Cultural Policy and Suburban Australia: From the Post-war Era to the Early 1980s

By Penelope Stannard.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 7, 2014 $US5.00

Australia has been described as a suburban nation. Suburbanisation has featured heavily in Australia’s national development and is the dominant urban form in Australian cities. Home to over 75 percent of the Australian population, the suburbs, as a physical space, are central to the daily lives of the Australian population. As an imagined space, the suburbs have been a prominent feature in Australia’s cultural life and in how the nation’s cultural identity is understood. Yet despite this significance, the suburbs are noticeably absent from the nation’s cultural policy discussion. This paper explores the tensions, ambiguities and contradictions that arise when suburban Australia is placed within this discussion, and in particular, the intersections that occur between the physical and imagined dimensions of suburbia, and how these are encapsulated both theoretically and “on the ground.” Findings from a case study indicate that suburban communities have a history of developing and engaging with cultural policy directions.

Keywords: Cultural Policy, Suburbanisation, Cultural Identity, National Identity, Urban Development, Community Arts

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 8, Issue 3, November 2014, pp.19-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 7, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 315.218KB)).

Penelope Stannard

Researcher and Doctoral Candidate, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia