Case Study : Wesfarmers: the National Gallery's Indigenous Arts Partner

Wesfarmers Limited has long worked collaboratively with major arts organisations across the country to foster the cultural life of the community.

As a result of this, in 2009, the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Limited established the Indigenous Arts Program to address the relatively small percentage of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander professionals participating in the visual arts sector.

The partnership represents two iconic Australian organisations committed to the long term development, training and mentorship of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and will present a high quality professional development opportunity for the visual and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander arts sector.

The Indigenous Arts Leadership program, a ten-day intensive leadership program run by the National Gallery of Australia, introduces entry or mid-level arts professionals to career pathways within the visual arts and museum sector and expands their current skills and experience in the sector.

The Indigenous Arts Fellowship focus' on the professional development of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people in roles supporting the visual arts such as curating, marketing, exhibition management, art handling, registration through to publishing, imaging services and fundraising. The Fellowships, two local and one international are awarded annually to three Australian Indigenous Arts Leadership ALUMNI.

Since the Indigenous Arts Program commenced, 53 participants have graduated, four of whom have been awarded Fellowships. These Fellows, Jirra Harvey, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, Kevin O'Brien and Bradley Harkin, have all completed placements at the National Gallery of Australia and have taken their experience back home to embark on impressive careers.

Wesfarmers Limited furthered its support as the Indigenous Arts partner of  the National Gallery of Australia during unDisclosed; the Gallery's second National Indigenous Art Triennial.

As the National Gallery of Australia's Indigenous Art Partner, Wesfarmers Limited has enjoyed numerous speaking, branding and networking opportunities and has access to special corporate hospitality benefits. Wesfarmers Limited received national and local media coverage in both Indigenous and mainstream media in news, arts and Indigenous affairs sections throughout the partnership.

In 2014, Wesfarmers extended their partnership with the National Gallery of Australia allowing them to continue its commitment to support Indigenous development and help drive necessary and positive change in the arts sector.