Poster, 'Australia will enter the eighties with enormous confidence', screen print on paper, Lucifoil Poster Collective / The Tin Sheds / University of Sydney, Australia, 1980
This poster, which communicates a deep concern about proposed Government funding cuts by the Liberal Party lead by Prime Minister Malacolm Fraser, is one of a small collection of posters and calendars donated to the Museum by Deborah Mills. The posters in Deborah's collection address key social issues of the 1970s and 1980s including nuclear disarmament, public education, the recognition and rights of Indigenous Australians, women in the workforce, childcare, unemployment, social justice and human rights. Her collection also includes posters which promote community groups and activities such as festivals (Chippendale Festival 1980) and bands (Stray Dags, 1980).
The posters were designed and produced by artists and designers working within a number of community-based screen printing workshops (eg. Michael Callaghan at Redback Graphix, Bob Clutterbuck at the Lucifoil Poster Collective, Marla Guppy at Garage Graphix). These poster groups, later called print media organizations, formed in significant numbers during the late 1970s as a direct outcome of the initiatives of the Whitlam Government's establishment of the Community Arts Fund of the Australia Council in 1973 (which became the Community Cultural Development Unit in 1987). This program aimed at increasing opportunities for participation in the arts, and access to the arts.
The 'Australia will enter the eighties with enormous confidence' and other posters in the Deborah mills collection, reflect the enthusiasm and vitality with which the individuals and groups within the various communities embraced collaborative practice.
One of a group of posters. Produced in 1980, probably in the lead up to the 32nd Federal Election when the Coalitian Government under Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser retained government.
The donor bought and collected posters, particularly political posters and posters dealing with women in the workplace, during the time she was Senior Project Officer, Community Arts Board (CAB), Australia Council 1980-1987 and Director, Community Cultural Development Board (CCDB), Australia Council,1987-1993. The posters currently on offer have been selected by the curator from the donor's personal collection.
The CAB and CCDB had a national role to support community-based screenprinting workshops like Garage Graphix, Red Letter, Another Planet and Lucifoil and encouraged and supported community-based sponsor organizations to produce posters. The program was artist-focussed initially and then became community-focused. The donor's role within the organization was principally to help with grant applications and to write policy.