To: NSW Government

Fund Art Education in NSW TAFE

Fund Art Education in NSW TAFE

This petition of citizens of NSW brings to the attention of the NSW Legislative Assembly the urgent need for maintaining funding for accessible art education in TAFE. The cultural sector is an economic force, contributing over $30 billion to Australia each year – the arts not only create jobs but also create communities that are more vibrant, cohesive, healthy and innovative. TAFE in NSW puts the ability to make art in the hands of people, without regard to their age, wealth or background. TAFE provides hands on training that develops the skills necessary for artists to succeed. TAFE art students go on to work in many art roles across other industries – in museums and galleries, in community health and local government, in entertainment and hospitality industries. Many of them set up small businesses teaching, producing and selling their art. We undersigned petitioners therefore call on the Legislative Assembly, the NSW Premier, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Arts to recognise the value of TAFE arts education to NSW and to ensure it continues to be funded at viable levels that makes it accessible to all.

Why is this important?

On September 11 the NSW government announced that it would stop funding art education in TAFE, leaving 4000 students without access to finishing their courses in 2013, unless they can pay fees of around $6000 to $8000 per year. TAFE Art courses are the main provider of art education in NSW, with many prominent artists getting their first 'hands on' training in TAFE. As of January 1 2013, up to 30 art schools will begin closing their doors unless they find enough people who can afford these fees. The government claims that art is not vocational and that there are few job prospects for artists. But TAFE art graduates are employed across many industries - as art therapists, as art teachers, designers, in galleries and museums.

How it will be delivered

Hard copy petitions have been distributed across NSW to be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday 14 November as part of a lunchtime rally. We already have 20,000 signatures on these petitions. You can like us on Facebook to follow the campaign

Reasons for signing

  • lets not return to an uncultured society where art and culture is only for the rich.
  • arts are important to the community-government cuts funding to essential community programmes and adds to their own coffers-so not good or right
  • I studied a design course and a skill based course at Tafe, I'm now a manager of an art gallery and have my own jewellery label. Don't let the government ever tell you art is a waste of time and there's no jobs. What rubbish!