Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts and Cultures

The ACT Government supports access to the arts for all Canberrans, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The ACT Government acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas.

artsACT supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in a number of ways, mainly through the ACT Arts Fund and Community Arts and Cultural Development Program.

The ACT is home to a number of award-winning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, including Jenni Kemarre Martiniello who won a Fellowship at the National Indigenous Art Awards.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Engagement

The ACT Government's 2015 ACT Arts Policy champions engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures should be celebrated, represented and embedded in the ACT Government's activities.

The ACT Government recognises the need to promote and support the full spectrum of work by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in the ACT and its surrounding regions. This includes traditional and contemporary practice and all new forms of art.

As a priority, we want to improve engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists across all our programs and connect the community to opportunities and activities. We want to work with the community to co-design targeted new programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and have been undertaking consultation over the last few months. We thank all the participants for their time and insights, we have learnt a lot. The feedback that has been provided has informed a draft Consultation Report - Mob in Arts. The report reflects the views of ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists about the role of the arts in the community and its strengths and priorities for the future.

Community submissions on the Consultation Report have now closed. Feed back will be used to inform the final consultation report and an Action Plan.

You can download the full  PDF and Word versions of the document here:

Once finalised, Mob in Arts will inform an Action Plan for use by Cultural Canberra identifying key priorities and actions arising from the consultation. The Action Plan will guide the future development of targeted new arts programs and activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities. Links to the final version of the Consultation Report-Mob in Arts and the Action Plan will be circulated to participants and provided on this web page once finalised. A process diagram can be found here:

Useful Links

The ACT Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs External Link is located within the ACT Government’s Community Services Directorate and offers a number of programs, services and grants for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. They also produce the fortnightly ACT Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Community Newsletter. If you wish to contribute any deadly news to the deadly corner, interesting stories, community events or other items that you may think will be of interest, please feel free to submit them to oatsia@act.gov.au Photographs to accompany your submissions are also welcome. If you would like to be added to the newsletter contribution list please email oatsia@act.gov.au

The Australia Council for the Arts External Link is the principal Australian Government arts funding body and provides a range of funding programs for individual artists and arts organisations.

The Australian Government Ministry for the Arts External Link administers a range of Australian Government funding that supports Indigenous culture, languages and visual arts including:

The Aboriginal Studies Press (ASP) External Link is the publishing arm of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), the world’s premier research and collecting institute of Australian Indigenous studies.

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torrres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) External Link is the world’s premier institution for information and research about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, past and present.

The Burrunju Aboriginal Corporation External Link was established in 2006 to provide local Aboriginal people with an opportunity to realise their dream of self–determination by providing an avenue to sell art.

The ACT Indigenous Textile Artists Group External Link first came together in 2003 and represents an impressive diversity of contemporary Indigenous cultures from Victoria, Western Australia and Central Australia to Queensland and New South Wales.

Solid Arts External Link is a website dedicated to respecting and protecting Indigenous intellectual property.

World Intellectual Property Organization External Link is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, cooperation and information. They are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 186 member states.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. If you are an ACT-based Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artist, organisation or group and would like to add your website to the list above, please contact artsACT@act.gov.au

artsACT is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. Links provided are not an endorsement of the sites' content or the entities related to those sites.

Bogong Moths

Bogong Moths by Jim Williams and Matthew Harding