Greater Dandenong Young Stars Wanted for a Creative Australia

Creative young stars from Greater Dandenong will be encouraged, supported and celebrated through a new grant program to help them participate in competitions, eisteddfods, cultural, artistic or academic events.

Creative young stars from Greater Dandenong will be encouraged, supported and celebrated through a new grant program to help them participate in competitions, eisteddfods, cultural, artistic or academic events.

Mark Dreyfus QC MP welcomed the announcement of the Creative Young Stars program by Minister for Arts, Simon Crean and Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett.

The program is part of the new national cultural policy Creative Australia, a vision and strategy to place arts and culture at the centre of modern Australian life.

Mr Dreyfus said the Creative Young Stars program would help young people in our community develop their talents, build connections and open up pathways to further training and employment.

"The program will help thousands of school students and post school youth to develop their talent and pursue their dreams with $23,500 of grants made available in every federal electorate across Australia each year," Mr Dreyfus said.

"Creative Young Stars will complement the successful Local Sporting Champions program currently operating in every community across Australia with an administrator to oversee the guidelines."

Minister for Arts, Simon Crean said with the support of schools and cultural and community bodies, grants of $500 for individuals and $3000 for groups will provide young Australians with financial help to participate in training, cultural artistic, academic or community based activities and competitive events."

Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett welcomed Creative Australia's recognition of the capacity of arts and culture to transform education experiences and careers of young people.

"Creativity in our schools, in our cultural sector and in our next generation of leaders is a vital 21st century skill to drive innovation and productivity," Mr Garrett said.

"This program complements the introduction of an arts education for all through the Australian Curriculum: the Arts to help build a smarter Australia.

"Schools will be able to seek assistance to support their orchestras, bands, science and arts prize winners to attend national competitions just as sports teams can already represent their schools."

In the 12 months to April 2012, more than one third of children aged 5 to 14 years (35%) participated in at least one organised cultural activity, including playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, drama and organised art and craft outside of school hours.

Almost half of all females (47%) participated in at least one organised cultural activity, compared with 24% of males.

Creative Young Stars will be administered by a third-party administrator appointed by the Department of Education, Employment and Work Place Relations and jointly funded by DEEWR and the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.

For more information on the national cultural policy visit creativeaustralia.arts.gov.au