In 2018 and 2019, the Australia Council for the Arts travelled around the country talking to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about a national body for First Nations arts and culture, with the working title of ‘National Indigenous Arts and Cultural Authority (NIACA)’.
The discussion about a national body has been going on for a long time, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been calling for cultural rights for even longer. The idea of a national body for First Nations arts and culture is part of a continuum of First Nations-led cultural rights advocacy, and investment in First Nations arts, that stretches back five decades to the first national summit of First Nations artists in 1973 (see Timeline).
The Bringing it Forward report tells these important stories.
The Australia Council is publishing the findings of the NIACA consultation, and its history and context, so that the First Nations arts and cultural sector can continue the discussion and self-determine the next steps on this journey.
A consultation on a national body or ‘NIACA’
The consultation in 2018 and 2019 involved:
- a discussion paper
- over 40 consultation forums across Australia attended by more than 500 First Nations people
- Locations included Brisbane, Cairns, Thursday Island, Port Augusta, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Broome, Kalgoorlie, Albany, Perth, Canberra, Launceston, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Mt Isa, Dubbo, Moree, Barkly, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, Mildura, Shepparton, Gippsland, the Torres Strait Islands, and Alice Springs
- an online survey which received 270 completed responses, including 95 from First Nations people or organisations (35%) whose responses have been prioritised in the analysis
- 15 written submissions, including 11 from organisations
- regional summits
- expert roundtables for young people and industry.
Click on the headings below to expand the findings.