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Aboriginal Arts in Regional NSW

Image: eXcelsior performing as part of Djanda Mandi Gingerlah at Artstate Lismore. Photo by Katelyn-Jane Dunn.

Aboriginal Arts development is a key priority for Regional Arts NSW, with eight Aboriginal Arts Officers making up a regional Aboriginal Arts Officers (AAO) network.

This network meets in Sydney every February for professional development, peer support and information sharing. RANSW has been facilitating the network for a number of years through field trips to major events such as the Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair, and facilitating partnerships and collaborations with state and national institutions. Previous collaborations have included a week behind the scenes at the MCA prior to the opening of the exhibition String Theory, and a site visit to the Australian Museum to meet the curators of the Indigenous Collections and explore artefacts and material connected to the AAOs’ regions.

From this support AAOs have been able to develop new and innovative projects for Aboriginal artists in regional NSW. AAOs are currently employed by Arts North West, Arts Northern Rivers, Murray Arts, Arts OutWest, Orana Arts, Outback Arts, South East Arts and West Darling Arts. The Saltwater Freshwater General Manager is included in this Network as a representative for the Mid North Coast region.

In 2017, Regional Arts NSW began preparations for the development of a new Regional NSW Aboriginal Arts Development Strategy. An initial AAOs two-day workshop was facilitated by Peter White, and the report from this workshop will inform the development of this Strategy. The Strategy aims to identify a clear future vision for Aboriginal Arts in regional NSW. For more information about the development of this Strategy, contact the Manager, Grants & Projects at or call (02) 9270 2500.