Gallery reference group co-chairpersons announced


2599 Gerard Vaughan OK2599 Franchesca Cubillo OKFranchesca Cubillo (at right), senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia, and Dr Gerard Vaughan AM (at left), former director of the National Gallery of Australia, have been announced as co-chairpersons for the reference group of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery planned for Alice Springs.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss, made the announcement yesterday in a media release.
She did not disclose any progress with the acquisition from the Town Council of the Anzac Oval.
Ms Moss held no press conference were journalists could ask questions, but she provided “quotes” from Ms Cubillo as saying: “Tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have been creating and sharing hundreds of thousands works of art, based on the rich, complex and ancient Dreamings of Country and Ancestors with the broader community since first contact with Europeans in the 1600s.
“These remarkable works of art sit within collections that are spread across the nation and the globe, and yet there has not been a dedicated National Gallery within Australia whose sole purpose is to celebrate, showcase and exhibited the amazing art of Australia’s First Peoples.”
Ms Cubillo is quoted as acknowledging “those Aboriginal activists, leaders and ambassadors that have gone before in preparing the groundwork for this moment in time” and promised that  “their Vision, Legacy and Stories” would not be forgotten.
And the gallery will have “Indigenous governance and agency at the core of its organizational structure, ensuring for the first time in history a dedicated Indigenous Gallery conceptually built according to Indigenous cultural principles, values and philosophies.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be at the forefront of this project, guiding, advising and facilitating this history changing moment,” Ms Cubillo is quoted as saying.
Dr Vaughan is quoted on where the content for the gallery’s exhibitions would come from: “One of the great benefits of this initiative will be the ability to draw loans from our country’s greatest existing collections of Indigenous art, ranging from the National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia in Canberra to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin, to state galleries and museums and even private collections across the nation and world.”


  1. Fine words.
    “Indigenous governance and agency at the core” and “built according to Indigenous cultural principles” comprehensively rules out the Anzac precinct if they are taken at face value.
    And “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be at the forefront of this project, guiding, advising and facilitating this history changing moment”.
    Do you understand these fine words Moss and Gunner?
    Or are we in for more cognitive dissonance from a Government with its hands firmly over its ears.

  2. Not interested in being lectured to, so didn’t read all the waffle.
    Cutting to the chase, this art gallery and its location suits no one other than this pedantic government.
    Out of respect to the townspeople and the memory of the Aboriginal watercolour artists whose paintings I collected, my forty or so pieces are off to the new Aboriginal gallery in Adelaide.

  3. We will of course have to forget and avoid, ignore those custodians that have been fighting to protect sacred sites for many many years, and have clearly expressed dissatisfaction with this site and the process.

  4. I love old Anzac Oval, having been a student at AHHS, played sport and participated in many events there, it will be sad to see it go.
    However as the saying goes, you can’t make an omelet without breaking an egg!
    So as a community, let’s not tarnish this exciting project with too much pessimism and negativity. I look forward to seeing the plans and finding out what’s in store.

  5. Hi Namatjira Art Collector. You could consider donating them to the Araluen Art Centre, keeping the works on country for the townspeople and the Namatjira family.

  6. TRW – I had planned donating them to Araluen but I expect the artwork held in that museum would be shared or probably even consolidated into the new museum.
    For that reason, the collection is going south. I feel that is the right decision under the circumstances.

  7. I wonder if the Furbers, the Liddles and the Stuarts have been consulted?
    After all they are important elders and their opinion needs to be respected.


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