Cultural Fund Increases and New Director Appointed at AGM

November 26, 2010

The Copyright Agency’s members voted to increase the amount which may be allocated to CAL’s Cultural Fund at the Annual General Meeting in Sydney on 25 November.

The increase will take the Cultural Fund allocation from 1% to 1.5% of the company’s income receipts from licensing fees and interest. Based on 2009-10’s income receipts this would represent a total of $2.3m available for the support of cultural projects – $762,000 more than the $1.5m currently authorised.

The Cultural Fund supports a wide variety of projects which aim to encourage, and provide practical assistance to our members and the Australian cultural community, doing so through the main Fund, along with individuals and their career development through the Career Fund.

Chair of the Cultural Fund Committee, and Director Brian Johns, says that with the improved financial capacity from the increase, the Cultural Fund will be able to play a greater role in encouraging Australia’s creativity through larger and more comprehensive initiatives brought to it for consideration.

“There are always many more applications submitted to the Cultural Fund than can be supported. Having additional resources available to grant will help support some of these other initiatives which might otherwise miss out on funding,” he said.

Mr Johns says the Copyright Agency’s role, through the Cultural Fund, as a leader for development in publishing and the visual arts has grown in importance over recent years.

“The Cultural Fund support is not only of immediate benefit to those receiving funding, but will leave a lasting legacy for creativity in Australia by building skills, and recognising and promoting Australian writing, publishing and visual arts.”

The appointment of Dr Jeremy Fisher to the Board was also announced at the AGM. Armidale-based Dr Fisher is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Writing at the University of New England. Until 2009, Dr Fisher was Executive Director of the Australian Society of Authors. He also worked for the Copyright Agency from 2000 to 2004, ending his time at the company as Client Services Manager.

Commenting on Dr Fisher’s appointment, the Copyright Agency’s CEO Jim Alexander, said: ‘Our Board and management look forward to working with Jeremy, knowing that our organisation will benefit from his vast experience of writing and publishing in Australia.’