The Australasian Craft Network has been established as the Australian and New Zealand link to the World Craft Council. Australasia has a strong history of involvement in the World Craft Council, which provides an important creative network in our region. The network offers craftspersons, artists, designers, administrators, curators, collectors and writers an opportunity to stay in touch with its activities, particularly as it enters its jubilee anniversary.
The World Craft Council is the umbrella organisation of five regional associations (Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America), within which are various sub-regions. Historically, Australia and New Zealand have been in the South Pacific sub-region of the Asia Pacific region. The WCC General Assembly meets every four years. Regional groups meet annually.
In 2008, the Pacific Craft Network
was established as a means of disseminating information from the World Craft Council to the island communities, as well as providing a platform for development of projects particularly in association with the Pacific arts festivals. To complement that, the Australasian Craft Network provides those non-islanders of the South Pacific with a similar conduit to the World Craft Council and also a means of organising activities to the broader benefit of craft culture.
Australians and New Zealanders engaged in craft are welcome to join the Australasian Craft Network. They will receive regular emails about World Craft Council activities, including workshops, forums and trade visits in the region. There will also be the opportunity to have a voice in shaping events in the Australasian region that connect with the international craft world, particularly a regional conference in 2014 on ‘craft thinking’. They just need to visit the website and subscribe from there.
ACN is not intended as a replacement for Craft Australia, which was recently de-funded by the Australia Council. The Australian craft and design sector will still need the kinds of services provided by Craft Australia.
Dr Kevin Murray, vice-president, World Craft Council Asia Pacific Region and writer for Craft Unbound.
Lindy Joubert, Australian national entity, UNESCO Observatory