30 January
Trish Adjei with artists from the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre holding the letter to government. Photograph by Gabrielle Sullivan.

Bob Katter MP Takes Fake Art Harms Culture to Parliament

It has been a big month for our ongoing campaign that calls for an end to fake 'Indigenous' art being sold in Australia!

One of our partners, the Indigenous Art Code, was interviewed on ABC's AM Program and Bob Katter, federal member for Kennedy in Queensland, has thrown his support behind and the campaign. He now plans to introduce a private member's bill for this issue when parliament goes back in February. Mr Katter said to the ABC “”They are purporting to be First Australian products and they're not … there is a deceit upon the public of Australia.” (read the full story on ABC news).

We estimate that up to 80% of items being sold as legitimate Indigenous artworks in tourist shops around Australia are actually inauthentic. This is incredibly damaging both to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in this country and also because it decimates an income stream for practicing artists. In addition this abundance of fake art also hurts the consumer. It is easier to buy a fake artwork than a real one so both the culture, artist and consumer are being cheated in the current environment.

Along with fellow campaigners the Code and the Copyright Agency we are hoping that appropriate laws will be in place before the 2018 Commonwealth Games being held in the Gold Coast. The Commonwealth Games will see an increase in tourists from Australia and overseas who will want to engage with the Indigenous culture of Queensland. We hope that when people are buy souvenirs to take back home and remember their time in that place they will be enjoying an real Indigenous artwork, not a fake.