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SA Centre Alliance kills hope for university arts and humanities

By Malcolm King - posted Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Various SA youth arts organisations, including what's left of Adelaide's theatre companies, the South Australian Film Corporation, the Adelaide Film Festival and the Jam Factory, are in penury. Many smaller arts organisations no longer exist.

This story gives a good update on the state of the arts in SA. It appeared in the Adelaide Review, an arts and culture newspaper, which folded last month after publishing for 36 years.

Maybe SA Centre Alliance saw the writing on the wall for the arts in SA, and decided to stick the knife in.


Part of the Government's rationale for pricing art and humanity degrees up there with the purchase of a cheap Brett Whitely painting, is to drive young people towards science, maths and nursing and useful, quantifiable subjects like that.

The Government's pre-pandemic modelling showed 62 per cent of employment growth in the next five years will be in health care, science and technology, education and construction.

Yet this modelling is no longer valid as the spread of the Coronavirus is a black swan event, throwing future careers and whole sections of the economy in to chaos.

The government is implementing a social engineering experiment which seeks to drive people in to courses they may have little or no interest in for the 'national interest'. It militates against the idea of agency or free will, in favour of price signals and inducements.

Near the end of Kenyon College Commencement speech, Wallace says the real value of a (liberal) education, has almost nothing to do with knowledge, "and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us…"

It's individual awareness – of the great interconnectivity of knowledge, of synergy, rather than knowledge itself, which comes from studying the arts and humanities.


Sharkie and Griff will be damned by a generation of young Australians, priced out of a liberal arts education.

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About the Author

Malcolm King is a journalist and professional writer. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide. He runs a writing business called Republic.

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