In Australia, the local government cultural sector of arts, libraries and heritage is made up of over 560 local governments servicing residential populations ranging from a few hundred to over a million. Such diversity within Australian local governments offers a large laboratory of ideas and innovation, with different councils finding new solutions to challenges within their local communities through cultural development activities. While the diversity of cultural, social, economic and environmental factors makes it hard to conceive of local government cultural development as a ‘sector’, all art and cultural activity delivered by councils, carry similar intentions and challenges. It was therefore conceivable that councils carrying out this work could recognise themselves as part of a national sector. This was at the heart of conceiving the National Local Government Cultural Forum (Cultural Forum) in 2012. The Cultural Forum gathered together cultural policy and practice managers from across the Australian jurisdictions, recognizing the diversity and the common challenges and goals among them.
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