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More than $674,000 will go to support 29 Indigenous arts projects from around Australia in the latest round of funding from the Australia Council for the Arts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts board.

Board Chair Dr Chris Sarra said, ‘The ATSIA board is proud to support such an outstanding array of projects which recognise the cultural contribution of Indigenous Australians.’

‘These projects reflect the diversity and dynamic nature of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts scene.’

‘They will support a mix of artists and communities who seek to promote the language and talents of Aboriginal arts abroad, throughout Australia and within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – among elders and young people alike.’

‘I congratulate all the grant recipients and wish them the very best with their cultural and artistic visions.’

Some of the projects to receive ATSIA board funding are:

  • Two fellowship grants of $80,000 each to two visual artists – West Australian visual artist Julie Dowling who proposes to produce a range of works inspired by her maternal grandmother’s country – the Gascoyne region of Western Australia; and NT-based artist Philip Gudthaykudthay, the last active artist in Ramingining from the Milingimbi school of painters (who stars in the film Ten Canoes), who hopes to present an exhibition in Sydney in late 2006.
  • The Central Australia Aboriginal Music Association (CAAMA) to present ‘IMAGE – Indigenous Music Abroad Getting Exposure’. The IMAGE project will present two of Central Australia’s top Aboriginal performers – rock band Jagit and leading country music artist Warren H Williams – to audiences in America in 2005 and 2006.
  • First-time applicants Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island Enterprises Aboriginal Corporation will undertake a local community project entitled ‘Don’t forget the old ways – Bring them back to life’. The four-month project aims to facilitate the passing on of traditional art and crafts from the elders of Groote Eylandt to younger members of their community.

A selection of projects from the states and territories follows:


The Black Arm Band – A musical performance commission work featuring Aboriginal artists Kutcha Edwards, Liz Cavanagh and Peter Rotumah. The three performers will participate in a preliminary workshop between 10-24 April to begin their process of development and collaboration, with a view to present initial outcomes in late April. Amount funded: $18,400.

Shiny Shiny Blak Bling – Visual artist Donna Brown will bring together six Indigenous artists to participate in a series of workshops with Silversmith Peter Eccles. Accomplished artists Gail Harradine and Sonja Hodge will participate in the workshops alongside emerging artists including inaugural Lin Onus Award recipient Kye McGuire. The workshops, to be held between May and October, will culminate in a group exhibition in late 2006. Amount funded: $36,150.

New South Wales

Walking the Streets – The Inner West Cultural Services have received funding to assist with their Walking the Streets exhibition. Walking the Streets began in 1991 and is now an annual two-week exhibition that takes place in King Street, Newtown. The exhibition uses shop-fronts as exhibition spaces and in 2006 will engage the curatorial expertise of Indigenous curator Tess Allas. The project hopes to engage a greater number of Indigenous artists and create links with the Boomalli Aboriginal Artist Co-operative Ltd and Gadigal Information Service. Amount funded: $17,500.

Western Australia

2006 NAIDOC Week exhibition – The Waugal Aboriginal Corporation based in Pinjarra, south of Perth, has been successful in receiving funding to stage an art exhibition as part of NAIDOC Week 2006. The exhibition will showcase a range of quality works by Nyungar artists at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. Amount funded: $6,400.

Northern Territory

Garma Festival of Traditional Culture 2006 (4-8 August) –  Funding has been provided to the Yothu Yindi Foundation to assist with the presentation and promotion of the 2006 Garma Festival. The festival theme in 2006 will be Indigenous Education and Training. The festival will continue to function as a vital forum for nurturing, presenting and maintaining traditional Yolgnu culture. Visit the Garma Festival website for program information. Amount funded: $30,977.

Ngaanyatjarra Council – New Art from the Ngaanyatjarra Lands publication. The Ngaanyatjarra Council has been funded to assist in the production of a publication that will showcase selected art centres in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands including the Irrunytju Arts, kayil Artists, Papulankutja Artists and Warakurna Artists. The publication will be sold in the arts centres and will assist the region in raising the profile of their local art centres. Amount funded: $16,418.


The Dreaming Festival – Queensland Folk Federation Inc. The Dreaming Festival (9-12 June 2006) is Australia’s International Indigenous Festival and presents a range of artforms, workshops, forums, food and wine. See the Woodford Folk Festival website for program details. Amount funded: $50,000.

Queensland Performing Arts Trust: Kite Theatre – The Kite Theatre project will to create a new children’s theatre production in collaboration with Torres Strait Islander artists for the Out of the Box Festival (May-June 2006) in Brisbane. The project will also tour to the Torres Strait Islands (July -August 2006). Amount funded: $36,622.



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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