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John DuBois, Director, Corporate Affairs
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The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) at the University of Melbourne has welcomed Commonwealth and State government funding totaling almost $20 million over the next three years.

Fulfilling promises made in August, both governments today handed over the funding to the VCA through Arts Victoria.

Of the total, $5.1 million is recurrent federal funding, $4 million is joint state and federal funding for the establishment of a VCA foundation and $1 million is state funding for the upgrading of the College’s facilities at Southbank. The University has also pledged to maintain its subsidy to the VCA beyond 2011.

VCA Director Professor Su Baker said the combined funding safeguarded the future of contemporary arts education at the College.

"This funding restores the VCA to its funding levels prior to 2005 and will enable us to continue to produce high quality artistic outcomes for the students' education and training and for the community to enjoy,’’ she said.
"This substantial investment in the arts, through education and training, gives us a chance to build a future for the VCA based on depth of practice and provides the promise of stability and longevity of service to Victoria and the nation through future generations of young artists."
Professor Baker said the funding demonstrated the State and Federal governments' commitment to building the capacity for excellence in the arts for a wide range of students.

"The VCA knows that with this commitment comes substantial responsibility - to live up to the promise of its visionary founders in 1972 and to build on that ambition.’’

She said work was underway to appoint a board of committed supporters of the VCA and to establish a fundraising program to build on the substantial contribution from the Federal and State governments.

"There is considerable excitement in the VCA community about the capacity to further the resource security from a well endowed foundation."

Professor Baker said a curriculum review process at the Faculty of the VCA and Music, which began in August, was nearing completion, as was the search for the Chair of the new VCA Foundation.

``In the minds of many in the community the name of the VCA stands for high hopes and aspirations of the young emerging artists, and the work they produce as graduates. We will honour this history and this renewed commitment and build a strong and vibrant new VCA, ready for the challenges of the future," she said.