Inverell Shire Cultural and Arts Strategic Plan

Inverell Shire Council

Cred Consulting were engaged by Inverell Shire Council in May 2019 to work collaboratively with Council, community and stakeholders to develop a Cultural and Arts Strategy that responds to the diverse needs and aspirations of the Inverell Shire community.

About Inverell Shire

Inverell Shire is located in the NSW Northern Tablelands, is home to approximately 16,485 usual residents (2016 Census) and covers an area of approximately 8,606 km² bordering the Copeton Dam in the south, Myall Creek to the south west, Yetman in the North, Bonshaw to the north east and Spring Mountain in the south east.

The traditional custodians of the Inverell Shire area are the tribes and clans for part of the Gamilaroi /Kamilaroi Nation, the second largest Aboriginal Nation in New South Wales. Today, nearly 10% of the Inverell Shire population identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander – over three times the Australian average.

Like many other regional councils in Australia, Inverell Shire Council is facing some vast yet immediate challenges including climate impacts such as drought, loss of young talent to urban centres, unemployment, an ageing population and declining volunteer base. At the same time, there is an increasing expectation from residents about what Council should provide and fund, as well as increasing focus on Council’s accountability, communication, frugality, consultation, equity and transparency. 

The value of arts and culture to regional communities

For many regional towns across Australia, investing in arts, culture and the creative economy has been linked to increased economic prosperity, visitation, a stronger place identity, and an increased sense of community identity, cohesion and belonging.

Inverell Shire has many strengths when it comes to arts and culture, including active community members, strong heritage character and a range of facilities that can be used for arts and culture, including multiple museums, galleries, performance spaces, community halls and the library.

Cred is working with Inverell Shire Council to develop a strategic roadmap that recognises the value of arts and culture to their community and maximises their existing strengths and assets through:

  • Embedding a robust and healthy cultural awareness within our community for the long term;

  • Promoting the Inverell region as a place for creating expression and recreational opportunities;

  • Identifying new sources of growth and prosperity from the cultural economic and access to a wide variety of cultural products and services;

  • Fostering the creative industries and support local artists;

  • Preserving the unique cultural heritage of our shire and enable a shared understanding of the people who live in the region; and

  • Guiding the cultural investment and activity over the next 10 years and inform our planning, programming and funding priorities.

“Whether states are facing economic distress, natural disasters or other adversity, the arts are a powerful force for recovery and healing, a benefit that few other industries offer.”

- National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

Inverell Town Hall

Inverell Town Hall

Sign in Inverell Town Centre

Sign in Inverell Town Centre

Community workshop at Inverell Art Gallery

Community workshop at Inverell Art Gallery

Tingha Main Street shopfront art work

Tingha Main Street shopfront art work