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Cultural Solutions


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Australians are more culturally aware than at any time in our history, and many communities have turned to music, art and storytelling as a viable means of tackling social and economic problems. Are the arts being overlooked as an effective way of solving contemporary issues? What benefits can communities reap by adopting a more culturally integrated approach?

The latest edition of the Griffith REVIEW showcases such artistic success stories, examining the ways in which storytelling and greater creative engagement can transform communities. Contributor Marcus Westbury’s Renew Australia campaign helped turn Newcastle into a thriving hub of art and literature festivals, while Scott Rankin’s work has brought Australian theatre to international audiences and remote communities.

Marcus and Scott are joined in this panel discussion by editor Julianne Schultz and fellow contributor Robyn Archer, who will talk about the differences in cultural policy between Europe and Australia. Together they examine the profound and lasting effects of cultural solutions to social problems. Moderated by the Wheeler Centre’s head of programming Simon Abrahams.

On Twitter: #CulturalSolutions


Simon Abrahams

Simon Abrahams is a strategic arts and cultural leader, dynamic programmer and experienced producer whose work has been recognised nationally and internationally. He is Chair of Theatre Network Victoria, and a freelance arts consultant and performer. Previously, Simon served as the Wheeler Centre’... Read more

Marcus Westbury

Marcus Westbury is the inaugural CEO of Contemporary Arts Precincts Ltd that is leading the development of the Collingwood Arts Precinct in Melbourne. He is also the founder of the multi award-winning Renew Newcastle and Renew Australia projects that have reopened more than a hundred vacant properti... Read more

Robyn Archer

Robyn Archer AO FAHA is a singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts. Winner of the Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Performer 2013, and named Cabaret Icon at the 2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, she currently performs highly acclaimed recitals of French, German and American so... Read more

Julianne Schultz

Professor Emeritus Julianne Schultz AM FAHA is the Chair of The Conversation. She was the publisher and founding editor of Griffith Review, and is Professor Emeritus of Media and Culture at Griffith’s Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, and a member of the board of the Sydney Wr... Read more

Scott Rankin

Scott Rankin is a writer, director and the creative director of Big hART. He is currently making new work in the Pilbara WA, Tasmania, NSW, ACT, NT, SA, as well as international touring works. Big hART is Scott’s passionate contribution to art and society. Now in its 21st year of designing and del... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.