Equity in the Creative Industries Symposium

27/11/2023, Western Sydney University


Dr Sheree Gregory, Dr Fabian Cannizzo, Dr Yinghua Yu, Dr Tom Barnes

Sociology of Work, Labour & Economy (S-WLE) thematic group, The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)

About the event 

The creative industries play a vital role in Australia’s cultural ecology and future of work. Companies, freelancers, consumers and governments help to shape, connect and support a diverse workforce and sector. However, Australia’s creative industries face significant challenges surrounding labour and inequalities in the experiences of people who work in the sector. In this symposium, our interests are in understanding equity and the nature of work and labour in the creative industries in Australia, and the challenges and debates about inequalities that construct working experiences.

The symposium focuses on equity in the creative industries and how debates over inequality in creative work help us to understand the sociology of cultural work and labour. The COVID-19 pandemic, rise of digital cultural production, growth of media sharing platforms, and instability of changes in government (and policy) have both disrupted and re-organised cultural work. Moreover, the persistence of inequalities and policy responses to them have come under question. In the Equity in the Creative Industries symposium, we aim to:

● Develop debate among Australian sociologists about how to engage with cultural policy to encourage meaningful policy shifts;

● Share experiences that are common to cultural and creative work in order to encourage the development of a more coherent approach to fostering equity, and,

● Make the search for equity in creative industries the focus of a special issue (outcome of this symposium) to highlight research that may shape policy debates.

The symposium will underpin a Special Issue ‘Equity in the Creative Industries’, for the Journal of Sociology. The symposium is an event by the Sociology of Work, Labour and Economy thematic convenors, of The Australian Sociological Association, hosted by Western Sydney University, and the Institute for Culture and Society.

Contributors will present their research to develop their work for the special issue for the Journal of Sociology. The special issue will enable contributors to reflect on how their research programs contribute to a broader debate about fostering equity across forms of cultural work and critically appraise current policy approaches. The workshop and special issue encourage debates about the value of cultural work, how cultural policy is developed, the impact of cultural policy, the framing of ‘creative industries’, and the role of a sociology of cultural work in shaping the nation’s future.

Date: Monday, 27 November, 2023

Venue: Conference Room 2, Level 9 of Peter Shergold Bldg, Western Sydney University Parramatta City Campus.

This symposium will be available for online attendance. Zoom details will be shared close to the event.

Funding: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) and the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS)

Hosts: Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), Western Sydney University (WSU) and Work, Labour and Economy Thematic Group (WLE) at TASA

It will be a hybrid event. There is no fee or costs associated with online attendance as an audience member.

Confirmed speakers




My Brilliant Career? The Realities of Precariousness on Labour Mobility for Independent Filmmakers in the Australian screen industry

Louise Ingersoll (Western Sydney University), Scott Fitzgerald (Curtin University) and John Burgess (Torrens University)

Louise Ingersoll

Through a Glass Darkly: The Organization and Experience of “Identity Work” in the screen industry

Deborah Verhoeven (University of Alberta), Bronwyn Coate (RMIT University) and Ben Eltham (Monash University)

Ben Eltham

Involuted Labour in the Creative Industries

Michael Scott (Flinders University) and Tully Barnett (Flinders University)

Michael Scott

Cultural Labour, Income Support, and the Welfare State: The Role of Non-Arts Funding in Funding the Arts

Sam Whiting (University of South Australia)

Sam Whiting

Exploring the Political Economy of Cultural Labour Markets: Cultural Policy Landscapes of Inequality and Precarity in Global Comparison

Ben Eltham (Monash University), Xin Gu (Monash University), Bronwyn Coate (RMIT University) and Marnie Badham (RMIT University)

Ben Eltham

Gender, Work and the Creative Industries: Towards an Understanding of Women and Film

Sheree Gregory (Western Sydney University) and Deborah Stevenson (Western Sydney University)

Sheree Gregory

UBI for Creative Justice: Weathering Injustice in the Creative Industries during COVID-19

Fabian Cannizzo (RMIT University), Catherine Strong (RMIT University) and Sam Whiting (University of South Australia)

Fabian Cannizzo

Women and Gender Diverse people in the Virtual Production Workforce

Tully Barnett (Flinders University), Julia Erhart (Flinders University) and Kath Dooley (University of South Australia)

Tully Barnett


To be announced in November.

If you have any questions about the symposium, please contact Yinghua Yu via Yinghua.yu@westernsydney.edu.au.