Town Council considers $50m art gallery options


Ideas around how to make two locations work for the proposed national Aboriginal art gallery are being presented by Town Council CEO Robert Jennings to the council members today.
One location is the Anzac Hill precinct, the NT Government’s preferred option, with an entrance where the council-owned Wills Terrace car park is now, linked by a “time passage / immersive tunnel” to the main complex on the other side of the rugby oval, which stays in place, and where the Anzac high school is currently being demolished.
The other option is the Desert Park, preferred by the government’s original steering committee, led by Hetti Perkins and Philip Watkins.
When the government proposed the Anzac location it ignited controversies: Traditional owners ultimately rejected the site, and there was vocal opposition by the public to relocating the rugby field.
In a media release embargoed till 8am today the council names as the “parties involved” the community of Alice Springs, the NT Government and the council. Traditional owners are not specifically mentioned.
The release says Mr Jennings was authorised “to work with the NT Government in forming a multilateral partnership group that can drive forward” the gallery project “in an inclusive, effective and consultative manner” for the benefit of the Alice Springs community, the Territory and the council.
Mr Jennings will table a report at the council’s ordinary meeting on Monday.
Today’s announcement says: “These early concept drawings have been developed purely to illustrate potential site solutions that address the concerns raised by the community, and aim to progress this important and iconic project for Alice Springs.
“Council is motivated by the NT Government’s vision for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery and the potential benefit that its project will bring to the community, and hence will continue to work with the NT Government in assisting to deliver this important project for Alice Springs where requested.”
The concept drawings have been made by Studio Kinship, delivering “culturally appropriate design and construction”.



  1. Hate to be totally mundane, boring and practical but where are you going to park the cars using the almost 100 parking spaces there at present plus park the “thousands” of visitors expected to the site? Underground? Weren’t they going to put a water park in Snow Kenna Park as well?

  2. Good design for Desert park.
    End of CBD.
    1-2 smoking ceremony? Who will do it if the custodians do not want the gallery there?
    6 Retail / cafe space? This is defeating the purpose to help the current shops owners.
    Question: Is Studio Kinship A local business? Or this is another “I help my mates”?

  3. Who is studio kinship? Culturally appropriate design that is against the wishes of the traditional owners and holders of that culture, how does that work.
    I wonder if anyone spoke to the minister for arts an culture, cos she got a pretty clear message from from a large group of custodians earlier this year: “South of The Gap.”

  4. Larry is spot on. Some people buy a new house and proceed with caution.
    They live in it, understand spaces, analyse form and function for a year or so before making big and irreversible changes.
    Fools rush in and start knocking holes in walls.
    Optimists in our community naively claimed this new Town Council CEO with a reputation for listening might offer our community a fresh approach to some old disasters. Maybe not.

  5. As stated before we don’t need another art gallery here. Even if at the civic centre or Anzac Oval … where to park?
    We have too many art galleries already and they are downsizing.
    When is the Alice Springs Town Council going to wake up … and the NT Government.
    Elections are coming. Both of the top jobs should go. Out with GUNNER and RYAN.

  6. Desert Park’s the spot I prefer after seeing the concept image.
    The escarpment in the background, no houses, plenty of room for discreet parking.
    The world will visit wherever it is built.

  7. Is it just me?
    Or is the conceptual site plan (refer above) prepared by Studio Kinship proposing to relocate Todd Street over to Leichhardt Terrace?!
    So where’s Todd Mall itself?
    Those Todd Mall traders, who apparently are the ones to gain most from the Anzac Oval Gallery location, should now be getting anxious.
    Or is it Studio Kinship are just not that familiar with Alice Springs street layout … given their Perth location.


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