Arts Flashback

To celebrate Arts Victoria's 40th anniversary we've hit the archives
and uncovered some choice moments in the development of
Victoria's arts sector.

Click on the images below to view the stories and photo galleries, share them with others, and find out how Victoria grew to be the arts and cultural powerhouse it is today.


Bell-bottoms, handlebar moustaches, platform shoes, our daring approach to fashion (and facial hair) belied an era of serious social change and political drama in 1970s Australia.

We scrapped the White Australia Policy and welcomed an era of multiculturalism. Aussie troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, and in 1975 our PM was controversially dismissed.

We had more leisure time that ever before. Norm coaxed us off the couch with Life. Be in it and we got fit. But when we weren't out BMXing, ten-pin bowling or roller-skating, we were listening to Skyhooks and Sherbet, tuning into the new world of FM radio, and watching Number 96 on our brand new colour TVs.

Here in Victoria, a creative community of artists, craftspeople, theatre-makers and musicians were laying the foundation of the mighty independent arts sector we enjoy today.

Premier Rupert Hamer put the arts firmly on the Government's agenda with the creation of Australia's first state Ministry for the Arts. Its first priorities? Getting the construction of Southbank's Arts Centre complex moving, creating a chain of regional performing arts centres, and bringing art out into the public.

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Box Hill High School, Artists in Schools project, 1980s
Box Hill High School, Artists in Schools project, 1980s


Artists in Schools

The Artists in Schools program – a successful, long-term partnership of Arts Victoria and the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – began in 1981. The program provides the opportunity for practising artists to work with students and teachers on a creative project.


In the three decades since, the Artists in Schools program has inspired many thousands of Victorian primary and secondary school students, involving them in the creative process and contributing to their learning right across the curriculum. Participating artists have ranged from puppeteers to poets, dancers to designers, circus performers to ceramicists, and projects have explored everything from cultural identity to bullying and the weather.

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