Northern Territory Government Newsroom

National Aboriginal Art Gallery: Key Interim Appointment

Acting Minister for Tourism and Culture, Eva Lawler today confirmed the appointment of the Director of the Araluen Cultural Precinct, Dr Mark Crees as the Interim Director, Project Implementation Team, National Aboriginal Art Gallery.

“This is a nationally important project and today’s announcement shows that it is happening. With construction planned to begin early 2020, the Gallery will become a globally significant institution that celebrates Aboriginal art and culture and create jobs,” Ms Lawler said.

“While the NT Government continues discussion with the Alice Springs Town Council to establish a Memorandum of Understanding, it is important that work towards establishing the Gallery proceeds.

“Recruitment is already underway for the Project Implementation Team which includes a permanent Director and Curator for the Gallery, key roles that will shape the institution.

“Dr Crees will take on the interim role before handing over to the new Director once the recruitment action is completed. His role will lead the development of governance frameworks, operating models, and key reference groups, lead the stakeholder consultation process, and oversee major inter-jurisdictional partnerships.”

Dr Crees, a well-respected member of the local Alice Springs community, is known for championing the arts and in particular Aboriginal agency and project co-ownership.

Having overseen significant success at the Araluen Cultural Precinct, Dr Crees is well suited to take on interim operational leadership of the gallery.  

Dr Crees said he would be ensuring that the key elements of the expert steering committee report are delivered.

“The creation of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery as the flagship international art museum dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art here in Mparntwe / Alice Springs is incredibly important,” he said.

“Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art is profoundly significant to local communities, to Australia’s standing internationally, to the Alice Springs visitor economy, to world heritage, and to our national identity and shared future. 

“Our remote Aboriginal art centres in particular are economic drivers for their communities and significant contributors to the national creative economy.”

Dr Crees will be supported by Department of Tourism and Culture, Aboriginal intern Darryl William Hayes and incoming General Manager, Industry Development, Mr Scott Lovett.

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Attached: Dr Mark Crees addressing the crowd at the opening of the 2017 Desert Mob exhibition, Thursday 7 September 2017; Photo by Lisa Hatz Photography


Media contact: Trish Grimshaw 0401 119 242

Dr Mark Crees