31 October
Suzanne Derry presenting to an attentive audience. Photo by Jo-Anne Driessens.

Workshopping out West

How can Aboriginal Arts Centres build great governance and how do you protect copyright in Aboriginal art?

These were some of the questions Arts Law discussed during a recent conference held in stunning Broome (Rubibi) and hosted by AACHWA (Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub WA). Artists in the Black Coordinator Jo-Anne Driessens and Head of Growth, Innovation, and Engagement Suzanne Derry attended and presented at the four-day conference after being treated to a very warm welcome from traditional owner Dianne Appleby, a Yawuru woman from the region. A conference highlight was visiting Nagula Jarndu, an Aboriginal arts centre which makes and sells amazing handmade soaps, fabrics and other beautiful things, and observing a lino cut print making class in progress.

Artists, arts centre managers, and workers were all in attendance at the conference, and Arts Law presented for two days of the workshop program on copyright, contracts, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) and governance for emerging arts centres. We know that running any arts organisation can be complex and challenging, particularly for new and emergent not for profits. This difficulty is amplified for Aboriginal arts centres which are often remote, understaffed, and managing competing pressures both within the arts centre itself and in the broader art market. Arts Law was joined by the Indigenous Art Code, which spoke about the Fake Art Harms Culture campaign, and the Copyright Agency, which explained it’s role as an agent for copyright licensing in the Aboriginal arts centre space.

Ultimately, the conference was capped off with a fashion show showcasing silks which had been hand-painted through the Noongar Art Program in Bunbury, and Jo-Anne was even roped into being a model for the show! We love supporting artists and arts centres and were delighted to be included in this great event. A big thank you to AACHWA for the warm invitation and to all the participating arts centres for their attendance and lively discussion at our workshops. We loved meeting you all!

To find out more about Arts Law’s education program, click here.