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Speak up to save Australian literature. Late last month, the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission released its draft report on Intellectual Property Arrangements (link is external). Two of the Commission's recommendations present some of the biggest challenges ever faced by Australia’s writers, readers and literary organisations: That Australia should allow the parallel importation of books. That Australia should adopt US-style ‘fair use’ copyright exceptions. What is parallel importation? Parallel Import Restrictions (PIRs) prohibit booksellers from importing books from overseas when a local edition is available. Removing PIRs will allow mass importation of low-royalty and/or royalty-free editions (link is external) of Australian authors’ books into the Australian marketplace. This might make some books cheaper at the bookstore, but this is an over-simplistic calculation (link is external), and would be at the expense of Australian writers and Australian publishers.

Our writers may stop writing, or move overseas. Theconversation. The Coalition announced in the budget that it would stop funding the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) – an organisation that that has helped to enhance learning and teaching in universities.


This means that from 30 June, the organisation will cease to run, and from July there will be no more grants and fellowships. The decision puts teaching innovation in our universities at risk. There is no replacement institute, despite the government promising this in last year’s budget. This is not just a problem for the higher education sector. It will contribute to significant losses to the wider economy that flow from having a highly skilled, professional workforce. It will also lead to missed opportunities for enhancing the educational experience of students. Government spends $12 m in mysterious Catalyst windfall. $11,926,128 in additional Catalyst funding was quietly announced by the Ministry for the Arts on Friday, in addition to the initial $11, 391,173 funding released last week.

Government spends $12 m in mysterious Catalyst windfall

Neither the Australia Council nor ArtsPeak representatives know where the money is coming from and there has been no explanation from the office of Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts, which is now in caretaker mode ahead of the 2 July election. Some have expressed fears that the Government has allocated next year's funding hours before it went into caretaker mode. 'The total amount of funding allocated now totals over $23 million – right before the they have already allocated $11 million from future years.' 65 arts organisations lose funding from Australia Council.

Image: Legs on the Wall The Australia Council has chosen to fund 43 new organisations among the 12​8 arts organisations to have received four year funding, but rejected applications f​rom dozens of established arts organisations.

65 arts organisations lose funding from Australia Council

There were 262 applications for the funding round. The Inside Life: Jeanette Winterson on arts funding. The arts aren’t a luxury activity.

The Inside Life: Jeanette Winterson on arts funding

They are central to life. Art is the part of us that is met, and that can't be met in the outside world. Jeanette Winterson answers a question from the audience about arts funding, as part of her Wheeler Centre event (16 May 2016) Life has an inside as well as an outside, and everything in this crazy modern world is focused on the outside, because you’ve got to go to work, pay the bills, watch the TV news – all of that. But what happens to the dreaming world, to the imaginative world, to those parts of us that need a response and need a recognition that we can't have simply by living always at face value?

Australia's cultural heritage: parents who despise education. Hey true blue: Australia's historical dependence on physical work and a can-do capacity has bred a disdain for formal learning.

Australia's cultural heritage: parents who despise education

Photo: Simon Letch Many studies show parents' positive influence on their children's education, but hardly anyone will discuss the opposite: when parents stymie that education and ambition. It's not uniquely Australian, but sentiments unsupportive of education are part of our cultural DNA. We know about our sporting heroes, but who knows about our Nobel Prize winners? And worse, who cares? I witnessed the consequences of these educationally-destructive factors when attending rural secondary schools in the '60s, and more recently when teaching in metropolitan schools.

In 2001, aged 46, I was first-year teaching at an outer-suburban government school. Attending six government schools around Victoria before accessing university, my educational progress could have been derailed but fortunately my family was educationally supportive. PM - Literary magazine Meanjin to have funding cut 12/05/2016. TONY EASTLEY: The Second World War was ending when the small literary magazine, Meanjin began publishing in Brisbane.

PM - Literary magazine Meanjin to have funding cut 12/05/2016

In 1945, it moved to Melbourne, where, with the assistance of the uni and government grants, it grew to establish itself into a small literary niche. There were young, inquisitive readers very keen to embrace literature from home and abroad, and Australian writers were lining up to be heard. Meanjin has, to date, received monies from the literature fund of the Australia Council for the Arts, but next Monday it will learn it's been cut. Meanjin was celebrating its 76th year.

Its current editor is Jonathan Green – also of RN. Jonathan Green; almost a post diamond anniversary. JONATHAN GREEN: Well we certainly need this money Tony. That's been rejected, and for a little literary magazine like Meanjin, it might have been going since 1940 but it's a slim operation, that money makes a potentially terminal difference. 23 Maps That Prove Australia Is Batshit Insane.

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