Creative Victoria is now taking submissions for the development of the first creative industries strategy. But history isn't mentioned as a creative industry! We sent in a PHA (Vic) submission today. You too can feedback here and don't forget the #VicCreativeFutures for those on Twitter. Here's what we wrote below:
Thank you for the opportunity to feedback into this process. It was disappointing and concerning, however, to discover that a fundamental element of our creative industries is missing within this discussion paper - history.
History and heritage are fundamental to our understanding of self, identity and community. The paper wants to define the creative and cultural industries and 'describe their contribution to Victoria's cultural, social and economic life'. History and heritage are essential to this process. Not only this, but they are themselves creative processes.
I represent a thriving and dynamic professional body of over 158 historians across the state of Victoria. Our members work on a wide range of creative and exploratory projects, including exhibitions, publications, walking tours, heritage studies, websites, blogs, digital stories, oral histories and documentaries - just to name a few. All of these projects make use of Victoria's rich historical collections held in State archives and institutions like the State Library Victoria or Museum Victoria, in local historical societies and in private collections.
Our members work with communities to create histories that are not only rigorously researched, but also engaging and inspiring. They are creative endeavours that work to not only capture the past but also contribute to Victoria's cultural, social and economic present. With digital technologies becoming even more accessible and affordable, it is an incredibly exciting time to be a historian and consider the myriad ways we can creatively engage people with the past.
That is why a creative industries strategy for Victoria needs to recognise the crucial importance of our shared cultural heritage - both the built environment and cultural collections - and the invaluable contribution of historians and heritage practitioners to Victoria's creative and cultural landscape. While we are a group of professional historians, the collections and materials we so heavily rely on for our work is mostly loving preserved and conserved by volunteers. Like all creative industries, ours is one that relies heavily on grants and government funding. This is we strongly advise you to explicitly include history in the creative industries strategy.
There needs to be greater support for the history and heritage community and the people working and volunteering in these fields.