Petition: Support Australian Craft Education

In August 2019, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education delivered a report titled Performance-Based Funding for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme. This report included a recommendation to tie university funding to “overall employment rate”. 

Employment for craft graduates is not typical of other vocations, such as accounting or engineering. Rather than a salaried position, craft often involves self-employment in running a small workshop. These make a concrete contribution not only to our economy but also the community which takes pride and enjoyment in what’s produced.

Traditionally, craft was taught in workshops by masters. Since the 20th century, these have gradually been replaced by formal institutions such as universities. Tertiary craft courses offer a level of sophistication that is important to a nation’s skill set. 

Craft is a key strength in any society. Our craft skills reflect qualities of commitment, creativity and purpose. Civilisation is largely an evolution of the techniques used to fashion our world into a space of utility and beauty. With the use of natural materials, each society develops its unique capacities to transform its environment. Our museums offer testaments to this endeavour. In recognition of this, support for a nation’s craft capacity is growing in most governments around the world. 

We call on the Minister to ensure that the “overall employment rate” takes account of the vocation outcomes for the craft sector.


I believe that craft education plays an important role in Australian life. Any changes to funding for universities should reflect the employment styles of craft practitioners. 

You can sign the petition here.

Mel Douglas PhD installation in Australian National University

4 thoughts on “Petition: Support Australian Craft Education”

  1. You have only to travel to country centres to see how vital a part they play – the craft shows, craft fairs and local art galleries – in the life of the community and in making an attractive destination for tourists.

  2. Crafts are a flourishing art form in all cities and regions in Australia. It needs to be supported to thrive.

  3. Craft education can help in establishing the creativity of an individual. I remember the days when I used to make handmade jewellery during my childhood. Thanks for speaking on this topic.

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