Art Centre Manager – Papunya Tjupi

Papunya Tjupi Art Centre Manager

About Papunya Tjupi Arts

Papunya Tjupi Arts is an Aboriginal owned and controlled Art Centre based in Papunya, the birthplace of the Western Desert art movement, 240km north-east of Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory.

Papunya is still home to renowned senior artists involved in the beginnings of this art movement. The Art Centre is a conduit for their expertise and experience to be passed on to the next generation: “We really want to teach our young people to paint too, and to teach our traditional culture through painting. This is very, very important to us.” Michael Nelson AO, Artist, Founder Papunya Tjupi Art Centre, 2007.

Papunya community was established in the late 1950’s for the local Luritja, Pintupi and Anmatyerre tribes. During the 80’s the homeland movement saw the Pintupi tribes move further west with the creation of Kintore and Kiwikurra townships. It is now predominantly made up of Luritja speakers who may know as many as 5 local languages. English is often a 2nd, 3rd or 4th language. Traditional culture is still very strong here with regular men’s ceremony held in January and women’s ceremony held in the middle of the year.  The art centre is named after the main Tjukurrpa or Dreaming of the Tjupi or Honey Ant with three local hill, collectively known as Warumpi Hill, in the shape of a honey ant.

Papunya Tjupi Artists and their creative practice

The Art Centre began in 2007 and has quickly established itself as a strong art centre that exhibits fine art paintings and prints both nationally and internationally. It now supports around 90 artists from Papunya and the surrounding outstations.  Papunya Tjupi artist’s creative practice centres on reinventing traditional Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) stories. The artists have an inherited visual language which they continually reinvent as contemporary art. This process allows the artists to reconnect with country and maintain traditional culture.

Papunya Tjupi Arts has a busy exhibition schedule with reputable commercial gallery partners nationally and internationally. Since its inception, Papunya Tjupi Arts has had an ongoing program of print-making and workshops, with the assistance of Master Printmaker, Michael Kempson of UNSWAD’s Cicada Press.

To succeed in this position, the successful applicant must evidence the ability to work in a cross- cultural environment. Previous experience in a similar role will be highly regarded. The salary package is a range of $65,000-$75,000 per annum (cash component). In addition other competitive allowance and entitlements are also offered and will be discussed at the interview.

Desart is the non-profit peak industry body for over forty Central Australian Aboriginal Art Centres and the Papunya Tjupi Executive Committee have engaged Desart assist them in the recruitment of their new Art Centre Manager. The information package along with the position description can be obtained here.

Applicants are requested to submit written applications addressing the selection criteria and marked ‘Private and confidential’ addressed to:

Senior Program Manager Desart, PO Box 9219, Alice Springs, NT 0871 or via email to

Applications must reach our office by 5:00pm CST on Friday the 9th of September 2016