an engine room for young people to refine their craft before they populate our festivals, publishing houses and news outlets. While this loss of funding is a significant blow to the organisation, as our staff struggles to find alternative sources of income, the real damage is that there will be far fewer development opportunities for our next generation of young writers. While a comparatively small funding cut, it will have a devastating ripple effect on the Australian cultural landscape.”

If you would like to support Express Media, become a member, subscribe to our publications or make a tax-deductible donation.

For all media and other enquiries, please contact Pippa Bainbridge, General Manager and CEO, Express Media (03) 9094 7886 | generalmanager@expressmedia.org.au