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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2517 ..

(15) Concerning the emphasis in the ACT Government’s Land Release Sites Belconnen Town Centre Place Design Brief on making sure that ‘public art and interpretation [are] symbolic of the local Indigenous culture’ (p. 18), that ‘the Ngunnawal peoples’ continuous habitation [is] celebrated through art and events’ (p. 33) and that ‘the creative expression of Belconnen [is] reflected in the stories of Ngunnawal culture and heritage’ (p. 33), (a) how will the ACT Government make sure that these aspirations are realised on these three land release sites and (b) does the ACT Government have plans to introduce a similar emphasis on telling Indigenous stories through public art in other areas of Canberra; if so, where, and how will this be accomplished.

Ms Cheyne: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) This information is available publicly on artsACT’s website (

(2) All five members are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

(3) The Arts Network has been involved in discussions and planning about a number of specific projects for First Nations peoples since 2018. These include the:

Canberra Wellington Indigenous Art Exchange;

proposed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts space at the Kingston Foreshore;

new ACT Government Building Ngunnawal Artworks;

ACT Government Protocol for the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artworks.

(4) The Program Principles informed the 2020 co-design and development of a pilot program designed to support Ngunnawal Elders to progress their own cultural projects. In particular, this responds to the principle

Ngunnawal Country: Programs reflect what is unique about place and site and those living on it, both traditional custodians and their unique role and those living off country.

The pilot was delayed due to COVID-19 in the first instance and then due to limited resourcing within artsACT, following the vacation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Officer Position (retitled Assistant Director – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts Engagement). The Network reviewed this position in early 2021 and recruitment is currently in process. It is anticipated that once the Assistant Director position is filled that program design with the Network will recommence.

(5) a) ACT arts organisations continuously diversify their programming boards and staff to provide effective, ongoing sector development, career pathways for artists and arts workers, and to support a diversity of activity and access opportunities for the ACT community. Recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander board appointments include Jenni Kemarre Martiniello to the Craft ACT Board and James Tylor to the board of Tuggeranong Community Arts Association.

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