[csaa-forum] the sixties

Vincent O'Donnell vincent.odonnell at rmit.edu.au
Mon Jun 4 10:12:59 CST 2007

Dear Stephen and the CSAA discussion list,

I've been working on the  renaissance of the Australian film production
industry, an event that grew out of the resurgence of Australian
nationalism in the 1960s, for the past decade.

While a lot of my work has focussed on the state film corporations as
organisations that were influential beyond their size and budgets, part
of the PhD I finish a year ago tries to unpack the networks of factors
that shaped cultural policy in general, and the film industry in
particular.  It seems to me (and I am not being unduely nostalgic) that
the '60s, '70s and '80s mark an apogee in national identity:  the nation
had assimilated the influence of post-war migration, shrugged-off much
of the vestiges of the British Empire, especially after the retirement
of Sir Robert Menzies, and had learned to live with US culture in
cinema, television and popular music, as it ventured its own production
of cultural product, stimulated by government fiscal support.

I have a hunch that much of that sence of identity has been lost now as
technilogical globalisation  drives a dissipation of cultural identity,
and the Keynesian approach to the stimulation of the cultural economy,
an approach that has underpinned government support of national cultural
production since the 1970s, gives way to a market econmomy of cultural

I've been producing the national radio program Arts Alive for a little
over a decade now and I plan to go back to the stories we were doing in
1997 in search of evidence to back up this hunch about identity.

Best wishes,

Dr Vincent O'Donnell

More information about the csaa-forum mailing list