Emile Sherman, Khoa Do, Rachel Maza selected for National Cultural Policy review panels

Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke.

Director and screenwriter Khoa Do, producer Emile Sherman, and First Nations actress and director Rachael Maza are among 15 creatives that will help guide the government’s National Cultural Policy in the months ahead, with Arts Minister Tony Burke announcing five expert review panels to shape the new strategy.

A mix of writers, musicians, painters, producers, directors and industry professionals will focus on five key areas — First Nations first, a place for every story, the centrality of the artist, strong institutions, and reaching the audience.

They will be tasked with identifying key issues and themes raised from the public consultation process, which consists of a series of town hall meetings in every state and territory.

Sherman, joint managing director of See-Saw Films, is part of ‘reaching the audience’ with Sydney-based social realist painter Fintan Magee and Western Australian producer and curator Kate Ben-Tovim.

Do (Better Man) will be joined by Arts Access Victoria CEO and artistic director Caroline Bowditch and professor Deborah Cheetham on ‘a place for every story’.

Of the other panels, Wesley Enoch; Maza, artistic director of the Ilbijerri Theatre Company, and writer Claire Coleman make up ‘First Nations first’; Kerri Glasscock, Karen Quinlan, and Kim Walker form ‘strong institutions’; and MEAA director of legal policy Matthew Chesher, musician and producer Michael Hohnen, and Deena Lynch (aka Jaguar Jonze) will work together on the ‘centrality of the artist’.

Burke, who has pledged to deliver the policy this year, said the national roadmap should draw on as many voices as possible.

“That’s why I’m asking every Australian who cares about arts and culture to make a submission,” he said.

“And it’s why I’m drawing on the expertise of these diverse creative sector professionals to help me drive this.

“Together, we can bring new direction and vision to a critical sector that does so much to enrich Australians’ lives.”

After events in Brisbane, Hobart, and Sydney last month, Burke will head to capital cities Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Darwin this month, while also visiting Albury/Wodonga, Bendigo, Cairns, and Broome.

Public submissions to the National Cultural Policy can be made here.