Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Delivering the National Aboriginal Art Gallery –Reference Group Plan

Acting Minister for Tourism and Culture, Eva Lawler today opened an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for a nationally representative Reference Group to help guide the delivery of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.

Membership will come from government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies and artist organisations, the arts and museums sector, and representative bodies including those that have expertise in Aboriginal tourism development, corporate fund-raising and philanthropy.

The role of the Reference Group will be to promote and inform the development of a national Aboriginal Art gallery.

The Group will be made up of relevant experts from across Australia to provide advice and guidance to Government on all aspects of this important project. 

They will also support the Project Implementation Team, charged with delivering the project in consultation with the community.

Recruitment is already underway for a Project Implementation Team Director and a Curator, to be located in Alice Springs.

Both the Reference Group and Project Implementation Team will deliver on the recommendations outlined in the expert steering committee report on the implementation and operation of the gallery.

The Alice Springs community will be closely engaged and consulted as the project rolls out, including via the Inland Capital Committee, which will be made up of local residents and business and industry representatives.

“The Gallery will showcase and celebrate a globally significant, Australia-wide art collection from the world’s oldest continuous culture which will be brought together under one roof in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), the geographical heart of Australia,” said Ms Lawler.

“It will attract thousands of visitors from across the globe every year to experience the most significant, striking art this country has ever produced.

“The Gallery will create hundreds of local jobs during construction - which will begin early 2020 - and create and support hundreds of ongoing jobs once complete. It will deliver significant flow-on benefits to local business.

“South Australia want to steal this Gallery from Alice Springs so it’s vital the NT Government creates these working groups to deliver the project at its rightful home.”

Members of the Reference Group will be selected for their skills and expertise relevant to the Terms of Reference. The membership will include representatives of the Arrernte/Aranda Apmereke artweye (Traditional Owners) and Kwertengerle (Traditional Managers) of Mparntwe and its environs.

Members will be initially appointed for two years and applications open today and close on Friday 11 May 2018.

For more information and to apply please visit:

“We promised this Gallery and we will deliver an exciting and important institution that will celebrate culture, attract visitors, and create new business and jobs in Alice Springs,” Ms Lawler said. 

Media contact: Trish Grimshaw 0401 119 242