Project status: Completed

The research explores the experience and activity of creative industries workers in outer suburban Brisbane and Melbourne.

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Australian Research Council Discovery Projects

$333,000 over three years.
Research team
QUT External collaborators
  • Mark Gibson
  • Anna Daniel
Organisational unit
Lead unit Faculty of Creative Industries
Start date
1 January 2009
End date
1 March 2011



This project will critically evaluate the scope for development of new enterprises in creative industries sectors in Australia's new suburban and peri-urban communities. It responds conceptually to the tendency in the research literature towards an 'inner-urban' bias in understanding well-springs of creativity in cities, and practically to the diversity and heterogeneity of types of creative enterprises identified in creative industries research.

The project will draw upon statistical data on Australia's creative industries, as well as urban studies, cultural studies and cultural geography, to generate findings that impinge upon questions of urban cultural policy, sustainability, and economic growth and innovation.

Project description

The qualitative component of the study is nearly complete. Interviews have been conducted with over 120 creative industries workers/practitioners across four outer suburban sites: Redcliffe and Springfield in Brisbane, and Frankston and Dandenong in Melbourne.

Bureaucratic decision makers, cultural development workers and developers have also been interviewed. Statistical data has provided quantitative information about the types and number of people working in creative industries and those creatives embedded in other industries, across the four research locations.


  • Monash University

Publications and output

We've found significant creative industries presence in Redcliffe, Frankston and Dandenong, less in Springfield. 

Several themes identified  from the data to date:

  • issues for networking in outer suburban locations
  • role of technology for people located beyond inner-city hubs
  • space & affordability factors influence decisions about working in outer suburb
  • importance of a suburb that offers 'distinction' (eg: bayside) for creative workers
  • age and lifecycle are considerations  connected to choice of location.

4 conference papers presented:

  • "Creative Communities in Outer Suburbs" at Creative Communities: Sustainable Solution to Social Inclusion, Centre for Public Culture and Ideas, Griffith University, Brisbane, 15-17 April 2009.
  • "Creative Suburbia: creative industries in the outer suburbs" at 7th International Conference for New Directions in the Humanities Beijing, China, June 2-5 2009.
  • "Creative Suburbia: an investigation into creative communities in outer urban areas" at Communication, Creativity and Global Citizenship, ANZCA  (Australian and New Zealand Communication Association) Conference 2009, QUT, Brisbane. 8-10 July.
  • "Oh No, not Frankston!" Cultural Studies Conference, Kalgoorlie WA, November 2008.

1 published article

2 articles in final proofing to submit for publication

2 newspaper articles

1 online opinion piece