Saturday, June 15, 2024

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HomeVolume 28Alice national Aboriginal art gallery: Don't hold your breath

Alice national Aboriginal art gallery: Don’t hold your breath


The proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery is still five years away, and elements of its funding appear to be unclear despite a $130m commitment from the NT and Federal governments.

This was disclosed this morning when a government tender document stated the gallery “is currently in development and due to open in 2028”.

The tender is for a “Consultancy – Development and Implementation of a Fundraising Development Strategy”.

The Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities says it is seeking a “specialist consultant to advice and work with National Aboriginal Art Gallery staff and the fundraising committee to:-

• Develop a Fundraising Strategy and Action Plan.

• Advise on ongoing staffing needs to support operational funds development.

• Development of collateral in support of the strategy; and

• Ensure financial sustainability into the future through a comprehensive approach to fundraising, including leveraging public and private philanthropic avenues of support (both cash and in-kind).

The document says the consultant will need experience in working with First Nations organisations and an appreciation of the “unique nature of the gallery, including its commitment to First Nations principles”.

The News asked Arts Minister Chansey Paech why a consultant is needed given the still non-existent gallery already has a Senior Director, Tracy Puklowski and there is a National Aboriginal Art Gallery Reference Group.

PHOTO at top: Dr Gerard Vaughan, co-chair of the National Reference Group for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery, in a promotional online video for the gallery.

UPDATE 4:20pm

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas says it will cost up to half a billion dollars or more to build an “internationally significant” Tarrkarri Aboriginal cultural centre (below) in Adelaide – up to triple the $200m budgeted, according to InDaily.


  1. I think we need a co-ordination consultant to co-ordinate all the government consultants.
    Like in Dr Seuss’s bee watchers.
    The Federal Government briefly had a co-ordinator general to untangle the red tape of the Intervention.
    He was as effective as all the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men.

  2. The iconic NAAG becomes a joke that local residents like myself are no longer interested in.
    I have long given up to ever see this exceptional art gallery be given the light of day in my coming years.
    I just celebrated my 86th birthday, and really what will happen when I am 91, if I get there, is no longer my concern.
    However I am concerned about the many millions dollars this project has already cost the NT Government, and still counting.
    New tender now, for what? In the portfolio of Art and Culture very valuable community projects have been rejected when new expenditure is expected for the NAAG.
    Let’s be realistic, the future of Alice Springs does not rely on a NAAG but on better day to day living conditions for the NT Indigenous population.
    I brief, I shall eat cake, when my daily bread is assured.

  3. Time for an audit of the money spent to date on this project. What happened to the Culture Centre money? Please some clear answers. Thanks Erwin for highlighting the absurdity.

  4. A sad story of false starts for something that may have been wonderful because people were not listened to.

  5. The iconic NAAG like the Tarrkarri project on Adelaide’s North Terrace are the symbols of electoral promises.
    Making false and unrealistic promises are unethical, immoral and irresponsible.
    Politicians making false promises during election campaigns should be investigated by the Independent Electoral Commission for undermining voters’ ability to make informed choices.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong Erwin, but was Mr Franey who spoke at the end of the information session re the gallery 19th September, saying that, those senior Mparnte-arenye women, custodians for that women’s site have not given their consent and that Lhere Artepe’s consent only came after they were told that it would go ahead anyway. With no consent they could not negotiate any benefits for their members.


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