A single institution is needed to represent Australian arts and culture to the rest of the world, according to businessman and philanthropist Rupert Myer.
Of the world's top 15 economies, Australia is the only nation that lacks such an institution, Mr Myer said in a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
It could be similar to the Alliance francaise or the Japan Foundation, he suggested, with research needed to determine what model would work.
The institution would need to be well funded to lead Australia's international cultural relations, Mr Myer said.
The nation is already exporting its arts and culture to the world, he said, while creativity is also part of everyday Australian life.
"We are global stars when it comes to turning up, getting involved, being fans and giving creativity a go."
But Mr Myer said there was more to be done to make Australia a cultural powerhouse.
He urged national cabinet to work more closely to promote creativity and culture, by upgrading regular meetings of cultural ministers to a formalised council reporting to cabinet.
"This elevation would be a transformative step to give higher priority to the nation's cultural needs," he said.
The council should develop a long-term plan to promote arts and culture across different levels of government over the next several decades.
In January, the federal government launched Australia's first national cultural plan in a decade, with a five-year $286 million blueprint for the arts.
Mr Myer chairs the arts and culture think tank A New Approach and is president of The Myer Foundation.
He has previously chaired the National Gallery of Australia and the Australia Council, now known as Creative Australia.
Australian Associated Press
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