Northern Territory Government Newsroom

First big step toward Iconic National Indigenous Art Gallery in Alice Springs

The Territory Labor Government’s $50 million election commitment to build an Iconic National Indigenous Art Gallery is a major step closer, with the announcement of two prominent Aboriginal Central Australians as Co-Chairs for the project Steering Committee.

Curator, writer and consultant Ms Hetti Perkins and Mr Philip Watkins, Chief Executive of Desart the peak industry for Central Australian Aboriginal art centres, will lead the Committee of key experts to undertake the initial consultation work
for the National Indigenous Art Gallery, including considering where it should be located within Alice Springs.

Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss said the National Indigenous Art Gallery would be a major national and international tourism drawcard.  

“The Territory Labor Government is listening to the community and getting to work, this is a very exciting time for Alice Springs” Ms Moss said.

“We are investing $50 million towards this major project which will deliver jobs and economic growth through tourism and construction and provide better facilities for artists to  showcase their art.

“We are restoring trust in government by delivering on our election commitments and this steering committee will be vital in ensuring that the project is done right.”

Ms Hetti Perkins and Mr Philip Watkins will head up the Steering Committee which will run for six months, creating a solid base on which the Gallery’s foundations can be built.

“I am very pleased with the appointment of both Ms Hetti Perkins and Mr Philip Watkins. They are experts in their fields with extensive experience and knowledge of the Aboriginal arts industry across the country and specifically of Alice Springs and Central Australia,” Ms Moss said.

“Both Ms Perkins and Mr Watkins will play a key cultural role through the early phases of the project and assist with determining the location for the Gallery.”

Assistant Minister for the National Indigenous Art Gallery Chansey Paech welcomed the appointment of the Co-Chairs.

“Ms Hetti Perkins and Mr Philip Watkins will be perfect in this role because they are widely known and respected across the country for their professionalism and their skill at bringing people together from different social, geographic and political backgrounds,” Mr Paech said.

“I look forward to working with them to drive the initial stage of the government’s vision for this significant investment in Alice Springs.”

Ms Hetti Perkins said the
National Indigenous Art Gallery would be an opportunity to showcase Indigenous art nationally and internationally.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and contemporary artistic expressions of Indigenous artists and people from across Australia,” Ms Perkins said.

“Our culture makes us unique in the world and a dedicated National Indigenous Art Gallery will become an international cultural landmark."


Media Contact:
Minister Moss: Jake Hauritz – 0478 128 268
Ms Perkins and Mr Watkins: Mez Corbetis  - 0448 698 409