Aboriginal Artworkers Program
Your opportunity to help strengthen Indigenous art
by supporting the employment and training of
“Really good to have this big story. It’s really good right across Australia. Desart is
working to reflect what we are doing here. It’s really important.”
Alison Riley, artist from Amata
Desart: supporting artists, their families, communities and culture in an area of over 350,000 sq klm.
From the Chairperson
Our Art Centres in central Australia need more Aboriginal artworkers and we are
looking for your support.
Aboriginal artworkers work alongside artists and Art Centre staff doing important jobs
like preparing canvas and other art materials, cataloguing and recording artworks,
promoting and selling works and maintaining our Art Centre and our culture.
Tess Napaljarri Ross
“The art means to carry on our stories, to know it belongs to my family and it
belongs to my father and grandfather, so that everyone can know about us, so we
can carry on, so our kids can carry on forever, even when we’re gone. The art
movement should be really strong the way it’s going now and we should be keeping
it stronger. We got a lot of strong people in our communities.”
Valerie Napaljarri Martin, artist from Yuendumu
Keeping Aboriginal art strong into the future. Aboriginal
artists and artworkers working together making art and
learning how to manage Art Centres.
Art Centres are crucial to the production of
Desart supports 43 Aboriginal Art Centres
representing some 3,000 artists. This is one of the
most important places for Aboriginal art.
• Desart is the association of
central Australian Aboriginal
art and craft centres.
• Desart provides resources,
promotion and advocacy for
• Some of the Art Centres
supported by Desart include:
Kayili Artists (Patjarr)
Keringke Arts (Santa Teresa)
Tjala Arts (Amata)
Warlayirti Artists (Balgo)
Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu)
• For a long time now there have been very few
Aboriginal artworkers. Last year there were only
13 right across central Australia.
• Desart is leading the way with its new
Aboriginal Artworkers Program. It will help
create jobs for us, organise training and work to
keep those artworkers strong with mentoring.
• The Aboriginal Artworkers Program will support
the employment, training and mentoring of 60
Aboriginal artworkers by 2010.
• It will do this by bringing together partnerships
with Art Centres, with government, with
training organisations and through the support
of generous donors and philanthropists.
• We need to employ more Aboriginal people so
they can work together more strongly in this
It has often been hard to get the training we need. There
are few secondary schools in central Australia and many
communities are a long way from training. This means
that literacy and numeracy skills are low.
It takes special skills to run an Art Centre.
Mixing paints and making canvas are good places
to start with. But we also need to learn more about
computers, the money story, markets and looking
after our art work. We need to know more about
recording art works, getting the stories down and
preparing work for exhibitions. And we need to know
more about the governance of our organisations.
All of these things will help us keep our Art Centres
strong into the future.
Often training by itself is not enough. When
training organisations come to deliver blocks of
training they soon go away again.
We need someone to stay with us to keep our
skills strong by practising all the time. We The way ahead...
need a mentor to support us in the work place,
to solve problems, to make sure that the right
training is organised properly and to keep us
enthusiastic about the job.
The Aboriginal Training Mentor
Each year the Aboriginal Training Mentor will work closely with
20 artworkers on site in Art Centres.
We will need $100,000 in the first year to employ an
Aboriginal Training Mentor. This money will be used to pay a
salary and to support their travel costs as they work on site
with artworkers in scattered and remote Art Centres.
Our Training Mentor will do these
important jobs as a critical link in the
Aboriginal Artworker Program Australian
Aboriginal art is
• Find Aboriginal artworkers keen to work in Art Centres in a vital expression
the Aboriginal Artworkers Program
• Find out what they know already in a survey involving
of a living culture,
Recognition of Prior Learning recognized
• Work out the training and employment ambitions of the
Aboriginal artworkers and their employer - their Art Centre
• Set up training relationships with Registered Training world but facing a
Organisations to deliver an agreed package of training to
• Establish a mentor relationship with Aboriginal artworkers environment.
that supports the training relationship between artworkers,
training organisations and the Art Centre
• Provide ongoing mentorship to Aboriginal artworkers
to offer the best opportunities for trainees to complete
training and continue their employment
Your donation will allow Desart to
employ an Aboriginal Training Mentor
The training mentor is a key link in establishing and
supporting 60 jobs for Aboriginal people in Art Centres
across central Australia.
Desart is committed to the genuine engagement and
empowerment of Aboriginal people as the primary
stakeholders of an industry critical to Australia’s heartland.
I support Indigenous art and the Desart Aboriginal Artworkers Program.
Thank you for your support. Desart has Deductible Gift Recipient status
with the Australian Tax Office and your donation will be tax deductible.
Thank you for
Please return your payment:
your valued support...
By Fax to: (credit card payments only)
Aboriginal Artworkers Program Desart Inc.
Fax No: (08) 8953 4517
By Mail to: Aboriginal Artworker Program,
Desart, PO Box 9219 Alice Springs NT 0871
I pledge a donation of:
$10,000 $5,000 $2,000
Other (minimum $1,000) $................
Credit card payments:
I would like to pay by:
Name on card........................................................................................................
Signature ................................................................Expiry Date /
Payments by cheque:
Please make cheques payable to the Desart Public Fund
Payments by direct deposit:
You may lodge your payment to: Account name: Desart Public Fund
Commonwealth Bank of Australia BSB: 065 900 Account Number: 1043 5166
Would you like your name included in promotional material for the program
as a donor/sponsor? Yes No
Receipt: (Please supply name and postal address)