Australian cultural and creative activity: A population and hotspot analysis is an Australian Research Council Linkage project (LP160101724) being undertaken by the QUT and the University of Newcastle, in partnership with Arts Queensland, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, Arts South Australia and the Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.  We are undertaking qualitative fieldwork in twenty “creative hotspots” with institutions and practitioners, with the aim of understanding what makes each hotspot “hot”, and the commonalities and differences between the regions.

Creative hotspots for study were selected in consultation with state research partners:

  • Queensland – Cairns, Sunshine Coast + Noosa, Gold Coast, Central West Queensland
  • New South Wales – Coffs Harbour, Marrickville, Wollongong, Albury
  • Victoria – Geelong + Surf Coast, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wodonga
  • Western Australia – Geraldton, Fremantle, Busselton, Albany + Denmark
  • South Australia  – to be confirmed shortly

This comprehensive project aims to grasp the contemporary dynamics of cultural and creative activity in Australia. It brings together population-level and comparative quantitative and qualitative analyses of local cultural and creative activity. The project will paint a complete national picture, while also exploring the factors that are producing local and regional creative hotspots.

The project is delivering its outputs in close collaboration with government partners to support better-targeted policy and program initiatives. This will provide national cultural and policy benefits from placing the creative sector in front of policy makers as a vital contributor to high growth, labour-intensive economic activity in the context of the Australian economy in transition.

To date:

  • Our statistical analyses have assisted state agency research partners to identify creative hotspot areas suitable for in-depth qualitative fieldwork.  These include:
    • Queensland: Central West Queensland, Gold Coast, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast region
    • Western Australia: Albany and Denmark, Busselton, Fremantle and East Fremantle, and Geraldton
    • NSW: Albury, Coffs Harbour, Marrickville and Wollongong
    • Victoria: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and the Surf Coast, and Wodonga
  • National factsheets provide an overview of creative employment by industry, comparing creative services and cultural production
  • Statistical summaries drawn from a diverse range of data sources including the Australian Census, the Australian Business Register, IP Australia registration data, infrastructure availability lists and creative grants and rights payments as well as our fieldwork inform our hotspot reports. See our reports and data tables page for more information.