Overview and Aims

The Torres Strait unique Ailan Kastom is a central part of life. Our culture faces challenges, but is a key strength of our region and our people. Our culture needs to be maintained and preserved to ensure its sustainability for future generations.

Our traditional art is unique and gaining recognition nationally and internationally. Such recognition will not only help preserve traditional art and maintain cultural practices, but will also contribute to economic development. The TSRA recognises that our culture, art and heritage are central pillars of our development and as such we will provide support to the region through this program.

The program aims are to:

  • protect culturally significant sites and artefacts to ensure longevity
  • revitalise and maintain traditional cultural practices (art, dance, language, storytelling, songs) among communities
  • ensure the protection of traditional knowledge, intellectual property and copyright
  • underpin services and management practices with cultural values and protocols.

Regional Goal

Protect, promote, revitalise and maintain Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal traditions and cultural heritage.

Regional Issues

  • Inadequate focus on preservation of culture, history and heritage (only four communities are participating in traditional ecological knowledge programs).
  • Traditional language use and storytelling are declining as new generations are increasingly influenced by Western society.
  • Art, dance and traditional craft skills are declining (only 167 artists are actively engaging with the Gab Titui Cultural Centre).
  • Language and cultural groups are fragmenting.
  • Limited awareness of intellectual property and copyright protections.
  • Limited availability of and access to resources and facilities for arts and cultural activities (there are only three community art centres in the region).

Program Outcomes

  • [CAH-1] An active and sustainable arts and craft Industry.
  • [CAH-2] Cultural values and protocols are integrated into service planning and management practice.
  • [CAH-3] The unique cultural heritage and histories of the region are preserved, maintained and promoted.
  • [CAH-4] Strong, supported and respected Ailan Kastom.
  • [CAH-5] The copyright, intellectual property and traditional knowledge of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region are protected.

Benefits

2014 – 2018

  • Communities are able to undertake activities strengthening Ailan Kastom, including the use of cultural protocols, language and cultural maintenance.
  • Traditional cultural heritage records, artefacts and oral histories are identified, documented, preserved and promoted.
  • Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists and cultural practitioners’ individual and communal copyright and intellectual property rights are protected.
  • Increased: a) art and craft skills levels; b) Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists’ profiles; c) regional art and craft production.
  • Increased income from Torres Strait arts and crafts sales.

Future Development Plans

  • International recognition of the value of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal arts and culture.
  • A sustainable art industry operates in the Torres Strait region.
  • Cultural heritage records, including sites, artefacts, stories and histories, are owned and securely accessible by Torres Strait Islanders.
  • Increased knowledge and application of copyright and intellectual property rights to arts, crafts, culture and traditional knowledge.
  • Increased incorporation of cultural values and protocols into service planning and management practices.

Performance Measures

  • Increased income generated through retail sales via the Gab Titui Cultural Centre and established art centres in the region.
  • Increase in profile of emerging and established artists and cultural practitioners in the region and the production and sale of regionally produced arts and crafts.
  • Increased number of TSRA funded and supported activities that are based on Torres Strait Islander (Ailan Kastom) and Aboriginal cultural traditions in the Torres Strait region.
  • Increase in cultural heritage material and information specific to each community in the region that is documented, registered and accessible.
  • Increase in the number of emerging and professionally active artists and cultural practitioners that have access to information and support to ensure copyright and intellectual property rights.

Projects and Initiatives

The Culture, Art and Heritage Program has a mandate from the TSRA Board to undertake the following projects and initiatives:

  • cultural maintenance and observance
  • arts industry development
  • gateway/hub for presenting, preserving, promoting and providing education on Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal culture and arts
  • cultural heritage management (with links with to the Environmental Management Program)
  • copyright and intellectual property rights
  • cultural values and protocols.

Contribution to the Closing the Gap Targets

The Culture, Art and Heritage Program will contribute to the following Closing the Gap targets:

  • Target #1: close the gap in life expectancy within a generation
  • Target #6: halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

Contribution to COAG National Partnership Agreement Indigenous-specific Outcomes

The Culture, Art and Heritage Program will contribute to the following National Partnership Agreement Indigenous-specific outcomes:

  • The Indigenous working age population has the depth and breadth of skills and capabilities required for the 21st century labour market.
  • Indigenous communities are empowered to participate in policy making and program implementation.
  • Indigenous communities are represented through credible consultation / governance mechanism.
  • Indigenous people of working age participate effectively in all sectors of the labour market.
  • Indigenous children acquire the basic skills for life and learning.

Annex C-1 Program Map – Culture, Art and Heritage

A chart illustrating the Program Map - Culture, Art and Heritage

Annex C-2 Culture, Art and Heritage Program – Overview

Annex C-2 Culture, Art and Heritage Program – Overview

Overview and aims Outcomes Benefits Performance measures Initiatives

The Culture, Art and Heritage Program will undertake projects and activities which fulfil the regional goal of:

Protect, promote, revitalise and maintain Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal traditions and cultural heritage.

The program aims are to:
  • protect culturally significant sites and artefacts to ensure longevity
  • revitalise and maintain traditional cultural practices (art, dance, language, storytelling, songs) among communities
  • ensure the protection of traditional knowledge, intellectual property and copyright
  • underpin services and management practices with cultural values and protocols.
  • [CAH-1] An active and sustainable arts and craf t industry.
  • [CAH-2] Cultural values and protocols are integrated into service planning and management practice.
  • [CAH-3] The unique cultural heritage and histories of the region are preserved, maintained and promoted.
  • [CAH-4] Strong, supported and respected Ailan Kastom.
  • [CAH-5] The copyright, intellectual property and traditional knowledge of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region are protected.
2014 – 2018
  • Communities are able to undertake activities strengthening Ailan Kastom, including the use of cultural protocols, language and cultural maintenance.
  • Traditional cultural heritage records, artefacts and oral histories are identified, documented, preserved and promoted.
  • Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists and cultural practitioners’ individual and communal copyright and intellectual property rights are protected.
  • Increased: a) art and craf skills levels; b) Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists’ profiles; c) regional art and craft production.
  • Increased income from Torres Strait arts and crafts sales.

Future Development Plans
  • International recognition of the value of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal arts and culture.
  • A sustainable art industry operates in the Torres Strait region.
  • Cultural heritage records, including sites, artefacts, stories and histories, are owned and securely accessible by Torres Strait Islanders.
  • Increased knowledge and application of copyright and intellectual property rights to arts, crafts, culture and traditional knowledge.
  • Increased incorporation of cultural values and protocols into service planning and management practices.
  • Increased income generated through retail sales via the Gab Titui Cultural Centre and established art centres in the region.
  • Increase in profile of emerging and established artists and cultural practitioners in the region and the production and sale of regionally produced arts and crafts.
  • Increased number of TSRA funded and supported activities that are based on Torres Strait Islander (Ailan Kastom) and Aboriginal cultural traditions in the Torres Strait region.
  • Increase in cultural heritage material and information specific to each community in the region that is documented, registered and accessible.
  • Increase in the number of emerging and professionally active artists and cultural practitioners that have access to information and support to ensure copyright and intellectual property rights.
The Culture, Art and Heritage Program has a mandate to undertake the following initiatives:
  • cultural maintenance and observance
  • arts industry development
  • gateway/hub for presenting, preserving, promoting and providing education on Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal culture and arts
  • cultural heritage management (with links to the Environmental Management Program)
  • copyright and intellectual property rights
  • cultural values and protocols.

Annex C-3 Culture, Art and Heritage Program – Benefits

Annex C-3 Culture, Art and Heritage Program – Benefits

Benefits Performance measures Targets Target groups
Increased income from Torres Strait arts and crafts sales. Increased income generated through retail sales via the Gab Titui Cultural Centre and established art centres in the region.
  1. Five per cent increase per annum in production and sales revenues generated from arts and crafts.
  2. Five per cent increase per annum in online sales.
  3. Five per cent increase per annum in emerging artists becoming professionally active.
Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists and communities.
Increased:
  1. art and craft skills levels
  2. Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists’ profiles
  3. regional art and craft production.
Increase in profile of emerging and established artists and cultural practitioners in the region and the production and sale of regionally produced arts and crafts.
  1. Five art skills development activities facilitated per annum.
  2. Five per cent increase per annum in facilities available to produce arts works and display areas.
  3. Five per cent increase per annum in visitors to the Gab Titui Cultural Centre.
  4. Five per cent increase per annum in website hits.
  5. Two external exhibitions facilitated per annum.
  6. One international promotional activity facilitated per annum.
Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists.
Communities are able to undertake activities strengthening Ailan Kastom, including the use of cultural protocols, language and cultural maintenance. Increased number of TSRA funded and supported activities that are based on Torres Strait Islander (Ailan Kastom) and Aboriginal cultural traditions in the Torres Strait region.
  1. A minimum of 15 applications supported through culture, art and heritage grants per annum.
  2. A minimum of two cultural protocols and values initiatives supported per annum.
  3. A minimum of two language-based initiatives supported per annum.
  4. A minimum of two cultural maintenance programs supported per annum.
Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people and communities.
Traditional cultural heritage records, artefacts and oral histories are identified, documented, preserved and promoted. Increase in cultural heritage material and information specific to each community in the region that is documented, registered and accessible.
  1. One cultural heritage register in place for each community by 2018.
  2. Five per cent increase in cultural heritage material identified and registered per annum.
Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people and communities
Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists and cultural practitioners’ individual and communal copyright and intellectual property rights are protected. Increase in the number of emerging and professionally active artists and cultural practitioners that have access to information and support to ensure copyright and intellectual property rights.
  1. One copyright and intellectual property rights workshop held per community per annum.
  2. Five per cent increase per annum in information available to communities.
Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people and communities.