Terms of Reference


1.     The Forum

The National Local Government Cultural Forum (aka Cultural Forum) is a network of capital city councils, local government associations and partners committed to sharing knowledge and expertise towards a common objective.

2.     Objective

To increase the capacity of local government to strengthen the arts and cultural development in their communities

3.     To Operating Principles

The Cultural Forum will draw on the UCLG Policy Statement on Culture that aims to;

    1. strengthen heritage, creativity, cultural industries, crafts, cultural tourism
    2. ensure culture has its rightful place in all public policies, particularly those related to education, the economy, science, communication, environment, social cohesion and international cooperation

The Cultural Forum will operate as a clearing-house for ideas and activities that improve policy impacts on the arts and cultural development in local government.

4.     Membership to the Forum

The membership will include representation from the eight capital cities, seven state-based local government associations, Australian Local Government Association, Cultural Development Network, Australia Council for the Arts, Office for the Arts and Global Cities Research Institute.

Adelaide City Council Local Government Association of Queensland
Australia Council for the Arts Local Government Association of South Australia
Australian Local Government Association Local Government Association of Tasmania
Brisbane City Council Local Government Association of the Northern Territory
Canberra City/ACT Melbourne City Council
Cultural Development Network Ministry for the Arts, Attorney-General’s Department,
Commonwealth of Australia
Darwin City Council Municipal Association of Victoria
Global Cities Research Institute Perth City Council
Hobart City Council Sydney City Council
Local Government NSW WA Local Government Association









The Forum members will agree on a forum member as Chair or approach an external person to Chair the forum meetings.

5.     Governance

The Cultural Forum is not a legal entity and the Cultural Development Network will be the responsible body for supporting the Cultural Forum, for signing contracts and receiving and acquitting the funds that underpin the activities of the Cultural Forum.

6.     Executive

The Cultural Development Network Incorporated (CDN) and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) will form a joint executive of the Cultural Forum and manage the meeting agendas and the business of the forum.

7.     Secretariat

The Cultural Development Network Incorporated will provide the secretariat service to the Cultural Forum and manage the forum meeting schedule and distribution of meeting papers, agendas and minutes.  The Secretariat will maintain a system for internal communications and central storage and access to Cultural Forum documents and records.

8.     Code of conduct

The individual members of the Cultural Forum will:

    • have a broad understanding of cultural development issues faced by local government;
    • be genuinely interested in the Cultural Forum and the outcomes;
    • be committed to, and actively involved in pursuing the Cultural Forum’s outcomes;
    • be an advocate for the Cultural Forum’s objectives and outcomes;

9.     Role of members

Individual members of the Cultural Forum will formally represent their organisations on arts and cultural development issues and be able to present the views of their organisation.

Cultural Forum members will prepare for scheduled meetings and present ideas in an open way that can be shared by the other forum members.

The Cultural Forum can ask for members to join working groups to work on agreed projects and assignments between full Cultural Forum meetings

10.  Work plan and budget

The first meeting of National Local Government Cultural Forum will determine the work plan of the forum which will be reviewed at each subsequent meeting of the Cultural Forum.

The Cultural Development Network, as joint executive and secretariat, will provide the base level of support to the work plan and present relevant reports and information to the members of the Cultural Forum as required.

Working groups of the Cultural Forum will be formed to address significant and priority items in the work plan and will be led by one of the Forum members with a clear set of tasks and timeline/s, and supported by the secretariat.

The Cultural Forum does not have a budget other than that which supports the secretariat through the agreement with the Community Partnerships division of the Australia Council for the Arts.

The Cultural Forum can decide to seek further resources as it determines and when associated with specific initiatives or projects of a working group.

11.  Term of the Forum

The initial term of the National Local Government Cultural Forum is three years from January 2013 through to December 2015.