Inquiry into Australia's Indigenous visual arts and craft sector

Resource Information:
Contact: Committee Secretary Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Committee
Country: Australia

On 15 August 2006, the Senate referred the following matter to the
Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day of 2007:
Australia's Indigenous visual arts and craft sector, with particular reference to:

  • the current size and scale of Australia's Indigenous visual arts and craft sector
  • the economic, social and cultural benefits of the sector
  • the overall financial, cultural and artistic sustainability of the sector
  • the current and likely future priority infrastructure needs of the sector opportunities for strategies and mechanisms that the sector could adopt to improve its practices, capacity and sustainability, including to deal with unscrupulous or unethical conduct
  • opportunities for existing government support programs for Indigenous visual arts and crafts to be more effectively targeted to improve the sector's capacity and future sustainability
  • future opportunities for further growth of Australia's Indigenous visual arts and craft sector, including through further developing international markets.

The report talks a little about Internet sales but like all before it struggles to come to terms with how to analyse and describe the online market for Aboriginal Art. Various art centres participated in the report by discussing the size and scope of their operations. These included:

  • Lockhart River Arts and Cultural Centre has averaged a turnover of $750 000 in the last five years, distributing 66 per cent of its income to artists
  • Maningrida Arts and Culture supports over 700 artists and has distributed over $1.1 million in the 2005/06 financial year
  • Warlayirti Artists at Balgo has 400 artists, half of whom were painting regularly, with an annual turnover of $2.1 million, with 60 per cent going back to the artists
  • Waringarri Aboriginal Arts at Kununurra has 50 to 60 artists and a turnover of $500 000, with 60 per cent going back to the artists
  • The Rainbow Serpent had a turnover of $4.75 million in 2005/06, paying around $420 000 directly to Indigenous suppliers and another $100 000 indirectly through royalties, as well as paying over $ 1.25 million in wages, some of which are going to Indigenous people under the company's Indigenous employment policy



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Last modified: February 24, 2014 2:46 PM