Regional Arts NSW
Skip to content

Cultural Asset Mapping for Planning and Development in Regional Australia (2008 - 2013)


The online version of the CAMRA Toolkit is available HERE

RANSW partnered with the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of Wollongong, the University of New England and 10 other community partners for a successful ARC Linkages Project announced on 26 September 2007. The $2.5 million project ‘Cultural Asset Mapping for Planning and Development in Regional Australia’ ran from 2008 to 2012.
At a time when regional societies are changing markedly, this project examined ways many areas in Australia might revitalise their economies and communities by engaging in new approaches to the arts and creative activity. For consumers and producers alike, many regions in Australia offer opportunities for enhanced cultural activity and productivity and quality of life. But these opportunities had not yet been thoroughly observed, described or analysed. The project addressed this serious gap in knowledge and gave policy-makers, planners and communities crucial information they need to decide their futures.
The project aimed to:

Collaborating partner organisations included the Australia Council for the Arts, Local Government and Shires Association of NSW, Canberra Arts Marketing, the cities of Wollongong, Canberra, and shires of Uralla and the Central Darling.
The CAMRA project resulted in a range of achievements including successful research outcomes, academic papers, books, book chapters and conference presentations. Data collection was completed in the Central Darling and Uralla, including research analysis of community surveys and in-depth artist-maker interviews.
Research findings from the University of Wollongong (UOW)’s community-engaged research project at Viva La Gong were accepted for publication in issues of the International Journal of Cultural Studies and Gateways: International Journal of Community Research & Engagement.
Papers from this research were also presented at the 2011 Association of American Geographers (AAG) conference in Seattle and the Institute of Australian Geographers conferences at UOW, as well as a specialist workshop at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) on Cultural Ecologies and Digital Mapping.
PhD candidate Andrew Warren (UOW) completed his thesis on the surfboard industry as cultural asset and vernacular creativity LINK, as part of the CAMRA framework. Soulful work or selling the soul? Cultural production, precarious labour and the emotional terrain of the custom surfboard industry was submitted in November 2011.
CAMRA researchers Chris Gibson and Chris Brennan-Horley organised a special session of the Institute of Australian Geographers annual conference Geographical information technologies for cultural research, which attracted eight papers from geographers, historians, media studies and cultural studies academics from around Australia.
A full list of publications linked to the CAMRA project is available here.



In 2013, the publication, All Culture is Local: good practice in regional cultural mapping and planning from local government, was published and released as a free resource.
The book, published in a limited hard copy edition and as an e-book, is an outcome from the five year Australian Research Council-funded CAMRA cultural mapping in regional Australia research project. It includes 17 case studies on cultural mapping and planning for regional development.  The case studies were written as a good practice toolkit, with the aim of making ideas and processes transferrable for any regional local government with the resource implications made clear.
The RANSW media release from the launch of the book can be read here and Janice Summerhayes speech from the event can be read here.