Supporting ethical trading in the Indigenous visual arts industry

The Morrison Government will host a two-day roundtable to progress discussions with stakeholders from the Indigenous arts industry on ways to further support Australia’s meaningful and prosperous  Indigenous art sector, and to promote ethical trading.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, and the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, will extend invitations to key industry stakeholders to attend the roundtable, which will be held on 30 April and 1 May 2020 in Alice Springs. Those who are unable to attend will be encouraged to provide submissions.

Minister Fletcher said the roundtable will build on the Australian Government’s support of our world-class Indigenous arts and culture sector, which currently receives more than $40 million annually through the Office for the Arts.

“The quality of Australian Indigenous Art is world renowned and one of my key priorities as Minister for the Arts is to grow this hugely successful market. I want to help to support the cultural and economic interests of Indigenous artists, and provide consumers with increased confidence that they are purchasing ethically sourced Indigenous art that benefits the artists and their communities,” Minister Fletcher said.

“I look forward to building on the ongoing dialogue I have with the Indigenous art sector on these important matters.”

Minister Wyatt said the forum will bring together Indigenous artists, Indigenous-owned art centre directors, private dealers, commercial galleries, peak bodies and representatives from the state and federal governments.

“The roundtable will be an important discussion led by Indigenous artists. We want to see Indigenous Australians empowered to express our culture, history and experiences through art, free from exploitation,” Minister Wyatt said.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs released its Report on the impact of inauthentic art and craft in the style of First Nations peoples, in December 2018, which highlighted the importance of Australian Government support for the sector, and some of the ongoing issues facing Indigenous artists. The Government is looking forward to tabling its response to that Report shortly.

Minister Fletcher and Minister Wyatt will attend the second day of the roundtable to hear from key stakeholders following an industry-led discussion on 30 April.

The Central Desert Indigenous communities extend across South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. South Australian Premier and Arts Minister, Stephen Marshall, and Northern Territory Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss, are expected to attend, and an invitation has been extended to Western Australian Minister for Culture and the Arts, David Templeman.

UPDATE: Due to restrictions in place to minimise the spread of COVID-19, the two-day Indigenous Arts Industry Roundtable, which was to be held on 30 April and 1 May 2020 in Alice Springs, will be postponed to a later date. The health and wellbeing of all Australians is a priority with unprecedented measures in place to minimise spread of the Corona virus. The roundtable will be rescheduled once it is safe to do so to progress discussions on new ways to support Australia’s Indigenous arts sector and promote ethical trading after the effects of COVID-19 and into the future.

Media contact:

Minister Fletcher:

Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 |

Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 |

Minister Wyatt:

Luke Nayna | 0438 231 687