A New Approach (ANA) is an independent think tank championing effective investment and return in Australian arts and culture. The initiative, the first of its kind in Australia, was established in 2018 with The Myer Foundation, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Keir Foundation joining forces to contribute $1.65 million over three years. The Australian Academy of the Humanities was selected as a key delivery partner, providing, among other things, expert oversight of ANA’s development.
With an emphasis on evidence-led discussion of investment and policy settings, ANA published a series of reports on Australian arts and culture, beginning with an examination of recent government expenditure. This work led to a proposal for a National Arts, Culture and Creativity Plan – the centrepiece recommendation in ANA’s submission and presentations at the 2020–2021 Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia’s creative and cultural industries and institutions.
The Myer Foundation’s initial commitment of funding allowed ANA – untested and unprecedented as it was – the time and resources to demonstrate its merit and its capacity as an organisation. Armed with a proven executive, governance structure and a significant body of work, ANA has now successfully incorporated as an independent entity and secured additional ongoing funding from a total of nine philanthropic foundations from around the country.
Kate Fielding, CEO of ANA, says, “Courage and vision are the hallmarks of our philanthropic partners. Their rigour, risk appetite and dedication to the need for a truly independent voice in this critical area of public policy have made this initiative possible. Bold, collaborative philanthropy is essential to achieving the transformations required in 21st century Australia.”