Welcome to Arts South Australia’s dedicated Aboriginal arts and cultures page.
Here you’ll find the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy for South Australia and its Implementation Plan.
This page is also a central web page for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures sector and wider arts sector. Here, you can find resources and information on Aboriginal arts grants and programs from a range of funding bodies, as well as links to state, national and international services.
View the Implementation Plan (PDF, 315 KB)
The development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy for South Australia (The Strategy) has been Aboriginal-led, in consultation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture sector and a wide range of other stakeholders. This is the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy for South Australia.
The Strategy is centred around a set of Guiding Cultural Values, which have guided and underpinned its development and will drive and support its implementation.
The development of the Strategy is part of the South Australian Government’s commitment to delivering the Arts and Culture Plan South Australia 2019 – 2024, a comprehensive plan which incorporates a whole of government approach to embedding arts and culture in policy and community.
A cohesive and holistic approach and a comprehensive implementation plan sits alongside the Strategy to ensure the government can be timely and responsive to the changing needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures sector and communities
Some early initiatives:
Aligned with the delivery of the Strategy as part of the broader Arts and Culture Plan South Australia 2019 – 2024, Arts South Australia has delivered a number of initiatives and supported partnerships during the Strategy's development phase. These include:
- Funding to the Adelaide Fringe to distribute $100 000 in grants and programs to Aboriginal artists, following on from successful programs in previous years.
- A partnership with the City of Adelaide, to fund the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Professional Development (public art) Grants to provide professional development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, artisans, and creatives in Public Art. The total fund was $100 000.
- Pilot projects and case studies with over $200 000 funding granted during the development of the Strategy. This resulted in several successful projects that exemplify new ways of working and best practice, in addition to embodying the Aspirations of the Strategy and the actions within the Implementation Plan.
The implementation of the Strategy will be guided by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel.
The Advisory Panel will comprise Aboriginal senior members and emerging leaders of the arts and cultures sector, selected through expressions of interest.
If you would like to be kept informed, please join the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Network.
Visit our dedicated grants page for information about, and to apply for Arts South Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Grants Program.
As part of our commitment to support, develop and strengthen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts sector in South Australia, we have created an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Network to provide you with regular updates and information on resources, opportunities, professional development, career pathways and more.
We aim to support peer-to-peer and wider arts networking to build a culturally safe and well-informed sector.
If you would like to sign-up, please email ATSIArts@sa.gov.au. You can also unsubscribe by contacting the same email address.
Tarrkarri is a new $200 million multi-arts centre dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures located at Lot Fourteen. It is currently under construction and slated to open at the beginning of 2025.
External information, resources and links
Below you will find a wide variety of information, resources and links that are specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.
Also visit our dedicated web page on more general resources and publications.
Carclew supports and develops the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures youth sector through various programs and projects such as Aboriginal Artists in Schools, Tjitjiku Tjukurpa – The Children's Dreaming Project, Culture Beats and the Gig Rig.
Find out more: https://carclew.com.au
City of Adelaide
The City of Adelaide offers a range of grants, sponsorship and other incentives to ensure Adelaide continues to be a progressive, vibrant and liveable city. Most recently the City of Adelaide partnered with Arts South Australia to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Professional Development (public art) grants and an industry networking and grant information event.
Country Arts SA
Country Arts SA provides grants and professional advice to regionally based artists and communities. It has a First Nations Advisory Committee and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts in South Australia through various programs and projects such as Nunga Tix and Nunga Screen.
Find out more about funding: https://www.countryarts.org.au/grants/grants/
Find out more about Country Arts SA’s First Nations program: https://www.countryarts.org.au/programs/firstnations-program/
Guildhouse is South Australia’s leading organisation for visual artists, craftspeople and designers. A membership-based organisation, it focusses on creating opportunities for artists and leading sector development.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners are supported by programs such as Catapult + Tarnanthi, and the CSIRO Waite Campus Artist in Residence: for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Find out more: https://guildhouse.org.au
Ku Arts provides advocacy, support services, creative skills and professional development opportunities for artists and arts workers across all stages of their careers in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts sector.
Its Statewide Indigenous Community Arts Development (SICAD) project, services artists where there is typically no access to community-owned art centres and supports the long running Our Mob exhibition.
For more information: https://www.anangukuarts.com.au
Music Development Office (MDO)
The Music Development Office facilitates and supports the development of South Australia’s music industry by supporting both creative and business development. It provides funding and support to musicians and the industry.
Find out more: https://mdo.sa.gov.au/funding/
South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC)
Anchored by its First Nations Screen Strategy, SAFC provides support, funding and development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen practitioners, with initiatives such as Centralised and the Pirrku Kuu Hub.
Find out more: https://www.safilm.com.au
South Australian First Nations Writers
The South Australian First Nations Writers Group was established to foster and develop the continuing diversity and growth of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing in South Australia. The group meets once a month, holds various events and hosts guest speakers.
Find out more: https://writerssa.org.au/sa-first-nations-writers-group/
To join the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2185874778138149
The Circle – First Nations Entrepreneur Hub
The Circle assists the South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business sector.
The Circle team works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses one-on-one, providing tailored business support, solutions and referrals to a range of experts and opportunities. It aims to reduce the gaps in current support and services and provide a culturally appropriate response for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business sector.
Find out more: https://www.thecircle.sa.gov.au
Australia Council for the Arts
The Australia Council is the Australian Government’s principal arts investment, development and advisory body. It provides artists and organisations with funding, development and support through peer assessed grants, fellowships, programs and awards and has a dedicated team for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures.
Blakdance is a national industry organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary dancers and choreographers.
In addition to sector engagement, gatherings and advocacy, its Capacity Building Programs grow the next generation of producers, productions and dancers by building networks and relationships with artists through the Dance Labs, seeding new work through residencies, and accelerating career pathways for graduates.
For more information about support and programs: https://www.blakdance.org.au
First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN)
First Nations Australia Writers Network advocates on behalf of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers, poets and storytellers.
It supports ongoing development opportunities, in order to sustain and enhance First Nations Australia writing and storytelling.
For more information and to see the latest opportunities: https://www.fnawn.com.au
First Nations Fashion and Design (FNFD)
FNFD is a national voice representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members.
It creates ongoing access to opportunities, skills development, and industry engagement, and is working towards a self-sustaining ecosystem of Aboriginal fashion designers, textile artists, jewellery designers, photographers, models, hair and make-up artists, stylists, curators, and fashion industry professionals.
For more information: https://firstnationsfashiondesign.com
National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) – APRA AMCOS
NATSIMO supports the growth and development of songwriters and composers and advocates for a thriving, self-determined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music industry.
NATSIMO is an Indigenous-led initiative of the Australasian Performing Right Association Limited and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (APRA AMCOS) and is the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music creators.
National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)
NAVA leads advocacy, policy and action for a contemporary Australian arts sector. It provides grants and a limited range of free resources such as art business basics, artists fees, contracts and legal issues, marketing, pricing and selling work, understanding copyright and writing grant proposals.
Find out more about resources: https://visualarts.net.au/professional-practice/online-learning/
Find out more about grants: https://visualarts.net.au/nava-grants/
Office for the Arts – Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
The federal Office for the Arts has various grants and programs to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures sector, such as the Indigenous Languages and Arts program (ILAP), Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) program and Indigenous contemporary music grants.
Find out more: https://www.arts.gov.au/funding-and-support
To support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screen practitioners, Screen Australia has a dedicated First Nations department. In addition to funding, it also provides support, insights, tools and resources. Some examples are:
- Tools and insights for Indigenous program makers: Sample paperwork, budgeting templates, tips and more
- Pathways & Protocols: A filmmaker's guide to working with Indigenous people, culture and concepts
- Templates for all types of screen content, budgets, production forms etc.
Arts Law – Artists in the Black
Arts Law provides free or low cost specialised legal advice, education and resources to Australian artists and arts organisations across all art forms, on a wide range of arts related legal and business matters.
Artists in the Black is a free service of Arts Law, dedicated to providing legal assistance and advice to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities.
Find out more: https://www.artslaw.com.au/artists-in-the-black/
Australia Council for the Arts
The Australia Council for the Arts has several research papers on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.
Black Screen – National Film and Sound Archive
Black Screen connects culture, stories and language with community through screen. The Black Screen collection includes over 40 short films and documentaries created by renowned filmmakers. Each film is provided on a loan basis to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities for private screenings and community celebrations free of charge.
Read about Cultural Safety in the arts here: https://www.artshub.com.au/news/features/taking-action-for-cultural-safety-260592-2367674/
The Adelaide Plains are the traditional lands of the Kaurna. Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK) is a Kaurna organisation that provides help with requests for Kaurna names and translations.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any such inquiries.
Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara are in the north-west of South Australia / central Australia. Iwiri is a member-based Aboriginal Corporation for Aṉangu (Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara people) who live in Adelaide. It provides interpreters and helps with language and translations.
Contact https://iwiri.org/contact for any such inquiries.
Barngarla is a reclaimed language that was spoken in the Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Port Augusta areas of Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Find out more: https://www.barngarlalanguage.com
Mobile Language Team
The Mobile Language Team works across the state and beyond with several Aboriginal communities and their heritage languages. Its work is guided by best-practice protocols for the maintenance and preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage and language materials.
Find out more: https://mobilelanguageteam.com.au/
Live Performance Australia (LPA)
Live Performance Australia is the peak body for Australia’s live performance industry. It has an extensive collection of resources to help navigate the complexities of the workplace regulatory landscape including agreements and awards, codes of practice, contract templates, fact sheets, wage summaries and work health and safety guides.
Find out more: https://liveperformance.com.au/resource
Protocols – Cultural Protocols
Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation as part of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet has some cultural resources:
Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts
Arts South Australia works with artists and organisations to ensure respect and acknowledgement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures and does not support activity which misrepresents or appropriates Aboriginal cultural material.
The Australia Council for the Arts has a comprehensive framework for respecting Aboriginal arts and culture:
Supply Nation provides Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous businesses.
Find out more: https://supplynation.org.au
Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan 2021–2022 – South Australian Government
The Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan 2021–2022 identifies 41 practical actions to enhance the lives of Aboriginal South Australians.
The Plan focuses on creating opportunities for Aboriginal employment, establishing more Aboriginal owned and operated businesses and improving the quality and efficiency of service delivery to Aboriginal South Australians.
Aboriginal Education Strategy – Department for Education
The strategy focuses on empowering Aboriginal students as proud and confident learners, on their paths from birth through to beyond school. It will also increase opportunities to engage with Aboriginal languages, create learning environments that respond to students’ cultural needs, and develop detailed individual learning plans for Aboriginal learners.
Australian Aboriginal culture is the longest continuing culture in the world. South Australia has a long and enduring Aboriginal history and ever evolving Aboriginal traditions. South Australia is home to over 30 Aboriginal language groups, each with distinct beliefs, cultural practices and languages.
First Nations Screen Strategy – South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC)
Launched in November 2020 as part of NAIDOC Week, the SAFC’s First Nations Screen Strategy 2020-2025 is the agency’s new five-year plan to grow, highlight and support South Australian First Nations voices and stories on screens locally and globally.
Reconciliation Action Plan – Department of the Premier and Cabinet
The Department of the Premier and Cabinet, along with other state government departments, is formalising its commitment to Reconciliation with its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
RAPs are practical plans of action built on relationships, respect and opportunities.
South Australian Arts and Cultural Tourism Strategy 2025
To ensure the vibrancy of our arts and culture, the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) and Arts South Australia developed the Arts and Cultural Tourism Strategy through a joint initiative.
The aim of the strategy is to grow the sector in South Australia through increased expenditure on our amazing Arts and Cultural experiences.
Indigenous Art Code
The Indigenous Art Code is a system to preserve and promote ethical trading in Indigenous art. The purpose of the Code is to establish standards for dealings between Dealers and Artists.
National Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan 2021–25
The National Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan sets the Australian Government’s priorities to support the visual arts sector over the next five years. The Plan will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, organisations and businesses in their ability to direct and decide on their cultural and economic interests, and the evolution of their industry.
This section is for information purposes only and does not constitute advertising or promotion of any particular course or institution.
Adelaide Central School of Art
Adelaide Central School of Art is a leading independent, not-for-profit, tertiary provider of visual arts education. There is a First Nations Academic Officer on staff to support Aboriginal students.
Find out more: https://www.acsa.sa.edu.au
Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music (CASM) – The University of Adelaide
CASM is the only devoted university-based centre for studies in Australian Indigenous music.
The Helpmann Academy
The Helpmann Academy provides professional development opportunities including grants and awards, fellowships, mentorships, masterclasses and seminars, advisory services and international artist residencies, all tailored specifically for South Australia’s higher education students, graduates and emerging artists.
Find out more:
Since its founding, UniSA has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Aboriginal engagement through its founding act and important initiatives such as the Aboriginal Taskforce, Australia’s first Aboriginal Tertiary Program, and Aboriginal Studies programs. Its Student Engagement includes Wirringka Student Services, the Aboriginal Tutoring Program, and Aboriginal Pathway Program.
Find out more: https://www.unisa.edu.au/about-unisa/aboriginal-education/
Wirltu Yarlu - The University of Adelaide
Wirltu Yarlu is responsible for engaging with and recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as providing support to students during their time at the University of Adelaide.
Find out more: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/wirltu-yarlu/
Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA)
The Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts provides teaching excellence and innovation in contemporary performance. Its diverse training centre offers performing arts courses in the genres of dance, song, stage and screen.
Find out more: https://acpa.edu.au
The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS)
AFTRS is the nation’s premier screen arts and broadcast school.
AFTRS Indigenous supports and identifies pathways for talented Indigenous storytellers with initiatives such as Elder-in-Residence, Indigenous scholarships, short courses and masterclasses, in addition to standard courses.
Find out more: https://www.aftrs.edu.au/about/aftrs-indigenous/
The Luminis Foundation Indigenous Fellowship for Cultural Leadership
The Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) is an interdisciplinary part-time Master’s degree that is future focused and designed specifically for producers, curators, arts managers, directors or cultural practitioners in any field, who are leading, or aspiring to lead change in their sector.
The Luminis Foundation Indigenous Fellowship supports the successful applicant by funding 50% of the Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) course fee.
NAISDA Dance College
NAISDA Dance College is Australia’s premier Indigenous training college.
It offers professional expertise and word class training facilities to deliver accredited training programs that are rich in cultural learning and practice.
Find out more: https://naisda.com.au
Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development
The Wilin Centre works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to identify, recruit and support potential and practicing Indigenous artists to study and refine their academic and artistic skills. It fosters innovation in the research, development, advocacy and presentation of Indigenous arts and cultural practice.
Find out more: https://finearts-music.unimelb.edu.au/about-us/wilin