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Australian Music Centre Launches First Nations Cultural Policy

The initiative aims to safeguard the cultural and intellectual property of First Nations peoples as it appears in Australian art music


The Australian Music Centre (AMC) recently launched its groundbreaking new First Nations Cultural Policy — which outlines several steps that AMC's represented artists can take to protect and safeguard the cultural intellectual property of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The policy has been developed following an eighteen-month process where AMC representatives engaged in deep consultation with the First Nations community. First Nations composers, performers, and industry experts all contributed, as well as experts from the Australia Council for the Arts, Moogahlin Performing Arts, and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO).

A particular focus of the policy is the protection of cultural intellectual property in cases where there is presently no scope for such protection under Australian law.

In addition, the policy sets out guidelines governing how works of music that incorporate First Nations intellectual property will be documented in AMC's archival collection.

The document is unique in Australia's art-music landscape and will provide an example to other organizations who may want to implement similar policies.

"This Cultural Policy is the outcome of many months of rigorous engagement and consultation with our First Nations communities," said Catherine Haridy, the CEO of the Australian Music Centre. 

"We are proud to take this crucial step to recognise and safeguard our First Peoples' deep enduring contributions to art music and provide clear guidance for our composers and creators."

You can read the document in full, here.

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