Ausdance National announced its closure today, Monday 5 August. The association has been badly hit by decreasing government funding, resulting in diminishing reserves and severely limited resources.
Despite significant fundraising efforts and organisational restructuring, Ausdance has not been able secure the financial support needed to make the organisation sustainable.
Ausdance National has provided a range of services to the Australian dance sector over its 42 years of operation. The Australian Dance Awards are, perhaps, its highest profile and best-known achievement, but it has also provided vital services such as advocacy, industry development initiatives, publications and conferences.
“The dance sector in Australia has experienced significant disruption and change, in part due to shifts in funding and the lack of a comprehensive arts and cultural policy. Despite the best efforts of the Board, staff members and volunteers, regrettably Ausdance National will take its final bow at the 2019 National Dance Forum and commence the process of winding up,” says Professor Gene Moyle, Ausdance National President. “This announcement does not impact on Ausdance National’s commitment to the 2019 National Dance Forum. We are particularly proud of this year’s Forum with its strong regional voice and powerful Indigenous content.”
Ausdance’s state offices – Ausdance ACT, Ausdance NSW, Ausdance QLD, Ausdance SA, Ausdance VIC and Ausdance WA ¬– will continue to function.
“With the demise of Ausdance National, the state-based organisations become even more essential to the health of the Australian dance sector. State governments need to remain committed to supporting these organisations if they are to see the benefits dance delivers to community well-being, social, cultural and economic development,” comments Prof. Moyle.
Nonetheless, the question remains. Who will advocate at a national level for dance?
Photo: Ahmad Odeh