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Register captures Coffs Harbour's creative talents


Brigid Veale
20 June 2007
Professionals and practitioners working in the creative industries are invited to join a register being established by Southern Cross University.

The register is part of a research project being undertaken by the University’s Office of Regional Engagement on behalf of the Coffs Harbour City Council.

“Council recognises the importance of the creative industries, particularly from a cultural and social perspective,” project co-ordinator Jan Strom said.

“We are encouraging all people who work in the creative industries to register as this will enable us to quantify the breadth and depth of the sector, as well as the contribution it makes to our local economy.”

ABS Census data (2001) indicates that 3.86 per cent of the local Coffs Harbour population works in this sector. Cathy Henkel’s 2006 report on the creative industries in the Northern Rivers revealed that the number of people identified as working in the sector had grown from 4.1 per cent in 2001 to 6.1 per cent in 2006 and the economic value of the creative industries was estimated at $190 million.

Ms Strom said the growth and economic value of the creative industries could be similar for Coffs Harbour.

For this audit the creative industries have been divided into several categories and sub-categories. The key categories are: performing arts, such as musicians, actors, choreographers, street performers (buskers) or DJs; the visual arts - designers, painters, ceramicists, jewellers, photographers and those working in the screen media industries; and literary arts - authors, journalists, publishers, or advertising professionals. Public and private venues are also been surveyed as well as support services.

Ms Strom said that many other businesses contributed to the creative industries by providing valuable support services and they were also being encouraged to register. These services include art and craft supplies, event management, communications and marketing businesses, recording studios, and business administration.

“The information collected in this audit will provide Council and the community with an overview of the creative industries in Coffs Harbour and be the foundation for an internet based 'Coffs Harbour Creative Industries Directory'," Ms Strom said.

Apart from gathering important information, the internet directory will provide ready access to both creative industries professionals and practitioners, and their support industries, and Council hopes this will encourage networking and industry development opportunities.

“We have two researchers working on the project, Dr Karen McFadyen, who undertook an infrastructure audit of the Mid North Coast last year, and Lynda Lloyd, who completed a review of Camp Creative earlier this year,” Ms Strom said.

Anyone wanting to register should contact Lynda Lloyd by email on or via the Office of Regional Engagement at Southern Cross University on 66593900.