What is the National Sector Development Initiative?

In 2013 the Community Partnerships Committee of the Australia Council announced support for a suite of new multi-year national sector development projects through its National Sector Development Initiative (NSDI).

The three successful proposals are:

National Local Government Cultural Forum – the establishment a national forum that will generate ideas and learn from the experiences of over 500 councils and provide a laboratory of CACD practice and test new ways of strengthening communities and improving health and wellbeing through the arts. (National Local Government Cultural Forum)

The Digital Platform – the creation of a new national digital platform to showcase practice and support communications and collaboration in the CACD sector over the next decade. (www.theplatform.com.au).

Creating Australia  – the establishment of a cross-sector organisation for the Australian CACD sector that provides communication, collaboration and advocacy. (www.creatingaustralia.org.au).

The Committee funded the above proposals with the view that although they are individual projects they are funded as part of an overall holistic strategy. All funded initiatives are committed to working collaboratively in a spirit of respect, honesty and generosity – with each other and with respect to the diversity of our sector’s artists, practitioners, organisations and communities.

For more information about the initiatives please contact Lenine Bourke (02) 9215 9000

What is the vision for the National Digital Platform?

The goal is to create an exceptional and unique National Digital Platform to showcase community arts and cultural development practice and to support communication and collaboration in the sector over the next decade.

We plan to create an online home for the sector that will be the envy of the arts industry and our partners nationally and internationally – a digital platform that reflects the very best of who we are as a sector by being:

  • practical and universally accessible, as well as inspiring and beautiful.
  • powerful and multi-layered, as well as intuitive and easy to navigate.
  • flexible and cutting edge, as well as respectful of privacy and ownership.

The new digital platform will be the centrepiece of a National Digital Strategy – a shared blueprint designed to strengthen the online capacity our sector – locally, nationally and internationally.

We will build a shared asset that provides practical support for artists and communities, and enables the community arts and cultural development sector to connect and collaborate in new and exciting ways. We will provide tools enabling the sector to map, visualise and promote themselves and their work. We will build a shared knowledge base that aggregates content nationally and makes the data available for everyone to tap into and share on other websites through programming API’s and custom embed services. We will provide points of entry for young and emerging artists and opportunities to connect with the sector in powerful and meaningful ways. We will integrate the use of the digital platform into the everyday online communications culture of the sector and our partners.

What is the timeframe for developing the Platform?

The NSDI is being delivered over a three-year period from 2013 – 2015.


  • development of National Platform consultation website – Sept 2013 – April 2014
  • national sector and stakeholder consultations – April – Oct 2014
  • call-out for testing and development participants April 2014
  • development of national social media plan – July – August 2014

Who is building the Platform?

The core development and testing of the Platform is being led Community Partnerships Key Producer company Feral Arts. The project for part of their Storytelling in the Public Interest program.

Curious Works has also been funded to contribute to the development of the system applying and adapting the innovative RSS technologies it uses in its programs.