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Observers say the Victorian government is doing what the federal arts minister, George Brandis, failed to do: consult widely before change. On Wednesday, the Andrews government released its creative industries discussion paper and announced 21 consultation workshops over five weeks – seven public and 14 by invitation – to build a taskforce report by September.

This wide consultation will shape Victoria’s state budget response next May. The Andrews government was elected on a platform of changing Arts Victoria to Creative Victoria, to account for disciplines including game development, graphic design, fashion, filmmaking, performing arts, publishing, architecture, advertising, media, music, comedy and craft.

It’s 1788. By lamplight, Governor Arthur Phillip, played by David Wenham, offers a tot of rum to Reverend Johnson, a character based on a real minister who accompanied the First Fleet to Australia. A convict has earlier slipped into Phillip’s quarters and drunk the rum decanter low, convinced he’s going to be hanged anyway for murdering a food-thieving blacksmith.

Outside Phillip’s quarters, “wank” and “shag” are in common coinage among the 736 convicts, including 188 women, who made shore at Port Jackson with the First Fleet. This is Banished, a window into the colony’s conflicts over scarce women and rations during a two-week period, filmed at Manly Dam and currently airing over seven weekly episodes in Australia on Foxtel’s BBC First.

Fifty essays and dispatches on
what it means to be gay today.

On sale at Amazon and iTunes.

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