Integrating art production and economic development in North West NT and the Tiwi Islands

National survey of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists

David Throsby, Katya Petetskaya

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

This Report presents the results of a study that forms one component of a major National Survey of Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists. The National Survey is being undertaken in the Department of Economics at Macquarie University progressively across six regions in remote Australia. This Report relates to the implementation of the National Survey in Region 3: The North-West region of the Northern Territory, a region that includes the Tiwi Islands.

This Report presents the results of a study that forms one component of a major National Survey of Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists. The National Survey is being undertaken in the Department of Economics at Macquarie University progressively across six regions in remote Australia. The regions are:

Region 1: Kimberley, WA
Region 2: East and West Arnhem Land, NT
Region 3: North-West NT and Tiwi Islands
Region 4: Central Desert, NT and APY Lands, SA
Region 5: Pilbara and Western Desert
Region 6: Far North Queensland

The researchers' aim in carrying out this study has been to document the nature of art and cultural production by individual Indigenous cultural producers in the North-West NT/Tiwi Islands region, and to assess the extent to which these activities might provide a means to integrate economic and cultural development in the region’s remote communities. In this final section of the Report, the researchers draw together some of the key policy issues that have emerged from the study. As it is noted, there is considerable variation across the region in existing economic, social and cultural circumstances and in different communities’ potential for future development. It is impossible to generalise in recommending policy action. Moreover, it is unlikely that a single policy measure can be found that will address all the issues at once. Instead a mix of complementary measures will be needed to address particular aspects. It is also important to bear in mind the researchers are not suggesting that art and cultural production can on its own transform any remote community; rather, it is argued that in the right conditions it can be an effective avenue towards employment creation and income generation, helping to improve the long-term prospects for economic sustainability and social viability, while respecting the fundamental importance of Indigenous culture. All policy recommendations that flow from this study are pointed in this direction.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, NSW
PublisherMacquarie University
Commissioning bodyCommonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Number of pages88
ISBN (Print)9781864088861
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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